It occurred to me this weekend that Scientology is essentially setting itself up to be even more of a religious pariah than Islam through its treatment of people who disagree with them. (Not that diving planes into buildings full of people is to be misconstrued as less toxic than putting up posters around town about a recent defector from Xenu to the effect that he has a tiny dick; there are some Moslems who are moderate and sane is what I mean.)
If the end of the conversion speech is: "DIE INFIDEL!" or "YOU ARE NOW FAIR GAME!" (or "GO TO HELL!", for that matter), then the potlucks are gonna be a little sparse, tiger.
If you can't discuss a religion openly, it kneecaps its ability to spread.
Yes, Islam has a firm hold on the Middle East, and will probably keep it, but that's about as far as it's going to go. Scientology is already limited to those with a lot of disposable income and time (and the fact that a whacked, drug-addled, D-list Sci-fi author is their prophet), but this "fair game" stuff is perhaps the very working definition of planned obsolescence.
While I view this as a profoundly positive thing, you kinda wonder if they've thought this through.
Btw, here's a fun article on the recent (un)holy war (via Digg). The report of Hitchen's parting shot at Falwell on "Hannity ∧ Colmes" is a gem: "If you gave Jerry Falwell an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox." I'm using that at the next party.