Why is Scientology often misunderstood?

We all see through a glass darkly and misunderstand, to one degree or another, most everything we encounter in the marketplace of ideas. Scientology, though, is particularly ripe for misunderstanding. Here are factors which can lead to confusion about Scientology:
  • Some Scientology scripture is meant to be confidential yet it has leaked out. Scientologists(TM) deny the leaked information while others say differently.
  • 90% of Scientologists have not reached the confidential levels of Scientology which leaves them misunderstanding their religion.(1)
  • The leaked confidential information strikes many people as so over-the-top they think it can't possibly be true.
  • Scientologists and Scientology critics both believe they understand Scientology suitably well, yet the pictures they paint are diametrical opposites.
  • Different sections of Scientology scripture are self-contradictory.
  • Scientology scripture does not allow 3rd-party interpretation. There can be no Scientology theologians or apologetics. As a great philosopher once said, "You can't always get what you want" and outsiders go right ahead and publicly interpret the scriptures. Insiders, either not privy to all the scriptures or trying to protect scriptural confidentially, claim they themselves are not interpreting the scriptures, but the outside interpretation is wrong. Comedy ensues.

(1) Lay Off Xenu: An Ex-Scientologist's Plea

I think because it seems more a cult or profit making business to many people.

When you hear about Scientology

  • charging huge amounts of money for various courses. What church runs like a business?
  • Harassing and bad mouthing people who leave scientology or who are anti-scientology. You don't see Catholics or Anglicans harassing people who leave or are anti the church.
  • Harassing people who disagree with the church. Some of the videos you see on YouTube show very aggressive behavior on the part of scientologists. Most churches just ignore people who disagrees or say bad things about them.
  • Splitting families apart. The church always deny this but there have been enough people and journalists saying so that I believe it
  • The way the church harassed journalists. It seems really dodgy.

If scientology wishes to be taken seriously as a religion instead of what most people think is a money making cult, it needs to stop being so defensive and address the issues above.

Scientology is its own worse enemy when it comes to public perception.

I think Will Smith said it best.  He said how are you going to attack Scientology when you don't know anything about it.

The people on Quora who hate Scientology most appear to be atheists, LGBT, and one doofus who only writes answers about cannabis and tirades against Scientology.
They are not well motivated to understand Scientology.
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