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Scientology

Scientology is a word first introduced in 1952 by author L. Ron Hubbard. He stated, "Scientology" would be "a study of knowledge." He coined the word from "-ology" (study of) and from "Scien" (from Latin scientia - knowledge). In 1954 he established today's Church of Scientology which represents itself as an applied religious philosophy.

The term Scientology is a trademark of the Religious Technology Center, which licenses its use and use of the copyrighted works of Hubbard to the Church of Scientology. The Church presents itself as a religious non-profit organization dedicated to the development of the human spirit and providing counseling and rehabilitation programs. Church spokespeople claim that Hubbard's teachings (called "technology" or "tech" in Scientology terminology) have freed them from addictions, depression, learning disabilities, mental illness and other problems.

However, the Church of Scientology has attracted much controversy and criticism. Critics — including government officials of certain countries — have characterized the Church as an unscrupulous commercial organization, and it is accused of harassing critics and exploiting members. Scientology's principles have been characterized as pseudoscientific by many mainstream medical and psychotherapeutic practitioners, and the Church has frequently been characterized as a cult.

Beliefs and practices

L. Ron Hubbard, circa 1970.

Scientology's doctrines were established by Hubbard over a period of about 34 years, beginning in 1952 and continuing until his death in January 1986. Most of the basic principles of the church were set out during the 1950s and 1960s. Scientology followed on the heels of Dianetics, an earlier system of self-improvement techniques laid out by Hubbard in his 1950 book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. By the mid-1950s, Hubbard had relegated Dianetics to a sub-study of Scientology. A chief difference between Dianetics and Scientology is that Dianetics focuses on rehabilitating an individual's mind, giving him full conscious recall of his experiences while Scientology is more concerned with rehabilitating the human spirit. [1] Scientology also covers topics such as ethics and morality, (The Way to Happiness), drug and chemical residues as they relate to spiritual wellbeing, the (Purification Rundown), communication, marriage, raising children, dealing with work-related problems, educational matters (study technology), and the very nature of life (The Dynamics).

Scientology practices are structured in a series of levels, because Hubbard believed that rehabilitation takes place on a step by step basis. For example, the bad effects of drugs should be addressed before other issues can be addressed. The steps lead to the more advanced strata of Scientology's more esoteric knowledge. This is described as a passage along "the Bridge to Total Freedom", or simply "the Bridge," where each step of the Bridge promises a little more personal freedom in the area specified by the Bridge's definition.

Some central beliefs of Scientology:

  • A person is an immortal spiritual being (termed a thetan) who possesses a mind and a body.
  • The thetan has lived through many past lives and will continue to live beyond the death of the body.
  • A person is basically good, but becomes "aberrated" by moments of pain and unconsciousness in his life.
  • What is true is what is true for you. No beliefs should be forced as "true" on anyone. Thus, the tenets of Scientology are expected to be tested and seen to either be true, or not, by Scientology practitioners.

Scientology claims to offer an exact methodology to help a person achieve awareness of their spiritual existence and better effectiveness in the physical world. Exact methods of spiritual counseling are taught and practiced which are designed to enable this change. According to the church, the ultimate goal is to get the soul (thetan) back to its native state of total freedom, thus gaining control over matter, energy, space, time, thoughts, form, and life. This freed state is called Operating Thetan, or OT for short.

Many non-Scientologists and Critics have offered explanations of Scientology beliefs and practices. For more information regarding these explanations, see Scientology - Outsider Explanations

Auditing

A Scientology recruiter introduces an E-meter to a potential convert. Such introductory audits are typically presented as "free stress tests".

The central practice of Scientology is "auditing" (from the Latin audire,"to listen"), which is one-on-one communication with a trained Scientology counselor or "auditor". The auditor follows an exact procedure toward rehabilitating the human spirit. Most auditing uses an E-meter, a device developed to be easy to set up and to be easily interpreted in a way the user sees fit.

The auditing process is intended to help the practitioner (referred to as a preclear or PC) to unburden himself of specific traumatic incidents, prior ethical transgressions and bad decisions, which are said to collectively restrict the preclear from achieving his goals and lead to the development of a "reactive mind". The auditor asks the preclear to respond to a list of questions which are designed for specific purposes and given to the preclear in a strictly regulated way. Auditing requires that the preclear be a willing and interested participant who understands the questions, and the process goes more smoothly when he or she understands what is going on. Per Church policy, auditors are trained not to "evaluate for" their preclears, i.e. they are forbidden from suggesting, interpreting, degrading or invalidating the preclear's answers. The E-meter is used to help locate an area of concern.

Scientologists have claimed benefits from auditing including improved IQ, improve memory, alleviated dyslexia and attention deficit problems, and improved relaxation; however, no scientific studies have verified these claims. Indeed, an Australian report stated that auditing involved a kind of command hypnosis that could lead to potentially damaging delusional dissociative states. Licensed psychotherapists have alleged that the Church's auditing sessions amount to mental health treatment without a license, but the Church vehemently disputes these allegations, and claims to have established in courts of law that its practice leads to spiritual relief. So, according to the Church, the psychotherapist treats mental health and the Church treats the spiritual being.

During the auditing process, the auditor may collect personal information from the person being audited in a manner similar to a psychotherapy session or confessional. The Church maintains that its auditing records are kept confidential, after the manner of confession in Christian churches. Auditing records are referred to within Scientology as "confessional formulary" and stored under lock and key when not being added to during auditing sessions. In some instances, former members have claimed the Church used information obtained in auditing sessions against them. While such a claim would be actionable as extortion, blackmail or harassment within most legal jurisdictions, no such claim has to date been legally confirmed against Scientology based upon use or revelation of auditing records.

The ARC Triangle

Another basic tenet of Scientology is that there are three interrelated (and intrinsically spiritual) components that make up successful "livingness": affinity (emotional responses), reality (an agreement on what is real) and communication (the exchange of ideas). Hubbard called this the "ARC Triangle". Scientologists utilize ARC as a central organizing principle in their lives, primarily based upon the belief that improving one aspect of the triangle increases the level of the other two.

The tone scale

The tone scale is a characterization of human mood and behavior by various positions on a scale. The scale ranges from -40 or "Total Failure" to +40 or "Serenity of Beingness." Positions on the tone scale are usually designated by an emotion, but Hubbard also described many other things that can be indicated by the tone scale levels, such as aspects of an individual's health, sexual behavior, survival potential, or ability to deal with truth. The tone scale is used by Scientologists in everyday life to evaluate people. According to Scientology, the lower the person is on the tone scale, the more complex and convoluted his or her day-to-day problems tend to be, and the more care and judgement should be exercised regarding communication and interchange with the individual.

Past lives

In Dianetics, Hubbard proposed that the cause of "aberrations" in the human mind was an accumulation of pain and unconscious memories of traumatic incidents, some of which predated the life of the individual. He extended this view further in Scientology, declaring that thetans have existed for tens of trillions of years. During that time, Hubbard explains, they have been exposed to a vast number of traumatic incidents, and have made a great many decisions that influence their present state. According to an early lecture of Hubbard's, it is, as a practical matter, both impossible and undesirable to recall each and every such event from such vast stretches of time. As a result, Hubbard's 30-year development of Scientology focused on streamlining of the process to address only key factors. Hubbard stated that Scientology materials as described in books, tapes, and research notes include a record of everything that was found in the course of his research. Not all things found have been experienced by all beings. (For example, not everyone was a Roman, or Chinese, etc, although each was common enough)

According to Hubbard, some of the past traumas may have been deliberately inflicted in the form of "implants" used by extraterrestrial dictatorships to brainwash and control people. Scientology doctrine includes a wide variety of beliefs in extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in Earthly events, collectively described by Hubbard as "space opera".

Operating Thetan levels and the Xenu incident

The "Hidden Truth" about the nature of the universe is taught to only the most advanced Scientologists, those who have achieved the level "clear", in a series of courses known as the Advanced Levels. The contents of these courses are held in strict confidence within Scientology. They have never been published by the Church, except for use in highly secure areas. The most advanced of all are the eight Operating Thetan levels, which require the initiate to be thoroughly prepared. The highest level, OT VIII, is only disclosed at sea, on the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds. Because Scientology is a mystery religion, the more closely guarded and esoteric teachings imparted at these higher levels may not always be entirely consistent with its entry-level teachings.

In the confidential OT levels, Hubbard describes a variety of traumas commonly experienced in past lives. He also explained how to reverse the effects of such traumas. Among these advanced teachings, one episode that is revealed to those who reach OT level III has been widely remarked upon in the press: the story of Xenu, the galactic tyrant who first kidnapped certain individuals who were deemed "excess population" and loaded these individuals into space planes for transport to the site of extermination, the planet of Teegeeack (Earth). These space planes were said to have been copies of Douglas DC-8s, with the addition of rocket engines. He then stacked hundreds of billions of these frozen victims around Earth's volcanoes 75 million years ago before blowing them up with hydrogen bombs and brainwashing them with a "three-D, super colossal motion picture" for 36 days, telling them lies of what they are and what the universe should be like and telling them that they are 3 different things: 'Jesus, God, and The Devil.' The traumatized thetans subsequently clustered around human bodies because they watched the motion picture together, making them think they are all the same thing, in effect acting as invisible spiritual parasites known as "body thetans" that can only be removed using advanced Scientology techniques. Xenu is allegedly imprisoned in a mountain by a force field powered by an eternal battery. He is said to be still alive today.

Scientologists argue that published accounts of the Xenu story and other colorful teachings are presented out of context for the purpose of ridiculing their religion. Journalists and critics of Scientology counter that Xenu is part of a much wider Scientology belief in past lives on other planets, some of which has been public knowledge for decades. For instance, Hubbard's 1958 book Have You Lived Before This Life documents past lives described by individual Scientologists during auditing sessions. These included memories of being "deceived into a love affair with a robot decked out as a beautiful blond-haired girl", being run over by a Martian bishop driving a steamroller which transformed him into an intergalactic walrus that perished after falling out of a flying saucer, after which he was "a very happy being who strayed to the planet Nostra 23,064,000,000 years ago".

Although reliable statistics are not available, it is fair to say that most Scientologists are not at a sufficiently high level on "the bridge" to learn about Xenu. Therefore, while knowledge of Xenu and Body Thetans is said to be crucial to the highest level church teachings, it cannot be regarded as a core belief of rank and file Scientologists. Thus accusations and criticisms by critics of ordinary Scientologists based on the above tend to work against the intention of the critics, since it is not published in commonly available materials, and is not part of what the vast majority of ordinary Scientologists believe. On the other hand, Scientology literature does include many references to extraterrestrial past lives, and internal Scientology publications are often illustrated with pictures of spaceships and oblique references to catastrophic events that happened "75 million years ago" (e.g. the Xenu incident).

Scientology and other religions

A Scientology Center on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

Scientology teaches that it is fully compatible with all existing major religions. The Church of Scientology has publicly stated:

However, the Church of Scientology has clashed with other religious groups, including the Church of England, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church, all of which have at times criticized Scientology's activities and doctrines. Many members of the Roman Catholic Church reject Scientology, because of the CoS's views on Jesus, and believe Scientology to be a form of agnosticism, which many Christians regard as a heresy. The Church of Scientology has also worked closely with other religious groups on community outreach projects and campaigns against perceived persecution by governments around the world.

Scientology's claim of religious compatibility to entry-level Scientologists is soon modified by the additional teaching that the various levels of spiritual prowess which can be reached through Scientology are more advanced than those attainable in other religions. Critics maintain that, within Scientology, "spiritual abilities" tends to be synonymous with "mystical powers" rather than with "inner peace". Hubbard himself cautioned against the unwise or improper use of powers in his book History of Man.

