Alt.Religion.Scientology Frequently Asked Questions (Short)

This is the quick FAQ, the one to give people first up. The succour of the confused and overloaded lurker. Suggestions are welcomed. The idea is to keep it no more than a page (66 lines) in length (between the lines) and 78 (pref.75) characters in width.
a.r.s. Short FAQ for Newcomers, version 0.11

0. If you want detailed FAQ, IT'S ALL ON WEB PAGES. Accessible from

1. Many excellent critical books written over the years are listed at (and available via) - in particular, you should read 'Bare-Faced Messiah' and 'The Road to Xenu' - and

2. Yes, all the stuff about Xenu and volcanoes and clams is true. Bwahaha! And that only costs you US$160k out of US$360k or more total. Eek.

3. A killfile is necessary to read a.r.s, due to both Co$ spam-bombings and juvenile crossposting twits. (Feel free to write to the latter asking them not to post off-topic noise.) Windows: Agent ( is popular. Unix: tin, trn or slrn. Macintosh: YA-NewsWatcher.

4. Yes, it is a cult [1].

5. No, even though they stare like that they probably won't hurt you.

6. Yes, there are ex-scientologists who still believe that Hubbard's stuff works - the 'free zone'. Mostly quite nice people.

7. Yes, the e-meter is basically a "lie detector". For full info, see

8. No, you aren't supposed to understand Koos. He was too crazy even for the Co$. Amusement or killfile. A 'Koos FAQ' is posted regularly.

9. Yes, it appears that many different $cientologist posters use the same accounts, probably in violation of the agreements they have with their ISP.

10. Yes, the Co$ really has harassed critics. Most have survived, though.

11. Yes, they will threaten to sue you for posting Fair Use extracts of their sEkRiT sKrIpToOrS. No, they haven't managed to make it stick.

12. No, there is no organized conspiracy to bring the "Church" to its knees. If we were organized we'd have already done it and would be working on the people who enacted the CDA.

13. Yes, a $cientologist who makes sense, rationally argues their view and refrains from constant personal attacks does show up now and then. But they either blow the cult, get thrown into RPF indefinitely or disappear until the next all-hands-on-a.r.s alert. (Whippersnapper may or may not be officialdom, but serves mostly for amusement value only.)

14. No, randomly answering personality tests won't confuse them any more than they are already confused.

15. If you haven't read the Web pages, go and do so NOW. Before you post.

16. No, Scientology doesn't really matter very much at all; it's small and getting smaller. It's who tries this next that we have to worry about. (European mirror) (US mirror - fast!)
[1] Technically, Scientology is not a "cult" because it is not a religion (the word "cult" MEANS "religion"): it is a crime syndicate with several franchises throughout North America and a few in Europe. Yet the crime syndicate has much in common with destructive cults.
Go Back to Shy David's Scientology Page.