Church of Scientology and Center for Pluralism

Dr. Mike Ghouse   May 27, 2017   Comments Off on Church of Scientology and Center for Pluralism

Church of Scientology and Center for Pluralism

Ever since we started working with the Church of Scientology, we have been receiving comments and I wanted to address them.

Most comments were difficult, but I am sharing the mild ones I received before I wrote the note in the Pluralism News Bulletin ( http://centerforpluralism.com/pluralism-news-bulletin-may-27-2017/ ).

“The fact that this is “hosted” by the Church of Scientology will strike some people as problematic, and others will be fine with it. So these are signals of a point of view.”

“Are you sure about the Church of Scientology is the right organization you want to work with.”

Here is the comment from a learned scholar after reading the note in the bulletin and I am very encouraged by it.

“Thanks.  I respect the Church of Scientology, especially its education programs, despite the fact that in the past some detractors, as well as perhaps some members, have treated it as a cult.  So what’s new!  As a leading Muslim, you should be working with the enlightened members of every religion and group committed in faith and action to transcendent harmony, and even with those who deny transcendence.”

Yes, I have studied the creed of the Church of Scientology and have read the book Dianetics way back in 1978 when I visited Los Angeles.  I have read Quran back and forth; and have read the entire Bible, Bhagvad Gita, Torah, Guru Granth Saheb and other holy books on my Radio show.  These are wisdom-loaded books of guidance for humanity to build cohesive societies that can function harmoniously, a majority of the people get the message right and some don’t.  The problem is not with the religion or its texts; it is with the individuals who did not learn.  Religion is like the Nuclear Power, in good hands it is beneficial, and in the wrong hands it is destructive.

Here was the write up:

I am compelled to write this note as I have received multiple calls and emails asking about our relationship with the Church of Scientology. For nearly one year after I moved to Washington DC, I called on every place of worship and organization to hold workshops on understanding the essence of each religion. No one wanted to touch it as we have included Atheism and Wicca traditions along with 10 other faiths. In fact there is a Christian man on facebook who has taken up maligning me – he thinks a Muslim should not promote Atheism. We are not promoting any religion, we are simply understanding every religion, so we do not have misunderstandings between fellow Americans regardless of their faith or no faith.

Center for Pluralism is about Pluralism in religion, politics, culture and society. We are about facilitating Americans living a full life in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. The only way we can bring security to every American is subscribing to the idea of one nation as we do in our pledge, and believing that by knowing each other increases the chances of mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill. If we want a cohesive America where no American needs to live in tension or fear of the other, we need to know each other, when we do that, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

We conducted two sets of workshops in Dallas, and did Radio show for two years and ran 52 hours of discourse on each tradition and invested 100 hours each on Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. I was appalled with the opposition to Atheism in Washington, DC.

The Church of Scientology’s mission is education and peace for humanity, and Mrs. Sue Taylor, the National Director for the Church of Scientology agreed to host the workshops. It is a beautiful facility and we have conducted 6 workshops thus far, and 7 more to go.

Unfortunately every big religious organization has a few men and women who are selfish and don’t care about the institutions they work for. As a Pluralist, I keep track of all religions and non-religious traditions from Atheism to Zoroastrianism and every one in between since 1996. Do you remember the  scandals with a “few” Fathers, Rabbis, Imams, Pandits, Pastors, Shamans and others? Those “few” are bad or their religions?  Each group without exception is sprinkled with a few selfish guys that are an embarrassment to their establishment and the Church of Scientology is no exception. As Americans, we have to ignore and or  reject the falsities slapped on every religious tradition.  I am not going to give up on our mission to promote understanding between Americans, all Americans.

Let’s not be biased against any tradition for the acts of a few individuals. As a Muslim, I know I cannot cast the first stone. I don’t know if you can.

Take a look at their creed, it is as good as any creed out there including yours.

THE CREED OF THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

The Creed of the Church of Scientology was written by L. Ron Hubbard shortly after the Church was formed in Los Angeles on February 18, 1954. After Mr. Hubbard issued this creed from his office in Phoenix, Arizona, the Church of Scientology adopted it as its creed because it succinctly states what Scientologists believe.

