An outside look at Scientology

If you’re a Christian or a Jew who can deal with having your faith compared to Scientology, you should read

Oppenheimer, a book critic at The Forward, focuses mostly on Scientology and its beliefs and practices. He doesn’t go for much of it, but he gives Tom Cruise’s religion a pass on the common “cult” charge:

Some Americans may consider Scientology perhaps a cult, maybe a violent sect, and certainly very weird. And, like many, I find the Church of Scientology odd, to say the least. But Scientology is no more bizarre than other religions. And it’s the similarities between Scientology and, say, Christianity and Judaism that make us so uncomfortable. We need to hate Scientology, lest we hate ourselves.

He also includes a link to a “podcast interview”: he did with John Carmichael, who runs the Church of Scientology in the New York area. I’ve interviewed Carmichael several times and he is a steadfast defender of his faith.

If you’re at all interested in Scientology — What do they believe? — check it out.