Blog: Deconstructing Scientology: Chapter 17 - 2017-01-05

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F0.png Deconstructing Scientology: Chapter 17 January 5, 2017, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large

Hello again and welcome to the next installment in my on-going series deconstructing this book, Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and featuring essays and articles by religious scholars, academics and the like about, you guessed it, Scientology. So far, almost all of these have been purely Scientology apologetics as these scholars rush to defend Scientology from its critics, which is what attracted me to this in the first place.

This week it's "The Church of Scientology in Sweden" by Henrik Bogdan. He is a professor of Religious Studies and Senior Lecturer at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. His main areas of research are western esotericism and new religious movements. He's written numerous books about Aleister Crowley, the Freemasons and the occult and appears to be an advocate for new religious movements in his country. However, I have to say that this essay was a real disappointment. Here's someone who is intimately familiar with occult practices that shaped much of Scientology's structure and framework, yet there is not one word here about any of that.

Truth be told, Bogdan's essay reads like a book report that a Swedish middle schooler may have written. I appreciated that Bogdan for the most part kept apologetics out of this, but I was really hoping for a bit more meat. I'll cover some of the more interesting aspects of what he said just to give you an overview of religion and Scientology in Sweden, and comment on a couple of points I differed with Bogdan on. And unlike my tragic foray into French in my earlier videos, this time I'll minimize any attempts to talk Swedish.