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The Latest Gossip about Travolta and Scientology PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

There are hints that John Travolta may be reconsidering his relationship with the Church of Scientology after his son's death.

The boy was taken off his seizure medication because it was no longer working. Standard practice would be to try a different medication or a combination of medications, but apparently this was not done. Instead, he was treated with saunas, food supplements, Vitamin B and vegetable oils. He died of a seizure.

Travolta is allegedly disappointed that the church couldn't help his child more. He is also said to be "upset that senior members of the sect have instructed him to undergo intensive sessions with one of Scientology's 'ethics officers', trained to question the actor and other grieving family members to establish whether their 'negative influences' might have contributed to the tragedy."  Gee, I'd be pretty upset about that; wouldn't you?

It is thought that Travolta's son was autistic, a diagnosis that is rejected by Scientology. Instead, Travolta claims he had Kawasaki syndrome, but it doesn't sound to me like his symptoms fit with that diagnosis.

There are rumors that if Travolta tries to break with the church, they will release embarrassing information about him, such as allegations of homosexuality.

These are just unconfirmed rumors at this point, but they may provide some hints about the workings of Scientology. Wouldn't it be interesting if one of Scientology's biggest celebrity representatives defected?

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written by MadScientist, July 27, 2009
That was such a tragedy and Scientology jumped in to harrass the family and to ensure that its own interests were protected - screw the folks who throw their money at the organization. I hope Travolta has the sense and fortitude to leave; given the organization's history of abuse it will undoubtedly be a very difficult choice for him.
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Let's treat them all equally
written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
Scientology is clearly a nonsense myth, that most of us treat with contempt. It debunks itself, without our intervention. Yet as an officially recognized religion in the US, exempt from state taxation, it is no more or less valid than any other religious group: Scientology, Christianity, Islam, Hindu, you name them, ALL rely on fantansies which require their followers to accept its teachings without evidence. So tell me, why is it the JREF feels at liberty to (correctly) treat Scientology with the contempt it deserves, yet when dealing with other religions (see recent post from Jeff here: http://www.randi.org/site/inde...ation.html), feels the need to provide a disclaimer that:
Before we get started, I have to say once again... the JREF is not an atheist organization. Our staff and membership are composed of both believers and non-believers

Can you imagine a similar disclaimer preceding the current article:

"Before we get started, I have to say once again... the JREF is not against Scientology. Our staff and membership are composed of both those who believe that the cosmic thetan spirit can be redeemed through the 'Bridge to Total Freedom', and those that recognize it for what it is: a fantasy which provides a means for separating the gullible from their cash."

Absurd isn't it? So why then does the JREF make this differentiation? The remit of JREF is of course broader than religion, and applies itself to any supranatural claim. However, religion clearly falls within this, and ALL religions, should be subject to the same scrutiny as that which we apply any claims to the supranatural: homeopathy, dowsing, acupuncture, faith-healing, telekinesis, telepathy, etc, etc. Religion is no different. If any religious believer were to provide compelling evidence in support of their supranatural beliefs, they would surely qualify for the $1M, so precisely the same level of evidence is required, and precisely the same skepticism should be applied until such time as the evidence has been presented and evaluated. As a beacon of rationality, those involved with the JREF should make no exceptions, and certainly no apologies for applying the principles of healthy skepticism that serve the JREF so well.
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written by ianmacm, July 28, 2009
The claims that Travolta is homosexual or bisexual have been around for years. It is hard to think of anything that the CoS could reveal here that would come as a big shock.
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written by Careyp74, July 28, 2009
He should leave, and let them try to soil his name. Any attempts to make him look bad will reflect poorly on the cult, and the other members that are on the fence will leave too. I think anyone on the inside who wants to leave should start collecting their own evidence against the senior members, and then go look up Michael Weston.
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written by Tanydon, July 28, 2009
As the Duke of Wellington said when he was threatened with being exposed in the press for having an affair with a married woman, 'publish and be damned'.
The exposure did him no harm at all.
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written by Joslin, July 28, 2009
Martin Gardner is not an athiest but a philosophical theist. Perhaps Jeff is including someone like this when he suggests that the JREF is not an atheist organization.
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written by sailor, July 28, 2009
Gazcam makes some good points in Let's treat them all equally. But I think JREF does. I see no evidence that it debunks the claims of Scientology any more than Catholicism. Belief is a personal matter, and there are those who believe, yet manage to react appropriately and skeptically to evidence where it counts. Collins is an example. It is not the job of JREF to tell people about their faith, except when this translates to claims that can be examined in the light of evidence. In the case of Lourdes miracles (a Catholic folly), for example JREF would take the same stance it does to the absurd pro woo anti science stance of Scientology.
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Treat them all equally
written by Alan3354, July 28, 2009
Religion = Superstition + $$$$$
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written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
Joslin
Martin Gardner is not an athiest but a philosophical theist. Perhaps Jeff is including someone like this when he suggests that the JREF is not an atheist organization.

