"TITTER YE NOT"
I can't take Scientology seriously.
It's the belief that humans were brought to earth by aliens on a spaceship with two massive lizards, which landed in a volcano
and dispersed humans throughout the world.
Then the aliens take off and the lizards go and hide under the sea in massive caves.
Add two Italian plumbers to that and you've got the first five levels of Super Mario!
Scientology has now been officially recognised as a religion in the UK, rather than just a cult.
A cult being a group who believe in bizarre theories and superstitions, practice daft rituals and accept ridiculous restrictions on their behaviour.
Whereas a religion is.. erm...
Taking the heat off of Jehovah's Witnesses
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
10 SHOCKING FACTS
Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created
by American author L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), beginning
in 1952 as an expansion of his earlier system, Dianetics .
Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953
he incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New
Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have
forgotten their true nature. Its method of spiritual rehabilitation
is a type of counselling known as auditing, in which an auditor
guides a subject into consciously re-experiencing painful or
traumatic events in his past in order to free himself of the
limiting effects of those events. Study materials and auditing
sessions are made available to members on a fee-for-service
basis, which the church describes as a "fixed donation".
Scientology is legally recognised as a tax-exempt religion in the United States, South
Africa, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain, which
facts the Church of Scientology cites in asserting that Scientology is a religion. In
contrast, the organization is considered a commercial enterprise in Switzerland, a cult
French sect in France and Chile, and a non-profit organisation in Norway; its legal
classification is often a point of contention.
A large number of organisations overseeing the application of Scientology have been
established, the most notable of these being the Church of Scientology. Scientology sponsors a variety of social-service programs. These include the Narconon anti-drug program , the Crimeinon prison rehabilitation program, the Applied Scholastics corporation to promote the Study Tech education methodology, the Volunteer Ministers, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, and a set of moral guidelines expressed in a booklet called The
Way to Happiness.
Scientology is one of the most controversial new religious movements to have arisen in
the 20th century. The church is often characterized as a cult, and it has faced harsh
scrutiny for many of its practices, which, critics contend, include brainwashing and
routinely defrauding its members, as well as attacking its critics and perceived enemies
with psychological abuse, character assassination, and costly lawsuits. In response,
Scientologists have argued that theirs is a genuine religious movement that has been
misrepresented, maligned, and persecuted. The Church of Scientology has consistently
used litigation against its critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its opponents has
been condemned as harassment. Further controversy has focused on Scientology's
belief that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on
Earth and that some of the related teachings are not revealed to practitioners until they
have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology.
Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished.
In The New Word (1901) poet and lawyer Allen Upward first used scientology to mean blind, unthinking acceptance of scientific doctrine. In 1934, philosopher Anastasius Nordenholz published Scientology :
Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge, which used the term to mean the science of science. It is unknown whether Hubbard was aware
of either prior usage of the word.
L. Ron Hubbard was an American author of science fiction and fantasy stories. In 1950, he developed a self help system called Dianetics. He subsequently developed his ideas into a wide-ranging set of doctrines and rituals as part of a new religious movement that he called Scientology.
Dianetics uses a counselling technique known as auditing in which an auditor assists a subject in conscious recall of
traumatic events in the individual's past. The stated intent of Dianetics is to free individuals of the influence of past traumas by systematic exposure and removal of the engrams (painful memories) in a process called clearing.
Hubbard, an American writer of pulpfiction, especially
science fiction, first published his ideas on the human mind
in the Explorers Club Journal and the May 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine. The publication of Dianetics:
The Modern Science of Mental Health in May 1950 is considered by Scientologists a seminal event of the century. Two of Hubbard' key supporters at the time were John W. Campbell Jr., the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, and Dr. Joseph A. Winter . Winter, hoping to have Dianetics accepted in the medical community, submitted papers outlining the principles and methodology of Dianetic therapy to the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1949, but these were rejected. Dianetics:
The Modern Science of Mental Health entered the New York Times best-seller list on June the 18th and stayed there until December the 24th of that year. Dianetics appealed to a broad range of people who used instructions from the book and applied the method to each other, becoming practitioners themselves. Hubbard found himself the leader
of a growing Dianetics movement. He became a popular lecturer and established the Hubbard Dianetic Research
Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where he trained his first Dianetics counsellors or auditors.
Rutgers scholar Beryl Satter says that "there was little that was original in Hubbard's approach" with much of the theory having origins in popular conceptions of psychology. Satter observes that, "keeping with the typical 1950s distrust of emotion, Hubbard promised that Dianetic treatment would tap dangerous emotions in order to release and erase them, thereby
leaving individuals with increased powers of rationality." Hubbard's thought was parallel with the trend of humanist
psychology at that time, which also came about in the 1950s. Passas and Castillo write that the appeal of Dianetics was based on its consistency with prevailing values.
Dianetics soon met with criticism. Morris Fishbein , the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association and well-known at the time as a debunker of quack medicine, dismissed Hubbard's book. An article in Newsweek stated that "the Dianetics concept is unscientific and unworthy of discussion or review". In January 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners instituted proceedings against the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation for teaching medicine without a
license, which eventually led to that foundation's bankruptcy.
