TV3 + Trinity College Dublin Scientology debate. 26/27 Oct11

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TV3 + Trinity College Dublin Scientology debate. 26/27 Oct11

Post by Sponge » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:40 pm

Thursday 27th Oct 2011 requires a Facebook account, but apparently this is the copy-pasta....
Scientology Debate

Time: 27 October · 19:30 - 22:30
Location: The GMB - Trinity College Dublin
Created by: Séamus Beirne
For: The Phil

Scientology has long been labelled a cult and associated with extreme behaviour. When it comes down to it, is it really any more crazy than Christianity or any other religion?

Speaking on the motion that ''This House Believes Scientology is as legitimate as any Other Religion'

will be


Mike Rinder, former Chief International Spokesperson for Scientology, fell out with the Church in 2007 and left. Rinder hasn't had any contact with his family since and now practices Scientology independently.

Michael Nugent, chairperson of Atheist Ireland


Matthew McKenna, activist against Scientology in Ireland

John Duignan, the author of The Complex who was a Scientologist for 22 years in the Sea Org division and now lectures in UCC

as always followed by a generous reception!
Michael Nugent ... d-and-tcd/
On Thursday 27 October I will be in TCD, debating the motion ‘This House Believes that Scientology is as Legitimate as any other Religion’. This debate is organised by the University Philosophical Society.

I and Mike Rinder, a former global spokesperson for the Church of Scientology, will be proposing the motion, and former Scientologist John Duignan and Matthew McKenna of Anonymous Ireland will be opposing the motion.
Wednesday 26th Oct 2011
Mike Rinder will also be appearing on TV3′s Midweek, presented by Colette Fitzpatrick, at 10 pm on Wednesday night ahead of Thursday’s debate. This show will also be available online at
Comment on WWP:
Anonymous, post: 1929020 wrote:The debate will be recorded. Hopefully the society will allow us a copy of the footage for youtubage.

You may have missed the most hysterical part. Rinder had been confirmed for ages, and the society were struggling to get a partner for him. In the end they have gone for Michael [Nugent] who will, get this, propose the motion by essentially arguing that since no religion is legitimate then Scientology is as legitimate as any other religion….! ... ite.95292/

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Re: TV3 + Trinity College Dublin Scientology debate. 26/27 O

Post by Sponge » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:54 am

Mike Rinder interviewed on Ireland's TV3 Midweek program 26th Oct 2011
The scientology segment starts at 17 minutes in and ends at the 35 min mark.
There is a youtube version of just the scientology segment here:
(It is only the first 16m 45sec of that youtube video. The second half is just an audioless repeat of the first half).

The interview was brought up at the Village Voice on Tony Ortega's Thursday 2pm scientology STATurday round-up: ... _and_3.php
which referenced this entry by Marty Rathbun on his blog: ... kesperson/

As mentioned in the OP, Mike Rinder will be at Trinity College for the debate on scientology tommorrow night. It is hoped that a recording will be made available at some point after.

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Re: TV3 + Trinity College Dublin Scientology debate. 26/27 O

Post by Sponge » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:53 pm

Crosspost from WWP: ... st-1932234

The speech audio, due to the distance of the camera microphone and echo of the hall, is really hard to understand on some of these videos but with some concentration and rewinds you'll get most of it.


On 27th October 2011, the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College Dublin held a debate on the motion that 'This House Believes That Scientology Is As Legitimate As Any Other Religion'.

Speaking in first opposition was Matthew McKenna, a prominent Irish anti-scientology activist.....

Speaking in second proposition was Mike Rinder, former chief spokesperson of the Church of Scientology. Mike Rinder left the Church in 2007 and is now an independent scientologist.....
or use this alternate video which was shot closer and has clearer audio:

Speaking in third opposition was John Duignan, who was part of the Church of Scientology for 22 years before leaving the religion. Mr. Duignan is now a prominent speaker against scientology and an undergraduate in UCC.....


