Which is worse: Scientology or the Catholic Church?

It’s a serious question. I’m considering including a comparison of this sort in chapter 4 of the book, but it’s a hard comparison to make. But here’s an attempt:

Most people who know even a little about the Church of Scientology have little trouble seeing it as a deeply corrupt organization. Aside its the bizarre doctrines (involving an alien overlord named Xenu), which are kept secret from members until they’ve spent a great deal of money on the Church’s “services,” the Church also has a record of trying to silence critics through harassment and lawsuits, and former high-ranking Scientologists have alleged that violence towards Scientology staff by superiors is common within the organization.

And that’s just a sampling. The list of the Church of Scientology’s misdeeds is long, and the sheer length of the list could be used to make a case that it’s the most corrupt religious organization on the planet. But I don’t think anything the Church of Scientology has done quite rises (or sinks, if you prefer) to the level of covering up and enabling child rape on a massive scale.

So, if knowing just a little about what the Church of Scientology has done can convince you it’s a corrupt organization, the same should apply, even more so, to the Catholic Church. If knowing just a little about what the Church of Scientology has done makes you think, “okay, now I know not to have anything to do with that organization,” the same should apply, even more so, to the Catholic Church.

This, I think, is the best way to demolish the excuses that have been made for the behavior of the Catholic Church’s leaders: just ask yourself, would I buy them if we were talking about a massive child rape cover-up committed by a less successful religious organization?

Peter van Inwagen's argument for Christianity
Why is anybody still Catholic? (not a rhetorical question)
Sources documenting what the Catholic Church has (and has not) defrocked priests for?
God: kind of like an abusive boyfriend

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