As a sort of a confirmation of the Church's position that it is superior to other religions, in its application for tax exempt status in the United States, the Church of Scientology International states:

Critics claim that a select group of advanced practitioners eventually discovered that Hubbard had left little doubt in his writings and lectures about the dim view he took towards existing major religions. In some of the teachings Hubbard had intended only for this select group, he claimed that Jesus had never existed, but was implanted in humanity's collective memory by Xenu 75 million years ago, and that Christianity was an "entheta [evil] operation" mounted by beings called Targs (Hubbard, "Electropsychometric Scouting: Battle of the Universes", April 1952). Some critics have claimed that one of the highest levels, OT VIII, tells initiates that Jesus was a pederast (it is decidedly unclear whether the version of OT VIII in the Fishman Affidavit, where this claim originates, is genuine). Thus, critics claim, Hubbard makes clear his belief that advanced Scientologists are to identify Jesus and Christianity more as a force of evil than as a force for good. Again, it should be emphasized that even if this teaching is genuine, only a minority of Scientology adherents have learned it.

Hubbard claimed that Islam was also the result of an extraterrestrial memory implant, called the Emanator, of which the Kaaba is supposedly an artifact. Mainstream religions, in his view, had failed to realize their objectives: "It is all very well to idealize poverty and associate wisdom with begging bowls, or virtue with low estate. However, those who have done this (Buddhists, Christians, Communists and other fanatics) have dead ended or are dead ending." (Hubbard, HCOPL of January 21, 1965)

Based on an interpretation of Buddhist writings which described, among other things, a man from the west with hair like flames around his head who was said to be due to return some 2,500 years after the first Buddha, the red-haired Hubbard sometimes identified himself with Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. (Hubbard, Hymn of Asia, 1952).

In addition to the clergy of the religions not getting along beliefs in Scientology as one progresses into higher levels become increasingly contradictory with other religion. Most notably is the concept of past lives which most western religions reject, although some Scientologists believe that Christianity at one time believed in reincarnation but the idea was taken out by the early Catholic Church. Whether this comes from Hubbards theories as presented in the highest levels of Scientology or is just the belief of some Scientologists to create a way for the religion to better mesh, no proof of the claim has ever been presented. Other ideas such as the origins and age of the Earth, the root of evil, and the nature of man make it impossible to hold literal beliefs in most other religions while being a Scientologist.

Origins

Immediately prior to his first Dianetics publications, Hubbard was involved with occultist Jack Parsons in performing rites developed by Aleister Crowley. Some investigators have noted similarities in Hubbard's writings to the doctrines of Crowley,[2] though the Church of Scientology denies any such connection. An influence that Hubbard did acknowledge is the system of General Semantics developed by Alfred Korzybski in the 1930s. [3] Scientology also reflects the influence of the Hindu concept of karma, as well as the less metaphysical theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and William Sargant.

The word scientology has a history of its own. Although today associated almost exclusively with Hubbard's work, it was originally coined by philologist Allen Upward in 1907 as a synonym for "pseudoscience". [4] In 1934, the Argentine-German writer Anastasius Nordenholz published a book using the word positively: Scientologie, Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und der Tauglichkeit des Wissens ("Scientology, Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge"). [5] Nordenholz's book is a study of consciousness, and its usage of the word is not greatly different from Hubbard's definition, "knowing how to know". However, it is not clear to what extent Hubbard was aware of these earlier uses. The word itself is a pairing of the Latin word scientia ("knowledge", "skill"), which comes from the verb scire ("to know"), and the Greek λογος lógos ("reason" or "inward thought" or "logic"). In a lecture given on July 19, 1962 entitled "The E-meter", Hubbard said:

The Church of Scientology

The official symbol of the Church of Scientology.

A Church of Scientology was first incorporated in Camden, New Jersey as a non-profit organization in 1953. Today's Church of Scientology was established in 1954. It forms the center of a complex worldwide network of corporations dedicated to the promotion of L. Ron Hubbard's philosophies in all areas of life. This includes:

  • drug treatment centers (Narconon);
  • criminal rehab programs (Criminon);
  • activities to reform the field of mental health (Citizens Commission on Human Rights);
  • projects to implement Hubbard's educational methods in schools (Applied Scholastics);
  • a "moral values" campaign (The Way to Happiness);
  • World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, or WISE, which licenses Hubbard's management techniques for use in businesses;
  • a consulting firm based on Hubbard's management techniques (Sterling Management Systems);
  • a publishing company, e-Republic, which publishes Government Technology and Converge magazines and coordinates the Center for Digital Government;
  • and a campaign directed to world leaders, as well as the general public, to implement the 1948 United Nations document "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights" (with particular emphasis on the religious freedom elements).

Independent Scientology groups

Although "Scientology" is most often used as shorthand for the Church of Scientology, a number of groups practice Scientology and Dianetics outside of the official Church. Such groups are invariably breakaways from the original Church, and usually argue that it has corrupted L. Ron Hubbard's principles or otherwise become overly domineering. The Church takes an extremely hard line on breakaway groups, labeling them "apostates" (or "squirrels" in Scientology jargon) and often subjecting them to considerable legal and social pressure. Breakaway groups avoid the name "Scientology" so as to keep from being sued, instead referring to themselves collectively as the Free Zone.

Controversy and criticism

Church of Scientology on Yonge Street in Toronto, Canada.

Of the many new religious movements to appear during the 20th century, Scientology has from its inception been the most controversial. The Church has come into conflict with the governments and police forces of several countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany) numerous times over the years, though supporters note that many major world religions have found themselves in conflict with civil government in their early years.

Different countries have taken markedly different approaches to Scientology. Scientology is technically considered a religion in the United States and Australia, and thus enjoys and regularly cites the constitutional protections afforded in both nations to religious practice (First Amendment to the United States Constitution; Australian Constitution, s 116). In Canada the Church of Scientology is legal, but has the unique distinction of being criminally convicted as a corporation on two counts of breach of the public trust (for an organized conspiracy to infiltrate government offices) following a trial by jury. In the United States, the church obtained "public charity" status (IRS Code 501(c)(3)) and the associated preferential tax treatment after extended litigation. Applications for charity status in the UK and Canada were rejected in 1999. Some European governments (including Germany) do not consider the Church to be a bona fide religious organization, but instead a commercial enterprise or totalitarian cult.

Other countries, notably in Europe, have regarded Scientology as a potentially dangerous cult and have significantly restricted its activities at various times, or at least have not considered local branches of the Church of Scientology to meet the legal criteria for being considered religion-supporting organizations. In Germany, for instance, Scientology is not considered a religion by the government, but a commercial business. Fifteen of the sixteen German states, positing that Scientology had potentially anti-democratic tendencies, have to a greater or lesser degree and for varying periods subjected Scientology and Scientologists to state surveillance since the early 1970's. No criminal or civil charges have been brought as a result of this surveillance. Two German states and the political party, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) have passed rules or regulations limiting the particpation of Scientologists in politics, business and public life. In several court cases Scientology lost filed complaints against continued surveillance because the court holds the opinion that Scientology still pursues anticonstituitional activities. Scientologists in August of 2005 filed complaints with the Human Rights court of the European Union in an effort to force the German government to put an end to discrimintory practices. The case is pending. The United Kingdom government does not recognize Scientology as a bona fide religion. The church has been subjected to considerable pressure from the state in Russia. In Belgium, the minister of justice refused Scientology as a candidate for the status of recognized religion. [6]

Scientology has also been the focus of criticism by anti-cult campaigners and has aroused controversy for its high-profile campaigns against psychiatry and psychiatric medication. The religious bona fides of Scientology have been repeatedly questioned. Hubbard was accused of adopting a religious façade for Scientology to allow the organization to maintain tax-exempt status and to avoid prosecution for false medical claims. These accusations continue to the present day, bolstered by numerous accounts from Hubbard's fellow science-fiction authors that on various occasions he stated that the way to get rich was to start a religion. [7]

The many legal battles fought by the Church of Scientology since its inception have given it a reputation as an extremely litigious organization, characterized by forcing litigants to enter into a lengthy and costly legal process using a number of highly trained lawyers, expert at prolonging cases.

However, a notable number of countries around the world have apparently embraced Scientology, including Italy, Spain and Thailand. Also, the number of legal battles in which the Church has engaged seems to have peaked in the early-to-mid-1990s, and has been declining since then. Since that time, many Scientologists have adopted a more relaxed view toward minor criticism. The overall attitude in the Scientology community has partially shifted to spreading Scientology through direct application to communities, rather than combating those who attempt to stop or belittle it.

The ongoing controversies involving the Church and its critics include:

  • The Gabriel Williams sexual abuse case.
  • Scientology's harassment and litigious actions against its critics and enemies.
  • Some critics charge Scientology with being a cult of personality, with much emphasis placed on the alleged accomplishments of its founder.
  • Scientologists claim that government files, such as those from the FBI, are loaded with forgeries and other false documents detrimental to Scientology, but have never substantiated this accusation.
  • Unexplained Deaths of Scientologists, most notably Lisa McPherson, allegedly due to mistreatment by other members.
  • Scientology's disconnection policy, in which members are encouraged to cut off all contact with friends or family members critical of the Church.
  • Criminal activities by Scientologists, both those committed for personal gain (Reed Slatkin, others) and those committed on behalf of the Church and directed by Church officials (Operation Snow White, Operation Freakout, Fair Game, and others).
  • Claims of brainwashing and mind control.
  • Use of high-pressure sales tactics to obtain money from members.
  • Lobbying search engines such as Google and Yahoo to omit any webpages that are critical of Scientology from their search engines (and in Google's case, AdSense), or at least the first few search pages(while Google now features pages that are critical of Scientology, one will find that the front page for a search on "Scientology" in Yahoo yields no websites critical of Scientology).
  • Differing accounts of L. Ron Hubbard's life, in particular accounts of Hubbard discussing his intent to start a religion for profit. [8]

This last criticism is referenced, among other places, in a May 1980 Reader's Digest article, which quotes Hubbard, "If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."

The Church pursues an extensive public relations campaign arguing Scientology is a bona fide religion. The organization cites numerous scholarly sources supporting its position, many of which can be found on a website the Church has established for this purpose. [9]

Official Status as a Religion

Many critics assert that, in order to obtain its tax-exempt status in the United States, Scientologists paid private investigators to obtain compromising material on the IRS commissioner and blackmailed the IRS into submission, NYT article costing taxpayers 1-2 billion dollars. [10] Six levels of indents down in the eventually leaked "closing agreement", [11] the IRS is contractually required to discriminate in their treatment of Scientology to the exclusion of all other groups:

The Sklars, in the case MICHAEL SKLAR; MARLA SKLAR v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL No. 00-70753, attempted to obtain the same deduction for their payments to a Jewish school. On January 29, 2002 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the IRS's opposition. Judge Silverman concurred, [12] saying:

To date, such a suit is not known to have been filed.

Another source of controversy was Scientology's infiltration of the United States Internal Revenue Service in what Scientology termed "Operation Snow White". Eleven high-ranking Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife Mary Sue Hubbard, served time in federal prison for their involvement in this infiltration.

In Australia, critics point to a certain passage in a 1982 ruling by the High Court of Australia. They claim that in the course of litigation between the Church and the government of Victoria, even though the government of the state found that the Church practiced charlatanism, (Church of the New Faith v. Commissioner Of Pay-roll Tax [13]) nevertheless the government of Victoria, due to certain legal technicalities, could not deny the Church the right to operate in Victoria under the legal status of "religion".

Scientology and psychiatry

Scientologists regularly hold anti-psychiatry demonstrations they call "Psychbusts"

Scientology is publicly and vehemently opposed to psychiatry and psychology.