There are 8 videos in total. See this youtube channel for the rest:


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Re: TV3 + Trinity College Dublin Scientology debate. 26/27 O

Post by Sponge » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:30 am

Transcript of the Mike Rinder bit....
University Philosophical Society of Trinity College Dublin, 27th October 2011
'This House Believes That Scientology Is As Legitimate As Any Other Religion,' a debate

Transcript of
Entitled The Phil's Scientology Debate (3) - 2nd Prop - Mike Rinder
(with assistance from entitled Mike Rinder speaking at Trinity College Dublin)


Now I invite the aforementioned Mike Rinder to take the podium.


Mike Rinder:
Thank you so much and thank you all for inviting me. I feel a little like the sacrificial lamb here but I will see if I can overcome some of these arguments being made. And Matthew I really appreciate your words because effectively you have made my argument on the proposition that Scientology is as legitimate as any other religion. Because this debate hinges on one thing: what is the definition of religion?

But before we get to that let’s just begin with a proposition. Religion is not the same as ‘church.’ The beliefs, the philosophical principles and practices are not the same as the people or the buildings. And to put this in some context for you I do not believe that the current Church of Scientology behaves in a religious fashion nor should it be treated as such. But I fervently believe the principles of Scientology are indisputably religious. Jihadists act in the name of religion, they do not define Islam; the abuses of zealots in the Church of Scientology no more defines the religion of Scientology.


So how does one define religion? Well the word sometimes used interchangeably with the word ‘faith’ but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. A person’s individual belief does not make it a religion. Many efforts to define the term are based on personal religious heritage and experience. But it is an almost universal truth that adherents of each religion will define religion to include themselves but no-one else.

Traditionally Western thinkers have approached the subject from the perspective of Judeo-Christian religion. This approach revolves around two fundamental but related doctrinal concepts. A belief that there is a personal creator God, separate and distinct from man, and that man’s highest activity is the worship, supplication, and veneration of this God. If a set of beliefs did not manifest these doctrines it was not regarded as a religion. Yet I doubt that anybody here would disagree with Zen Buddhism is a valid religion, though they view doctrine at best as ancillary to spiritual advancement. Theravada Buddhism and Jainism have no supreme being. A number of Hindu sects recognize many gods. Taoism, Confucianism, and all the Eastern religions do not fall within this definition.


So how does one define religion?

Scholars agree that the test must be objective. There is a general consensus that three factors reflect the essential, common features of religions.

1. A belief that deals with the supernatural, some ultimate reality that transcends the physical world.
This ultimate reality may be a god, gods, or Supreme Being, or it may simply be some supernatural principle such as the belief in the transmigration of one’s spirit. Scientology has a fundamental principle that one of the eight parts of existence is god, or the infinite, though there is no dogma as to the form of god. A goal of Scientology is to raise one’s spiritual awareness to attain a full understanding of the infinite.

2. Religions include practices that enable man to contact, understand, attain a union, or commune with this ultimate reality.
In simple terms the central religious practices of Scientology, that is, the study of the teachings and the personal counseling called auditing, are designed specifically to help achieve understanding of and commune with the ultimate reality.

And thirdly,
A religion consists of a community of believers who join together in pursuing this ultimate reality.


Sir, do you want to answer any of the previous speaker’s points on how you’re talking about a religion that asks people to remove themselves from their family members for their own monetary interest?

Mike Rinder:
I address that in the beginning. I make a very clear distinction between the Church, the practices of individuals in the Church, and the religion. And I do not believe that the practices of the Church of Scientology under David Miscavige, the current leader of the Church, fall within the subject of religion. I believe that they are operating as a business.

Let me just finish here.

Thirdly, a religion consists of a community of believers who join together in pursuing this ultimate reality.
There are communities of Scientology believers around the world, including a large and growing community of independent Scientologists like myself, who practice the faith outside of the formally organized Church.

Further there are a number of agreed upon indicia that are common amongst recognized religions, from traditional folk religions to Eastern religions, Islam, and Judeo-Christian religions. Here too Scientology meets these criteria.


