The Unsustainable Church of Scientology

scientologyMany would say that the Church of Scientology is unsustainable in more ways than one, but few have stopped to consider how that applies to the natural environment. While Scientologists overtly organize to protect nature and profess to protect the planet many of their practices seem to contradict their statements. The overall effect seems to be alarmism couple with inaction: all of the theoretical zest of GreenPeace with all of the inaction of President Bush. Here are some of the ways in which Scientology seems to skew environmental issues and play on public opinion without a correspondingly set of proactive strategies. This side of Scientology seems to have been lost in the scandalous shuffle of recent news but Scientology’s mixed messages and actions on the environment are also important.

Scientology E Meter

Strange Science: Putting aside questions of science versus pseudoscience, dsagree or agree with climate change, the infamous Hubbard Electrometer is purported to measure mysterious “environmental toxins” in one’s bloodstream. This “technology” is misleading at best as well as a waste of resources, from the mechanical components in these myriad devices to the endless pages of paper wasted while producing “diagnoses” of individuals. Perhaps worst of all this strange emphasis on mysterious environmental factors distracts from actual environmental issues.

Graffiti Removal

Global Apocalypse: Still, the E-Meter isn’t their only environmental concern – Scientology is also worried about the future of the planet. Still, if Scientologists are truly concerned with saving the Earth, which in their words may “no longer support life [within our] lifetime,” then why focus on graffiti removal and other short-term city beautification projects? Were this global apocalypse truly a concern for them it would seem that their priorities don’t align with their concerns about the world. Why worry the small things if the entire planet is at stake?


Mixed Recycling: Recycling is in fact an overt priority for Scientology in theory which appears to go unfulfilled in actuality. One of their own organizational loci, the Flag Service Organization, completely fails to recycle even basic soda cans. Moreover, the Church of Scientology prints its pamphlets, magazines and fliers on glossy, heavy, non-environmentally friendly paper before sending them around the world to likely wind up littering streets and tossed into garbage cans. No, they aren’t evil for failing to recycle, but it seems incongruent to publicly advocate recycling and clean living but not to recycle in-house.


What Does it All Mean? Sure, the Church of Scientology puts on a great show for the public. They are active in local settings picking up trash, cleaning up parks and removing graffiti – all things that others outside the organization can see, appreciate and identify with. But one has to wonder if that’s not precisely the point: are they perhaps just focusing on the most obvious sustainable actions for the purposes of improving public perception of the organization and recruiting new individuals to it? Environmentally speaking they are perhaps at best stuck in a previous generation’s thought patterns, when it was believed that little things made the big differences in the end, or at worst just putting on a good show.

8 thoughts on “The Unsustainable Church of Scientology”

  1. Not to mention the hypocrisy with Scientology’s “shining star” Tom Cruise showing up to a awards show with a Bugatti Veyron…which from what I remember only get a few miles to a gallon of gas and wasn’t exactly environment-friendly to produce either.

  2. Hey… As I was reading and looking at the pictures of the E-Meter, it occurred to me; Has anyone taken one of those things apart to see just what they have inside the mystical gizmo?

    Someone needs to post an E-Meter dissection page online or something 😀

  3. Nice article. I wasn’t aware that the cult pretended to be in favor of environmental causes.

    However, you lose me when you say “inaction of President Bush”. This makes no sense. President Bush started a war to fight terrorism instigated by the events of September 11th.

    President Clinton was the one who took no action the first time the World Trade Center was bombed on his watch in Feb 1993 and he also nixed a plan to assassinate Osama bin Laden.

    Maybe you’re not in favor of the current war in Iraq, but in no way can you classify that as inaction.

    Otherwise, the article was nicely informative.

  4. In defense of Tom Cruise, he had the Bugatti’s engine modified to run on explosions of craziness rather than gasoline explosions seen in most other internal combustion engines. It’s the most sustainable fuel source known to man.

  5. I almost peed my pants laughing when I caught glimpse of the “Hubbard Electrometer”. It looks like a whacky device right out of Bioshock. LULZ

  6. Scientology, what a brilliant idea. You write a crappy science fiction book then a team of mindless drolls say it’s for-reals then they form a powerful lobby of ruthless, criminal activity. The head of the shabang is an actor who can’t really act, but then again you need an actor and/or a sociopath to run the show because that’s how cults are driven. If it wasn’t so disturbing it might even be funny.

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