Is a philosophical theist different to a theist? Presumably, they both make claims they cannot substantiate. In that they are no different to any other religious believer, or any other woo-woo proponent. In the context of JREF, they should be treated with equal skepticism, open to demonstrable evidence, but unwilling to be persuaded merely by 'belief', particularly when those proponents stand to profit by such persuasaion, as Alan3354 succincly puts it!

sailor
I see no evidence that it debunks the claims of Scientology any more than Catholicism.

Prefixing an article relating to relating to Christianity, as Jeff did yesterday, with the disclaimer, and (appropriately) not doing so before an article on Scientology, is the indication I took that these two were treated differently by JREF postings.

Belief is a personal matter, and there are those who believe, yet manage to react appropriately and skeptically to evidence where it counts.


Why is belief personal? It's anything but! Much of current and historical international conflict is directly or indirectly related to differences in religious belief, and the intentions of these groups to impose their beliefs on others. In the UK, religious leaders are afforded positions within the legislature, and thereby vote on statutes which impact ALL of us in this country. In the US, religious groups seek to impose their unsubstantiated views to the education system. In both US and UK, religious groups are afforded tax exempt status, thus we are subsidising them based purely on their beliefs. Belief is NOT personal!

And 'belief' is central to the premise of JREF: to challenge supranatural claims which are based ONLY on belief, but cannot be substantiated. Many spiritual mediums truly believe in their supranatural powers; many homeopathists are convinced by the healing power of water. We do not exclude their claims from scrutiny because they have belief in their claims. We do not say that this is a personal issue. Religion is exactly the same.

It is not the job of JREF to tell people about their faith, except when this translates to claims that can be examined in the light of evidence.

If I understand it correctly, it is the stated purpose of JREF to debunk myths - to challenge those who make supranatural claims to provide evidence. The power of prayer is a delusion which could easily be submitted to scientific falsification, and if any religious believer were able to demonstrate that prayer was able to affect change which goes beyond the physical laws and demonstrates supranatural intervention, the JREF would be $1M poorer. Religious beliefs are no different to any other supranatural beliefs, and they should not be afforded the unwarranted respect that is appropriately not extended to other fantasies.

In the case of Lourdes miracles (a Catholic folly), for example JREF would take the same stance it does to the absurd pro woo anti science stance of Scientology.

I agree - a great example of a religious myth that could be debunked. Daily prayer is another, as I mentioned, as are the claims of Genesis. With such central principles amenable to falsification, religion should be no less a target for JREF than any other false belief that attempts to persuade others.

I'm challenging the idea that we should treat religion any differntly or be apologetic for doing so.
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Do They Have Dirt on Travolta?
written by The SkepDoc, July 28, 2009
Does anyone know - does the process of rising through the various levels of scientology require self-criticism or personal revelations similar to confession in the Catholic church? Would scientology officials have access to private information that they might be able to exploit? Has this ever happened in the past? I understand they have persecuted defectors in various ways.
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written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
Does anyone know - does the process of rising through the various levels of scientology require self-criticism or personal revelations similar to confession in the Catholic church? Would scientology officials have access to private information that they might be able to exploit? Has this ever happened in the past? I understand they have persecuted defectors in various ways.


