A click on the title of this post should take you to a Rolling Stone article on Scientology. Reading it reminds me a lot of Mormonism except that the origins of Scientology are even more recent and even more open to investigation. I get the feeling that Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard would have gotten along famously. Perhaps as well as Dan Lafferty and Mark Hoffman allegedly get along in the Utah Penitentiary.
I don't know if I've mentioned it in the past, but it was an article on Scientology that opened my eyes to Mormonism. The parallels were striking and the utter ridiculousness of Scientology was so apparent to me that I wondered if Mormonism looked the same to an outsider. Furthermore, I wondered if Scientology was able to successfully control the knowledge that its member had of L. Ron, then I wondered if it was possible that the Mormons had done the same for Joseph Smith. I quickly realized that the parallels ran deeper than I thought and quickly realized that the Mormons, like Scientologists, were not a credible source for information about their own churches' histories or doctrines. Both are completely comfortable with lying, hiding, or distorting information in order to further their agendas. Both seem to feel that ethical behavior is defined as anything that will strengthen their churches.
Anyway, thanks L. Ron for helping me realize that Joseph Smith was just as ridiculous as you are.
Ouch, I think a thetan just bit me....