In the modern world, freedom of worship is a word easily said, heard, and honored. This is evident in many countries where freedom of worship is passed as laws in the bill of rights, safeguarding the rights of every individual even if the individual worships idols.
This has led to an upsurge in advent of more and more cults being formed world over; however, the term cult is basically a religion or a religious group considered to be false, with its members living in an unconventional manner, under the guidance of an authoritarian charismatic leader (Behar). In patronage of the leader, the cult is literally involved in the business of making money through criminal and illegal activities. On the other hand, the cult is usually seen to endeavor in its power and spiritual abuse. Behar, the author of the thriving cult of greed and power explains in details how scientology is seemingly a religion but which he describes as a ‘ruthless global scam that leaves the lives of victims ruined” (Behar). He narrates how Noah Lottick, a young Russian scholar had jumped from the tenth floor of a building to his death because of cult related influence. The story tells that police officers found Noah holding one hundred and seventy one US dollars, the only money he had not turned over to the church of scientology; the self help group he had joined a few months ago (Behar). This inspired the father to start an investigation into the scientology church that had caused his son’s death. The findings of this investigation indicated that scientology was actually a cult that had brainwashed not only his son but other people as well; in conclusion Lottick stated that “I now believe it’s a school for psychopaths and they take the best and the brightest people to destroy them” (Behar).
The author goes on and explains how the church went on shielding itself behind the First amendment and by hiring the most competent lawyers and detectives to defend themselves in the ensuing cases in which it was eventually sued. In addition, the writer takes an informative stance by identifying L.Ron Hubbard as the founder of the church of scientology, who was a science-fiction writer.
He however indicates that L.Ron’s original aim was to clear people of unhappiness; Behar explains that the church of scientology is a huge profitable racket that survives by intimidating members and its critics through mafia- like manners (Behar). The writer explains that in their ruling the judge’s labeled the church as “schizophrenic and paranoid, corrupt, sinister and dangerous” (Behar). According to this article, the group’s followers have been accused of even committing financial scams. In addition, the writer references information from The Cult Awareness Netwark, echoing words of Cynthia Kisser and Vicki Aznaran, who had expressed their views on cult. Kisser said “scientology is likely the most, ruthless, the most classically terroristic, the most litigious, and the most lucrative cult” (Behar). In addition, Aznaran says that Scientology is the most exploitative of all cults in the world. However my critical point of concern evolves from Lottick’s choice of suing the church of scientology for being involved in the suicidal death of his son Noah.
I believe some spiritual influence can lead to such tragic events such as one that Noah went through. For example in the bible, Ananias died for grieving the spirit by failing to give all the money he had acquired from sales. I however concure that Lotticks did the right thing by suing the Leadership of the Church of scientology for perpetrating the death of Noah through influence of the spirit of greed and ruthlessness.
Behar, R. “The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power, 1991.” Web. 8 Mar.