American Rights and the Thought Police

When our Founding Fathers started this country, they put certain rights into place to protect the citizens of a new nation. These guys were pretty bright and they set up a system that included things like Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to Assemble and Freedom of the Press.

Sculpture of Marquis de Lafayette informing General George Washington and Colonel Alexander Hamilton that the French will support the Americans. Morristown Green in New Jersey.

These things were new and wonderful, because so many other countries didn’t have them. Try sounding off to the King of England in 1776 and see just how quickly you could get thrown in jail or worse.

Growing up I found these freedoms opened up the door for exploration of other ideas than my own. College was a place to stretch my horizons and find out new things. I studied history, music, other cultures, different religions, different political ideologies, etc. What a wonderful time.

During that time I ran across Scientology and found it sensible, helpful and a definite way to expand my horizons.

Skip four decades to now and so many things have changed. Our fundamental civil rights are under attack. It appears that college is no longer a place to explore new ideas, but a place to seal oneself off from new ideas. Who thought up Safe Spaces in college where you can actually express your opinions? Our nation was founded on the idea that an entire country was a safe space!

Not only are the above freedoms under attack, but there is a new kid on the block which I like to term the Thought Police. Let me give you an example. Go onto Facebook and post a scientific article (I’m sure you can find one) that says that climate change is not caused by humans. See what happens.

I’m pretty sure you will be vilified and told you are an idiot to believe anything like this. Now, the people engaging in this conversation are not scientists, probably won’t read the article and haven’t read any of the other scientific articles on this subject, but boy, are they sure they are right and they will use anything at their disposal to get you to toe the line on current climate change beliefs. In other words, not only is your Freedom of Speech under attack, your Freedom of Thought is now the target.

While this can be disturbing on a social level (if you voted for Trump “Don’t even talk to me ever again” I overheard this past week in an airport), when it comes to Freedom of Religion, it can be even more serious. Six million Jews were slaughtered because certain Germans decided Jewish beliefs were wrong.

Church of Scientology New York, just off Times Square

I have run across the Thought Police more than once. As an example, I was standing outside my church one day admiring the view and a complete stranger was walking along with two of his friends on the sidewalk below. As he was walking by he told his friends, “Those people are crazy!” I didn’t wonder where he got this weird idea, but I was astonished that he felt completely comfortable with making a snide comment about an absolute stranger’s religion in such a hateful tone. What disturbed me even more was that he was so young. He had to be in his 20s, but he was completely closed minded! You might expect an older person to be set in their ways, but not youth! Now, he has the right to say whatever he wants, but why would an American raised on the concept of Freedom of Religion feel it was his job in life to be critical of the religious beliefs of a complete stranger? Apparently I had run into a member of the Thought Police! Without even knowing what my beliefs are, he was trying to convince others that they are crazy!

Here are a couple of our basic beliefs:

“That all men have inalienable rights to conceive, choose, assist or support their own organizations, churches and governments.”

“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.”

I myself think these are pretty sensible.

So, before you bow down to the Thought Police and listen to what they tell you what you should believe about my religion, how about you actually ask me or another Scientologist?

I know where the individuals who are attacking my religion are getting their information and I have to say, they should be a bit more critical of their sources. You don’t go to a man’s ex-wife to get a good take on his character. I’m pretty sure her point of view might be a bit biased. You might want to actually talk to him, meet him, and find out what he does in his spare time. You don’t go to Judas to get a character reference on Jesus. Why would you use as your source of information people who have been kicked out of our church for actions which were harmful to others?

If it weren’t for the Thought Police, you might actually find out what we really do. We do horribly weird things like toy drives, disaster relief, tutoring in inner cities, working with the police to bring peace in disturbed neighborhoods, drug rehabilitation…

So, before you bow down to the Thought Police and listen to what they say you should believe about my religion, how about you actually ask me or another Scientologist? Find a Scientologist. Talk to him or her. You’ll find out we are not so different from anyone else. Some of us are Democrats, some are Republicans and some are Independents. Some of us like coffee, some don’t. Some of us eat meat, some are vegetarians. Some of us like cats, some like dogs. But the one thing we all have in common is that we think we should help others in any way we can, and Scientology gives us the tools to do so.

I know, pretty crazy!

Deanne Macdonald
Business consultant and student of life.