Is it bigotry to shun people in New Religious Movements?


#1

I myself am speaking of Scientology, however NRMs have many different movements, some stem off a particular religion, and some are just completely unique.
My question is, do people who mock people who are involved in NRMs or New Age beliefs really deserve it? I mean weren’t all religions at one time a “New Religious Movements?”
I have a friend who is Catholic and goes to Mass every week but also takes Scientology courses and she seems to be happy. Am I really one to judge?
Also some NRMs are mock religions which is satire by atheists just trying to make a point in their eyes, so I am really not speaking about these( The Satanic Temple, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Church of the Subgenius etc),
But is judging someone who really believes in something and says it is helping really supposed to be judged?
And no I’m not sticking up for them. I always had an interest in NRMs, did a paper on them in college, normally in studies it’s any movement founded in the early 19th century to present( Most begin with Mormonism). So is shunning people over it really just being ignorant to a not as set into society belief? Which all faiths once were that. Just curious on what others think.


#2

How can we evangelise others if we shun them? I don’t think we should avoid association with pagans, imagine if St Paul had done that.

I would alert your friend to the dangers of attending scientology courses and try to discourage her from attending them, but what good would it do to shun her? But just because we do not shun people it doesn’t mean we accept that the beliefs they follow are good. We should try to lead people to the one true faith through example, and explanation.


#3

Scientology is pagan. No Christian should be giving them money or taking their courses. It is possible that invincible ignorance is involved, so shunning that person would not be a good idea. Jesus ate with sinners to expose them to the Gospel.


#4

It is perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of new religious or pseudo-religious movements. A lot of them are run by con artists who aren’t accountable to others within their groups like priests and religious are to their superiors. Some push pseudoscientific junk as well.


#5

We don’t have shunning as a practice in our religion. We don’t isolate ourselves from the outside world.

We do, however, keep the lines of communication open between ourselves and other religious faiths.


#6

I’d shun Scientologists mostly because they are lunatic scam artists, not because they’re a new religion. Not that it’s a religion anyway, not even like Wiccans or Raelists or people who practice ritual magic. It’s not pagan, it’s not anything other than a money making scheme launched by a pill popping pathological liar who got into turf wars with pagan occultists, stole a lot of their ideas, and then got mad when the medical community called him out on his nonsense.

Seriously, you want an interesting read, read about Hubbard and Jack Parsons (the Crowley acolyte, self-style Satanic magician who was a superstar rocket scientist for the American government during WW2) and their attempt to birth the anti-Christ that just ended up with Hubbard stealing Parson’s wife and him then sending psychic attacks at him in retribution, complaining to a dying and disdainful Crowley about it, and then eventually blowing himself up in his garage. It’s crazy. Should be a movie.


#7

It is true that some can be harmful to the individual practicing them. For example, I recall when Tom Cruise, who practices Scientology, was ranting about the danger of taking antidepressants. While these medications do have side effects, which should be monitored closely by both the patient and their physician, particularly in the case of teenagers, to say that no one should use them is a disservice at best and harmful at worst to people who may benefit from them. I’m not sure that all Scientologists are opposed to these medications or if it’s just the belief of Tom Cruise and those who are like-minded, but you see my point.

On the other hand, there are religions that are now considered mainstream which can also be harmful. I think of JW’s, who do not believe in blood transfusions, or Christian Scientists, who also refrain from medication. And even very mainstream religions–Christianity, Judaism, Islam–have possible negative consequences, particularly when their practitioners become overly zealous in their beliefs and think of believers of other religions as inferior, or even worse, when those prejudiced attitudes are put into practice by means of discriminatory or violent behavior. If we shunned all the believers of these religions, we might end up not associating with anyone, and even shunning ourselves.


#8

I wouldn’t be with them, mostly because I don’t trust them.


#9

See this is what I mean. Isn’t this attitude somewhat bigotry? I am no way defending it. Especially the story of the space opera in Scientology, sounds whack but who am I to judge?


#10

We are required to discern what is true. This is different than judging.

Discernment = “this is not of God nor Christ as it rejects the Holy Catholic Church and her eternal truths”.

Judgement = “this person is going to burn in hell for Scientology”.


#11

This questions has many interesting aspects.