The first indicia is salvation. Every religion promises salvation. Scientology is no different. It promises eternal salvation to its adherents. Scientologists believe that man is an immortal spiritual being who lives beyond a single lifetime. And the goal of Scientology is achieving spiritual peace or salvation. Scientology also offers a more pragmatic salvation in the here and now. The overcoming of barriers to happiness and life’s problems are features that one finds in every religion whether it be prayer, meditation, or confession.

The second is every religion sets forth a cosmology, the nature of the physical universe, including time and space, the world we live in, and man’s place in it. Much is made of Scientology and so-called space aliens. This is not the cosmology of Scientology or even its creation theory. Those are found in a writing entitled The Factors and they begin with this:
“Before the beginning was a cause and the entire purpose of the cause was the creation of effect. In the beginning and forever is the decision and the decision is ‘to be’.”

The third common feature that you will find in almost every religion is preservation of orthodoxy. Catholicism obviously has the Jesuits. Scientology is often criticized for being too concerned about the preservation of orthodoxy. Certainly it is not a disqualifying factor when it comes to Scientology.

Another factor is establishment of ethical and moral codes, guidelines governing behaviour and right conduct. Again criticism of Scientology often centers around the ethics codes and while I personally criticize how some of those practices are employed, there is no doubt that Scientology meets this test.

Yes Matthew?


Matthew McKenna:
Can I just quote the actual definition of ethics from the Policy Letter which is:
“The purpose of ethics is to remove counter intentions from the environment. And having achieved this the purpose becomes to remove other intentionness from the environment.”
I.e.: Ethics is to stamp out non-Scientology stuff.

Mike Rinder:
That’s a misinterpretation of what the subject of the ethical codes of Scientology are. But I don’t want to spend a lot of time on that Matthew because it’s really not that important to the overall point that I’m trying to make.

Every religion also finds a way to help people resolve their personal problems. And again this is another element that is very strong in Scientology and is sometimes, Scientology is, or Scientologists are criticized for this because they offer help with your personal relationships or things that sound very secular. And so, that then gets put outside the subject of religion as if that isn’t religious.


But all of those scholars conclude with these objective tests, there is also legal definitions. And probably the most compelling of them comes from the High Court of Australia which was a decision concerning the Church of Scientology. And that Court set forth four indicia for what constitutes a religion.

1. A belief in something supernatural, some reality beyond that which can be conceived by the senses.

2. That the belief in question relates to man’s nature and place in the universe and his relationship to things supernatural.

3. As a result of this belief adherents are required or encouraged to observe particular codes of conduct or engage in particular practices that have supernatural significance.

4. The adherents comprise one or more identifiable groups.

That decision in 1983 which dealt directly with the subject of Scientology concluded that Scientology is, in fact, a religion.

Numerous scholars have also offered opinions on the subject. I will just refer to one, Dr. Brian Wilson from Oxford University. I have the distinct pleasure of meeting with Dr. Wilson on a number of occasions. I’ll just take one of his quotes, he said “after twenty years of studying the subject it is clear to me that Scientology is a bone fide religion and should be considered as such.”


But what about all those who would second guess these scholars and claim that Scientology is not a religion because there’s writings of L. Ron Hubbard that don’t sound religious. To those you can point to writings in any religion that, when taken out of context of the body of the work, hardly sound religious in tone or content.

And what about those who dismiss Scientology by claiming that L. Ron Hubbard is not worthy to found a religion? Well to begin Scientologists don’t aspire to live the life of our founder, unlike other faiths who try and emulate Jesus, or Mohammed, or Buddha. And Scientology is not based on divine revelation unlike Mormonism and Joseph Smith. Scientology is a 20th century religion and for someone to appear on this earth today claiming to be perfect in every regard, a divine figure sent by god to save the world, they’d be locked in a mental hospital. So, there, if there is to be a new religion on earth it cannot be judged based on the standards of the founders of older religions.


In conclusion, perhaps there is a simpler and more humane test. If I tell you that the practice of Scientology provides me spiritual comfort, guideposts for leading a moral life, helps me solve the difficulties of day-to-day existence, gives me an understanding of God, and puts me at peace with what happens when I die, can anyone else judge that not to be true?

And if others share in these beliefs and form some community of like-minded believers can anyone with good conscience say “that is not your religion?”