This theme appears in some of Hubbard's literary works. In Hubbard's Mission Earth series, various characters praise and criticize these methods, and the antagonists in his novel Battlefield Earth are called Psychlos, a similar allusion.

From the Church of Scientology FAQ on Psychiatry:

L. Ron Hubbard was bitterly critical of psychiatry's citation of physical causes for mental disorders, such as chemical imbalances in the brain. Although there are many questions remaining, the statements by Hubbard deny that psychiatry through the scientific method has shown some psychiatric disorders are related to anatomical and chemical cerebral anomalies. Furthermore, it is evident much of his criticism is based upon old and flawed information regarding psychiatry [15]. He regarded psychiatrists as denying human spirituality and peddling fake cures. He was also convinced psychiatrists were themselves deeply unethical individuals, committing "extortion, mayhem and murder. Our files are full of evidence on them." [16] The Church claims that psychiatry was responsible for World War I [17], the rise of Hitler and Stalin [18], the decline in education standards in the United States [19], the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo [20], and even the September 11th attacks [21]. However, for all these statements, the Church has failed to present any evidence supporting this view of psychiatry. Scientology's opposition to psychiatry has also undoubtedly been influenced by the fact that a number of psychiatrists have strongly spoken out against the Church, resulting in pressure from the media and governments. Additionally, after Hubbard's book on Dianetics was published, in which he tried to present a new form of psychotherapy, the American Psychological Association advised its members against using Hubbard's techniques with their patients until its effectiveness could be proven. Because of this critique Hubbard came to believe psychiatrists were behind a worldwide conspiracy to attack Scientology and create a "world government" run by psychiatrists on behalf of Soviet Russia:

In 1966, Hubbard declared war on psychiatry, telling Scientologists "We want at least one bad mark on every psychiatrist in England, a murder, an assault, or a rape or more than one." He committed the Church to eradicating psychiatry in 1969, announcing "Our war has been forced to become 'To take over absolutely the field of mental healing on this planet in all forms.'" [23] Not coincidentally, the Church founded the Citizens Commission on Human Rights that same year as its primary vehicle for attacking psychiatry.

Around the same time, Hubbard decided that psychiatrists were an ancient evil that had been a problem for billions of years. He cast them in the role of assisting Xenu's genocide of 75 million years ago. In a 1982 bulletin entitled "Pain and Sex", Hubbard declares that "pain and sex were the INVENTED TOOLS of degradation", having been devised eons ago by psychiatrists "who have been on the [time] track a long time and are the sole cause of decline in this universe." (Hubbard, HCO Bulletin of August 26, 1982)

Celebrity Scientologists, notably Tom Cruise, have been extremely vocal in attacking the use of psychiatric medication. [24] Their position has attracted considerable criticism from psychiatrists, physicians, and mental health patients and advocates who cite numerous scientific studies showing benefit from psychiatry. On top of that there is evidence Scientology adherents destroyed scientific data in a lengthy campaign to discredit research. [25] Nevertheless, this position is still defended and promoted by Scientologists. [26]

Scientology Versus The Internet

Scientology leaders have undertaken extensive operations on the Internet to deal with growing allegations of fraud and exposure of unscrupulousness within Scientology. The organization states that it is taking actions to prevent distribution of copyrighted Scientology documents and publications online by people whom it has called "copyright terrorists". Critics claim the organization's true motive is an attempt to suppress free speech and legitimate criticism.

In January 1995, Church lawyer Helena Kobrin attempted to shut down the Usenet discussion group alt.religion.scientology by sending a control message instructing Usenet servers to delete the group on the grounds that

In practice, this rmgroup message had little effect, since most Usenet servers are configured to disregard such messages when applied to groups that receive substantial traffic, and newgroup 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.

The Church also began filing lawsuits against those who posted copies of its copyrighted scriptures on the newsgroup and the World Wide Web, and pressed for tighter restrictions on copyrights in general. The Church supported the controversial Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. The even more controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act was also strongly promoted by the Church and some of its provisions (notably the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act) were heavily influenced by Church litigation against US Internet service providers over copyrighted Scientology materials that had been posted or uploaded through their servers.

Beginning in the middle of 1996 and for several years after, the newsgroup was attacked by anonymous parties using a tactic dubbed "sporgery" by some, in the form of hundreds of thousands of forged spam messages posted on the group. Although the Church neither confirmed nor denied its involvement with the spam, some investigators claimed that some spam had been traced to Church members.

Celebrity practitioners

The Church of Scientology has concertedly attempted to convert artists and entertainers — they have special recruitment facilities for public figures designated Celebrity Centres. They can be found in Hollywood, New York, Nashville, Las Vegas, London, Paris, and Vienna, though Hollywood is the largest and most important. Scientologists give this description:

It should be noted that these sites are not celebrity exclusive. They offer Scientology courses to non-celebrites and their courses start at the most basic beginner levels. While a the Celebrity Center, or simply CC as most Scientologists refer to it, the odds of running into a celebrity are good but it is mostly full of non-famous people.

Publicity has been generated by Scientologists in the entertainment industry such as John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Beck Hansen, Josh Pettersen, Chick Corea (pianist), Isaac Hayes, Jason Lee, Doug E. Fresh (old school hip hop artist), Tom Cruise, and Cruise's converted fiancée Katie Holmes. Cruise became known as an outspoken Scientologist in 2005, publicly criticizing Brooke Shields on national television for her use of anti-depressants in recovering from postpartum depression.

On June 24, 2005, Cruise spoke to Today Show host Matt Lauer on the supposed dangers of psychiatry and antidepressants during a promotional interview for his film War of the Worlds [28]. His intent may have backfired as late night comedians and morning radio programs frequently commented about Cruise's passionate frustration at Lauer's perceived lack of knowledge and respect for the topic's severity and mocked him as a radical celebrity. Despite the public backlash received, Cruise certainly rallied the faithful and exposed Scientology in a way that would have been difficult to attain otherwise. Katie Couric later interviewed two psychologists as to the validity of Tom Cruise’s statements. One agreed that it is still unknown if drugs can really correct chemical imbalances while the other stated that antidepressants may be over-prescribed.

Critics say the attention and care given to celebrity practitioners is vastly different from that of noncelebrity practitioners because the Church of Scientology uses the celebrities for advertisement, and thus, that the two experiences of Scientology are vastly different. [29] [30] Diana Canova, who experienced Scientology both before and during her period of TV stardom, expressed it in a September 1993 interview: "When I started, I wasn't in television yet. I was a nobody - I'd done some TV, but I was not one of the elite, not by a long shot - until I did Soap. Then it became…I mean, you really are treated like royalty." [31]


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Then it became…I mean, you really are treated like royalty." [31]. Many followed, and as of 2005, the related titles are:. I was a nobody - I'd done some TV, but I was not one of the elite, not by a long shot - until I did Soap. After that, he was given his own series. [29] [30] Diana Canova, who experienced Scientology both before and during her period of TV stardom, expressed it in a September 1993 interview: "When I started, I wasn't in television yet. Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15. Critics say the attention and care given to celebrity practitioners is vastly different from that of noncelebrity practitioners because the Church of Scientology uses the celebrities for advertisement, and thus, that the two experiences of Scientology are vastly different. James, who is best known for his stint in the WWF as "Road Dogg".

One agreed that it is still unknown if drugs can really correct chemical imbalances while the other stated that antidepressants may be over-prescribed. He was played by a wrestler known as Brad Armstrong (who had previously been known as "The Candyman"), the son of the legendary wrestler, "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, and brother of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling wrestler, B.G. Katie Couric later interviewed two psychologists as to the validity of Tom Cruise’s statements. Marvel got the character squashed. Despite the public backlash received, Cruise certainly rallied the faithful and exposed Scientology in a way that would have been difficult to attain otherwise. He used a web gun to shoot something like silly string during his entrances. His intent may have backfired as late night comedians and morning radio programs frequently commented about Cruise's passionate frustration at Lauer's perceived lack of knowledge and respect for the topic's severity and mocked him as a radical celebrity. In the early to mid-1990s, the wrestling organization then owned by Ted Turner, World Championship Wrestling featured a wrestler known as "Arachnaman" who wore a costume like Spider-Man's except rather than being blue and red, it was yellow and purple.

On June 24, 2005, Cruise spoke to Today Show host Matt Lauer on the supposed dangers of psychiatry and antidepressants during a promotional interview for his film War of the Worlds [28]. See [3]. Cruise became known as an outspoken Scientologist in 2005, publicly criticizing Brooke Shields on national television for her use of anti-depressants in recovering from postpartum depression. In the political sphere, David Chick used a Spider-Man outfit to obtain publicity for fathers' rights. Fresh (old school hip hop artist), Tom Cruise, and Cruise's converted fiancée Katie Holmes. children dressed up as Spider-Man, making it the year's most popular costume. Publicity has been generated by Scientologists in the entertainment industry such as John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Beck Hansen, Josh Pettersen, Chick Corea (pianist), Isaac Hayes, Jason Lee, Doug E. On Halloween 2004, an estimated 2.15 million U.S.

While a the Celebrity Center, or simply CC as most Scientologists refer to it, the odds of running into a celebrity are good but it is mostly full of non-famous people. It is a parody of the Billy Joel song "Piano Man", and recounts the events of the film. They offer Scientology courses to non-celebrites and their courses start at the most basic beginner levels. The 2003 "Weird Al" Yankovic album Poodle Hat has a track entitled "Ode to a Superhero". It should be noted that these sites are not celebrity exclusive. For other versions, see: Spider-Man (1960s animation). Scientologists give this description:. The 2002 movie features Jayce Bartok as a subway performer singing the classic song.

They can be found in Hollywood, New York, Nashville, Las Vegas, London, Paris, and Vienna, though Hollywood is the largest and most important. The catchy original 1960s Spider-Man cartoon theme song has been covered and reinterpreted by numerous musical acts, including The Ramones, Moxy Fruvous (often miscredited as They Might Be Giants), and Tenacious D. The Church of Scientology has concertedly attempted to convert artists and entertainers — they have special recruitment facilities for public figures designated Celebrity Centres. Spider-Man imitators in real life include:. Although the Church neither confirmed nor denied its involvement with the spam, some investigators claimed that some spam had been traced to Church members. Spider-Man also appears as a boss in the video game Revenge of Shinobi. Beginning in the middle of 1996 and for several years after, the newsgroup was attacked by anonymous parties using a tactic dubbed "sporgery" by some, in the form of hundreds of thousands of forged spam messages posted on the group. As a popular franchise character, many games starring Spider-Man, based on both the comics and the movies, have been released for different platforms.

The even more controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act was also strongly promoted by the Church and some of its provisions (notably the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act) were heavily influenced by Church litigation against US Internet service providers over copyrighted Scientology materials that had been posted or uploaded through their servers. Main article: Spider-Man (games). The Church supported the controversial Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. In 2002, the company 2MA produced the first live-action Spider-Man stunt show, staged in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Church also began filing lawsuits against those who posted copies of its copyrighted scriptures on the newsgroup and the World Wide Web, and pressed for tighter restrictions on copyrights in general.
. However, the issuance of the message led to a great deal of public criticism by free-speech advocates. There were also the "Spidey Super Stories" segments on the PBS educational series The Electric Company, which featured a Spider-Man that did not speak out loud but instead used thought balloons.

In practice, this rmgroup message had little effect, since most Usenet servers are configured to disregard such messages when applied to groups that receive substantial traffic, and newgroup messages were quickly issued to recreate the group on those servers that did not do so. Spider-Man has been adapted to television numerous times, through a short-lived live-action television series and several animated cartoon series. In January 1995, Church lawyer Helena Kobrin attempted to shut down the Usenet discussion group alt.religion.scientology by sending a control message instructing Usenet servers to delete the group on the grounds that. These include:. Critics claim the organization's true motive is an attempt to suppress free speech and legitimate criticism. Other characters are spin-offs and exist in alternate versions of the Marvel Universe. The organization states that it is taking actions to prevent distribution of copyrighted Scientology documents and publications online by people whom it has called "copyright terrorists". Four of these actually exist in the Marvel Universe:.

