Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stop the Religious Secrets!

Mormonism and Scientology have been under a lot of scrutiny recently. This scrutiny of Mormonism occurs because of Mitt Romney's religious affiliation and the scrutiny of Scientology occurs because of some high profile Scientologists and the "War on Scientology" being waged by "Anonymous."

The feeling that these two religions are kinda crazy and more or less cults is quite widespread. I tend to argue that any cult, given enough time to mature, will become an "acceptable" religion, but most people believe that there are big differences between the two. I hear many people condemning the crazy belief systems, and who doesn't get a giggle out of Xenu and his Thetans or the Conversion of Dead ancestors to Mormonism?

The real problem that drags these religions one step closer to being a cult than most other modern belief systems, though, is that they try to keep secret what it is that they do believe. Scientologists have a very active legal division to their church that attempts to stop the public dissemination of their core beliefs. Mormons have secret teachings and their Temples are not open to non-Mormons. This air of secrecy makes it easy for outsiders to believe that these religions have something they need to hide and much of the evidence indicates that they do, indeed, have "secret" practices worth hiding.

This secrecy makes it difficult to say with any certainty what the tenets of these respective faiths are and what the intentions of their congregations members might be. This is the exact same reason that the Skull and Bones Society and the Masons get similar bad raps. I don't think this practice of secrecy is likely to change for either of these religions any time soon, but I do suggest that the leaders of these religions give transparency some thought if they want to lose their "cult" status.

You have nothing to fear but your own beliefs!

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