Thank you.

Source: ... st-1933341

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Re: TV3 + Trinity College Dublin Scientology debate. 26/27 O

Post by Sponge » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:00 pm

Transcript of John Duignan's debate speech:
Some wit stated on a forum I used to frequent a couple of years ago and I quote:
I joined a religion started by a science fiction writer that used a double cross as its symbol, and then they tried to sell me a bridge.....what could have possibly gone wrong?

May I first and foremost clear up a serious misapprehension printed on one of the debate pamphlets, this stated that I now Lecture at UCC: I fear that I cannot claim any such exalted position, I am a mere lowly undergraduate on my fourth year of a BA.

I no longer can dedicate head space to Hubbard and that mad train wreck of a sprawling international corporation that he founded. I am so trying to put space between me and that time.

I went through a tough period after I got out, but the love help, encouragement from family and friends and the intersession, advocating and practical concerned and caring assistance from various departments of state, HSE, Social Welfare and VEC and Back to Education was inspiring, these public servants put me on my feet, helped me build a life from the wreckage and have inspired me to make the most of it. I do this with a nod and a bow to them.

I want to attempt to provide the perspective of a person in the rank and file who lived his life according to the exacting codes of the Sea org member for 22 years.

I lived in a place where grieving was down tone and frowned upon. Where critical analysis or questioning of the veracity of policy, orders or even sharing disagreements about management and managers were all punishable offences the minimum that the perpetrator would be subjected to was an extensive and invasive ‘Sec Check’ or ‘metered interrogation’.

I recall, having been under full blow scientology arrest: held in a cell guarded night and day by baton wielding security personnel
– over Christmas and New Year holidays actually –
being frog marched by two of them to a little room where I was screamed at, verbally abused, interrogated accused of all kinds of sedition and then marched back to the cell in the tower. This was not the Stasi run East Germany of the 1970’s and 80’s, this was lovely and respectable Southern England in the late 1990’s.

This was a place where married couples wrote reports to the ethics department on any off policy actions - sex acts that may be considered perverted or proposals to leave the SO discussed in confidence with their spouses those reports written up and handed into the ethics department behind the back of the partner.

This was place that collected files and files and files of the most personal details of every scientologist’s life and tabulated these files cross referenced with names and addresses of family members, parents, school friends and long forgotten lovers.

This was a place that where, when I woke up to the extent of the scam and corruption I fled, and had to go into hiding in the maze of forgotten factories and transport cafes that make up the vast sprawl of post industrial Birmingham, living with people on the run from police and gangs and contacting my family in Ireland by subterfuge to arrange a passage out of Hubbard’s dystopia, but finding that my former Sea Org security colleagues had got there before me, and my terrified foster mother asking me not call the house because two Sea Org members had been parked outside for a week and knocked at the door asking where I was, followed her in town and somehow knew my sister-in-law’s address and had no problem accosting her and my toddler nephew with a similar complaint and request.

This is a place where fear and intimidation ruled and, yes an ever-present, threat of violence were tools to keep the happy scientology front going and money flowing into the Lichtenstein, Swiss and Bermuda bank accounts. Attested to by the suitcases of cash that a Sea Org friend boasted of loading onto the Paris Bound Concord as he made his way to those ‘you got the money, we ask no questions’ tax havens.

This is the place where a new sea Org recruit, who became ‘my bro’ happy go lucky, irrepressible and talented young man, newlywed to gorgeous girl when I saw him as I left LA for another posting in England. Several years later I met him in Vancouver Canada, out of Sea Org, darkly depressed, unemployed. His wife had been forced to have an abortion, attempted suicide and they had been ordered to divorce. I don’t know what else had happened up there, I didn’t have time to ask him, had to catch my plane. But that joyous spark that defined him was gone.

This was the place where a person struggling with depression and mental and indeed physical issues was labelled a Down-stat – a Degraded Being and shunned by the ‘upstat’ ‘uptone’ scientologist.

This is where Alice, separated from her lover and consigned to the RPF swallowed half a bottle of paint thinner and jumped from a roof. We were ordered by PR to say she slipped on the steps.