Scientology leaders have undertaken extensive operations on the Internet to deal with growing allegations of fraud and exposure of unscrupulousness within Scientology. In the comics, others have used the Spider-Man identity. [26]. Like Spider-Man himself, a large percentage of these villains have their origins based in storylines featuring scientific accidents or the misuse of scientific technology. [25] Nevertheless, this position is still defended and promoted by Scientologists. His most famous enemies include the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Venom. On top of that there is evidence Scientology adherents destroyed scientific data in a lengthy campaign to discredit research. Spider-Man has one of the best-known rogues galleries (list of enemies) in comics.

[24] Their position has attracted considerable criticism from psychiatrists, physicians, and mental health patients and advocates who cite numerous scientific studies showing benefit from psychiatry. Unfortunately, Spider-Man had never learned to drive a car, and crashed the car into the Hudson River soon after receiving it. Celebrity Scientologists, notably Tom Cruise, have been extremely vocal in attacking the use of psychiatric medication. In addition, the Human Torch once helped Spider-Man build a car called the Spider-Mobile which had a paint job and modifications that followed his spider motif. In a 1982 bulletin entitled "Pain and Sex", Hubbard declares that "pain and sex were the INVENTED TOOLS of degradation", having been devised eons ago by psychiatrists "who have been on the [time] track a long time and are the sole cause of decline in this universe." (Hubbard, HCO Bulletin of August 26, 1982). He typically uses it not only for a light source, but as a way of unnerving opponents and to call attention. He cast them in the role of assisting Xenu's genocide of 75 million years ago. Finally, the belt contains a strong light called a Spider Signal that creates an image of his mask when activated.

Around the same time, Hubbard decided that psychiatrists were an ancient evil that had been a problem for billions of years. The camera also has an automatic shutter mechanism linked to an internal motion detector so it will take a picture whenever Spider-Man moves in front of the camera lens. In 1966, Hubbard declared war on psychiatry, telling Scientologists "We want at least one bad mark on every psychiatrist in England, a murder, an assault, or a rape or more than one." He committed the Church to eradicating psychiatry in 1969, announcing "Our war has been forced to become 'To take over absolutely the field of mental healing on this planet in all forms.'" [23] Not coincidentally, the Church founded the Citizens Commission on Human Rights that same year as its primary vehicle for attacking psychiatry. It also carries his camera, which has an extended rear metal plate that allows him to use his web to position it without interfering with its functions. Because of this critique Hubbard came to believe psychiatrists were behind a worldwide conspiracy to attack Scientology and create a "world government" run by psychiatrists on behalf of Soviet Russia:. Spider-Man keeps his regular field equipment in a specially designed utility belt that contains his web fluid cartridges and his tracers. Additionally, after Hubbard's book on Dianetics was published, in which he tried to present a new form of psychotherapy, the American Psychological Association advised its members against using Hubbard's techniques with their patients until its effectiveness could be proven. However, he eventually learned that he could tune the tracer signal frequency to his own spider-sense for more convenient use, but the receiver is still used as a back-up and long-range measure.

Scientology's opposition to psychiatry has also undoubtedly been influenced by the fact that a number of psychiatrists have strongly spoken out against the Church, resulting in pressure from the media and governments. Spider-Man originally used a small receiver device to follow the tracers. However, for all these statements, the Church has failed to present any evidence supporting this view of psychiatry. While he originally threw his tracers at a target in the hopes that at least one hits, he later developed a wrist launcher which ejects tracers above the wrist while the web is fired from below to allow for more precise and reliable applications of the tracers. Our files are full of evidence on them." [16] The Church claims that psychiatry was responsible for World War I [17], the rise of Hitler and Stalin [18], the decline in education standards in the United States [19], the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo [20], and even the September 11th attacks [21]. The outer casing is shaped like a spider and is designed to cling to a target without attracting attention. He was also convinced psychiatrists were themselves deeply unethical individuals, committing "extortion, mayhem and murder. Spider-Man has also developed small electronic "spider-tracers" which allow him to track objects or individuals.

He regarded psychiatrists as denying human spirituality and peddling fake cures. Spider-Man is now able to produce webbing without the aid of his web-shooters. Furthermore, it is evident much of his criticism is based upon old and flawed information regarding psychiatry [15]. The transformation, however, seemed to give Spider-Man organic web glands in his wrists. Although there are many questions remaining, the statements by Hubbard deny that psychiatry through the scientific method has shown some psychiatric disorders are related to anatomical and chemical cerebral anomalies. The end of the situation saw the Queen presumably dead and Spider-Man reverting back to human form. Ron Hubbard was bitterly critical of psychiatry's citation of physical causes for mental disorders, such as chemical imbalances in the brain. During this encounter, the Queen transformed Spider-Man into a human-sized spider.

L. Recently, Spider-Man and Captain America crossed paths with a villain called the Queen. From the Church of Scientology FAQ on Psychiatry:. In some versions of the character (such as in the popular movie series), the character generates webs organically from his own altered spider-like biology, instead of mechanical web shooters. In Hubbard's Mission Earth series, various characters praise and criticize these methods, and the antagonists in his novel Battlefield Earth are called Psychlos, a similar allusion. The web-shooters can also be used to expel other liquids, using interchangeable cartridges, but are seldom used to do this. This theme appears in some of Hubbard's literary works. In addition, Parker can modify the fluid formulation to suit particular specialized needs when called for (this explains why the webbing sometimes conducts electricity, but can also be used as an insulator).

Scientology is publicly and vehemently opposed to psychiatry and psychology. The substance is formulated to dissolve after one hour which is generally sufficient time for Spider-Man's needs while ensuring the webs he makes do not cause undue litter. Commissioner Of Pay-roll Tax [13]) nevertheless the government of Victoria, due to certain legal technicalities, could not deny the Church the right to operate in Victoria under the legal status of "religion". However, the default meshed spray generally allows for sufficient strength while being more versatile in its use and easier to remove when desired. They claim that in the course of litigation between the Church and the government of Victoria, even though the government of the state found that the Church practiced charlatanism, (Church of the New Faith v. In addition, when Spider-Man desires it, he can fire the web fluid as a straight liquid when he needs to use the substance's maximum adhesive strength. In Australia, critics point to a certain passage in a 1982 ruling by the High Court of Australia. He can also form crude objects with a heavy application.

Eleven high-ranking Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife Mary Sue Hubbard, served time in federal prison for their involvement in this infiltration. He can change the setting to a wide spray to ensnare criminals, and to form protective shields or nets. Another source of controversy was Scientology's infiltration of the United States Internal Revenue Service in what Scientology termed "Operation Snow White". Typical uses of his webs include creating long swing lines which he uses to travel through the chasms between the Manhattan high-rises. To date, such a suit is not known to have been filed. The substance dries almost immediately into a strong material that can support very heavy loads: into the one-ton range. Judge Silverman concurred, [12] saying:. The default setting has the adhesive threaded through a special mesh to take on a spider web like design.

On January 29, 2002 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the IRS's opposition. The placement of the trigger and the finger pressure needed to activate it yield Spider-Man's distinctive hand gesture, with the two outer fingers extended, and the two inner fingers on the palm. 00-70753, attempted to obtain the same deduction for their payments to a Jewish school. The trigger rests high in the palm and requires a double tapping from the middle and ring fingers to activate, so Peter can't accidentally fire the shooter if he makes a fist or his hand hits the trigger. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL No. They are wrist mounted devices that fire a fibrous adhesive very similar to the material spiders use to construct webs. The Sklars, in the case MICHAEL SKLAR; MARLA SKLAR v. Spider-Man's web-shooters are one of the character's most distinguishing traits.

[10] Six levels of indents down in the eventually leaked "closing agreement", [11] the IRS is contractually required to discriminate in their treatment of Scientology to the exclusion of all other groups:. For example, he donned a padded suit to battle Electro, and used a very short-lived armored suit in Web of Spider-Man #100. Many critics assert that, in order to obtain its tax-exempt status in the United States, Scientologists paid private investigators to obtain compromising material on the IRS commissioner and blackmailed the IRS into submission, NYT article costing taxpayers 1-2 billion dollars. Every so often he will concoct a special armor or web fluid for a specific threat. [9]. Although he is usually of limited financial means, Spider-Man has developed personal equipment that plays an important role in his superhero career. The organization cites numerous scholarly sources supporting its position, many of which can be found on a website the Church has established for this purpose. In comics, the activation of the spider-sense is often shown by wavy lines emanating from Peter's head, with his mask occasionally being half-drawn when he is out of costume as an additional cue.

The Church pursues an extensive public relations campaign arguing Scientology is a bona fide religion. This ability is like a spider's, as spiders can see all around them. This last criticism is referenced, among other places, in a May 1980 Reader's Digest article, which quotes Hubbard, "If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.". Spider-Man has honed this sense to allow him to have 360 vision which ties in with the mystical totemistic side of his powers. The ongoing controversies involving the Church and its critics include:. The phrase "My spider-sense is tingling" has since become an often parodied catchphrase in American pop culture. The overall attitude in the Scientology community has partially shifted to spreading Scientology through direct application to communities, rather than combating those who attempt to stop or belittle it. Spider-Man approached the mannequin, believing his spider-sense to be warning him about a long-known enemy, learning only too late that it was actually warning him of the explosives as they went off almost in his face.

Since that time, many Scientologists have adopted a more relaxed view toward minor criticism. Octopus. Also, the number of legal battles in which the Church has engaged seems to have peaked in the early-to-mid-1990s, and has been declining since then. In one issue of "What if...?", the Punisher successfully kills Spider-Man by hiding bombs in a mannequin made to look like Dr. However, a notable number of countries around the world have apparently embraced Scientology, including Italy, Spain and Thailand. The fact that it is nonspecific has also been used directly against Spider-Man at times. The many legal battles fought by the Church of Scientology since its inception have given it a reputation as an extremely litigious organization, characterized by forcing litigants to enter into a lengthy and costly legal process using a number of highly trained lawyers, expert at prolonging cases. The ability to avoid Parker's spider-sense gives some supervillains an edge that Spider-Man often has trouble countering.

[7]. Ben Reilly did not suffer from this problem as he never bonded with the symbiote. These accusations continue to the present day, bolstered by numerous accounts from Hubbard's fellow science-fiction authors that on various occasions he stated that the way to get rich was to start a religion. For instance if Peter were to slap or punch himself his spider-sense would not perceive the act as a threat and would not activate. Hubbard was accused of adopting a religious façade for Scientology to allow the organization to maintain tax-exempt status and to avoid prosecution for false medical claims. The spider-sense recognizes both as a part of Parker's physical body. The religious bona fides of Scientology have been repeatedly questioned. This is believed to have been caused by the Venom symbiote's bonding with Peter Parker.

Scientology has also been the focus of criticism by anti-cult campaigners and has aroused controversy for its high-profile campaigns against psychiatry and psychiatric medication. Additionally, the alien symbiote Venom and its offspring Carnage are not recognized by the spider-sense. [6]. For instance, the Green Goblin once secretly attacked him with a gas that temporarily suppressed this perceptive ability, allowing the supervillain to shadow him and learn his secret identity. In Belgium, the minister of justice refused Scientology as a candidate for the status of recognized religion. Although his spider-sense has saved his life innumerable times, Spider-Man has learned the hard way that it can be beaten. The church has been subjected to considerable pressure from the state in Russia. When combined with his superhuman reflexes and agility, this makes him an extremely difficult target to shoot in combat and formidable in close quarters.

