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Spiritual wealth

Scientology as a ‘force for good’

“Spiritual wealth” is an interesting phrase, usually invoked in contrast to filthy lucre – and yet churches throughout history have notoriously been rather interested in base monetary wealth as well as its “spiritual” cousin. Indeed, as in the old Catholic practice of selling indulgences, “spiritual wealth” is often promised exactly in exchange for ready coin. What is a senior London policeman doing exhorting the contribution to the “spiritual wealth of society” made by Scientologists? More in my post over at Comment Is Free.

  1. 1  dsquared  October 25, 2006, 7:22 am 

    I always have a soft spot for the Scientologists; there are few things more calculated to put a spring in the step than sauntering down Tottenham Court Road, stopping at their “Personality Testing Centre”, filling in a mental health questionnaire and then popping it in the box filled in with the name and address of one of my enemies.

    I think, by the way, that it says something pretty fundamental about relative cultural vigour that at almost exactly the same time the Americans were inventing Scientology, the British were inventing “Wicca”.

  2. 2  Steven  October 25, 2006, 10:27 am 

    Ouch, that is wicked of you.

    Is “Wicca” what they practise in The Wicker Man (the original)? If so it seems as though it might be rather fun, except for the stuff about burning people. “Cultural vigour” is a concept to chew on…

  3. 3  Sohail  October 27, 2006, 2:11 pm 

    Hi Steve

    Can you cite an example of when you think “spiritual wealth” is invoked in contrast to “filthy lucre”. Frankly, it doesn’t work for me. Spiritual wealth in my mind is the opposite to material indulgence – a kind of earthly poverty. I dunno’ but it seems a false contrast to me.

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