It would be a nice effective mechanism to ensure continued loyalty wouldn't it? Clearly Scientology has moved on from the ancient religious fantansies, and worked out that excommunication and condemning to eternal hell fire is no longer sufficient to guarantee blind lifelong comittment to the cause! Welcome, John Travolta, to Scientology's 21st century version of Hell!
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written by devilschord, July 28, 2009
I hope he does leave. If he does, maybe I'll make an effort to see another of his movies. I have avoided him, and Tom Cruise, once the nuttiness was revealed.
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written by jeff in chicago, July 28, 2009
My biggest problem with this post is that it ends with this phrase: "These are just unconfirmed rumors ..."

Then why is it even posted here? I expect more from the JREF.
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Concerning the JREF and religion...
written by JeffWagg, July 28, 2009
Gazcam misrepresents our position in his comment. The JREF is not an atheist organization, but that doesn't mean we're not critical of testable claims made by religion. "God" is not a testable claim. Therefor, the JREF has no official opinion on the matter. Most of the staff and members of the JREF are atheists of one stripe or another, but everyone is welcome in our organization. The JREF is about exploration, not exclusion. And who knows... maybe the Deist viewpoint is correct.

The JREF does challenge specific religious claims, including those made by Scientology, of whom the JREF has been very critical. So while we can't test "is there a god?" we can test faith healing, e-meters, bleeding idols, etc. And we do. And our conclusion is that we've never seen any reliable evidence of the supernatural.

Atheism is a often abused word, and I'm aware of the null hypothesis, etc. I put the disclaimer in the article for accuracy's sake, and to differentiate the JREF from organizations solely devoted to the promotion of atheism. We have a lot in common with these organizations and share speakers and membership, but our mission is different.

The JREF does treat all religious claims equally. Scientology gets mentioned more often than some other religions because they often make testable claims that we believe are false. However, they are no different from any other religion in the JREF's opinion.



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written by Gazcam, July 28, 2009
Posted in 2 posts due to word limit

First of all, thank you for replying. I appreciate the opportunity to clear up the issue, as I'm very much a supporter of the work of the JREF, and it is for this reason that I want to point out when, in my opinion, it deviates, perhaps albeit unwittingly, from its central principles.

Gazcam misrepresents our position in his comment. The JREF is not an atheist organization, but that doesn't mean we're not critical of testable claims made by religion. "God" is not a testable claim. Therefor, the JREF has no official opinion on the matter


I think I have accepted on numerous postings, that the JREF is not an atheist organisiation - I entirely accept (and support) that its remit is broader than that. But you are wrong to say that 'God' is not a testable claim. The null hypothesis is that there is no God; believers could conduct any number of experiments to provide supportive evidence and allow 'God' to reveal himself, and thereby refute the null hypothesis. The fact is, whilst we always remain open to positive results to change our current models, as we know, all of these experiments would fail to support the alternative hypothesis, which is, that there is a 'God'. As such, the 'God hypothesis' would remain as valid as any other hypothesis, such as fairies and celestial teapots, and the credibility of its proponents would remain equivalent to this until supportive evidence was provided. Other groups, who are fully aware that their concept would not be supported by evidence, are equally unwilling to submit to such tests, or accept the conclusions of such experiments: homeopathists reject the outcome of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. But that does not and should not change the fact that as skeptics, we adopt a skeptical position until they provide evidence in favour of their claims. Religion is no different in this.

The JREF does challenge specific religious claims, including those made by Scientology, of whom the JREF has been very critical. So while we can't test "is there a god?" we can test faith healing, e-meters, bleeding idols, etc. And we do. And our conclusion is that we've never seen any reliable evidence of the supernatural.