The United Kingdom government does not recognize Scientology as a bona fide religion. Spider-Man also uses the spider-sense as a means to time his evasive maneuvers to the point where he can avoid multiple gunshots or machine gun fire. The case is pending. The spider-sense not only alerts Spider-Man to threats to his physical safety, but also warns him to threats to his privacy such as being observed while changing identities. Scientologists in August of 2005 filed complaints with the Human Rights court of the European Union in an effort to force the German government to put an end to discrimintory practices. While it cannot tell him of the exact nature of the threat, it is vaguely directional and Spider-Man can judge the severity of the threat by the intensity of the tingling. In several court cases Scientology lost filed complaints against continued surveillance because the court holds the opinion that Scientology still pursues anticonstituitional activities. A form of clairvoyance or sixth sense, it unconsciously activates and alerts him to any threat to himself, manifesting as a tingling at the back of his skull.

Two German states and the political party, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) have passed rules or regulations limiting the particpation of Scientologists in politics, business and public life. Spider-Man's most subtle power is his spider-sense. No criminal or civil charges have been brought as a result of this surveillance. In the recent films, he maintains his superb intellect with a mastery of physics and a degree from Columbia University. Fifteen of the sixteen German states, positing that Scientology had potentially anti-democratic tendencies, have to a greater or lesser degree and for varying periods subjected Scientology and Scientologists to state surveillance since the early 1970's. In the comics, he has a facility for chemistry and physics, and later pursues a graduate degree in biochemistry from Empire State University. In Germany, for instance, Scientology is not considered a religion by the government, but a commercial business. Apart from his physical abilities, Peter has prodigious aptitude in the physical sciences.

Other countries, notably in Europe, have regarded Scientology as a potentially dangerous cult and have significantly restricted its activities at various times, or at least have not considered local branches of the Church of Scientology to meet the legal criteria for being considered religion-supporting organizations. The full extent of the change has not yet been revealed - it may turn out to be even more profound. Some European governments (including Germany) do not consider the Church to be a bona fide religious organization, but instead a commercial enterprise or totalitarian cult. He is also much faster. Applications for charity status in the UK and Canada were rejected in 1999. His spider-sense has improved dramatically - he can now see in the dark (or very low-light) and sense vibrations transmitted over his web lines. In the United States, the church obtained "public charity" status (IRS Code 501(c)(3)) and the associated preferential tax treatment after extended litigation. He now has stingers that can protrude from his wrists in periods of stress.

In Canada the Church of Scientology is legal, but has the unique distinction of being criminally convicted as a corporation on two counts of breach of the public trust (for an organized conspiracy to infiltrate government offices) following a trial by jury. He also gained a number of additional abilities. Scientology is technically considered a religion in the United States and Australia, and thus enjoys and regularly cites the constitutional protections afforded in both nations to religious practice (First Amendment to the United States Constitution; Australian Constitution, s 116). Unfortunately, this seems to have been a one-time occurrence - he does not have the power to heal himself (as, for example, Wolverine does). Different countries have taken markedly different approaches to Scientology. Most dramatically, his body had regenerated all damaged tissue, including an eye he had lost in a battle with Morlun. The Church has come into conflict with the governments and police forces of several countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany) numerous times over the years, though supporters note that many major world religions have found themselves in conflict with civil government in their early years. When he finally experienced this period of dormancy, in the Spider-Man: The Other storyline, Spider-Man emerged with substantial changes.

Of the many new religious movements to appear during the 20th century, Scientology has from its inception been the most controversial. The symptoms manifested themselves because Parker was simply too stubborn to allow himself to hibernate; he finally did so as a result of a near-death experience. Breakaway groups avoid the name "Scientology" so as to keep from being sued, instead referring to themselves collectively as the Free Zone. Spider-Man's recent intermittent black outs and loss of superpowers were the result of the involuntary attempt of his body to enter this dormant state. The Church takes an extremely hard line on breakaway groups, labeling them "apostates" (or "squirrels" in Scientology jargon) and often subjecting them to considerable legal and social pressure. It was revealed in the story arc "Evolve or Die" that Spider-Man enters a state of dormancy and sheds his skin and outer tissues, just like an actual Spider, at least once in his life time. Ron Hubbard's principles or otherwise become overly domineering. His myopia was corrected as a result of the spider bite.

Such groups are invariably breakaways from the original Church, and usually argue that it has corrupted L. He can also recover from poisons, but he is not immune to natural diseases - he has once nearly lost a confrontation with Rhino because of a bad cold. Although "Scientology" is most often used as shorthand for the Church of Scientology, a number of groups practice Scientology and Dianetics outside of the official Church. His recovery time from injury is somewhat faster than that of an ordinary human, although not nearly as fast as those with true healing factors. This includes:. His bodily tissues are substantially more durable and resistant to impact or trauma than an ordinary human, making it more difficult to injure him, although he is certainly not invulnerable. Ron Hubbard's philosophies in all areas of life. This allows him to outmaneuver foes and to dodge automatic gunfire.

It forms the center of a complex worldwide network of corporations dedicated to the promotion of L. Another aspect of his physical prowess is his superhuman agility and amplified reflexes. Today's Church of Scientology was established in 1954. Now, according to the 2005 Spider-Man handbook, he can lift 15 tons (this is in part due to the transformation to a spider by the Queen in the Avengers Dissembled event) but has been known to lift more under duress, before he found the alien symbiote), and the muscles in his legs have developed to the point where he can jump the distance of several city blocks in a single bound, or multiple stories straight up. A Church of Scientology was first incorporated in Camden, New Jersey as a non-profit organization in 1953. He is super-strong, allowing him to lift objects many times his own body weight (Spider-Man says that he could barely lift a VW Beetle, which is about 800 kg. In a lecture given on July 19, 1962 entitled "The E-meter", Hubbard said:. This posited explanation became crucial in his fight against the villain Electro, who used his powers of electricity to nullify Spider-Man's "sticking power." However, at another time, it was implied that his "sticking power" was somehow based on his pores actually being the important element, and Spider-Man had been momentarily subdued using a gaseous fog that supposedly "plugged" his pores.

The word itself is a pairing of the Latin word scientia ("knowledge", "skill"), which comes from the verb scire ("to know"), and the Greek λογος lógos ("reason" or "inward thought" or "logic"). At one point in the comic series, it was suggested that his ability to adhere to surfaces was due to the fact that he could create a field of static electricity around his body. However, it is not clear to what extent Hubbard was aware of these earlier uses. While the exact nature of this has never been pinned down in comics (and various attempts to explain it have contradicted one another), in the live-action movies Peter is shown to have barbed hairs or bristles similar to those of real spiders which extend or retract through his skin. [5] Nordenholz's book is a study of consciousness, and its usage of the word is not greatly different from Hubbard's definition, "knowing how to know". It follows that he can grip an object with any part of his body with this talent. [4] In 1934, the Argentine-German writer Anastasius Nordenholz published a book using the word positively: Scientologie, Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und der Tauglichkeit des Wissens ("Scientology, Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge"). With this, he is able to support something many times his own weight while clinging to a hard vertical surface such as the side of a building.

Although today associated almost exclusively with Hubbard's work, it was originally coined by philologist Allen Upward in 1907 as a synonym for "pseudoscience". Spider-Man gained the ability to adhere to any smooth surface using any part of his body. The word scientology has a history of its own. Peter Parker became Spider-Man when he was bitten by an irradiated spider, causing a variety of changes in his body which gave him his superpowers. [3] Scientology also reflects the influence of the Hindu concept of karma, as well as the less metaphysical theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and William Sargant. The suit is rumored to have a variety of optional extras as well. An influence that Hubbard did acknowledge is the system of General Semantics developed by Alfred Korzybski in the 1930s. Recently, it has been revealed by Marvel Comics that, after the events of The Other, Iron Man is giving Spidey a new costume with a red and gold color scheme.

Some investigators have noted similarities in Hubbard's writings to the doctrines of Crowley,[2] though the Church of Scientology denies any such connection. His costume was altered as well, incorporating aspects of the black costume (large spider chest symbol, and square patches on the gloves) with his classic red-and-blue costume. Immediately prior to his first Dianetics publications, Hubbard was involved with occultist Jack Parsons in performing rites developed by Aleister Crowley. The House of M saga had Spider-Man become a famous celebrity (as Scarlet Witch used her reality warping powers to give Spider-Man the life he always wanted). Other ideas such as the origins and age of the Earth, the root of evil, and the nature of man make it impossible to hold literal beliefs in most other religions while being a Scientologist. He did however wear a non-living version of the black costume until the new occupant of the living costume, Venom, frightened Mary Jane so badly that she could no longer stand to see Peter in the non-living black costume. Whether this comes from Hubbards theories as presented in the highest levels of Scientology or is just the belief of some Scientologists to create a way for the religion to better mesh, no proof of the claim has ever been presented. Spider-Man rejected the symbiote after finding out it was alive and trying to merge with him.

Most notably is the concept of past lives which most western religions reject, although some Scientologists believe that Christianity at one time believed in reincarnation but the idea was taken out by the early Catholic Church. The costume turned out to be a living symbiotic creature, capable of generating its own webbing and improving most of Spider-Man's abilities. In addition to the clergy of the religions not getting along beliefs in Scientology as one progresses into higher levels become increasingly contradictory with other religion. He appeared in an almost all-black costume, with a large white spider emblem on the chest and back, and with built-in webshooters on the back of his hands. (Hubbard, Hymn of Asia, 1952). The most significant alteration to Spider-Man's costume came about in the mid-1980s, after his return from the Secret Wars. Based on an interpretation of Buddhist writings which described, among other things, a man from the west with hair like flames around his head who was said to be due to return some 2,500 years after the first Buddha, the red-haired Hubbard sometimes identified himself with Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. The gloves had web-shooters on the outside, and the web design on the boots and gloves was partially replaced with dark blue.

However, those who have done this (Buddhists, Christians, Communists and other fanatics) have dead ended or are dead ending." (Hubbard, HCOPL of January 21, 1965). Instead of a large red spider on his back, the web pattern and spider emblem were repeated there. Mainstream religions, in his view, had failed to realize their objectives: "It is all very well to idealize poverty and associate wisdom with begging bowls, or virtue with low estate. He placed more emphasis on the spider on the chest, making it large enough to cover the entire torso. Hubbard claimed that Islam was also the result of an extraterrestrial memory implant, called the Emanator, of which the Kaaba is supposedly an artifact. Several alterations occurred when Ben Reilly replaced Peter Parker in the role. Again, it should be emphasized that even if this teaching is genuine, only a minority of Scientology adherents have learned it. He is sometimes depicted with "under-arm webbing" connecting his arms to his torso.

Thus, critics claim, Hubbard makes clear his belief that advanced Scientologists are to identify Jesus and Christianity more as a force of evil than as a force for good. The mask has large white eyes rimmed with black that allow him to see but hide his eyes. Some critics have claimed that one of the highest levels, OT VIII, tells initiates that Jesus was a pederast (it is decidedly unclear whether the version of OT VIII in the Fishman Affidavit, where this claim originates, is genuine). There is a large red spider outline on his back, and a smaller black spider emblem on his chest. In some of the teachings Hubbard had intended only for this select group, he claimed that Jesus had never existed, but was implanted in humanity's collective memory by Xenu 75 million years ago, and that Christianity was an "entheta [evil] operation" mounted by beings called Targs (Hubbard, "Electropsychometric Scouting: Battle of the Universes", April 1952). From the waist up, the fabric is the red-and-black web pattern, except for his back, sides, and insides of his upper arms, which are dark blue. Critics claim that a select group of advanced practitioners eventually discovered that Hubbard had left little doubt in his writings and lectures about the dim view he took towards existing major religions. From the waist down, it is dark blue (or sometimes even black, depending on the colorist), except for mid-calf boots with a black web pattern on a red background.

