Rights and freedoms often go unnoticed until they are threatened. So why someone would choose to sign his or her freedoms away intentionally is an anomaly. However, the Church of Scientology has been making its members do exactly that. With this in mind, one must ask why a church, which is protected under the First Amendment, would force its members to forgo the rest of the rights given to them by residing in this country.
You may have heard of Scientology and Dianetic practices because of a pull-out survey that the church paid The Oracle to partially run in the Sept. 4 edition. The survey conducts a personality test that would allow church researchers to assess abilities. L. Ron Hubbard, a former science fiction author, wrote the book of Dianetics and founded the church in the 1950s.
According to Scientology.org, the basic premise of the religion is power of the mind. Man has the ability to solve problems and achieve levels of happiness and success that are usually thought of as impossible.
In order to be allowed to reach higher levels of success in the church, members must sign contracts that sign away their national rights. By signing, members waive the right to seek medical or psychiatric care as well as the right to see their families during church-provided treatment. This means family members or outside medical or psychiatric personnel cannot force the member into an outside medical situation. According to The New York Post, these contracts also say that members seeking advanced treatment must sign to “forever (giving) up (the) right to sue the church and its staff for any injury or damage suffered in anyway connected with Scientology.”
Instead of medical treatments, members receive vitamins and introspection rundowns in which a guide assists the members in channeling past lives in order to determine the source of the ailment.
Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to practice whatever religion they see fit. But it is contradictory of a church, protected by such an amendment, to force its members to give up the rest of their rights if they want to be successful in the church’s eyes. It is also suspicious that they take such precautions against potential legal actions if they did not see them as being inevitable. It makes one question the intention of a church that is attempting to administer such control over its followers.