It goes without saying that Scientology is a wing-nut cult cooked up by a third-rate science-fiction writer (Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, known to his followers and fans as L. Ron Hubbard). Its first “scripture” was Hubbard’s book Dianetics, which was insipid enough to begin with (as Martin Gardner explains in chapter 22 of Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science), but since it was published, he and his successors have added on some truly bizarre “doctrines,” many of them kept secret, including one dealing with an erstwhile galactic emperor named Xenu.

ABC’s Nightline reported recently on Scientology, exploring what Scientologists believe and do. In the course of this story, Martin Bashir interviewed Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis … who walked out of the interview on the grounds that being asked about Xenu was “offensive” and talking about Xenu in any way was a “violation” of his religious principles. Here’s Youtube video of this segment (the abbreviated interview with Davis begins at 3:40):

That Davis was “offended” and that he walked out of the interview over the matter of Xenu, speaks volumes. Specifically, it implies that Scientologists do, in fact, believe in Xenu, and they hold it as such a secret doctrine that they view any discussion of it … even just the “confirm or deny” question that Bashir asked … as a serious religious offense. Of course, this was all staged for benefit of Davis and Scientology; there is no way that Davis went into the interview thinking that Xenu would not be brought up. And if Scientology did not believe in such a ridiculous doctrine as the Xenu story, his walkout would have made no sense — instead, he’d have just said, “No Martin, we do not believe in Xenu,” and Bashir would have moved on to the next question.

That a Scientology spokesman — whose job, by its very nature, is to be asked potentially unpleasant questions about Scientology — would walk out of the interview over Xenu, is immensely childish. In many ways Davis’s response reflects the “martyr complex” seen in so many Christians. It’s refreshing to see there’s at least one other religion out there in which this persecution complex can be found.

Hat tip: Mediaite.

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