As a sort of a confirmation of the Church's position that it is superior to other religions, in its application for tax exempt status in the United States, the Church of Scientology International states:. The standard costume is a form-fitting fabric covering his entire body. Hubbard himself cautioned against the unwise or improper use of powers in his book History of Man. Although the details and proportions have changed somewhat over the years, with a few notable exceptions, Spider-Man's costume has remained fairly consistent. Critics maintain that, within Scientology, "spiritual abilities" tends to be synonymous with "mystical powers" rather than with "inner peace". The last issue of "The Other" series revealed two of Spider-Man's new abilities including the ability to see in the dark and an ability to "feel" his environment as he can detect vibrations from his immediate surroundings due to his web and hairs on his arms. Scientology's claim of religious compatibility to entry-level Scientologists is soon modified by the additional teaching that the various levels of spiritual prowess which can be reached through Scientology are more advanced than those attainable in other religions. In a 2005 story arc spanning 12 parts, across several titles, Spider-Man finds himself cursed, killed, and eventually reborn in a metamorphic experience which "evolves" his powers, including the addition of new "stingers," as well as upgraded speed and spider-sense.

The Church of Scientology has also worked closely with other religious groups on community outreach projects and campaigns against perceived persecution by governments around the world. Thanks to Spider-Man's membership in the latest incarnation of the Marvel Universe superhero team the Avengers, Peter, Mary Jane and Aunt May were able to move into Tony Stark's Stark Tower. Many members of the Roman Catholic Church reject Scientology, because of the CoS's views on Jesus, and believe Scientology to be a form of agnosticism, which many Christians regard as a heresy. In 2004, an altercation with a former classmate turned superhuman, Charlie Weiderman, led to the destruction of both Peter's apartment and Aunt May's house. However, the Church of Scientology has clashed with other religious groups, including the Church of England, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church, all of which have at times criticized Scientology's activities and doctrines. Currently, Parker works as a science teacher for his old high school while still moonlighting as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle. The Church of Scientology has publicly stated:. The plan was a success, and Peter battled Morlun again, and aided by the impurity in his blood, defeated the villain, which led to Morlun's apparent death at the hands of his own lackey.

Scientology teaches that it is fully compatible with all existing major religions. After a fight between Peter and Morlun that spanned New York, wherein Morlun severely beat Peter—whose attacks had no effect on Morlun—Peter fell back onto his last plan: Morlun wanted only pure spider-blood, so Peter injected another dose of radiation into his bloodstream, attempting to 'poison' his powers. the Xenu incident). Morlun had come to New York for that reason: He feeds off the powers possessed by those connected to animal totems. On the other hand, Scientology literature does include many references to extraterrestrial past lives, and internal Scientology publications are often illustrated with pictures of spaceships and oblique references to catastrophic events that happened "75 million years ago" (e.g. Ezekiel suggested that the accident that gave Peter his abilities might not have been a fluke, and that he might have a deeper connection to a totemic spider spirit (not unlike DC's Animal Man, and his connection to "The Red"). Thus accusations and criticisms by critics of ordinary Scientologists based on the above tend to work against the intention of the critics, since it is not published in commonly available materials, and is not part of what the vast majority of ordinary Scientologists believe. Peter's life had begun to calm down in recent years, until a villain named Morlun, and an ally named Ezekiel (possessing the same powers as Peter) appeared.

Therefore, while knowledge of Xenu and Body Thetans is said to be crucial to the highest level church teachings, it cannot be regarded as a core belief of rank and file Scientologists. This was called "clone deterioration", and was the final proof that Ben Reilly was the clone, and Peter was the original. Although reliable statistics are not available, it is fair to say that most Scientologists are not at a sufficiently high level on "the bridge" to learn about Xenu. Reilly was killed saving Peter's life, and shortly thereafter, his body crumbled into ashes. These included memories of being "deceived into a love affair with a robot decked out as a beautiful blond-haired girl", being run over by a Martian bishop driving a steamroller which transformed him into an intergalactic walrus that perished after falling out of a flying saucer, after which he was "a very happy being who strayed to the planet Nostra 23,064,000,000 years ago". Norman Osborn (the original green goblin) was resurrected (in a controversial storyline itself) and revealed that he had manipulated the tests which indicated Reilly as the real Parker. For instance, Hubbard's 1958 book Have You Lived Before This Life documents past lives described by individual Scientologists during auditing sessions. For a brief stint, Ben Reilly was Spider-Man, and even defeated Venom singlehandedly.

Journalists and critics of Scientology counter that Xenu is part of a much wider Scientology belief in past lives on other planets, some of which has been public knowledge for decades. When Ben Reilly came to New York to see Aunt May, it was revealed that he was the true Peter Parker. Scientologists argue that published accounts of the Xenu story and other colorful teachings are presented out of context for the purpose of ridiculing their religion. Miles Warren (aka the Jackal). He is said to be still alive today. It was revealed that the clone had survived the first "clone saga", involving Dr. Xenu is allegedly imprisoned in a mountain by a force field powered by an eternal battery. In one of the most controversial stories of the 1990s, Marvel reintroduced a short-lived clone of Spider-Man, now calling himself Ben Reilly.

He then stacked hundreds of billions of these frozen victims around Earth's volcanoes 75 million years ago before blowing them up with hydrogen bombs and brainwashing them with a "three-D, super colossal motion picture" for 36 days, telling them lies of what they are and what the universe should be like and telling them that they are 3 different things: 'Jesus, God, and The Devil.' The traumatized thetans subsequently clustered around human bodies because they watched the motion picture together, making them think they are all the same thing, in effect acting as invisible spiritual parasites known as "body thetans" that can only be removed using advanced Scientology techniques. Ultimate Spider-Man. These space planes were said to have been copies of Douglas DC-8s, with the addition of rocket engines. Television. Among these advanced teachings, one episode that is revealed to those who reach OT level III has been widely remarked upon in the press: the story of Xenu, the galactic tyrant who first kidnapped certain individuals who were deemed "excess population" and loaded these individuals into space planes for transport to the site of extermination, the planet of Teegeeack (Earth). Comics. He also explained how to reverse the effects of such traumas. Peter Parker/Spider-Man has many love interests in his life:.

In the confidential OT levels, Hubbard describes a variety of traumas commonly experienced in past lives. Eventually, the two married, but the stresses of Parker's dual identity, combined with Mary Jane's tempestuous career, led to a separation, though the couple later reconciled. Because Scientology is a mystery religion, the more closely guarded and esoteric teachings imparted at these higher levels may not always be entirely consistent with its entry-level teachings. After years of single living, interspersed with several romantic relationships, including the cat burglar and sometime crimefighter Black Cat, Parker became serious with longtime girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson, a fashion model and actress when she returned after a lengthy absence with a newly found maturity and revealing her knowledge of Peter's secret identity since the beginning of his career. The highest level, OT VIII, is only disclosed at sea, on the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds. He then enrolled in the fictional Empire State University where he befriended Harry Osborn—the son of his archenemy the Green Goblin—and Gwen Stacy, with whom he would have a lengthy romance before the Goblin killed her. The most advanced of all are the eight Operating Thetan levels, which require the initiate to be thoroughly prepared. He continued working as a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle and living with his elderly and somewhat fragile Aunt May until he graduated from high school.

They have never been published by the Church, except for use in highly secure areas. However, as with many characters published for many years and handled by multiple creators, Spider-Man's history is convoluted. The contents of these courses are held in strict confidence within Scientology. As originally conceived by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Peter Parker was something of an Everyman character. The "Hidden Truth" about the nature of the universe is taught to only the most advanced Scientologists, those who have achieved the level "clear", in a series of courses known as the Advanced Levels. Shortly after the second film, the Spider-Man of the comics was captured by a supervillain named Queen and during this incident gained some "upgrades" to his powers, including not only new, organic webbing, but a spider-sense made more sensitive in ways yet to be disclosed. Scientology doctrine includes a wide variety of beliefs in extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in Earthly events, collectively described by Hubbard as "space opera". The first exception to this was the movie version of the story, in which his famous webbing emanates naturally from his wrists (a concept first used for the title character of Marvel's futuristic semi-spinoff Spider-Man 2099).

According to Hubbard, some of the past traumas may have been deliberately inflicted in the form of "implants" used by extraterrestrial dictatorships to brainwash and control people. The instincts he learned from the spider that bit him combined with his bent for chemistry, enabled him to concoct a webslinging device that he wore on his wrists. (For example, not everyone was a Roman, or Chinese, etc, although each was common enough). Oddly enough, his most notable ability, that of generating webs, was not originally a superpower. Not all things found have been experienced by all beings. His amazing abilities, combined with his natural intelligence and inclination towards science, have allowed him to emerge victorious against these odds on a great number of occasions. Hubbard stated that Scientology materials as described in books, tapes, and research notes include a record of everything that was found in the course of his research. Spider-Man has amassed a slew of major enemies over the years, most taking a particular interest in harming the hero, and some even targeting Peter Parker himself.

As a result, Hubbard's 30-year development of Scientology focused on streamlining of the process to address only key factors. This moral continues to serve as the major theme of Spider-Man's story. According to an early lecture of Hubbard's, it is, as a practical matter, both impossible and undesirable to recall each and every such event from such vast stretches of time. Although these problems have pushed him to the edge numerous times, he has always continued on as Spider-Man because of his strong belief that "with great power comes great responsibility", the immortal words which his Uncle Ben instilled in him when he was a youth. During that time, Hubbard explains, they have been exposed to a vast number of traumatic incidents, and have made a great many decisions that influence their present state. His relationships with his aunt, his co-workers, his best friends, and most importantly, his love interests, have always been hampered by his secret life as a masked super-hero. He extended this view further in Scientology, declaring that thetans have existed for tens of trillions of years. Frequently, his powers complicate his relationships (especially when he unknowingly gained the Captain Universe powers which made him irritable due to his advanced Spider-Sense, the mistakes he had made during his time as Captain Universe caused the world to hate him thus adding more pressure than he could handle), his responsibilities as a student (in the earlier stories) and his varied careers as a photographer for the Daily Bugle and as a teacher at his old high school.

In Dianetics, Hubbard proposed that the cause of "aberrations" in the human mind was an accumulation of pain and unconscious memories of traumatic incidents, some of which predated the life of the individual. Despite having amazing spider-like abilities, Spider-Man cannot solve his emotional and personal problems with his super powers. According to Scientology, the lower the person is on the tone scale, the more complex and convoluted his or her day-to-day problems tend to be, and the more care and judgement should be exercised regarding communication and interchange with the individual. Ironically, Parker has spent much of his life working, off-and-on, as a freelance photographer for Jameson, selling photographs of himself as Spider-Man. The tone scale is used by Scientologists in everyday life to evaluate people. Jonah Jameson, publisher of the Daily Bugle. The scale ranges from -40 or "Total Failure" to +40 or "Serenity of Beingness." Positions on the tone scale are usually designated by an emotion, but Hubbard also described many other things that can be indicated by the tone scale levels, such as aspects of an individual's health, sexual behavior, survival potential, or ability to deal with truth. He is often considered little more than a costumed menace himself, largely thanks to a smear campaign by J.

