Blog: Deconstructing Scientology: Chapter 10 - 2016-11-03

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F0.png Deconstructing Scientology: Chapter 10 November 3, 2016, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large

Hey everyone, we are continuing in my ongoing series deconstructing this book, Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and featuring essays and writings by religious scholars, psychologists, sociologists and other academics about (surprise!) Scientology.

This week we get into Part IV of this book, called "Sources and Comparative Approaches" which begins with Chapter 10, titled "Scientology as Technological Buddhism" by Frank K. Flinn. Flinn was an adjunct professor of religious studies at Washington University in St Louis from 1990 until he died in July 2015.

According to his obituary, Flinn was a religious freedom advocate and a scholar of religious movements. While I'm sure he taught some great material about religious history to his classes, he was also a tireless cult apologist. He gave expert testimony in court and even in front of Congress to support destructive cults such as Scientology and the Branch Davidians in Waco. There are many very nice things said about him in his obituary, of course, and I have nothing against him personally because I'm sure he was a very nice person. However, I don't support what he dedicated a great deal of his life doing: offering support and defense for destructive cults, the kinds of groups which have ruined people's lives in the course of their routine, day-to-day activities.