Some practitioners of Dianetics reported experiences which they
believed had occurred in past lives, or previous incarnations. In early
1951, reincarnation became a subject of intense debate within
Dianetics. Campbell and Winter (who was still hopeful of winning
support for Dianetics from the medical community) championed a
resolution to ban the topic, but Hubbard decided to take the reports
of past life events seriously and postulated the existence of the
thetan , a concept similar to the soul. This was an important factor in
the transition from secular Dianetics to the religion of Scientology.
Sociologists Roy Wallis and Steve Bruce suggest that Dianetics,
which set each person as his or her own authority, was about to fail
due to its inherent individualism, and that Hubbard started
Scientology as a religion to establish himself as the overarching
Also in 1951, Hubbard introduced the electropsychometer (E-meter
for short), a kind of electrodermal activity meter, as an auditing aid.
Based on a design by Volney Mathison, the device is held by Scientologists to be a useful tool in detecting changes in a person's state of mind.
Scientologists sometimes use a "dating system based on the initial appearance of this book. For example, 'A.D.25' does not stand for Anno Domini, but 'After Dianetics.'" Publishers Weekly gave a plaque posthumously to L. Ron Hubbard commemorating the appearance of Dianetics on its bestseller list for one hundred consecutive weeks. Paul Gutjahr , professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, called Dianetics the bestselling non-Christian religious book of the century. Scholarly conjecture discusses the likelihood of the Church of Scientology falsifying the numbers of Dianetics books sold; the Church says more than 90 million. Nevertheless, the book has seen very little attention from scholars.
In 1952, Hubbard built on the existing framework set forth in Dianetics, and published a new set of teachings as Scientology, a religious philosophy. In December 1952, the Hubbard Dianetic Foundation filed for bankruptcy, and Hubbard lost control of the Dianetics trademark and copyright to financier Don Purcell . Author Russell Miller argues that Scientology "was a development of undeniable expedience, since it ensured that he would be able to stay in business even if the courts eventually awarded control of Dianetics and its valuable copyrights to ... Purcell".
In April 1953, Hubbard wrote a letter proposing that Scientology should be transformed into a religion. As membership declined and finances grew tighter, Hubbard had reversed the hostility to religion he voiced in Dianetics. His letter discussed the legal and financial benefits of religious status . Hubbard outlined plans for setting up a chain of "Spiritual Guidance Centers" charging customers $500 for twenty-four hours of auditing ("That is real money, Charge enough and we'd be swamped."). He wrote:
"I await your reaction on the religion angle. In my opinion, we couldn't get worse public opinion than we have had or have less customers with what we've got to sell".
A religious charter would be necessary in Pennsylvania or NJ to make it stick. But I am sure we could make it stick. In December 1953, Hubbard incorporated three churches– a "Church of American Science", a "Church of Scientology" and a "Church of Spiritual Engineering"– in Camden, New Jersey. On February the 18th 1954, with Hubbard's blessing, some of his followers set up the first local Church of Scientology, the Church of Scientology of California , adopting the "aims, purposes, principles and creed of the Church of American Science, as founded by L. Ron Hubbard. " The movement spread quickly through the United States and to other English-speaking countries such as Britain, Ireland, South Africa and Australia. The second local Church of Scientology to be set up, after the one in California, was in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1955, Hubbard established the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D.C. In 1957, the Church of Scientology of California was granted tax-exempt status by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and so, for a time, were other local churches. In
1958 however, the IRS started a review of the appropriateness of this status. In 1959, Hubbard moved to England, remaining there until the mid-1960s.
The Church experienced further challenges. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation concerning the claims the Church of Scientology made in connection with its E-meters. On January the 4th, 1963, FDA agents raided offices of the Church of Scientology, seizing hundreds of E-meters as illegal medical devices and tons of literature that they accused of making false medical claims. The original suit by the FDA to condemn the literature and E-meters did not succeed, but the Court ordered the Church to label every meter with a disclaimer that it is purely religious artefact, to post a $20,000 bond of compliance, and to pay the FDA's legal expenses. In the mid-sixties, the Church of Scientology was banned in several Australian states, starting with Victoria in 1965. The ban was based on the Anderson Report, which found that the auditing process involved "command" hypnosis , in which the hypnotist assumes "positive authoritative control" over the patient. On this point the report stated:
It is the firm conclusion of this Board that most scientology and dianetic techniques are those of authoritative hypnosis and as such are dangerous ... the scientific evidence which the Board heard from several expert witnesses of the highest repute...leads to the inescapable conclusion that it is only in name that there is any difference between authoritative hypnosis and most of the techniques of scientology. Many scientology techniques are in fact hypnotic techniques, and Hubbard has not changed their nature by changing their names.
SCIENTOLOGY CRUISE AND TRAVOLTA
For years, two of the church's most prized endorsers
have been John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
The Australian Church was forced to operate under the name
of the " Church of the New Faith " as a result, the name and
practice of Scientology having become illegal in the relevant
states. Several years of court proceedings aimed at
overturning the ban followed.