The tone scale is a characterization of human mood and behavior by various positions on a scale. Spider-Man consistently tries to do the right thing, but is viewed with suspicion by many authority figures. Scientologists utilize ARC as a central organizing principle in their lives, primarily based upon the belief that improving one aspect of the triangle increases the level of the other two. Realizing that stopping the thief when he had the chance would have prevented his uncle's murder, Spider-Man devoted himself to fighting injustice, driven by the realization that "with great power there must also come great responsibility.". Hubbard called this the "ARC Triangle". His legal guardian and beloved Uncle Ben was later killed by a thug that Peter had allowed to escape. Another basic tenet of Scientology is that there are three interrelated (and intrinsically spiritual) components that make up successful "livingness": affinity (emotional responses), reality (an agreement on what is real) and communication (the exchange of ideas). In current Spider-Man continuity, he produces his webs from organic spinnerets in his wrists and no longer requires the mechanical web shooters, most likely to bring character recognition inline with fans who mainly know him from his movie incarnation.

While such a claim would be actionable as extortion, blackmail or harassment within most legal jurisdictions, no such claim has to date been legally confirmed against Scientology based upon use or revelation of auditing records. In addition to his physical powers, Peter Parker successfully designed and utilized mechanical "web-shooters" of his own design to spin webs in a variety of ways. In some instances, former members have claimed the Church used information obtained in auditing sessions against them. These powers included the ability to cling to walls and ceilings, super-human strength, and an extra-sensory "Spider Sense". Auditing records are referred to within Scientology as "confessional formulary" and stored under lock and key when not being added to during auditing sessions. The spider bite gave Parker an array of spider-like powers. The Church maintains that its auditing records are kept confidential, after the manner of confession in Christian churches. When he was 15 years old, Parker attended a science exhibition where he was bitten by a spider which had been irradiated.

During the auditing process, the auditor may collect personal information from the person being audited in a manner similar to a psychotherapy session or confessional. (Note: In virtually all retellings of his origin, Peter's eyesight really was poor and somehow got fixed by the spider bite, but this is not the case in the original comic book series.). So, according to the Church, the psychotherapist treats mental health and the Church treats the spiritual being. When these glasses were broken in a schoolyard fight with Flash Thompson, he didn't bother to get new ones, since they were never really needed in the first place and only made him look awkward. Licensed psychotherapists have alleged that the Church's auditing sessions amount to mental health treatment without a license, but the Church vehemently disputes these allegations, and claims to have established in courts of law that its practice leads to spiritual relief. In addition, Aunt May made him wear non-prescription glasses to protect his eyes, since she was worried that his constant reading would have a negative effect on his eyesight. Indeed, an Australian report stated that auditing involved a kind of command hypnosis that could lead to potentially damaging delusional dissociative states. He was often the target of jokes by more popular fellow students like Flash Thompson, the high school's star athlete, who ironically would later become Spider-Man's biggest fan and one of Peter's best friends.

Scientologists have claimed benefits from auditing including improved IQ, improve memory, alleviated dyslexia and attention deficit problems, and improved relaxation; however, no scientific studies have verified these claims. The exceptionally bright Peter showed more interest in his studies, especially science, than in any kind of social life. The E-meter is used to help locate an area of concern. Over time he grew to be a lonely, timid teenager. they are forbidden from suggesting, interpreting, degrading or invalidating the preclear's answers. Though Peter was always loved by the aging couple, he was unpopular among those of his own age. Per Church policy, auditors are trained not to "evaluate for" their preclears, i.e. The infant Peter Parker was left in the care of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May (Richard's older brother Benjamin Parker and his wife May Reilly Parker), who lived in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York.

Auditing requires that the preclear be a willing and interested participant who understands the questions, and the process goes more smoothly when he or she understands what is going on. Malik found out about their plans and arranged a plane-crash that resulted in their deaths, although this retconned backstory was not known at the time of the creation of Spider Man's character. The auditor asks the preclear to respond to a list of questions which are designed for specific purposes and given to the preclear in a strictly regulated way. Their last assignment was the infiltration of the criminal organization of Albert Malik, the third Red Skull. The auditing process is intended to help the practitioner (referred to as a preclear or PC) to unburden himself of specific traumatic incidents, prior ethical transgressions and bad decisions, which are said to collectively restrict the preclear from achieving his goals and lead to the development of a "reactive mind". (a fictional secret agency). Most auditing uses an E-meter, a device developed to be easy to set up and to be easily interpreted in a way the user sees fit. Peter Benjamin Parker was born to Richard Parker and his wife Mary Fitzpatrick-Parker, both of whom were agents of the CIA and later of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The auditor follows an exact procedure toward rehabilitating the human spirit. The three comics were sold without the Comics Code approval, but met with such critical acclaim that the industry's self-censorship was undercut. The central practice of Scientology is "auditing" (from the Latin audire,"to listen"), which is one-on-one communication with a trained Scientology counselor or "auditor". Norman Osborn), Spider-Man vanquished Norman by simply showing him his sick son. For more information regarding these explanations, see Scientology - Outsider Explanations. Most notably, Harry Osborn started taking pills and became so ill that, when Spider-Man fought the Green Goblin (a.k.a. Many non-Scientologists and Critics have offered explanations of Scientology beliefs and practices. However, The Amazing Spider-Man #96–98 (May–July 1971) featured a story arc that showed the negative effects of drug abuse (a storyline conceived at the request of government drug-prevention authorities).

This freed state is called Operating Thetan, or OT for short. Previously, it was forbidden to depict illegal drugs, even negatively. According to the church, the ultimate goal is to get the soul (thetan) back to its native state of total freedom, thus gaining control over matter, energy, space, time, thoughts, form, and life. In 1971, Spider-Man was the first comic to challenge the rigid Comics Code. Exact methods of spiritual counseling are taught and practiced which are designed to enable this change. Although another issue of Amazing Fantasy was in production, he says, the title was cancelled to clear a space in the limited distribution schedule for another series. Scientology claims to offer an exact methodology to help a person achieve awareness of their spiritual existence and better effectiveness in the physical world. He speculated that Goodman's skepticism about the feature, and a possible attempt to revitalize Amazing Fantasy, led to Spider-Man appearing there.

Some central beliefs of Scientology:. Murray based this on the launch pattern of several Marvel characters at the time, including Thor (in Journey into Mystery), Ant-Man (in Tales to Astonish) and a solo Human Torch feature (in Strange Tales), as well as on the production numbers for individual stories. This is described as a passage along "the Bridge to Total Freedom", or simply "the Bridge," where each step of the Bridge promises a little more personal freedom in the area specified by the Bridge's definition. Will Murray in Comic Book Marketplace #44, suggested that Lee originally might have been considering Spider-Man's debut for the anthology Tales of Suspense rather than Amazing Fantasy. The steps lead to the more advanced strata of Scientology's more esoteric knowledge. Goodman called for a regular series for the character. For example, the bad effects of drugs should be addressed before other issues can be addressed. The story was published in issue #15, and months later, sales figures indicated that the cover story was unexpectedly popular.

Scientology practices are structured in a series of levels, because Hubbard believed that rehabilitation takes place on a step by step basis. When publisher Goodman was eventually presented with the concept, he was resistant to the unorthodox ideas of a teenage hero with a troubled personal life, but allowed the character to be used as a cover story for an anthology title, Amazing Fantasy, that was already scheduled to be canceled, so there was nothing to lose. [1] Scientology also covers topics such as ethics and morality, (The Way to Happiness), drug and chemical residues as they relate to spiritual wellbeing, the (Purification Rundown), communication, marriage, raising children, dealing with work-related problems, educational matters (study technology), and the very nature of life (The Dynamics). I did costume, web gimmick on wrist & spider signal. A chief difference between Dianetics and Scientology is that Dianetics focuses on rehabilitating an individual's mind, giving him full conscious recall of his experiences while Scientology is more concerned with rehabilitating the human spirit. GARY - Who originated Spider-Man?
STEVE - Stan Lee thought the name up. By the mid-1950s, Hubbard had relegated Dianetics to a sub-study of Scientology. Much earlier, in a rare contemporaneous account, Ditko specified his and Lee's contributions, in a mail interview with Gary Martin published in Comic Fan #2 (Summer 1965), and reprinted at the defunct but cached site Excerpt:.

Scientology followed on the heels of Dianetics, an earlier system of self-improvement techniques laid out by Hubbard in his 1950 book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Ditko's recollections in Comic Book Artist #3 (Winter 1999) were similar. Most of the basic principles of the church were set out during the 1950s and 1960s. [1]. Scientology's doctrines were established by Hubbard over a period of about 34 years, beginning in 1952 and continuing until his death in January 1986. Ditko, on first seeing those pages, commented, 'This is Joe Simon's Fly.' Steve Ditko worked up his own version of the character's costume. . [Later,] Stan handed the pages over to Steve Ditko.

Scientology's principles have been characterized as pseudoscientific by many mainstream medical and psychotherapeutic practitioners, and the Church has frequently been characterized as a cult. Jack held onto the sketches and when Stan Lee asked Jack for new ideas, Jack brought the original Spider-Man pages to Marvel Comics. Critics — including government officials of certain countries — have characterized the Church as an unscrupulous commercial organization, and it is accused of harassing critics and exploiting members. I gave the Silver Spider sketches to Jack Kirby and I changed the name again, this time to The Fly. However, the Church of Scientology has attracted much controversy and criticism. In the late 1950s, Archie Comics asked me to create a new line of superheroes. Church spokespeople claim that Hubbard's teachings (called "technology" or "tech" in Scientology terminology) have freed them from addictions, depression, learning disabilities, mental illness and other problems. Elsewhere, Simon gave additional details:.

The Church presents itself as a religious non-profit organization dedicated to the development of the human spirit and providing counseling and rehabilitation programs. 2. The term Scientology is a trademark of the Religious Technology Center, which licenses its use and use of the copyrighted works of Hubbard to the Church of Scientology. Lastly, the Spider-Man logo was redone and a dashing hyphen added. In 1954 he established today's Church of Scientology which represents itself as an applied religious philosophy. .. He stated, "Scientology" would be "a study of knowledge." He coined the word from "-ology" (study of) and from "Scien" (from Latin scientia - knowledge). In this life, he became high-school student Peter Parker, who gets his spider powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider.

Ron Hubbard. and completely redesigned Spider-Man's costume and equipment. Scientology is a word first introduced in 1952 by author L. ignored Kirby's pages, tossed the character's magic ring, web-pistol and goggles .. [8]. He turned Spider-Man over to Steve Ditko, who .. Ron Hubbard's life, in particular accounts of Hubbard discussing his intent to start a religion for profit. ..

Differing accounts of L. Kirby had had him turn into...Captain America with cobwebs. Lobbying search engines such as Google and Yahoo to omit any webpages that are critical of Scientology from their search engines (and in Google's case, AdSense), or at least the first few search pages(while Google now features pages that are critical of Scientology, one will find that the front page for a search on "Scientology" in Yahoo yields no websites critical of Scientology). But when Kirby showed Lee the sample pages, it was Lee's turn to gripe, He had been expecting a skinny young kid who is transformed into a skinny young kid with spider powers. Use of high-pressure sales tactics to obtain money from members. Kirby...using parts of an old rejected superhero named Night Fighter...revamped the old Silver Spider script, including revisions suggested by Lee. Claims of brainwashing and mind control. Stan Lee said, 'Perfect, just what I want.' [After obtaining permission from publisher Martin Goodman,] Lee told Kirby to pencil-up an origin story.

Criminal activities by Scientologists, both those committed for personal gain (Reed Slatkin, others) and those committed on behalf of the Church and directed by Church officials (Operation Snow White, Operation Freakout, Fair Game, and others). Kirby laid out the story to Lee about the kid who finds a ring in a spiderweb, gets his powers from the ring, and goes forth to fight crime armed with The Silver Spider's old web-spinning pistol. Scientology's disconnection policy, in which members are encouraged to cut off all contact with friends or family members critical of the Church. Jack brought in the Spider-Man logo that I had loaned to him before we changed the name to The Silver Spider. Unexplained Deaths of Scientologists, most notably Lisa McPherson, allegedly due to mistreatment by other members. .. Scientologists claim that government files, such as those from the FBI, are loaded with forgeries and other false documents detrimental to Scientology, but have never substantiated this accusation. For instance, there was no Black Magic involved at all.