The claims of mainstream religion, such as the power of prayer, are equally amenable to testing. And presumably, if anyone were to come forward to claim they could demonstrate this, they would be considered eligible for the million dollar challenge. The various flavours of religion are therefore equivalent. However,
you
chose to differentiate them, by offering a disclaimer before the article relating to Christianity, but no such disclaimer before the Scientology piece. I appreicate these were written by two different people, but the fact that you felt it necessary to make this clear that the JREF is not an atheist organization, indicates your own separation of religion from other woo-woo topics, on which you don't (and shouldn't) offer a similar disclaimer. This clearly relates to the unwarranted tentative handling of religious sensibilities that Dawkins has highlighted, and which as he points out, sustains the practice. We don't afford homeopathy that reverence, and religion should also have no easy ride.
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Once again, actions not intent.
written by Jefoid, July 28, 2009
As in most situations, if one looks at the issues in terms of people’s actions, the conflicts are resolved. Denny's discriminated against a group of people is a bad act. Scientology (allegedly) advocated withholding medication proven to be helpful, another bad act. That is why they must be called out and exposed. As much as one might want to take the next step and say, "see, all religion is wrong", the facts do not and cannot support that conclusion. JREF must continue to stay neutral on the ultimate question if it is to continue to claim it is evidenced-based. There is plenty of work to do dealing with actions that are demonstrably harmful; one need not delve into speculation.
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written by Brookston John, July 28, 2009
"Would scientology officials have access to private information that they might be able to exploit?"

It is my understanding that they do. Scientology is not unlike other "secret" societies (Frats, Skull n' Bones, the New Warrior Adventure cult, etc.), where, in order to rise up, get "clear", whatever, you have to reveal embarrassing facts about yourself in order to "get Honest", advance, belong, whatever.
Some of those groups think this is part of the theraputic process, some probably put it in your file in case you ever leave and get mouth about what went on "inside".

I wouldn't "do" New Warriors back in my experience with the so-called Men's Movement because of that. I'm not telling some stranger not bound by client privacy laws things about me I don't want to see on page A-5...
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Ineresting parallels
written by Brookston John, July 28, 2009
I finally got shed of the christianity cult for much the same reasons. Some of the bull-crap that was laid on me when my stepson killed himself, I don't think even the most ate-up zombie follower would have been able to swallow.
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Many people...
written by Griz, July 28, 2009
...accord respect to religious traditions based on how long they've been around. In my opinion, there's a big difference between a true social religious tradition that is millenia old which has grown organically and some bizarro cult that was started recently by a crackpot. Especially one which is so blatantly a con job as Scientology. In that category I also include Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, Mormonism, and many of the prosperity based christian fundamentalist movements coming out of the charismatic fold in the last 50 years.

Yes, from the standpoint of an atheist, Catholicism or Judaism are based on the same fairy tales, but they are traditions heavily rooted in society and have had a huge impact on the cultures around them. In contrast, Scientology is a con started by a fiction author who more or less wanted to see if he could pull it off, and, once he did, just how much of his bullshit his followers were willing to take. The depths of that last question even he could not sound before he died, the ultimate testament to the gullibility of religious minded individuals.
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written by Willy K, July 28, 2009
Johnny boy, sorry about your son's death. I hope you find a way to deal with it in a positive manner.

How about a dramatic movie starring you and Tom Cruise?
The title would be "Breaking the Back of Scientology Mountain."

Yup, the title implies many things. Do you have the guts to do something so outrageous? smilies/wink.gif

P.S. This post is meant to be slightly tangential. smilies/tongue.gif
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written by MysteryMammal, July 28, 2009
"Would scientology officials have access to private information that they might be able to exploit?"

Scientology has "audits". They are somewhat akin to Catholic confession in that you report misdeeds, bad thoughts, etc. The Auditor takes notes. These notes go into your file. They encourage you to divulge sexual fantasies, sexual acts, etc. They have used information gleaned through this process to try to disparage defectors in the past, most recently against the four fairly high level detractors who gave interviews to the Tampa newspaper as part of a four part series on Scientology.