I don’t know how they explained to the council why her lower intestine was in tatters. But she, now crippled at the age of 19, was shipped off to Italy to be cared for by her mother as soon as they could move her.

This is where a policy called Power and the Power formula detailed how to behave and act when close to a real power (HIM) and flowing power up to (HIM) the power source.
I will to my dying day have seared into my consciousness that statement “see those pink legs over there? She didn’t like me’. Boss replies , ‘So why are you bothering me with it?’’ That is an actual Hubbard quote from a policy for all Scientologists. Look it up online.

A policy in a similar vein for all staff:
Hubbard has a South American Dictator rounding up all the lepers begging in the city and loads them into barges telling them that they are off to a fine island designated just for them, then blowing up the barges up once they get out into mid-stream.
This policy letter is praising the action and advising Scientologist future world leaders to take note – and I do not need to word clear the policy, it says exactly what it says.
What of a child growing up in this corporate psychosis? A child in the Sea Org is consigned to ‘The Cadet Org’ where they are trained to become Sea Org members.

I know a group of children at the English HQ, who did not see parents for six or eight months at a time and then only for a week. Parents were too busy on projects over in Florida, or some other remote location.

OSA PR would come to me in a flap every other week to bus the kids, dressed up in nice jolly Tshirts and holding little brooms and litter bags to run them down to London the kids would hand out Way To Happiness flyers and pose for photo in front of the Houses of Parliament. The photos were for Freedom Magazine that gets delivered to MPs, Councillors Police and Charity Commissioners.

I looked after a friend’s child for twelve months in that awful place in Los Angeles while he was on Mission in Austria. I would be at work or on training from 9, so would drop the kid down to the Cadet Org in the morning, and pick up the sleeping bundle again at midnight when I got back. Took the kid to the beach for Christmas day, our only day off and tried to organise phone call hook ups with his dad every now and again. Kid was six years old, mother had been declared SP about two years before, and had no access or contact whatsoever with the child.

I must in closing relay an all too common story. The problematic teenage girl.
This was relayed to me by the protagonist, I knew her as a kid before she disappeared.

As younger children she and her sister had been dragged into the Sea Org by their freshly Sea Org recruited parents with their ‘fixed and dedicated glares’ and dumped into the cadet org, this young girl went through all the emotional deprivation that Hubbard and his people seem to think that a child should go through in order to become an unthinking unfeeling tool.

By the age of thirteen this beautiful young girl was rebelling as teenagers do, but she had a lot more reason than most to do so. Her sister had tried to escape, going to the local council to get help, asking for a care order and re-housing, the council people had Scientologists working in it, and they took her back to Saint Hill Base and the OSA handlers. She Spent the next three years in an RPF camp in America.

The legal people worked out that this younger sister was too much trouble. The thirteen year old girl was declared Suppressive Person. Legal, PR and Senior HCO staff told the Sea Org parents that they could leave with the child and care for her or they could be realistic.

There is no such thing as child in Hubbard’s world, just an adult in a small body.
That was what was applied in this case. The parents chose to remain at their Sea Org posts, didn’t even say goodbye to their daughter. At 8pm OSA took her to the train station, no passport, no papers, gave her forty pounds put her on the train to London and told her to never come back. Do I need to tell you how she slipped into night clubs after the first night on the streets and the first rape? Picking up people men and women and getting them to take her home. Her sweet ethereal looks got her fronting for drug pushers and petty thieves and she made a life of sorts in that world. She only recently went through a Buddhist drug rehab in Thailand; she is back in England and doing much better. Saw her mother again, a mum too frail to stay in the SO any more so was dumped onto social service, when this once little girl, now young woman, confronted her mother with that heart wrenching story, the mother nodded, acknowledged her daughter and tried to get her to buy one of Hubbard’s latest re released books.
Source: ... st-1935047

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Re: TV3 + Trinity College Dublin Scientology debate. 26/27 O

Post by Sponge » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:52 pm

Coverage of the debate on Dialogue Ireland...

Debate on Scientology – Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society
Posted on October 28, 2011 ... l-society/

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