Although the Church of Scientology doesn’t believe in the deity of Jesus, it apparently believes in celebrating Christmas. It recently opened a Winter Wonderland display near its new headquarters at 18th St. and Grand Blvd. in Kansas City.
The display, which includes a petting zoo, music and hot chocolates, will be open through Christmas day.
Scientology’s critics claim this and other such Winter Wonderlands around the country are a public relations ploy to draw in followers and normalize a church long alleged to manipulate its adherents. Yet one church spokeswoman said it’s simply an event to celebrate the season, celebrate their opening and make their presence known.
“First of all, I don’t know where the information about disavowing Christ came from,” Bennette Seaman, spokesperson for the Church of Scientology of Kansas City, told the Star. “Scientology is a multi-religion. You can participate in any religion and still be a Scientologist. I happen to be a Baptist, so I believe in God.
“We certainly all celebrate Christmas. We certainly all participate in all the holiday activities in a big way. Most of the Scientologists I know, including myself, love Christmas. It is my favorite time of year.”
Ron Hubbard founded Scientology in 1950 based on his book, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.” On its website, the church describes its belief system, which begins with the understanding that all humans are thetans, immortal spiritual beings with vast and often unrecognized potential. Critics, as well as those who study cults, say Scientology has no theological connection to Christmas or mainstream Christianity.
“Scientology has no relationship with Christianity, other than using various Christian ministers as ways to legitimize the organization,” said Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta, who has long studied and written about Scientology. “Theologically, there is no connection. In fact, one can find passages in Hubbard’s writings that deny the reality of Jesus.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice