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age-of-reasonAbraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying “I never tire of reading Tom Paine.”

Neither do I. Paine’s The Age of Reason was of tremendous help to me in moving beyond fixed, negative patterns of thought instilled by the church of Scientology (Miscavology).

I believe the following passage from Age of Reason describes the mindset that is leading church followers down the dwindling moral spiral:

I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists of professing to believe what he does not believe.

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and, in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?

Here is another passage that exposes the dark historical precedence for practices Miscavige has institutionalized in order to capitalize on people’s consciences (realize, this was written more than 200 years ago):

The Idea, always dangerous to Society as it is derogatory to the Almighty,–that priests could forgive sins,– though it seemed to exist no longer, had blunted the feelings of humanity, and callously prepared men for the commission of all crimes.

Paine describes four tricks traditionally used by organized religion in order to control and corrupt people – Mystery, Miracle, Prophecy, and Revelation.  I’ll open for discussion how revelation has been used to herd Scientologists in a later post. But, I’ll complete this book recommendation with a passage on the initial three.  I think you might recognize these devices continually employed in the church of Scientology – most particularly and directly by Miscavige during the events that most occupy his time, public events.

Upon the whole, Mystery, Miracle, and Prophecy, are appendages that belong to fabulous and not to true religion. They are the means by which so many Lo heres! And Lo theres! have been spread about the world and religion been made into a trade. The success of one imposter gave encouragement to another, and the quieting salvo of doing some good by keeping up a pious fraud protected them from remorse.

— Marty Rathbun

Order Age of Reason on Amazon

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Worsel
+1 # Worsel 2013-03-21 10:42
This book is available as free ebook from Project Gutenberg under:

gutenberg.org/.../3743-h.htm
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Ian
0 # Ian 2014-09-10 09:38
Do you have the later post where Marty mentions Revelations?

By the way am reading this now, what a fantastic book and I can still see why it is controversial!

I honestly believe a lot more people should be reading this book and learn to think independently. Might cause an uproar at first but create a better world for all in the end.
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Ian
0 # Ian 2014-09-23 13:11
Just finished this book...Wow! It pretty much debunks major organized religion (well, Judaism & Christianity anyways) with astute logic and reasoning. It is interesting that so much of what is in there is not at all atheist in its leanings as its critics claim it is, and what some atheists wish to claim it as. It is in fact very Deist in its origins (he was a Quaker after all), and says "it is the fool only, and not the philosopher, or even the prudent man, that would live as if there were no God."

Also interesting that he notes the history of the Bible being changed, removed, voted on and so forth including Apocrypha and the different sects like Gnostics and such who were killed for disagreement with high priests who wanted money and power instead of truth or enlightenment.

Actually, The Age of Reason is very much a respectful treatise on God and Creation, showing how the Bible is complete bunk and actually disrespects the magnitude of creation, nature and the true essence of Man! It also very much follows the basic premises of Scientology with ethics and morality is discussed at the end ("the knowledge of it [morality] exists in every man's conscience"), as well as revelations being personal things but are not demonstrable and are faith based - which is what Scientology is NOT supposed to be about (at least not initially). He even mentions the concept of reincarnation in newer, better bodies as preferable to returning in the same old one at points with an interesting parallels between metamorphoses from caterpillars to butterflies, as well as how even in 20-30 years we are drastically different in body yet retain the same conscience (paraphrasing liberally here but this is the gist). There is also mention of life on other planets, considering the magnitude and power of the Creator/creation which makes the story of Jesus Christ (God incarnate as a man) dying for all mankind on Earth all the more absurd, unless he keeps reincarnating on each planet and dying again ad infinitum! It's crazy how many parallels between Paine and Hubbard's philosophy appear throughout this book.

It also is interesting that he points out how in just one printing over the span of 2 years his printed words were altered by someone and it changed his meaning, suggesting much has happened over thousands of years to the Bible (and implies for our purposes that it could have happened in LRH's lifetime, but also that it could be happening right now with the Chairman of the Board doing so under false pretenses without evidence to show intention and errors needing clearing up via GAT I & II).

A very powerful book and eye opening. Wish I had read this as a child and saved myself a lot of anger & frustration around organized religion forced upon me while growing up, and will definitely recommend to anyone willing to think independently.
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