Starting on ESMB Professor Jim Beverley

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by James Beverley, Feb 27, 2012.

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  1. hello fellow readers. My name is Jim Beverley. I'm a professor of Christian Thought & Ethics at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. When I first became a professor in 1978 I taught a course on new religions and it has become one of my specialties. I've been particularly interested in Scientology over the years and since 2005 I've given it even renewed attention.

    I have connections with Scientology leaders in Toronto and have had frequent connections with Independent Scientologists and ex-members. I'm fascinated with the current controversies about Scientology although also heartbroken by the dark side of family breakups and disconnections.

    I enjoy reading this board. If you want to reach me, here's my e-mail:

    jamesbeverley@sympatico.ca
     
  2. Jump

    Jump Operating teatime

    Dear Professor,

    Welcome to posting on the message board. I hope your visiting here is educational for us and for yourself.

    Do you subscribe to the idea of 'mind control' by cultic groups? This is outlined in Steve Hassan's book "Releasing the Bonds - Empowering People to Think for Themselves "

    Enjoy your stay,
    Jump
     
  3. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    Welcome Professor! :yes:

    As you're probably aware, the CoS promotes that there is no conflict between Scientology and other religions such as Christianity. Do you feel that there IS a fundamental conflict?
     
  4. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    Well, Jim, welcome aboard!

    That's a rather elegant introduction of yourself you did there . . . be interesting to hear from you regarding what insights you've gleaned from your reading here, and also what posts particularly helped you in your work and studies.

    Rog
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  5. TG1

    TG1 Angelic Poster

    Hi, Jim. Welcome to ESMB. I hope you enjoy yourself here -- and learn some helpful things.

    TG1
     
  6. SpecialFrog

    SpecialFrog Silver Meritorious Patron

    Welcome indeed. I'm particularly interested if you know anything about the new Scientology compound in Mono. Clearly its acquisition is not related to actual demand for Scientology services.
     
  7. La La Lou Lou

    La La Lou Lou Crusader

    You are very welcome Jim, that is informal. I would be very interested in things you may have to say. Though you may find that any practising scientologist might have to disconnect from you if you persist in communicating with us pariahs. We are you see the kind of evil deformed creatures with bad teeth that you find inhabiting the part of the pond under rotting leaves. Though despite many of us being suppressive persons there's some very nice 'evil' people here. We'll try not to cover you with smelly slime.

    Please feel free to ask anything you would like to know.
     
  8. Rene Descartes

    Rene Descartes Gold Meritorious Patron

    Welcome Jim,

    I would like to know what you did your thesis on and if a copy of it is available for perusing on the Internet.

    Rd00
     
  9. Tiger Lily

    Tiger Lily Gold Meritorious Patron

    Welcome Professor Beverley!

    I'm so glad that you are doing this kind of work. I've also always been interested in other religions, and one of the "hooks" for me in Scientology was the assertion that Scientology welcomes and does not conflict with other spiritual practices and religions. I found out once I got deeper that this was not true -- that LRH actually had disdain for other religions, particularly Christianity.

    I tried to read the thoughts of Christian scholars on Scientology when I was first getting in, but those were mostly hellfire and damnation denunciations with very little thought or critical analysis. So glad you are trying to get into the "mind" of Scientology; I have learned so much about the human mind, the spiritual needs and belief because of my involvement.

    If you are interested in new religions/movements -- the most helpful book I ever read was "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer -- it was published in the 1950's but very relevant to understanding the cultic mind. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

    Good luck and have fun with this :)
    TL
     
  10. Disinfected

    Disinfected Patron Meritorious

    Welcome Dr. Beverley

    For those interested, Dr. Beverely has impressive credentials in the NRM field of academic study.

    http://www.tyndale.ca/summer/faculty/james-beverley

    Now we just have to figure out if he is a "science boy" or a "high priest"; we know he is not a "medico". It is very important to pigeonhole someone before you marginalize them (Joke).

    disinfected
     
  11. uniquemand

    uniquemand Unbeliever

    Wait a minute: Christian thought? Isn't that an oxymoron?
     
  12. Disinfected

    Disinfected Patron Meritorious

    Do you mean like "Scientology Ethics"?

    disinfected
     
  13. Cherished

    Cherished Silver Meritorious Patron

    Hi Jim,

    Great to hear from you and to know that you're keeping up with developments in the Scientology world. I look forward to engaging with you over time.
     