I think it would reflect poorly on the CoS, and rally more people in the public against them, if they engage in a smear campaign just because he finally sees through their BS.
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written by Joslin, July 28, 2009
In reply to Gazcam. I would hardly view Martin Gardner as a woo-woo proponent. His stance on philosophical theism is outlined in his book: "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener", which explains it a lot better than I could. But you are right Gazcam, philosophical theism is a form of theism. It is similar to deism. The idea that a god may exist but does not intervene in the natural world. Therefore, miracles, virgin births, people rising from the dead and other superstitions are not possible. I personally maintain that you can be a philosophical theist or a deist and a skeptic, although, I personally am an atheist, based on the premise of Occam's Razor. However,I do not think it a good thing to alienate all religious believers, after all, there are degrees of woo-woo.
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written by Walk, July 28, 2009
I have to go with Gazcam here. When Jeff says, "Our staff and membership are composed of both believers and non-believers", I have to say, "Believers in what? The existence of the supernatural?"

If a staff member makes the claim, "There exists a supernatural being called God", why wouldn't the JREF say, "Prove it!"

Am I missing something here? Isn't this what we're trying to do here - - debunk unproven claims of the supernatural?
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written by Walk, July 28, 2009
One of the stated goals of the JREF is, "Demonstrating to the public and the media, through educational seminars, the consequences of accepting paranormal and supernatural claims without questioning."

However, if a staff member is a "believer" (in the supernatural existence of God), this is accepted without questioning?

Am I to understand that "maybe the Deist viewpoint is correct" as Jeff stated, is really the policy James Randi is putting forth.

Sorry, but I'm a bit confused.
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written by The SkepDoc, July 28, 2009
jef in chicago said "My biggest problem with this post is that it ends with this phrase: "These are just unconfirmed rumors ..."

Gossip is good. We all do it and enjoy it. It's the human equivalent of chimp grooming, and contributes to social bonding. :-)
I don't usually repeat rumors, but in this case I thought the rumors were revealing of some of the problems with Scientology. And the real point was a factual matter: that the boy was denied effective medical treatment and treated with useless remedies, leading to an unnecessary death.
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written by Walk, July 28, 2009
Jeff Wagg or Randi,

As a great admirer of the work of the JREF, and an avid Swift reader, please allow me to try to clarify this for myself by framing my above question this way - -

If an applicant came to you and claimed they could provide conclusive evidence of the existence of God (IMO the ultimate woo), would you accept the challenge?

Thank you.
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written by bosshog, July 28, 2009
So what is it anyway?
Is homosexuality a normal healthy life choice or the most horrible of slanders? I wish Hollywood would make up its mind.
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written by bela okmyx, July 28, 2009
"Would scientology officials have access to private information that they might be able to exploit?"

Hell yes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology)
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Travolta
written by Michael K Gray, July 28, 2009
"Up your nose with a rubber hose, Xenu"
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written by jeff in chicago, July 28, 2009
@ The SkepDoc

You said: "I don't usually repeat rumors, but in this case I thought the rumors were revealing of some of the problems with Scientology. And the real point was a factual matter: that the boy was denied effective medical treatment and treated with useless remedies, leading to an unnecessary death."

I cannot say that I have followed this story fully, but do we know what medical Travolta's son did or did not receive? Or are we making assumptions?
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Response to Gazcam...
written by JeffWagg, July 28, 2009
I didn't mention Christianity, nor did Denny's. Just the word "church." I'm quite sure a UU bulletin would have been accepted. As I said, at least some of the employees were Muslim.

As for the "null hypothesis," yes, you are correct. But for people who believe in God, they have personal evidence for their belief that I'm not privy too. I have to respect that, even if I don't see such evidence myself. Anecdotal evidence works for the person who experienced the anecdote. It does NOT work as evidence for anyone else.

