- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Scientology evolved from the science fiction writings of L. Ron Hubbard (“‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’ explores Scientology’s ‘Narconon,’” Web, April 5). It is not a religion, but was patented as such by Hubbard in order to corner the market on his self-help, feel-good books.

Scientology is, in fact, anti-religion in both its beliefs and its practices. It promotes a form of Gnosticism, that salvation comes not through the saving actions of Jesus Christ but through the possession of special knowledge alone.

Scientology maintains a front of religious tolerance but disavows Christ and teaches its members that Christ is one of many engrams (negative thoughts) that must be dealt with in order to “clear our consciousness.” It is a somewhat secretive society like Freemasonry that has been shown to exercise power over and extort money from many of its members.

As for Tom Cruise’s belief in Scientology, P.T. Barnum, the American showman, once quipped: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

PAUL KOKOSKI

Hamilton, Ontario