They believe

  1. That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.
  2. That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance.
  3. That all men have inalienable rights to their own lives.
  4. That all men have inalienable rights to their sanity.
  5. That all men have inalienable rights to their own defense.
  6. That all men have inalienable rights to conceive, choose, assist or support their own organizations, churches and governments.
  7. That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.
  8. That all men have inalienable rights to the creation of their own kind.
  9. That the souls of men have the rights of men.
  10. That the study of the Mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion or condoned in nonreligious fields.
  11. And that no agency less than God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly.

And the Church believes

  • That Man is basically good.
  • That he is seeking to Survive.
  • That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the Universe.

I appreciate your concerns and your love for our work and our work is precisely that – to learn about each other to remove misunderstandings.

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RELIGION MATTERS: Understanding the Essence of Religion
All the beautiful Religions

center-for-pluralismThe Center for Pluralism is committed to promoting understanding between peoples of different religious affiliations.  We would like to thank the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office for hosting the series of events. In support of Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of another faith.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the genetic uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Details at www.Centerforpluralism.com/Workshops

The following events are Planned:

Understanding Baha’i – November 2016
11/22/16 – Tuesday, 1:00 to 3:30 PM – Understanding the Essence of Bahai Faith
Details:   http://centerforpluralism.com/religion-matters-understanding-bahai-faith/
RSVP – https://www.eventbrite.com/preview?eid=29138182087

Understanding Buddhism – December, 2016
12/22/16 Thursdday 1:00 to 3:30 PM – Understanding the Essence of Buddhism
Venue: The Church of Scientology, National Affairs office, 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Details – http://centerforpluralism.com/what-is-buddhism/
RSVP – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-is-buddhism-understanding-the-essence-of-buddhism-tickets-29718796721

Understanding Christianity – January 2017
01/31/17 Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM – Understanding the Essence of Christianity
Venue: The Church of Scientology, National Affairs office, 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Details: http://centerforpluralism.com/christianity-understand-the-essence-of-christianity/
RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christianity-understanding-the-essence-of-christianity-tickets-30942499850

Understanding Hinduism -March  2017
03/07/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Hinduism
Venue:  1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Details:  http://centerforpluralism.com/hinduism-understanding-the-essence-of-hinduism/
RSVP:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hinduism-understanding-hinduism-seminar-tickets-32047632331

Understanding Humanism – March 28,  2017
03/28/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Humanism/Atheism
Venue: 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

Understanding Islam – April 18, 2017
04/18/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Islam
Venue:  The Church of Scientology, National Affairs office,
Address: 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Details: http://centerforpluralism.com/understanding-the-essence-of-islam/
RSVP – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/islam-understanding-the-essence-of-islam-tickets-33377341527

Understanding Jainism – May 30, 2017
05/30/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Jainism

RELIGION MATTERS: Understanding the Essence of Religion
All the beautiful Religions

center-for-pluralismThe Center for Pluralism is committed to promoting understanding between peoples of different religious affiliations.  We would like to thank the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office for hosting the series of events. In support of Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of another faith.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the genetic uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Details at www.Centerforpluralism.com/Workshops

The following events are Planned:

Understanding Baha’i – November 2016
11/22/16 – Tuesday, 1:00 to 3:30 PM – Understanding the Essence of Bahai Faith
Details:   http://centerforpluralism.com/religion-matters-understanding-bahai-faith/
RSVP – https://www.eventbrite.com/preview?eid=29138182087

Understanding Buddhism – December, 2016
12/22/16 Thursdday 1:00 to 3:30 PM – Understanding the Essence of Buddhism
Venue: The Church of Scientology, National Affairs office, 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Details – http://centerforpluralism.com/what-is-buddhism/
RSVP – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-is-buddhism-understanding-the-essence-of-buddhism-tickets-29718796721

Understanding Christianity – January 2017
01/31/17 Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM – Understanding the Essence of Christianity
Venue: The Church of Scientology, National Affairs office, 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Details: http://centerforpluralism.com/christianity-understand-the-essence-of-christianity/
RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christianity-understanding-the-essence-of-christianity-tickets-30942499850

Understanding Hinduism -March  2017
03/07/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Hinduism
Venue:  1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Details:  http://centerforpluralism.com/hinduism-understanding-the-essence-of-hinduism/
RSVP:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hinduism-understanding-hinduism-seminar-tickets-32047632331

Understanding Humanism – March 28,  2017
03/28/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Humanism/Atheism
Venue: 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