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@Walk
written by JeffWagg, July 28, 2009
We do NOT accept "I can prove God" claims. They are untestable. How can we ever know what "god" is? Besides, there's no reason. If you have a single "god-like" power, that alone is enough for the challenge.
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written by MadScientist, July 28, 2009
@GazCam: I think the point is that the JREF, as a matter of practicality, will not engage in discussions about whether or not there is a god/s regardless of the views of its members - for example we know that Randi doesn't believe in any gods. This is a purely practical matter because those who say they would like to engage in such a conversation have already decided the matter for themselves and will not be swayed by any conversation, and hence engaging in such conversations is a waste of time. Nor does JREF actively discourage religious people from taking an interest in and engaging in JREF activities. Many religious people are interested in skepticism to the degree that they point out some follies of other religions (and yet they refuse to look at themselves with the same critical appraisal) and why should such people be excluded? Personally I would welcome them; if they truly learn to think critically they may have a look at their own beliefs.
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written by Mark P, July 28, 2009
"Demonstrating to the public and the media, through educational seminars, the consequences of accepting paranormal and supernatural claims without questioning."

Those last two words are very important.

It is possible to believe in God without being dogmatic about it. Without insisting on being the holder of the "only true way" (tm). Not every religious person believes without doubt.

IMO skepticism need not exclude religion entirely. Only unreflecting and credulous belief.

Now you might feel that skepticism does definitively exclude any religious belief, but you have to ask yourself -- "how does my dogmatic principle on something I cannot prove, differ from that of religious folk?"
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Tampa article
written by Kay-the-fish, July 29, 2009
MysteryMammal: I'm 2/3 of the way through that Tampa newspaper article (St. Petersburg Times). Fascinating. Thank you mentioning it.
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written by Kay-the-fish, July 29, 2009
for mentioning it.
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written by Walk, July 29, 2009
Jeff,

Thanks for the reply. And thank you for posting the great "Randy on Religion" piece. It's comforting to know his feelings on this matter.

I suppose if some of your staff and membership maintain a belief in the ultimate supernatural woo, this hopefully doesn't impede their handling the lesser forms of woo that the JREF is able to test. Although it's hard to imagine how they could successfully apply reason selectively, or how their lack of reason in this area wouldn't render them ineffective in accomplishing the goals of the organization.

I would suggest, however, that those in the JREF who are believers, be made aware of Randi's statement "Faith is the very antithesis of reason", and also that they read Randi's entire piece on unsubstantiated belief in the ultimate woo.

I will continue to be a big fan of this site, and turn to Dawkins and Hitchens in regards to the God question.
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written by Walk, July 29, 2009
Jeff,

One more thing - - Now that you've disclosed that some of your staff are "believers", I will (and others should) read the articles here knowing that some of the writer's analyses may be colored by faith instead of reason.

I don't know if you've addressed this before, but would you be comfortable in revealing (as Randi has) if your personal world-view is partially based on faith? This would help us evaluate the opinions you put forth.

Thank you.
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written by Walk, July 29, 2009
Edit: I meant to say - - would you reveal your world-view (as Randi has). I wasn't implying that Randi bases anything on faith. (Sorry, my wording was clumsy).
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written by Eosine, July 29, 2009
Anything bad they could say about him would be outweighed by the fact he's leaving them. I'd be able to watch his movies again.
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written by Walk, July 29, 2009
Eosine,

I'll be interested to see if he actually does leave them. It's curious to me that such a seemingly intelligent person could swallow the COS bull.

Now that I know that Greta Van Susteren is a Scientologist, I'm having trouble watching her.
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@Walk
written by JeffWagg, July 29, 2009
My worldview is that I'm a scientific naturalist.
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written by Walk, July 29, 2009
Jeff,

Thank you. And sorry if I've been a bit critical when it comes to me trying to understand the "believers on the staff" policy. From your comments and those of others, I think I'm starting to understand the reasons for being inclusive in the JREF membership policy. Any other policy would be contrary to an open search for the truth.