  14. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    If someone asks you a question by email and you spend 20 minutes answering it, then possibly one person gets to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

    If someone asks you that same question here on ESMB, and you spend the same 20 minutes posting an answer to ESMB, then hundreds of people have the opportunity to read it the same day and forever more. Well, at least, for the foreseeable future.

    I do hope you post here and enrich the general experience rather than having private discussions with ESMB users by email.

    Paul
     
  15. Rene Descartes

    Rene Descartes Gold Meritorious Patron

  16. AnonLover

    AnonLover Patron Meritorious

    Greetings Professor Beverley, welcome to ESMB and what a wonderful surprise it is to see you here!

    I was likewise excited when I seen you were quoted in Scientology article in the recent Cults in Culture series featured in the Christian Post.

    I have a religious studies project on Scientology I work on in my spare time, and when I got a little farther along with it I had hoped to reach to you (and a few other notable scholars) to see if anybody would throw an activist doing amateur scholarship a bone and provide me with some critique or feedback.

    It's not quite ready for formal review yet, but if your curious - check out the first couple of documents in this collection on Scribd:

    Scientology Religiosity? Series
    http://www.scribd.com/collections/3084764/Scientology-Religiosity-Series
     
  17. uniquemand

    uniquemand Unbeliever

    Very similar, except different.
     
  18. Wow. I wake up and discover so many kind replies to my joining the Board. Thanks.
    Here are some quick replies to various posts, though not in chronological order.

    1. I will write on the board regularly and not just by e-mail.
    2. My doctoral thesis was on the inner teachings of Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church. I'm working on a book on Moon.
    3. For those of you who want to see my writing on Scientology and other religions, check out Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions, 850 pages, hardcover. I wanted the Scientology section to be longer but ran out of time + knew I was hoping to write a separate book on the topic.
    4. I'm glad to be connected with this Board though I hope it does not mean being disconnected from Scientology leaders.
    5. I know about the new Scientology headquarters northwest of Toronto. I've not visited there yet.

    Now to some larger issues:

    6. I have a somewhat mixed view of the "mind control" theory. On the one hand, yes,
    various groups engage in incredible psychological coercion which radically limits the freedom of members. So, this is mind control of a certain kind. However, on the other hand, it is not absolute in nature since people on the inside do leave.
    7. Yes, there is a conflict between Scientology and Christianity. The two systems offer different savior figures, different Scriptures, different explanations of humanity, and different paths to freedom. Of course, there is not total incompatibility. By the way, I think Scientology conflicts ultimately with every other religion as well, even when there is common ground. For example, Buddhists believe in reincarnation but part from Scientology via focus on Buddha, specific Buddhist practices, and reliance on self for salvation.
    8. As for Christian Thought being an oxymoron, two reactions: first, I smiled at the clever critique of my title. Second, I do think one can be a Christian and thoughtful. On this, think of CS Lewis or one of the leading American philosophers Alvin Plantinga.
    One of the wonderful things in my academic life is that I was a student and later friend of Antony Flew, the famous atheist turned deist. Flew came to believe that God existed and had a really high view of Jesus. I think that says something about the credibility of Christian Thought.
    9. I love reading this board mainly for stories about Hubbard, DM, and current controversies. I also love reading individual stories of people's lives. I am fascinated by thinking about the current realities for those in the RPF at Int base: I wonder how those people feel, do they think it is unjust, do they admire DM? etc.
    10. Last, I would love any tips on the best websites about Scientology. I think I have a great collection but wonder if I'm missing some rare site. I know the usual suspects: ESMB, Operation Clambake, Xenu, Tony O, Dave T., Marty's site, Gerry Armstrong, Lermanet, etc.

    Best wishes,

    Jim
     
  19. TG1

    TG1 Angelic Poster

    Jim,

    Check out Jeff Hawkins blog (he doesn't maintain it anymore) at http://counterfeitdreams.blogspot.com/. He presided for a few years over a very interesting conversation there. It was a meeting place for exes, indies, critics and pretty much anyone who showed up there.

    Best wishes,

    TG1
     
  20. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    It all depends what you are looking for. The best way to find out the nitty-gritty of Scn tech is through Clearbird, such as his Road to Clear. This is a simplified re-write of Hubbard's voluminous stuff, with most of the dross removed. I'm not saying it is worth reading, but if you want to refer to "tech" stuff it is a relatively painless way of doing so. It is this, after all, which hooks people in.

    Paul
     

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