Atheists no longer the most despised group in America. Thanks, Scientology!!

Source: Gallup

Okay, so my title was quite harsh on Scientologists. The main intention was to create humour for atheist readers. But to Scientologists: it brings me no pleasure to say that the Church of Scientology is a dangerous abusive morally-indifferent criminal organization masquerading as a church. It is a money-making power-coveting organization which organizes pro-social activities in order to create a veneer of benevolence to mask its deep corruption, which includes a rich supply of human rights abuses, free speech suppression, fear-mongering, government infiltration, imprisonment of members in labour camps against their will, dangerous and deceitful medical quackery and interfering with medical treatment of its members, extortion, psychological abuse, home-wrecking, and much more.

For more on Scientology, click here.

Hat Tip: Sandwalk

39 Responses to “Atheists no longer the most despised group in America. Thanks, Scientology!!”
  1. L. Ron White says:

    L. Ron is gone by the con goes on.

  2. terryeo says:

    very nicely done on the research l. ron

  3. psyborgue says:

    WOW… Nail on head

  4. terryeo TM says:

    yikes scientology…7%!?! Didn’t think it would be even that high. Thank you for the brave words Mr. Brown, make sure you keep your pets in the house at night…these people can be very nasty.

  5. someguysomewhere says:

    As a person who only recently began even knowing what Scientology is about and I’m not talking about their supposed pseudo-science they call the Tech.

    I can see why it has become a disliked religion. Primarily because it is a cult. These results are not surprising.

  6. JMac85 says:

    Does this mean atheists are movin’ on up? Or is this just the first time $cientology was included in such polls, but was the most hated all along?

  7. Anon says:

    You rock.

  8. skepbitch says:

    Harsh, but factual!

    It’s about bloody time! But good god…I thought we’d do better than the mormons…christ…

  9. Heathen Dan says:

    I’m an atheist methodist. I wonder how I should take the survey’s result. :p

  10. indy says:

    I’m actually impressed that there was 41% neutral on the subject of atheists! To me, this is the most optimistic piece.

  11. Adam_Y says:

    “it brings me no pleasure to say that the Church of Scientology is a dangerous abusive morally-indifferent criminal organization masquerading as a church”

    Or, as we abbreviate it here, ‘cult’.

  12. Reminiscence says:

    We all know what Scientologists are about to create such a disapproving nature from others, but seriously what did the Atheists do wrong? I think it’s terrible that the peace loving godless folk of the US are so despised, essentially about nothing.

  13. ~chris says:

    Atheists are “Religious” or a “Spiritual Group?” Am I supposed to be going to atheist church? Apologies for my ignorance, I was raised a Catholic, and didn’t receive any of the atheist catechism after I “converted.” (Linked to your post from skepchick’s blog.)

  14. meh says:

    I’m personally not bothered at all that people hate atheists. As a matter of fact, I’m not even surprised. Religious folk (the real hardliners, in particular) tend to be violently opposed to anything that calls their own beliefs into question, i.e. the (lack of) beliefs of atheists. Just par for the course, I say.

  15. Jersey says:

    Remi: I am an atheist, but we are despised because people think we are amoral because we have no basis for our behaviour. My extended family thinks all — minus my love, who thinks “most” — atheists are amoral, indecent dudes of society who need to be locked up or something.

    My husband changed his mind when he realized his wife — aka me — was atheist.

  16. pinkladybugs says:

    ::picking self up from floor after laughing so hard I fell outta my chair::

    Too funny; what about us semi-atheist agnostics?

  17. I am a beligerent skeptical agnostic…….no one is sure what to think of me

  18. revuewaltz says:

    No one even noticed the ranking of the Jews. Must mean that their place in the scheme of things has improved over the decades to the place that we take it for granted.

  19. Stoobs says:

    I think it’s illegal to say anything bad about the Jews. Plus, the Israelis have massacred a whole lot of Muslims over the years, which probably earns them some points down in the states.

  20. tarra says:

    OMG, Atheist second the least while Jews no.2??
    They’ve must be crazy. LOL..

    [quote]revuewaltz Says: No one even noticed the ranking of the Jews. Must mean that their place in the scheme of things has improved over the decades to the place that we take it for granted.[/quote]

    …or the US has been controlled by them…

  21. tarra says:

    Uh.. BTW where’s Agnostics? 🙂

  22. christa says:

    and where are the pagans/other? lol

    although all we usually cause is severe indifference.

  23. Destiny says:

    This is wonderful!

  24. KT says:

    Personally, I don’t mind atheism as long as they aren’t vehemently jerks. I mean like the Richard Dawkins types, and those who spam YouTube and Yahoo Answers with insults against God and such. I also wish that Fundies were even lower on the list… perhaps even more disliked than atheists on that chart.

    Fudging fundies… oy vey…

    But I agree: Scientologists suck. They are nothing more but cultists, simple as that.