In the course of developing Scientology, Hubbard presented
rapidly changing teachings that some have seen as often self-
contradictory. According to Lindholm, for the inner cadre of
scientologists in that period, involvement depended not so
much on belief in a particular doctrine but on unquestioning
faith in Hubbard. In 1965, a long time Church member and
" Doctor of Scientology " Jack Horner left the group,
dissatisfied with its ethics program; he later developed a
splinter group, Dianology, renamed in 1971 to Eductivsm, an
applied philosophy aimed at evoking the individual's infinite
spiritual potentials. In 1966, Hubbard stepped down as
executive director of Scientology to devote himself to research
The following year, he formed the Sea Organisation or Sea Org, which was to develop into an elite group within Scientology. The Sea Org was based on three ships, the Diana, the Athena, and the Apollo, which served as the flagship. One month
after the establishment of the Sea Org, Hubbard announced that he had made a breakthrough discovery, the result of which were the "OT III" materials purporting to provide a method for overcoming factors inhibiting spiritual progress. These
materials were first disseminated on the ships, and then propagated by Sea Org members re assigned to staff Advanced Organisations on land.
In 1967, the IRS removed Scientology's tax-exempt status , asserting that its activities were commercial and operated for
the benefit of Hubbard, rather than for charitable or religious purposes. The decision resulted in a process of litigation that would be settled in the Church's favour a quarter of a century later, the longest case of litigation in IRS history.
In 1979, as a result of FBI raids during Operation Snow White, eleven senior people in the church's Guardian's Office were
convicted of obstructing justice, burglary of government offices, and theft of documents and government property. In 1981, Scientology took the German government to court for the first time.
On January the 1st, 1982, Scientology established the Religious Technology Center (RTC) to oversee and ensure the standard application of Scientology technology.
On November the 11th, 1982, the Free Zone was established by former top Scientologists in disagreement with RTC. The Free Zone Association was founded and registered under the laws of Germany, and believes that the Church of Scientology has departed from its original philosophy.
In 1983, in a unanimous decision, the High Court of Australia recognized Scientology as a religion in Australia, overturning restrictions that had limited activities of the church after the Anderson Report.
On January 24, 1986, L. Ron Hubbard died at his ranch in Creston, California,. David Miscavige emerged as the new head
of the organization.
From the Creators of
Starting in 1991, persons connected with Scientology filed fifty lawsuits against the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), a group critical of Scientology. Although many of the suits were filed
against the Cult Awareness Network resulted in $2 million in
losses for the network. Consequently, the organisation was
forced to go bankrupt. In 1996, Steven L. Hayes, a Scientologist, purchased the bankrupt Cult Awareness
Network's logo and appurtenances . A new Cult Awareness Network Scientology backing, which operates as an information
and networking centre 587 for non-traditional religions.
In a 1993 U.S. lawsuit brought by the Church of Scientology against Steven Fishman, a former member of the Church,
Fishman made a court declaration which included several dozen pages of formerly secret esoterica detailing aspects of Scientologist cosmogony. As a result of the litigation, this material, normally strictly safeguarded and used only in Scientology's more advanced "OT levels", found its way onto the Internet. This resulted in a battle between the Church of Scientology and its online critics over the right to disclose this material, or safeguard its confidentiality. The Church of Scientology was forced to issue a press release acknowledging the existence of this cosmogony, rather than allow its critics "to distort and misuse this information for their own purposes." Even so, the material, notably the story of Xenu , has since been widely disseminated and used to caricature Scientology, despite the Church's vigorous program of copyright litigation.
According to Scientology, its beliefs and practices are based on rigorous research, and its doctrines are accorded a significance equivalent to that of scientific laws. "Scientology works 100 percent of the time when it is properly applied to a person who sincerely desires to improve his life", the Church of Scientology says. Conversion is held to be of lesser significance than the practical application of Scientologist methods. Adherents are encouraged to validate the value of the methods they apply through their personal experience. Hubbard himself put it this way:
"For a Scientologist, the final test of any knowledge he has gained is, 'did the data and the use of it in life actually improve conditions or didn't it?'"
Scientology presents two major divisions of the mind. The reactive mind is thought to absorb all pain and emotional trauma, while the analytical mind is a rational mechanism which is responsible for consciousness. The reactive mind stores mental images which are not readily available to the analytical conscious mind; these are referred to as engrams. Engrams are painful and debilitating; as they accumulate, people move further away from their true identity. To avoid this fate is Scientology's basic goal . Dianetic auditing is one way by which the Scientologist may progress toward the Clear state, winning gradual freedom from the reactive mind's engrams, and acquiring certainty of his or her reality as a thetan.
Scientology asserts that watching for changes in the E-meter's display helps
locate engrams. Once an area of concern has been identified, the auditor asks
the individual specific questions about it, in order to help him or her eliminate
the engram, and uses the E-meter to confirm that the engram's "charge" has
been dissipated and the engram has in fact been cleared. As the individual
progresses, the focus of auditing moves from simple engrams to engrams of
increasing complexity. At the more advanced OT auditing levels, Scientologists
perform solo auditing sessions, acting as their own auditors.
