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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 943

Scientology: Cult of greed in divine garb

By Janaka Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 10 June, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lankans did not invite Scientologist to come to Sri Lanka and or sought their support and assistance. They came and saw the situation after tsunami favorable to them and in the pretext of helping the affected people; they started exploiting the human misery and began to proselytize Sri Lankans. Shame on them - said Venerable Medagama Dhammanda of the Asgiriya Chapter, Kandy.

The Venerable Medagama Dhammanda of, has challenged Scientologists to refute allegations made against them in Sri Lanka.

Having extensively investigated their activities here, he said that these cultists and other dubious NGOs rode on the crest of the December 26 tsunami. No government authority or any other reputed organization had either invited them here or solicited their assistance. It is they who had seized the unexpected opportunity, to expand their questionable activities under cover of engaging in social service. If they are sincere about their charitable intentions, he pointed out; they should stick to such work instead of craftily trying to wean away Buddhists and Hindus from their traditional religious beliefs. Charity demands nothing in return - neither political nor religious conversions, he said.

According to the Ven. Dhammanda, there is absolutely no need for new cults and religions that do more harm than good in a country, where centuries-old religious have been well established. The unwanted religious tensions Scientologists have already created here were sufficient proof that they are troublemakers, he said. The Ven Dhammanda has found that these cultists had also crept into several universities to spread their “word” despite the fact that people here have enough religions to live by and die by.

“These wolves in sheep’s clothing have found tsunami victims suffering from depression a fertile area for harvesting souls.”

He told the Asian Tribune that a favorite tactic Scientologists used for luring people into their fold was to hypnotize depressed and downhearted people.

He alleged before the tsunami many Korean Scientologists were engaged in proselytizing activities in Sri Lanka posing off not as charity workers but as businessmen. They had set up businesses here with the permission from the Board of Investments. Kabool Lanka was one such establishment that covertly promoted Scientology while providing employment to people here, the Ven. Dhammananda pointed out.

Commenting on the Scientologists claim that they respected all religions and especially Buddhism, he said that this was a ploy to deceive Buddhists.

The fact of the matter was that they were mixing aspects of Buddhism with their own “scientific” theories and calling this religious pickle, Scientology. The term Dianatecs, which Scientologists frequently used, was really a mixture of the Sanskrit Hindu-Buddhist word `dhyana’ (meditation) and the English word `technique.’

Scientology was really a moneymaking venture operating under the guise promoting a new religion – a fact well proven in many parts of the world, the monk noted. It was really amazing, he said, that Scientologists still had the nerve to pose off as paragons of virtue despite numerous police actions and legal measures taken against them in the West and elsewhere, for over a decade. In addition, they had lost lawsuits – the most famous of these was a U.S. Federal Appeal Panel upholding the dismissal of libel suit against the Time magazine for carrying on May 6, 1991 a special report (cover story) titled “Scientology – The Cult Of Greed,” that exposed this `church’ as a ruthless global scam that ruined lives and destroyed fortunes. In a section of the special report that appeared only in the magazine’s international edition, Journalist Richard Behar recalled how over 30 years ago Britain, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Venezuela closed their ports to Scientologists, following public outcry. At one point, a French court had convicted Scientology Founder Ron Hubbard of fraud in absentia.

Following is an excerpt from this article:

“ In Italy a two-year trial of 76 Scientologists, among them the former leader of the church's Italian operations is nearing completion in Milan. Two weeks ago, prosecutor Pietro Forno requested jail terms for all the defendants who are accused of extortion, cheating "mentally incapacitated" people and evading as much as $50 million in taxes. `All of the trial's victims went to Scientology in search of a cure or a better life,’ said Forno, `but the Scientologists were amateur psychiatrists who practiced psychological terrorism’. For some victims, he added, `the intervention of the Scientologists was devastating. Parents complaining to officials that Scientology had a financial stranglehold on their children, who had joined the church or entered Narconon, its drug rehabilitation unit, triggered the Milan case. In 1986 Treasury and paramilitary police conducted raids in 20 cities across Italy shutting down 27 Scientology centers and seizing 100,000 documents….”

A group of Scientologists were recently found distributing a 30 page full colour, propaganda booklet in Sinhala, titled, Santhoshayata Maga(The Path to Joy) in Colombo suburbs of Dehiwala and Mount Lavinia, recently. A copy of the half A-4 sized booklet that came into Journalist Deeptha L. Gamage’s hands carries maliciously distorted facts on Buddhism’s history.

In a chapter that warns readers against wrong sexual behavior, the author states on page 8: “Adultery is nothing new. Buddhism, which was a powerful religion in India in the Seventh Century, disappeared from there as a result of sex perversions of Buddhist monks in temples.”

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