  25. RB says:

    KT: I’m sure that there have been plenty of other people who believed things with no evidence who wished that their belief community got as much of a free pass as you wish for religion. I’m sure there have been astrologers who would have been more than happy to grant non-astrologers (i.e., people who can see the complete and utter lack of sense in astrology) as much leeway as you seem to grant atheists, just as long as the non-astrologers are not jerks about pointing out how ridiculous the beliefs of the astrologers are, and how the only reason these beliefs receive any respect at all is because the community of believers was sufficiently large and organized to be able to quell open criticism from nonbelievers. Unfortunately for committed astrologers, there wasn’t a sufficiently large and ardent community dedicated to their brand of unreason to accomplish what our religious communities have.

  26. Calvert says:

    I am uncertain as to how the things you ascribed to Scientology makes it any different than any other organized religious body. After all, virtually all religious organizations have done all of these things when they had the political power in a particular time and place. To claim that these are unique characteristics of Scientology is grossly inaccurate. ALL religious do these things if they can get away with it.

  27. RB says:


    Fair bit of truth in what you said. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and perhaps some pockets of Buddhism (not sure about this last one, though), have had times in their histories – including the present – where some segment of their believing populations (or even central authorities) have engaged in comparably horrible conduct. Surely. And I fully support exposing all of such conduct. In fact, I take part in it, by spreading the word on it on this blog and in my day-to-day interactions. I admittedly talk about this sort of stuff more than most people would prefer.

    I’ll make a distinction, however, between some types of cults and religious groups and others. Well, it’s not really a distinction so much as describing a the ends of a spectrum. One end being highly liberal and laid back, the other being unflinchingly rigid, hostile, dogmatic, etc. The Cult of Scientology clearly is on the latter end of the spectrum, alongside the sorts of religionists who would punish, ostracize, terrorize, harm or kill members considering defection.

    One of the things so damning for religion is the difficulty with which we can distinguish common place religion with things agreed to be ridiculous or psychotic behaviour. Psychiatriatric and Clinical Psychological associations have to go making special exceptions for the cases of religion – e.g., in considering cases of potential delusion, there are exceptions that read “except in the case of religious belief”. Relatedly, a woman recently let her child starve to death because he wouldn’t say Amen – the kid was 2 or 3 years old. She and kin then prayed for a resurrection for days. The psychiatrists said that her thinking was inline with religious thinking. She and her kin were following their religious beliefs.

    Even though the conventional applications of the terms “cult” and “religion” is very strongly directed by sociocultural strength of particular groups – the established and strong ones are religions, the weak small new ones are cults, there is a meaningful distinction which can be made. And this one, again, will be more so a fuzzy boundary along a spectrum. The key issues would include such things as: 1. How much does the group’s scriptures and authorities beliefs and practices regarding human rights accord/conflict with the prevailing views? 2. How much do the group’s core and emphasized beliefs regarding the nature of the physical world accord/conflict with science?

    By these considerations, we would distinguish Scientology, radical Christianity, Islam, Judaism and all other religions, etc., from moderate religious people and groups (e.g., moderate Christianity, Ismaili Muslims, etc.). These latter groups tend to have views on human rights and such that are pretty inline with the mainstream, and they tend to interpret their scriptures claims on the physical universe in such a watered down, selective and overly friendly manner as to minimize the conflict so as to maximize their ability to accept the rational scientific positions without abandoning their religion.

    Of course, even these watered down religious beliefs are just as unfounded as the more literal varieties. And there are cases where people who aren’t super conservative will behave cultishly – e.g., believing that the Pope is in communication with God, and that the Pope’s word, authority, and person are demi-godish.

    But when it comes to some of the core things we think of when we think of cults – e.g., abusive to members, isolating, eccentric, dogmatic, fear and distrust of the outside world, nearly unconditional trust and loyalty to central authority, beliefs regarding rights and reality that are in stark and uncompromising contrast to reason and the mainstream, etc. – these distinctions are pretty handy. However, as you’ll probably mention, this means of drawing the line has obviously been influenced by the prevalence of religion, such that we accept and are accustomed to – and would be ill-advised to strongly criticize – moderate religion.

    Another thing, though, that enables major moderate religions to exist around ludicrous fables is that these religions are already super powerful and culturally entrenched. People don’t drop their jaws when they hear of virgin birth the way they do when they hear of Xenu.

  28. Harriet Elliott says:

    Scientology has been used by the CIA in which to experiment. This is documented by Alex Constantine and others. There are quite a few websites alluding to this. Some members have direct experience with this such as in Los Angeles Scientology member Rich Ramsey.

  29. explonentialdotcom says:

    Excellent stuff – we’ve come a long way to become the second most despised religious group. I wonder what we’ll have to do to become well-loved, start raping children?

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