Some critics charge Scientology with being a cult of personality, with much emphasis placed on the alleged accomplishments of its founder. [T]here were a few holes in Jack's never-dependable memory. Scientology's harassment and litigious actions against its critics and enemies. Simon, in his 1990 autobiography, disputes this account:. The Gabriel Williams sexual abuse case. So the idea was already there when I talked to Stan".1. and a campaign directed to world leaders, as well as the general public, to implement the 1948 United Nations document "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights" (with particular emphasis on the religious freedom elements). But Joe had already moved on.

a publishing company, e-Republic, which publishes Government Technology and Converge magazines and coordinates the Center for Digital Government;. and I said Spider-Man would be a fine character to start with. a consulting firm based on Hubbard's management techniques (Sterling Management Systems);. I had a lot of faith in the superhero character that they could be brought back .. World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, or WISE, which licenses Hubbard's management techniques for use in businesses;. I believe I said this could become a thing called Spider-Man, see, a superhero character. a "moral values" campaign (The Way to Happiness);. Black Magic folded with Crestwood [Simon & Kirby's 1950s comics company] and we were left with the script.

projects to implement Hubbard's educational methods in schools (Applied Scholastics);. The Silver Spider was going into a magazine called Black Magic. activities to reform the field of mental health (Citizens Commission on Human Rights);. We had a strip called the 'The Silver Spider'. criminal rehab programs (Criminon);. It was the last thing Joe and I had discussed. drug treatment centers (Narconon);. "Spider-Man was discussed between Joe [Simon] and myself.

Thus, the tenets of Scientology are expected to be tested and seen to either be true, or not, by Scientology practitioners. Kirby stated in a 1982 interview in Will Eisner's Spirit Magazine that Lee had minimal involvement in the creation of the character:. No beliefs should be forced as "true" on anyone. Lee turned to artist Steve Ditko, who found the concept particularly appealing and developed a visual motif Lee found satisfactory. What is true is what is true for you. When discussing this in documentaries, he often comments, "I've told this story so many times, it may actually be true." Originally, Lee assigned Jack Kirby to illustrate the story, but after seeing sample pages, decided Kirby's style was "too 'larger than life'" for what he wanted. A person is basically good, but becomes "aberrated" by moments of pain and unconsciousness in his life. In the Spider-Man movie DVD extras, Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters and Marvels and elsewhere, Lee said he was inspired by seeing a fly climb up a wall.

The thetan has lived through many past lives and will continue to live beyond the death of the body. One influence Lee has described for the character's name is the non-superpowered pulp magazine crimefighter The Spider. A person is an immortal spiritual being (termed a thetan) who possesses a mind and a body. Speaking in the 1980s, Stan Lee said the idea for the series sprang out of the apparent increased teenage interest in the new Marvel comic books, and that he wanted to create a character that could cater to them. Various accounts of the character's creation have been given. .

Since his debut in the 1960s Silver Age of comic books, Peter Parker has grown from a shy high school student to a troubled college undergrad and graduate student, to a married man and a professional, but the core of the character has remained the same. Marvel has published multiple ongoing comic book series featuring the character, the flagship being The Amazing Spider-Man. Through the years, he has appeared in many media, including several animated series, a daily and Sunday comic strip, and two very successful films, with a third one debuting in 2007. Spider-Man is one of the most recognizable of all superheroes.

Since his creation, his popularity has led to many of the superheroes who predated him being reworked with more complex personas. Spider-Man expanded the dramatic potential of the fantasy and superhero subgenres by having a strong focus on a younger, more troubled character and his personal struggles. He has since become one of the world's most popular characters. He first appeared in the comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962), with a cover drawn by Jack Kirby and Ditko.

Spider-Man is a fictional character, the alter ego of Peter Parker and a Marvel Comics superhero created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko. Set outside the regular Marvel continuity. Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1— (Marvel Comics, December 2005—, sequel to Mary Jane and Mary Jane: Homecoming miniseries), written by Sean McKeever and illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #1- (Marvel Comics/Marvel Adventures; May 2005—; continuation of Marvel Age Spider-Man), written by Sean McKeever, set during Spider-Man's high school years but not within regular Marvel continuity.

Ultimate Spider-Man #1— (Marvel Comics/Ultimate Marvel; October 2000—), written by Bendis and penciled by Mark Bagley, set in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. Part of Marvel UK's "Collector Edition" line, reprinting US stories from 2–3 years earlier. Astonishing Spider-Man #1— (Panini Comics/Marvel UK; Unknown month 1994—). This book is not one of the official Spider-Man titles but includes him as part of the current team line-up.

3), written by Brian Michael Bendis and penciled by David Finch. New Avengers #1— (Marvel Comics; January 2005—, continuation of Avengers Vol. 3 #1— (Marvel Comics; March 2004—), showcasing Spider-Man in stories by new writing talent. Spider-Man Unlimited Vol.

Currently written by Reginald Hudlin and penciled by Pat Lee. Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1— (Marvel Comics/Marvel Knights; June 2004—). Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1— (Marvel Comics; December 2005—), written by Peter David and penciled by Mike Wieringo. Michael Straczynski, and penciled by Michael Deodato.

Currently written by J. 2 #1–58, #500— (Marvel Comics; March 1963–November 1998, January 1999–December 2003, January 2004—). The Amazing Spider-Man #1–441, Vol. Peter's father is named Richard Parker for the same reason.

Parker. The surname Parker was chosen to honor Richard Parker, a childhood friend of Stan Lee and father to famed personal injury attorney Larry H. In May 2003, he was paid approximately $18,000 to climb the 312-foot Lloyd's of London building to promote the premiere of the movie Spider-Man on the British television channel Sky Movies. He sometimes wears a Spider-Man suit during his climbs.

Alain Robert nicknamed Spiderman, rock and urban climber who has scaled more than 70 tall buildings using his hands and feet, without using additional devices. "Spider Dan" Goodwin, who in 1981 climbed the glass of the Chicago skyscrapers the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Center using suction cups. [2]. The studio has announced a theatrical release date of May 4, 2007.

Spider-Man 3 began production in 2005 under director Raimi. Spider-Man 2 was also the first motion picture released in the Sony Universal Media Disc format for the PlayStation Portable, being included for free with the first one million PSP systems released in the United States. The only higher single-day movie grosses were Shrek 2's $44.8 million in the first weekend of its May 2004 release and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith's $50 million on the first day of its May 2005 release. Its first-day gross ($40.5 million) surpassed its predecessor's $39.4 million record.

It premiered in more North American movie theaters (4,152) than any previous movie. Spider-Man 2 was 2004's second-most financially successful movie and 15th-most financially successful movie of all time. Spider-Man went on to become the sixth highest-grossing film in North American history and is ranked 11th worldwide with a total take of more than $821 million internationally. box offices, it was the highest-grossing movie of the year while also opening up at a record $114.8 million.

Earning more than $403 million at U.S. Although the film adaptation took a number of liberties with the character's history and powers, most notably giving him organic web-shooters rather than mechanical ones, it was essentially true to the character and was widely embraced by the viewing public. The film featured a number of impressive CGI effects used to bring Spider-Man to life. It was directed by Sam Raimi and stars actor Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker.

Spider-Man: On May 3, 2002, the feature film Spider-Man was released. Spider-Boy of the Amalgam Universe is a merged character of the Ben Reilly Spider-Man and Superboy after all characters from Marvel Comics and DC Comics were merged due to the war between the two universes. Spider-Woman in an alternate reality, "Exiles: Legacy", issues #20–22. Mary-Jane Watson a.k.a.

Pavitr Prabhakar in the Indian adaptation of Spider-Man, Spider-Man: India. Spider-Ham, a pig in a funny animal version of the Marvel Universe. Peter Porker a.k.a. Peter Parquagh in the 1602 miniseries.

Takuya Yamashiro (山城拓也), the Spider-Man of Spider-Man (tokusatsu). Yu Komori (小森ユウ Komori Yū) in Spider-Man: The Manga. Miguel O'Hara, the Spider-Man of Marvel 2099. Spider-Girl, the daughter of Peter Parker, set in an alternate reality.

May "Mayday" Parker a.k.a. Blood Spider was an evil version of Spider-Man created by the Taskmaster and the Red Skull. She later became Spider-Woman for a time. Jonah Jameson, who assumed the role with a padded costume when Parker temporarily quit.

Mattie Franklin, the niece of J. Kraven the Hunter donned Spider-Man's costume for a short time in Kraven's Last Hunt. Ben Reilly, a clone of Parker, who also fought crime as the Scarlet Spider. This effectively makes Kitty his crimefighting partner.

This issue reveals that they spend much of their time hunting criminals to fight. Issue 66 of Ultimate X-Men showed Kitty and Spidey on a date. [3]. Brian Michael Bendis, writer of Ultimate Spider-Man, plans to continue with Kitty as a supporting character in USM.

In Ultimate Spider-Man #87, Kitty and Peter are dating for the first time in the "real" comic. In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Spider-Man's love interest is Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat of the X-Men after breaking up with MJ. This made MJ jealous. Later in the series, he fell in love with Indy, a girl who works for Empire 1, a news channel.

In the MTV's Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Peter's love interest was still MJ. Lady Vermin, one of the Knights of Wundagore, has feelings for Spider-Man but he does not reciprocate. Naoko Yamada Jones who reminds Peter a lot of MJ. In the Spider-Man Unlimited animated series, Peter's Counter-Earth love interest was Dr.

Spider-Man also has feelings for the Black Cat and most fans think that she was a better love-interest for Spidey than MJ. Later in the series, Peter married MJ and found out she was a clone made by Miles Warren for Morris Bench/Hydro-Man. She then returned in the series without explanation. MJ was thrown into a portal created by the Green Goblin.

In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Peter's love interest was Mary Jane Watson. The relationship between Spider-Man and Black Cat was short lived after Spider-Man learned that Felicia Hardy was only interested in him as Spider-Man and not Peter Parker. Black Cat. Another love interest of Spider-Man was Felicia Hardy a.k.a.

Later Peter and MJ gave birth to another child, a boy named Ben who is most likely named after Peter's Uncle Ben or Ben Reilly, Peter's clone. In the MC2 continuity, Peter and Mary Jane gave birth to their daughter, May Parker (Spider-Girl) who is named after Peter's Aunt May. After many years of dating, Peter and MJ finally got married. Like Peter, MJ lives with her aunt.

She works as an actress and a model. Before Peter, Mary Jane has also dated Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn. After Gwen Stacy, Peter's next and most well known girlfriend was Mary Jane Watson, who is also currently Peter's wife. In the House of M storyline, Gwen is still alive and married to Peter with a baby son.

Many years later, Gabriel and Sarah decided to kill Spider-Man in an attempt to seek revenge. When the twins were older, Norman told them that Spider-Man killed their mother. Gwen told Norman that she wanted Peter to be the father of the twins which was another reason why Green Goblin killed her so that he can have the twins for himself. She later gave birth to twins, Gabriel and Sarah.

The consensual encounter resulted in a pregnancy that she then hid from Peter with a trip to Europe. In the Sins Past saga, it was explained that Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy—in a moment of weakness for both—had a romantic tryst. Many years later, the Green Goblin killed Gwen by throwing her off a bridge. Peter's first real girlfriend was Gwen Stacy.

Later, Betty Brant married Daily Bugle reporter, Ned Leeds. They dated for sometime but in the end broke up. Peter's next love interest was Daily Bugle's secretary, Betty Brant. Instead Liz married Peter's friend, Harry Osborn.

The first love-interest of Peter was Liz Allen though they never got together.

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