And congrats to you, Randi, and the JREF for continuing the Million Dollar Challenge! Kudos!
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written by Mark P, July 30, 2009
Although it's hard to imagine how they could successfully apply reason selectively, or how their lack of reason in this area wouldn't render them ineffective in accomplishing the goals of the organization.


You do know that most of the world's greatest scientists have been religious? Often very religious.

I'm an atheist. But I don't belief I have a monopoly on the truth. In fact I don't even think I am more logical than religious people, except when proven. Some of my fellow atheists dismay me when they act as if every religious person is a stupid moron who cannot put any logical thoughts together.
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written by Walk, July 30, 2009
Mark P,

Yes I know that some of the world's greatest scientists have been believers of one sort or another. This was back when we didn't have the detailed scientific explanation of reality that we have today. I've read that, today, somewhere around 90% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences don't believe in a personal god.

I suppose someone today could have a god belief and still be a great scientist. Why they wouldn't apply the rigors of evidence to that part of their world view would be curious, but I guess by compartmentalizing their minds to keep their unsubstantiated belief from interfering with their work, they could be effective.
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Hollywood actors
written by 2nd Anniversary Gifts, July 31, 2009
I just noticed that big time Hollywood actors are so into Scientology. Any significance?
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written by cwniles, July 31, 2009
What is more embarrasing, allegations of bi-sexuality or belonging to some freaked out cult?

I know plenty of gay or bi-sexual people who are a pleasure to spend time with....Scientologists? ummm, not so much.

I would think no less or more of Travolta if he were bi-sexual, I cannot make the same statement regarding his affiliation with Scientology.
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written by Eosine, July 31, 2009
Hollywood actors aren't educated in anything really much, except acting. Doesn't require a lot of critical thinking. Then they are wooed by scientology, which offers to help you reach "higher level" (appeals to the narcissist in people) without all that fire and brimstone talk in regular churches. Successful actors have the money to keep reaching levels, and "succeeding" to higher ranks in the church, etc. It appeals in many ways to actors.
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written by Walk, July 31, 2009
Back when I was still searching for answers to the big questions, I read a couple of L. Ron's books and visited the Scientology center in Sacramento, CA. I was stunned at how zombie-like the adherents were. I seemed to know more about Hubbard's books than they did. Every time I asked a questioned they answered, "Well, we're instructed to look up the answers for you." I said, "Okay, but what do YOU think?" They said, "I'll have to look that up".

Of course once I became aware of Xenu and the Galactic Confederacy, that was all I needed to know.
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written by jeff in chicago, July 31, 2009
Eosine wrote: "Hollywood actors aren't educated in anything really much, except acting. Doesn't require a lot of critical thinking. Then they are wooed by scientology, which offers to help you reach "higher level" (appeals to the narcissist in people) without all that fire and brimstone talk in regular churches. Successful actors have the money to keep reaching levels, and "succeeding" to higher ranks in the church, etc. It appeals in many ways to actors."

Wow. Paint with a broad brush much? Just to name a few: Jodi Foster graduated magna cum laude from Yale with a degree in Literature. Sigourney Weaver has a BA in English from Stanford and a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale. David Duchovney has a Masters in English Literature from Yale. Lucy Liu has a degree in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan. Natalie Portman has a degree in Psychology from Harvard. Denzel Washington has a degree in Journalism from Fordham. Tommy Lee Jones has a degree in English from Harvard. Gwyneth Paltrow has a degree in Art History from the University of California. Maggie Gyllenhaal has a degree in Eastern Religions from Columbia University. Kevin Costner has a degree in Business from California State University.

Additionally, numerous actors were studying serious subjects before they decided to pursue acting. Among them: Kate Beckinsale (French and Russian Literature), Ashley Judd (French, with minors in Anthropology, Art History, Theater, and Women’s Studies), Matt Damon (English), Brad Pitt (Journalism), Reese Witherspoon (English Literature), Courtney Cox (Architecture and Interior Design), Claire Danes (psychology).