Understanding Islam – April 18, 2017
04/18/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Islam
Venue:  The Church of Scientology, National Affairs office,
Address: 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Details: http://centerforpluralism.com/understanding-the-essence-of-islam/
RSVP – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/islam-understanding-the-essence-of-islam-tickets-33377341527

Understanding Jainism – May 30, 2017
05/30/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Jainism
Venue:  The Church of Scientology, National Affairs office,
Address: 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
RSVP –  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/understanding-the-essence-of-jainism-tickets-34552924728
Understanding Judaism – June 20,  2017
05/30/17 – Tuesday 1:00 to 3:30 PM  – Understanding the Essence of Jainism
Venue:  The Church of Scientology, National Affairs office,
Address: 1701 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
RSVP –  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/understanding-the-essence-of-jainism-tickets-34552924728

—————————————————————————–
Understanding Native American Traditions – July 2017
Understanding Scientology – August 2017
Understanding Sikhism – September 2017
Understanding Wicca, Paganism – October 2017
Understanding Zoroastrianism – November 2017

—————————————————————————–

We believe knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of another point of view.

By the end of 2020, there will not be a major city in America, and perhaps in the world, where you will not find people of different faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races, nationalities and social backgrounds working, eating, playing, marrying, and doing things together. This is bound to create conflicts.

As peacemakers and faith leaders, it is our duty to prepare fellow humans to deal with those eventualities to prevent possible conflicts, and lay a good foundation for nurturing goodwill and effective functioning of the societies.

Exclusive communities will become a thing of the past. If you live amidst others, you must also respect the otherness of others, as you expect them to do the same for you. Our goal is to bring people of different faiths together and provide a platform for them to share about their beliefs, their systems and rituals, while expanding the knowledge zone of each group.

The goal is to bring people of different faiths together and provide a platform for them to share about their beliefs, their systems and rituals, while expanding the knowledge zone of each group.

You are who you are, and I am who I am. As long as we don’t mess with each other’s space, sustenance and nurturence, and mind our own business, we all will do well. If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

We are committed to building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of a fellow being.

We have crystallized the definition of pluralism as, “respecting the otherness of the others and accepting the uniqueness of each one of us”. Pluralism is not a set of rules or a system like democracy, secularism, theocracy, fascism, authoritarianism, socialism, communism or capitalism, it is merely an attitude of live and let others live, and it is applicable in every aspect of life including culture, society, religion, politics, gender, food, ethnicity, race and other uniqueness’s.

We hope each one of us would walk in with an open mind and an open heart towards understanding other faiths, and walk out feeling connected with our fellow beings who are different than us.  No matter what faith we believe, we have to live together, and as responsible citizens we have to create an environment for each one of us to live without apprehension.

It is difficult to shed the prejudices, but once we do, there is genuine freedom (Mukti, Moksha, Salvation, Nijaat and Nirvana.) in it.

We had tremendous success in the program before, and we hope to improve upon it.   A Scholar from the given faith/tradition will present the program moderated by Pluralist Mike Ghouse.  This is not about rituals or theology, but how each faith contributes to the well being of an individual and the society, how does it contribute to common good.  In the coming years, we will follow it up with theology and rituals aspect of each faith/tradition.

center-for-pluralismThe Center for Pluralism is committed to promoting understanding between peoples of different  religious affiliations.  We would like to thank the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office for hosting the series of events. In support of Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of another faith.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the genetic uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

church-of-scientologyWe hope the series of seminars will help one understand each faith tradition and respect for its contribution towards creating cohesive societies.

13 SEMINARS | 13 MONTHS | 13 TRADITIONS
Each month, we will explore a faith, the dates will be announced at www.CenterforPluralism.com/workshops

 

Dr. Mike Ghouse will moderate the event and is an expert in the subject of Pluralism and Interfaith understanding and has written over 3000 articles and broadcasted 720 hours of Radio on understanding Religion and has conducted workshops on the topic.He is a community consultant and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine, motivation, and foreign policy. He is a pluralist, thinker, writer, activist, news maker and an Interfaith Wedding officiant . He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in links at www.MikeGhouse.net

Contact us:

  • Mike Ghouse
    CenterforPluralism.com
    (214) 325-1916
  • Rev. Susan Taylor
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office  www.Scientology.org
    Suetaylor1@juno.com
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