Seeking spiritual development within Scientology is undertaken by studying
Scientology materials. Scientology materials (called Technology or Tech in
Scientology jargon) are structured in sequential levels (or gradients), so that
easier steps are taken first and greater complexities are handled at the
appropriate time. This process is sometimes referred to as moving along the
"Bridge to Total Freedom", or simply " the Bridge ". It has two sides:
processing. Training means education in the principles and practices of
auditing. Processing is personal development through participation in auditing
The Church of Scientology believes in the principle of reciprocity , involving
give-and-take in every human transaction. Accordingly, members are required
to make donations for study courses and auditing as they move up the Bridge, the amounts increasing as higher levels are reached. Participation in higher-level courses on the Bridge may cost several thousand dollars, and Scientologists usually move up the Bridge at a rate governed by their income.
Scientology uses an emotional classification system called the tone scale . The tone scale is a tool used in auditing; Scientologists maintain that knowing a person's place on the scale makes it easier to predict his or her actions and assists in bettering his or her condition.
Scientology emphasizes the importance of survival, which it subdivides into eight classifications that are referred to as "dynamics". An individual's desire to survive is considered to be the first dynamic, while the second dynamic relates to procreation and family. The remaining dynamics encompass wider fields of action, involving groups, mankind, all life, the physical universe, the spirit, and the Infinity, often associated with the Supreme Being. The optimum solution to any problem is held to be the one that brings the greatest benefit to the greatest number of dynamics.
The ARC and KRC triangles are concept maps which show a relationship between three concepts to form another concept. These two triangles are present in the Scientology symbol. The lower triangle, the ARC triangle, is a summary representation of the knowledge the Scientologist strives for. It encompasses Affinity (affection, love or liking), Reality (consensual reality) and Communication (the exchange of ideas). Scientologists believe that improving one of the three aspects of the triangle "increases the level" of the other two, but Communication is held to be the most important. The upper triangle is the KRC triangle, the letters KRC positing a similar relationship between Knowledge, Responsibility and Control.
The Purification Rundown is a controversial detoxification program developed by Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard
and used by the Church of Scientology as an introductory service. Scientologists consider it the only effective way to deal with the long-term effects of drug abuse or toxic exposure. The program combines exercise, dietary supplements and long stays in a sauna (up to five hours a day for five weeks). It is promoted variously as religious or secular, medical or purely spiritual, depending on context.
The Introspection Rundown is a controversial Church of Scientology auditing process that is intended to handle a psychotic episode or complete mental breakdown. Introspection is defined for the purpose of this rundown as a condition where the person is "looking into one's own mind, feelings, reactions, etc." The Introspection Rundown came under public scrutiny after the death of Lisa McPherson in 1995.
Scientology is publicly, and often vehemently, opposed to both psychiatry and psychology. Scientologists view psychiatry as a barbaric and corrupt profession and encourage alternative care based on spiritual healing. The psychiatric establishment rejected Hubbard's theories in the early 1950s. Ever since, Scientology has argued that psychiatry suffers from the fundamental flaw of ignoring humanity's spiritual dimension, and that it fails to take into account Hubbard's insights about the nature of the mind. Scientology holds psychiatry responsible for a great many wrongs in the world, saying it has at various times offered itself as a tool of political suppression and "that psychiatry spawned the ideology which fired Hitler's mania, turned the Nazis into mass murderers, and created the Holocaust."
Scientology beliefs revolve around the thetan, the individualized expression of the cosmic source, or life force , named after the Greek letter theta (θ). The thetan is the true identity of a person – an intrinsically good, omniscient, non-material core capable of unlimited creativity. In the primordial past, thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure. The universe has no independent reality, but derives its apparent reality from the fact that most thetans agree it exists. Thetans fell from grace when they began to identify with their creation, rather than their original state of spiritual purity. Eventually they lost their memory of their true nature, along with the associated spiritual and creative powers. As a result, thetans came to think of themselves as nothing but embodied beings.
Thetans are reborn time and time again in new bodies through a process called "assumption" which is analogous to reincarnation. Like Hinduism, Scientology posits a causal relationship between the experiences of earlier incarnations and one's present life, and with each rebirth, the effects of the MEST universe (MEST here stands for matter, energy, space, and time) on the thetan become stronger.
The Church of Scientology holds that at the higher levels of initiation (" OT levels "), mystical teachings are imparted that
may be harmful to unprepared readers. These teachings are kept secret from members who have not reached these levels. The church says that the secrecy is warranted to keep its materials' use in context and to protect its members from being exposed to materials they are not yet prepared for. These are the OT levels, the levels above Clear, whose contents are guarded within Scientology. The OT level teachings include accounts of various cosmic catastrophes that befell the thetans. Hubbard described these early events collectively
as " space opera ".
In the OT levels, Hubbard explains how to reverse the effects of past-life trauma patterns that supposedly extend millions of years into the past. Among these advanced teachings is the story of Xenu (sometimes Xemu), introduced as the tyrant ruler of the "Galactic Confederacy". According to this story, 75 million years ago Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners, stacked them around volcanoes and detonated hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes. The thetans then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to do this today. Scientologists at advanced levels place considerable emphasis on isolating body thetans and neutralizing their ill effects.
