Anti-ScienceReligion

Finding the right cult for you.

You’ve heard of this “science” thing, with its “method” and “rigorous peer review” processes and whatnot. It all sounds pretty convincing. But what about your spiritual needs? Will “science” help you achieve your dream of immortality? Specifically, an immortal life that includes sexy babes and all the pie you can eat without getting fat? Maybe eventually, but as for right now, you’re forced to look elsewhere.

The obvious thing to do is to look for a religion that combines both “science” AND “immortality.” Two prominent choices are Scientology and Christian Science. Both sound good in name alone, but how do you choose which one is for you? Fear not, curious seeker of truth. The following is a handy guide to help you figure out where to sell your soul.

If you wanted to make some fast money, would you:

(a) Slip and fall on city property
(b) Convince a large group of people that you’re a prophetic genius
(c) Day trade

If you chose (a), you might like Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Before starting Christian Science, she was a sickly woman who claimed to be miraculously healed by the Bible, despite the fact that she continued to demand money from the City for an injury (Richard A. Nenneman (1997). Persistent Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy. Nebbadoon Press.). If you chose (b), you’d be great pals with L. Ron Hubbard, who started Scientology just after reportedly stating, “If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion.” If you chose (c), there’s a good chance you are severely mentally handicapped and should not be in control of your own finances at this time.

What do you read in your spare time?

(a) Dense, poorly written companion notes on the Bible, plus a highly-regarded newspaper
(b) Dense, poorly written science fiction
(c) People Magazine

If you chose (a), get ready for fun and excitement with the Christian Scientists! Mary Baker Eddy recorded her thoughts (every god damned one) about certain passages of the Bible, highlighting her philosophy of faith healing in the book Science And Health, With Key To The Scriptures. The Christian Science Monitor is a newspaper published by the Church that is well-known for solid reporting and a secular viewpoint. If you chose (b), it’s the Scientologists for you. L. Ron Hubbard was a crappy sci-fi writer before he started his religion. If you chose (c), you’re beyond redemption. Just give it up.

Hey, what’s that shiny thing that just streaked across the sky?

(a) An angel
(b) An alien
(c) Swamp gas

If you chose (a), you may be a Christian Scientist. They believe in most of the stuff from the Bible, including the existence of angels. If you chose (b), then Scientology is right up your alley. They believe our bodies are inhabited by the spirits of dead aliens. If you chose (c), you’re a government shill. I can’t believe you were found out so quickly.

Your companion has just been knocked unconscious by a heavy object. What do you do?

(a) Pray. Those bits of skull aren’t really there, anyway.
(b) Place his hand on a pillow.
(c) Hide the evidence.

If you’re on your knees praying for some clotting as in choice (a), you’d do well with the Christian Scientists! They don’t believe in the material world (i.e., reality) — they believe that everything is in your head and can therefore be easily influenced by a little spirituality. If your friend kicks it, he probably wasn’t close enough to God for the big guy to care. If you’re treating a major head wound with a little touch therapy as in (b), Scientologists welcome you with open arms! They believe that many physical ailments can be cured by soothing the brain and bringing a person’s consciousness back to present reality. Unlike the Christian Scientists, though, they’re probably more likely to do this while waiting for an ambulance to get there. If you chose (c), you should have used a sharp icicle. Everyone knows that’s the smart thing to do because the evidence melts away.

Who’s your favorite action star?

(a) Val Kilmer
(b) Tom Cruise
(c) Steven Seagal

Val (a) mixes it up at his local Christian Science Center. Tom (b) is possibly the world’s most well-known Scientologist wack-job. And Steven (c) starred in movies like Hard to Kill, Out for a Kill, Half Past Dead, Today You Die, and Marked for Death. You just can’t make that shit up.

Who would you rather kill?

(a) Sick babies.
(b) The mentally ill.
(c) Ann Coulter.

If you chose (a), buy some stock in extra small coffins in the name of Christian Science. Because they don’t believe in interventionary medicine, most often the victims of their philosophy are the practitioners themselves — adults who make conscious decisions not to seek treatment for diseases and injuries. However, there’s another group of people who can’t make that kind of decision — children. The parents make the decision for them, resulting in needless deaths of innocent kids who don’t understand the religion for which they’re dying. If you chose (b), you’ll be more interested in Scientology, where any kind of psychiatric treatment is shunned in favor of barbarism straight out of the Dark Ages. If you chose (c) because (b) was just too general, then congratulations, you are perfectly normal.

To figure out which religion is for you, just add up your answers. If you have more (a)s, sign up at your local Christian Science Reading Room. If you have more (b)s, pick up a copy of Dianetics and start reading. If you chose mostly (c)s, there’s probably something seriously wrong with you. Go have an e-meter test, develop a closer relationship to Jesus through prayer and study, and then try again.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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9 Comments

  1. Agreed. Ann C is easier to look at… until you notice the large adams apple and whoa… what's with those large hands? She-male or what? Yikes!

  2. Well, scuba, obviously C is simply a more directed form of B. Some people want to kill the mentally ill, but you know what? There are a lot of them! Killing the mentally ill is hard work. Killing Ann Coulter? Well, her leathery skin no doubt offers her some protection against most forms of attack, but she's still only one person.

    Crazy people aside, how I long for the day when science can bring us immortality, sexy babies, and pie. Pie, for god's sake! Mmm…

  3. Who would you rather kill?

    (a) Sick babies.

    (b) The mentally ill.

    (c) Ann Coulter.

    I choose 'b'

    Why?….because both Christian Scientists AND Scientologists qualify. I say we line 'em up on opposite sides of the room and have us a good old fashioned rumble. Ann Coulter can be the referee….;-)

  4. Anyone wanting to have a bit of fun with a more comprehensive version of Rebecca's quiz should try the 'belief-o-matic' at this link.

    http://beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html

    However, be warned it has inherent bias in that it has trouble with the idea that someone is an atheist. Try as I might, I can only get the damn thing to rank me as a non-theist or human secularist as 3 or 4 (atheist isn't even an option in the outcomes.) It keeps trying to tell me that I am really a liberal protestant! Also, the scientologists are left out altogether, so maybe Rebecca's quiz is better afterall!

  5. davep…thanks for the link

    I took the test, and it turns out that I'm a "Jainist"….who knew?!…;-)

    According to their description of Jainism "celibacy is required on the path to spiritual liberation."

    It's like I'm already halfway home….hehe…;-)

  6. James, I was unable to get back to the Church for the Wednesday service (due to rain, the podcast, and grand incompetency from the US Postal Service — long story), but I hope to make it back there either this Sunday or next Wednesday. I'll definitely blog about it as soon as I can.

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