#12

Haha interesting you bring up the Raelian Movement. I was recently reading about them. It is interesting I must admit. Many of these so called UFO religions are. The Aetherius Society, Unarius Academy of Science etc. I totally think they are false and made by con artists but it is interesting to read about.


#13

It’s not bigotry to point out that Scientology is clearly a scam. It’s not an issue of the belief system. There are UFO cults that are just as equally space opera that I’d consider to be a real religion, but they freely share their texts and beliefs.Real religions give you their texts and beliefs for free. You have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to get Scientology materials, which are copywriter and highly protected by legal teams. If they really wanted to spread their message, they’d just tell people. Crowley’s beliefs are pretty out there too, but the OTO has his writings and their texts available for free download.I can’t really think of a another religion that is so obviously a money making enterprise disguised as a religion.

Check out the link below if you think Scientology is, in anyway, a real ‘religion’
http://www.xenu.net/

People are free to believe whatever they want, but if you sign up for a religion that’s so transparently a money making scheme I’m going to not take you seriously.

I’ve known a pagan or two in my day and they are genuinely sincere in their beliefs and they aren’t trying to make money off it or pay others for the privilege of it. But Scientology is so clearly a scam to make money for the higher ups. I’d shun Scientologists the same way I’d shun people selling timeshares or Amway because they are going to try to get me to sign up for pyramid scheme.


#14

Yeah there’s some strange UFO stuff out there. Some of them are for sure con artists, but I think some of them are genuine and seriously believe that our friendly space brothers want us to ascend to a higher plane of consciousness and be able to access the Akashic records to restore our impure souls are whatever. There’s a lot of parallels between Christianity, Buddhism, and other mainstream religions, which have had a huge influence on them. The Heaven’s Gate cult started as a Christian organization but went off the rails pretty quick. Many of these groups work Jesus and the Buddha and Moses and all your big religious figures into the narrative somehow.

Most religions are pretty much going to be on the same page when it comes to how you act and treat people, extreme/exploitative cults excluded obviously, so what good would it do it not interact with them? If you don’t, you’re going to be one coming off as a jerk, not them. Most ‘witches’ consider themselves to be white and are reluctant to preform harmful spells, and the last thing I heard about OTO ‘magicians’ is that they are doing mind battles with inter-dimensional beings bent on stopping the progress of humanity to a higher and happier plane of consciousness.

My personal favorite narrative is that there’s the reptilian aliens who are the current masters of the universe and are using the humans as psychic energy batteries because we have a special soul wavelength - these reptilians engineered the grey aliens to do their dirty work like abduct humans and make hybrids, but your nordic aliens (aka our friendly space brothers) are the rebels of the galaxy and are trying to get us to realize our own galactic importance and help them free the universe. Also Bigfoot is involved in this but no one is exactly sure how.

Yeah, it’s pretty crazy, but in all these narratives the people involved are clearly on the good side. It’s very rare that you find an organized belief system that is openly malevolent. During the Satanic Panic of the 80s even all the made up cults that supposedly sacrificed babies to the devil were underground, secret societies that were invite only affairs the average person wouldn’t have access too or be aware of. If someone is openly a Raelist or OTO or Wiccan or whatever, the odds are pretty good that they are trying to ‘help’ in the way they believe they can.


#15

I check out a ton of audio books from our library, I accidentally picked up one of these. It was entertaining at first, then, it was simply sad. How empty lives must be to fall for these things.


#16

Past Popes have always taught Catholicism alone is the true religion, which leaves no room for NRMs:

Pope Leo XIII: “… The Catholic religion, which is alone the true religion…”
Pope Pius XI: “…the Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship…”
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos: "Certainly such movements as these cannot gain the approval of Catholics. They are founded upon the false opinions of those who say that, since all religions equally unfold and signify- though not in the same way - the native, inborn feeling in us all through which we are borne toward God and humbly recognize His rule, therefore, all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy. The followers of this theory are not only deceived and mistaken, but since they repudiate the true religion by attacking it in its very essence, they move step by step toward naturalism and atheism. Hence it clearly follows that anyone who gives assent to such theories and undertakings utterly abandons divinely revealed religion. "


#17

Hopefully you are someone who can recognize obvious nonsense when you see it…


#18

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