SCIENTOLOGY STRESS TEST?
The material contained in the OT levels has been characterized as bad
science fiction by critics, while others claim it bears structural similarities
to gnostic thought and ancient Hindu beliefs of creation and cosmic
struggle Melton suggests that these elements of the OT levels may never
have been intended as descriptions of historical events and that, like
other religious mythology, they may have their truth in the realities of the
body and mind which they symbolize. He adds that on whatever level
Scientologists might have received this mythology, they seem to have
found it useful in their spiritual quest.
Excerpts and descriptions of OT materials were published online by a
former member in 1995 and then circulated in mainstream media. This
occurred after the teachings were submitted as evidence in court cases
involving Scientology, thus becoming a matter of public record. There are
eight publicly known OT levels, OT I to VIII. The highest level, OT VIII, is
disclosed only at sea on the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds. It has
been rumored that additional OT levels, said to be based on material
written by Hubbard long ago, will be released at some appropriate point in
A large Church of Spiritual Technology symbol carved into the ground at
Scientology's Trementina Base is visible from the air. Washington Post
reporter Richard Leiby wrote, "Former Scientologists familiar with
Hubbard’s teachings on reincarnation say the symbol marks a 'return
point' so loyal staff members know where they can find the founder’s
works when they travel here in the future from other places in the
Scientology has an internal justice system ( the Ethics system ) designed
to deal with unethical or antisocial behaviour. Ethics officers are present in
every org; they are tasked with ensuring correct application of Scientology technology and deal with violations such as non-compliance with standard procedures or any other behaviour adversely affecting an org's performance, ranging from errors and misdemeanours to crimes and suppressive acts, as defined by internal documents. Scientology teaches that spiritual progress requires and enables the attainment of high "ethical" standards. In Scientology, rationality is stressed over morality. Actions are considered ethical if they promote survival across all eight dynamics, thus benefiting the greatest number of people or things possible while harming the fewest.
While Scientology states that many social problems are the unintentional results of people's imperfections, it asserts that there are also truly malevolent individuals. Hubbard believed that approximately 80 percent of all people are what he called social personalities – people who welcome and contribute to the welfare of others. The remaining 20 percent of the population, Hubbard thought, were suppressive persons. According to Hubbard, only about 2.5 percent of this 20 percent are hopelessly antisocial personalities; these make up the small proportion of truly dangerous individuals in humanity:
"the Adolf Hitlers and the Genghis Khans, the unrepentant murderers and the drug lords." Scientologists believe that any contact with suppressive or antisocial individuals has an adverse effect on one's spiritual condition, necessitating disconnection.
In Scientology, defectors who turn into critics of the movement are declared suppressive persons, and the Church of Scientology has a reputation for moving aggressively against such detractors. A Scientologist who is actively in
communication with a suppressive person and as a result shows signs of antisocial behaviour is referred to as a Potential Trouble Source.
The term Fair Game is used to describe policies and practices carried out by the people the Church perceives as its
enemies. Hubbard established the policy in the 1950s, in response to criticism both from within and outside his organization. Individuals or groups who are "Fair Game" are judged to be a threat to the Church and, according to the policy, can be punished and harassed using any and all means possible.
Hubbard and his followers targeted many individuals as well as government officials and agencies, including a program of covert and illegal infiltration of the IRS and other U.S. government agencies during the 1970s. They also conducted private investigations, character assassination and legal action against the Church's critics in the media. The policy remains in effect and has been defended by the Church of Scientology as a core religious practice.
In Scientology, ceremonies for events such as weddings, child naming, and funerals are observed. Friday services are held to commemorate the completion of a person's religious services during the prior week. Ordained Scientology ministers may perform such rites. However, these services and the clergy who perform them play only a minor role in Scientologists' religious lives.
The general orientation of Hubbard's philosophy owes much to Will Durant, author of the popular 1926 classic The Story of Philosophy; Dianetics is dedicated to Durant. Hubbard's view of a mechanically functioning mind in particular finds close parallels in Durant's work on Spinoza. According to Hubbard himself, Scientology is "the Western anglicized continuance of many early forms of wisdom."
Ankerberg and Weldon mention the sources of Scientology to include "the Vedas, Buddhism, Judaism, Gnosticism, Taoism, early Greek civilization and the teachings of Jesus, Nietzsche and Freud." In Dianetics, Hubbard cites Hegel as an influence, but a negative one due to his being "confusing."
Sigmund Freud's psychology, popularized in the 1930s and 1940s, was a key contributor to the Dianetics therapy model, and was acknowledged unreservedly as such by Hubbard in his early works. Hubbard never forgot, when he was 12 years old, meeting Cmdr. Joseph Cheesman Thompson, a U.S. Navy officer who had studied with Freud and when writing to the American Psychological Association in 1949, he stated that he was conducting research based on the "early work of Freud".