That's 17 big-name actors, none of whom are Scientologists. I could probably find more with a little diligent searching. Now, please name 17 major actors who ARE Scientologists. (Please try to stay with actors we've heard of. I know Wikipedia has a list of "celebrity" Scientologists, but most of them are people no one has ever heard of.) There is a small group of Scientologist actors who get in the headlines. That group is in no way a reflection of most actors.

Your dismissal of a class of people (actors, of which I am one, with a degree in Journalism) is insulting and illustrates little critical thinking.

P.S.: I'm in a production of Shakespeare's "Henry V" right now. Do you really think that just any old actor can do that well? Or perhaps it takes a little thought. I think the latter.
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written by Eosine, August 01, 2009
Well said Jeff smilies/smiley.gif
And I'm duly humbled.
I guess I should have written that the two actors and few singers I know are scientologists don't seem very educated.
-Eos
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The Latest Gossip...
written by MattCooper, August 01, 2009
Please remove this offensive post, feel ashamed of yourself and never post anything based on "the latest gossip" again.

"Rational thought", "evidence-based reasoning"....I'm embarrassed for you.


Matt
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written by Eosine, August 01, 2009
I think I like that it generated Jeff in Chicago's awesome insights. It was therefore worth it - to see what he wrote. I never knew that about any of the actors. It's a good reminder to not "paint people with a broad brush". I never used to do that, so I'm reexamining my current attitude. Seems I needed this. -Eos
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Defending Gossip
written by The SkepDoc, August 01, 2009
The "gossip" part was only about whether Travolta was thinking of breaking with Scientology and it was clearly identified as unconfirmed. It served to generate a discussion of the known characteristics of Scientology. The information about his son's death was factual, supported by autopsy findings. It is unconscionable that the boy was denied effective treatment in favor of alternative medicine, whether or not Scientology was responsible. And we know Scientology denies the diagnosis that best fit: autism.
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Less impressive again.
written by MattCooper, August 01, 2009
With the exception of the second paragraph, the entire article is (as it admits) complete speculation and cites "hints" (paragraph 1) "allegations" and "it is said" (paragraph 3), "thoughts" and an absence of "sound" whatever that means (paragraph 4), "rumors" (paragraph 5), and "unfounded rumors". The Onion would have editorial problems publishing it. Get it off this site. It's an embarrassment.

Matt

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written by jeff in chicago, August 01, 2009
The SkepDoc wrote: "The "gossip" part was only about whether Travolta was thinking of breaking with Scientology and it was clearly identified as unconfirmed. The information about his son's death was factual, supported by autopsy findings.

Again...no. The only thing that has been revealed is the cause of death. Autopsies often find more, but nothing further has been released. (If I am wrong about this - and I could be - please provide a link.) Autopsies only reveal the state of the body at the time of death; there are many treatments that wouldn't be apparent in an autopsy. (For a possibly irrelevant example, an autopsy could not tell if the deceased had an MRI.) We simply do not know what treatment Travolta's son did or did not have. And as MattCooper pointed out, nearly every paragraph of the OP begins with a qualifier. Bad post. Bad bad post.
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written by The SkepDoc, August 01, 2009
It seems I would have met with less criticism if I had been less skeptical. I could have simply reported what many news sources said without those qualifiers. smilies/smiley.gif
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The TWO main issues I dislike about scientology
written by lareth, August 29, 2009
Number 1.

They "need" our money. They don't steal it, it just ends up in their pocket
as soon as you join them.

F. EX. Christian churches might take a few bucks from you as a donation.
I have no problems with that. Personally.

Number 2.

They've messed with a good friend of mine. My buddy, Science.
Now anything and anyone that messes with my buddy Science, abuses it
to make harm and create lies, well, I dislike that.


I find scientology still actually blossoming very scary.
How many brainless tards are there in the world?
Enoug to join, and enough to not stop it it would seem.
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