Blog: Deconstructing Scientology: Chapter 3 - 2016-08-18

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F0.png Deconstructing Scientology: Chapter 3 August 18, 2016, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large

Hey everybody, we are going to continue in this video to go through the book Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis which has chapters written by various religious scholars, psychologists and sociologists all talking about Scientology. Thanks for carrying on with me in this.

As I've said before, if you haven't watched my first couple videos in this series, you should do so and the link to the first episode is in the notes section below. I also want to reiterate just in case you didn't see those earlier videos that I am not making any claims to be unbiased or objective in my views on Scientology.

Alright, so this week we are taking up Chapter 3 by Douglas Cowan, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Social Development Studies at Renison College at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Now the good news about this chapter is that it's the least biased of any I've read so far and talks frankly about the difficulties in studying Scientology as an academic scholar. Cowan has testified on behalf of Scientology insofar as he has apparently stated on record that Scientologists believe that they are part of a religious group but based on what I could find of his work, he's not someone that has ever crossed a line into overt pro-Scientology bias. In fact, in this chapter he helps clarify what position an academic should and shouldn't take about new religious movements and I appreciated a lot of what Cowan had to say. I also found some points I think he totally misses on, so let's go through this in some detail.