Another major influence was Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics. Hubbard was friends with fellow science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, who explored the implications of Korzybski's non-Aristotelian logic in works such as The World of Null-A, and Hubbard's view of there active mind has clear and acknowledged parallels with Korzybski's thought; in fact, Korzybski's "anthropometer" may have been what inspired Hubbard's invention of the E-meter. Beyond that, Hubbard himself named a great many other influences in his own writing – in Scientology 8-8008, for example, these include philosophers from Anaxagoras and Aristotle to Herbert Spencer and Voltaire, physicists and mathematicians like Euclid and Isaac Newton, as well as founders of religions such as Buddha, Confucius, Jesus and Mohammed – but there is little evidence in Hubbard's writings that he studied these figures to any great depth.
As noted, there are elements of the Eastern religions evident in Scientology, in particular the concepts of karma, as present
in Hinduism and in Jainism. In addition to the links to Hindu texts, Hubbard tried to connect Scientology with Taoism and Buddhism. According to the Encyclopedia of Community, Scientology "shows affinities with Buddhism and a remarkable similarity to first-century Gnosticism."
In the 1940s, Hubbard was in contact with Jack Parsons, a rocket scientist and member of the Ordo Templi Orientis then
led by Aleister Crowley, and there have been suggestions that this connection influenced some of the ideas and symbols of Scientology. Religious scholars Gerald Willms and J. Gordon Melton have stated that Crowley's teachings bear little if any resemblance to Scientology doctrine.
According to James R. Lewis, Scientology is in the same lineage of supernatural religious movements such as New Thought. Scientology goes beyond this and refers to their religio-therapeutic practices as religious technology. Lewis wrote, "Scientology sees their psycho-spiritual technology as supplying the missing ingredient in existing technologies—namely, the therapeutic engineering of the human psyche."
There are a considerable number of Scientology organizations (or orgs) which generally support one of the following three
enabling Scientology practice and training, promoting the wider application of Scientology technology, or campaigning for social change. The internal structure of Scientology organizations is strongly bureaucratic, with detailed coordination of activities and collection of stats – or statistics, to measure organizational and individual performance. Organizational operating budgets are performance-related and subject to frequent reviews.
In 2005, the Church of Scientology stated its worldwide membership to be eight million, although that number included
people who took only the introductory course. In 2007, a church official claimed 3.5 million members in the United States, but a 2001 survey conducted by the City University of New York found only 55,000 people in the United States who claimed to
be Scientologists. Worldwide, some observers believe a reasonable estimate of Scientology's core practicing membership ranges between 100,000 and 200,000, mostly in the U.S., Europe, South Africa and Australia. In 2008, the American Religious Identification Survey found that the number of American Scientologists had dropped to 25,000.
Scientologists tend to disparage general religious surveys on the grounds that many members maintaining cultural and
social ties to other religious groups will, when asked their religion, answer with their traditional and more socially acceptable affiliation. The Church of Scientology claims to be the fastest growing religious movement on earth. On the other hand, religious scholar J. Gordon Melton has said that the church's estimates of its membership numbers are significantly exaggerated. In the UK, Scientology is declining.
These organizations are supported by a three-tiered hierarchical structure comprising lay practitioners, staff and at the top of the hierarchy, members of the so-called Sea Organization or Sea Org. The Sea Org, comprising over 5,000 members, has been compared to the monastic orders found in other religions; it is composed of the most dedicated adherents, who work for nominal compensation and symbolically express their religious commitment by signing a billion-year contract.
A controversial part of the Scientology justice system is the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF). When a Sea Org member is accused of a violation, such as lying, sexual misconduct, dereliction of duty, or failure to comply with Church policy, a Committee of Evidence examines the case. If the charge is substantiated, the individual may accept expulsion from the Sea Org or participate in the RPF to become eligible to re-join the Sea Org. The RPF involves a daily regimen of five hours of auditing or studying, eight hours of work, often physical labour, such as building renovation, and at least seven hours of sleep. Douglas E. Cowan and David G. Bromley state that scholars and observers have come to radically different conclusions about the RPF and whether it is "voluntary or coercive, therapeutic or punitive".
The Office of Special Affairs or OSA (formerly the Guardian's Office) is a department of the Church of Scientology. According to the Church, the OSA is responsible for directing legal affairs, public relations, pursuing investigations, publicizing the Church's "social betterment works," and "over seeing its social reform programs". Observers outside the Church have characterized it as an intelligence agency, comparing it variously to the CIA or the KGB. The department has drawn criticism for its involvement in targeting critics of the Church for dead agent operations. OSA has mounted character assassination operations against many critics of the Church.
Scientology can be seen as a UFO religion in which the existence of extraterrestrial entities operating unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are an element of belief. In this context, it is discussed in UFO Religions by Christopher Partridge, and The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of UFO Religions by James R. Lewis, while Susan Palmer draws several parallels with
Raelianism. Gregory Reece, in his book UFO Religion:
Inside flying saucer cults and culture, writes:
Scientology is unique within the UFO culture because of this secretiveness, as well as because of the capitalist format under which they operate. Scientology is also difficult to categorize. While it bears strong similarities to the Ashtar Command or the Aetherius Society, its emphasis upon the Xenu event as the central message of the group seems to place them within the ancient astronaut tradition. Either way, Scientology is perhaps most different from other UFO groups in their attempt to keep all of the space opera stuff under wraps. They really would have preferred the rest of us not to know about Xenu and the galactic federation. Alas, such secrets are hard to keep.
