Scientologist Woo Spread Over eBay

Well, the internet really is a wonderful, entertaining, educating thing…

Today, I was looking over eBay trying to find some things to buy (as you do). I started off my search looking for camera filters but after a while I got fed up reading page after page of “UV Filters” for sale from Hong Kong (I have a UV filter…) and searched for other things. I have a certain amount of interest in philosophical topics, so I thought checking out what philosophy books were available would be worthwhile.

So, off I go to books -> educational textbooks -> philosophy and I am presented with a list of books. Second on my search is one titled “ALL ABOUT RADIATION.” Now, call me old fashioned, but I really found it hard to work out what was philosophical about radiation, so I had a look. Boy was I in for a treat. Now this auction (see it for yourself) only has 11 hours left to go as I write this, so in case it is gone by the time you read this post, I have taken a screenshot of it for you:

Scientologists disguise dianetics book to sell on ebay

This priceless bit of nonsense reads:

Written by L. Ron Hubbard and two well-known medical doctors, this book provides the facts surrounding the effect of radiation on the body and spirit and offers solutions to those harmful effects. An immediate sellout in bookstores when originally released, All About Radiation tells the truth about the little known and talked about subject of radiation, and introduces the Purification program as the technology to handle its cumulative effects. (See companion lecture series, Radiation and Your Survival where L. Ron Hubbard details the subject of radiation and its effects.)

Amazing. It almost beggars belief that people actually fall for this sort of nonsense, but that is a topic which has been done to death many a time in the past. The idea that radiation is harmful to the “spirit” is comical, as is the idea that these two unnamed yet “well-known” medical doctors have had any scientific input into this drivel.

What interests me in this auction, is the way this woo-filled nonsense is being sold.

Obviously the proponents of this dianetic / scientologist gibberish are aware that if they label it as scientologist people will steer clear en masse. To get round this, and obviously draw some level of interest, they have:

  1. Marked it as a Medical / Nursing book (which I suppose is almost close to the truth… almost)
  2. Placed it in the “philosophy” category
  3. Been strangely not-forthcoming in the title (most ebay titles read like the whole item description…)

I cant help but think that if Scientology / Dianetics is such a “sensible” and genuine “school of thought” (sorry for all the sneer quotes, but I cant help but sneer at this), then they wouldn’t have to resort to underhand tactics. Sadly, and in a blow against my innocent view of the world, it seems scientologists rely on this as their main form of recruitment.

The one bit which really made me laugh was the idea that radiation is “little known and talked about…” That might have been true in 1920, but this is 2007. People shouldn’t be jumping to mad ideas about electromagnetism and radiation. (Ah… I might be wrong here…)

4 thoughts on “Scientologist Woo Spread Over eBay

  1. A couple of comments:

    1) Please allow for the fact that the person selling the item is the one using whatever tactics you see. This is not the Church of Scientology’s doing. The Church does not sell its items on eBay, it sells their items on their own site. Thus, you can’t hold the religion accountable for whatever you dislike about one eBay’er’s selling ploys.

    2) Radiation does have an adverse effect on the spirit (or psyche, or whatever floats your boat to call it.)

    3) The book was written in the early ’50s. Put it into context. Back then Radiation was a new subject. This was the cold war, and school kids were told to duck and cover under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack. Different times.

    Anyway, sneer away if that makes your day.

    Scientologist and proud of it

  2. Greg, thanks for the comment.

    I did allow for the fact the person selling the product was the one using the underhand tactics. The person selling the book was actually promoting the Wealden House Life Improvement Centre rather than the book itself. If this had been a private individual who was simply a (ahem) scientologist, I would have ignored it. However, from the Wealden House website:

    Here at Wealden House Life Improvement Center we apply the extremely workable technologies of L. Ron Hubbard on a very personal level and place into your hands the wherewithal to achieve personal happiness and the know-how to be a success!

    Religion (of any branch) is not a thing which can be held accountable for anything really – it is all the actions of individuals. However, the actions of individuals who share a certain fantasy belief are often used to pass comment on that fantasy belief. Scientology is not the only one to suffer from this – Islam, Christianity, Judaism etc are all equally tarred by the actions of individuals. Such is life when you suffer from a collective fantasy.

    While radiation may have been topical in the nuclear war scares of the 1950s etc but it shouldn’t have been “new” to people living in the developed world. As this is a book trying to pass itself off as a medical science topic, it makes me laugh that the term “radiation” is used in this manner. I assume from your comments the book is talking about the effects of nuclear decay rather than, for example, heat radiated from a radiator or the light radiated from the sun… Still, clarity is rarely found in belief based books.

    As for:

    Radiation does have an adverse effect on the spirit (or psyche, or whatever floats your boat to call it.)

    That is just more woo. Does sunlight have an adverse affect on something which may or may not exist? Amazing.

  3. It makes more sense if you know that radiation is one of the gifts of Xenu. I’m using the word sense in a novel way here. The discussion page attached to the wikipedia article is intriguing too.

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