Regardless of such statements by critics, Hubbard wrote and lectured openly about the material he himself called "space opera." In 1952, Hubbard published a book (What to Audit / A History of Man) on space opera and other material that may be encountered when auditing preclears.
While NRM scholars have generally accepted the religious nature of Scientology, media reports have tended to express the opinion that "Scientology is a business, often given to criminal acts, and sometimes masquerading as a religion." During his lifetime, Hubbard was accused of using religion as a façade for Scientology to maintain tax-exempt status and avoid prosecution for false medical claims. The IRS cited a statement frequently attributed to Hubbard that the way to get rich was to found a religion. According to Melton, the statement is unsubstantiated, although several of Hubbard's science fiction colleagues do recall Hubbard raising the topic in conversation.
Hubbard grew up in a climate that was very critical of organized religion, and frequently quoted anti-religious sentiments in
his early lectures. The scholar Marco Frenschkowski (University of Mainz) has stated that it was not easy for Hubbard "to come to terms with the spiritual side of his own movement. Hubbard did not want to found a religion:
he discovered that what he was talking about in fact was religion. This mainly happened when he had to deal with apparent memories from former lives. He had to defend himself about this to his friends." Frenschkowski allows that there naturally were practical considerations about "how to present Scientology to the outside world", but dismisses the notion that presentation as a religion was just an expedient pretence, pointing to many passages in Hubbard's works that document his struggle with this issue.
Drawing parallels to similar struggles for identity in other religious movements such as Theosophy and Transcendental Meditation, Frenschkowski sees in Hubbard's lectures "the case of a man whose background was non-religious and who nevertheless discovers that his ideas somehow oscillate between 'science' (in a very popular sense), 'religion' and'
philosophy', and that these ideas some how fascinate so many people that they start to form a separate movement. As in the case of similar movements, it was quite unclear to Hubbard in the beginning what Scientology would become."
The Church of Scientology denounces the idea of Hubbard starting a religion for personal gain as an unfounded rumour. The Church also suggests that the origin of the rumour was a quote by George Orwell which had been misattributed to Hubbard. Robert Vaughn Young, who left the Church in 1989 after being its spokesman for twenty years, suggested that reports of Hubbard making such a statement could be explained as a misattribution of Orwell, despite having encountered three of Hubbard's associates from his science fiction days who remembered Hubbard making statements of that sort in person. It was Young who by a stroke of luck came up with the "Orwell quote":
"but I have always thought there might be a lot of cash in starting a new religion, and we'll talk it over some time" It appears in a letter by George Orwell (signed Eric Blair) to a friend Jack Common, dated the 16th of February 1938, and was published in Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, vol. 1. In 2006, Rolling Stone's Janet Reitman writes Hubbard said the same thing to science fiction writer Lloyd Eshbach, a fact quoted in Eshbach's autobiography.
Scientology maintains strict control over the use of its symbols, icons, and names. It claims copyright and trademark over its "Scientology cross", and its lawyers have threatened lawsuits against individuals and organizations who have published the image in books and on Web sites. Because of this, it is very difficult for individual groups to attempt to publicly practice Scientology on their own, independent of the official Church of Scientology. Scientology has filed suit against a number of individuals who have attempted to set up their own auditing practices, using copyright and trademark law to shut these groups down.
The Church of Scientology and its many related organizations have amassed considerable real estate holdings worldwide, likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Scientology encourages existing members to "sell" Scientology to others by paying a commission to those who recruit new members. Scientology franchises, or missions, must pay the Church of Scientology roughly 10% of their gross income. On that basis, it is likened to a pyramid selling scheme. While introductory courses do not cost much, courses at the higher levels may cost several thousand dollars each. As a rule, the great majority of members proceeds up the bridge in a steady rate commensurate with their income. Most recently the Italian Supreme Court agreed with the American IRS that the church's financial system is analogous to the practices of other groups and not out of line with its religious purposes.
Of the many new religious movements to appear during the 20th century, the Church of Scientology has, from its inception, been one of the most controversial, coming into conflict with the governments and police forces of several countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany). It has been one of the most litigious religious movements in history, filing countless lawsuits against governments, organizations and individuals. Reports and allegations have been made, by journalists, courts, and governmental bodies of several countries, that the Church of Scientology is an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and brutally exploits its members. Time magazine published an article in 1991 which described Scientology as "a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner."
The controversies involving the church and its critics, some of them ongoing, include:
Scientology's disconnection policy, in which members are encouraged to cut off all contact with friends or family members who are "antagonistic" to Scientology.,
The death of a Scientologist Lisa McPherson while in the care of the church. (Robert Minton sponsored the multi-million dollar lawsuit against Scientology for the death of McPherson. In May 2004, McPherson's estate and the Church of Scientology reached a confidential settlement.)
Criminal activities committed on behalf of the church or directed by church officials (Operation Snow White, Operation Freakout).
Conflicting statements about L. Ron Hubbard's life, in particular accounts of Hubbard discussing his intent to start a religion for profit and of his service in the military.
Scientology's harassment and litigious actions against its critics encouraged by its Fair Game policy.
Attempts to legally force search engines such as Google and Yahoo! to omit any webpages critical of Scientology from their search engines (and in Google's case, AdSense), or at least the first few search pages.
Allegations by a former high-ranking Scientologist that Scientology leader David Miscavige beats and demoralizes staff, and that physical violence by superiors towards staff working for them is a common occurrence in the church. Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis denied these claims and provided witnesses to rebut them.
In October 2009, a French court found the Church of Scientology guilty of organized fraud. Four officers of the organization were fined and given suspended prison sentences of up to 2 years. Prosecutors had hoped to achieve a ban of Scientology in France, but due to a temporary change in French law, which "made it impossible to dissolve a
legal entity on the grounds of fraud", no ban was pronounced. The sentence was confirmed by appeal court in February 2012.
In November 2009, Australian Senator Nick Xenophon used a speech in Federal Parliament to allege that the Church of Scientology is a criminal organization. Based on letters from former followers of the religion, he said that there were
"allegations of forced imprisonment, coerced abortions, and embezzlement of church funds, of physical violence and intimidation, blackmail and the widespread and deliberate abuse of information obtained by the organization"
Due to these allegations, a considerable amount of
investigation has been aimed at the church, by groups
ranging from the media to governmental agencies.
Scientology social programs such as drug and criminal
rehabilitation have likewise drawn both support and
Stephen A. Kent, a professor of sociology, has said that
"Scientologists see themselves as possessors of
doctrines and skills that can save the world, if not the
galaxy." As stated in Scientology doctrine:
agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and
child on it and your own destiny for the next endless
trillions of years depend on what you do here and now
with and in Scientology." 🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐
Kent has described Scientology's ethics system as "a peculiar brand of morality that uniquely benefited the Church of Scientology ... In plain English, the purpose of Scientology ethics is to eliminate opponents, then eliminate people's interests in things other than Scientology.".
Many former members have come forward to speak out about the Church and the negative effects its teachings have had on them, including celebrities such as Leah Remini. Remini spoke about her split from the Church, saying that she still has friends within the organization that she is no longer able to speak to. In the 1990s, representatives of Scientology began to take action against increased criticism of Scientology on the Internet. The organization says that the actions taken were to prevent distribution of copyrighted Scientology documents and publications online, fighting what it refers to as " copyright terrorists ".
In January 1995, church lawyer Helena Kobrin attempted to shut down the newsgroup alt. religion, scientology by sending a control message instructing Usenet servers to delete the group. In practice, this group message had little effect, since most Usenet servers are configured to disregard such messages when sent to groups that receive substantial traffic, and new
group messages were quickly issued to recreate the group on those servers that did not do so. However, the issuance of the message led to a great deal of public criticism by free-speech advocates. Among the criticisms raised, one suggestion is that Scientology's true motive is to suppress the free speech of its critics.
On January the 14th, 2008, a video produced by the Church of Scientology featuring an interview with Tom Cruise was leaked to the Internet and uploaded to YouTube. The Church of Scientology issued a copyright violation claim against YouTube requesting the removal of the video. Subsequently, the group Anonymous voiced its criticism of Scientology and began attacking the Church. Calling the action by the Church of Scientology a form of Internet censorship, participants of Anonymous coordinated Project Chanology, which consisted of a series of denial-of-service attacks against Scientology websites, prank calls, and black faxes to Scientology centers. On January the 21st, 2008, Anonymous announced its intentions via a video posted to YouTube entitled "Message to Scientology", and a press release declaring a "war" against both the Church of Scientology and the Religious Technology Center. In the press release, the group stated that the attacks against the Church of Scientology would continue in order to protect the freedom of speech, and end what they saw as the financial exploitation of church members.
On January the 28th, 2008, an Anonymous video appeared on YouTube calling for protests outside Church of Scientology centres on February the 10th, 2008. According to a letter Anonymous e-mailed to the press, about 7,000 people protested in more than 90 cities worldwide. Many protesters wore masks based on the character V from V for Vendetta (who was influenced by Guy Fawkes) or otherwise disguised their identities, in part to protect themselves from reprisals from the Church of Scientology. Many further protests have followed since then in cities around the world.
The Arbitration Committee of the Wikipedia internet encyclopaedia decided in May 2009 to restrict access to its site from Church of Scientology IP addresses, to prevent self-serving edits by Scientologists. A "host of anti-Scientologist editors"
were topic-banned as well. The committee concluded that both sides had "gamed policy" and resorted to "battlefield tactics", with articles on living persons being the "worst casualties".
Hypnotism plants, by positive suggestion, one or another form of insanity. It is usually a temporary planting, but sometimes the hypnotic suggestion will not "lift" or remove in a way desirable to the hypnotist.