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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]. These campaigns have involved figures such as Pope John Paul, Dorismar, Los Tigres del Norte and Mana. 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. Conservationists in Mexico and the United States have launched "Don't Eat Sea Turtle" campaigns in order to reduce the urban black market trade in sea turtle products. [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. Estimates are as high as 35,000 turtles killed a year in Mexico and the same number in Nicaragua. 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. This is a pervasive problem throughout the world, but especially a concern in India, Indonesia and throughout the coastal nations of Latin America.

One agreed that it is still unknown if drugs can really correct chemical imbalances while the other stated that antidepressants may be over-prescribed. One of the biggest threats to sea turtles is the black market trade in eggs and meat. Katie Couric later interviewed two psychologists as to the validity of Tom Cruise’s statements. Special lighting ordinances may also be enforced to prevent lights from shining on the beach and confusing young hatchlings from thinking it is the moon or sun and crawling toward it, usually crossing a road. Despite the public backlash received, Cruise certainly rallied the faithful and exposed Scientology in a way that would have been difficult to attain otherwise. This is not the best thing to do, as many turtle species return to the beach on which they were born. 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 some areas, such as the East coast of Florida, after the adult turtles lay their eggs, they are dug up and relocated to special fenced nurseries where they can be protected from beach traffic.

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]. Since sea turtles return to the same locations to nest, these areas may be protected by special police. 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. Beach development is another very, very large area which has threatened sea turtles. Fresh (old school hip hop artist), Tom Cruise, and Cruise's converted fiancée Katie Holmes. Another danger comes from marine debris, especially from abandonded fishing nets in which they can become entangled. 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. Small and inexpensive changes to fishing techniques, such as slightly larger hooks and traps from which sea turtles can escape, can dramatically cut the mortality rate.

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. According to researchers at the 24th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Conservation and Biology, in Costa Rica the Pacific Leatherback has ten years before extinction if nothing is done to reverse these problems. They offer Scientology courses to non-celebrites and their courses start at the most basic beginner levels. Each year it is said that 40,000 turtles die from longlines alone. It should be noted that these sites are not celebrity exclusive. These days though their biggest threat comes from long-line fishing, and as bycatch in shrimp nets, as well as over development on nesting beaches. Scientologists give this description:. And coastal peoples have always gathered turtle eggs for consumption.

They can be found in Hollywood, New York, Nashville, Las Vegas, London, Paris, and Vienna, though Hollywood is the largest and most important. They used to be hunted on a large scale in the whaling days for their meat, fat and shells. The Church of Scientology has concertedly attempted to convert artists and entertainers — they have special recruitment facilities for public figures designated Celebrity Centres. The Flat back is considered Data Deficient due to lack of research. Although the Church neither confirmed nor denied its involvement with the spam, some investigators claimed that some spam had been traced to Church members. The Olive ridley, Loggerhead, and Green turtles are considered Endangered. 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. The Leatherback, Kemp's ridley, and Hawksbill turtles are listed as Critically Endangered.

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. Spotila's book "Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation"). The Church supported the controversial Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Sea turtles of all species are endangered (for an excellent reference see James R. 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. Only a very small proportion of them (at most 1 in 100) will be successful, as many predators are waiting to eat them. However, the issuance of the message led to a great deal of public criticism by free-speech advocates. When the eggs hatch, these baby turtles dig their way out and seek the ocean.

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. Incubation takes about 2 months. 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. Some of the eggs are unfertilized 'dummy eggs' and the rest contain young turtles. Critics claim the organization's true motive is an attempt to suppress free speech and legitimate criticism. They dig a hole with their hind flippers and lay from 100 to 150 eggs in it (depending on the species) before covering it up and returning to the ocean. 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". They make from four to seven nests per nesting season.

Scientology leaders have undertaken extensive operations on the Internet to deal with growing allegations of fraud and exposure of unscrupulousness within Scientology. This can take place every two to four years in maturity. [26]. After about 30 years of maturing an adult female sea turtle returns to the land to nest, usually on the same beach from which they hatched. [25] Nevertheless, this position is still defended and promoted by Scientologists. The numbers used to range in the thousands but these days due to the effects of extensive egg poaching and hunting in previous years the numbers are in the hundreds. On top of that there is evidence Scientology adherents destroyed scientific data in a lengthy campaign to discredit research. With the Kemp's ridley this occurs during the day and on only one beach in the entire world.

[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. The ridley turtles are especially peculiar because instead of nesting individually like the other species, they come ashore in one mass arrival known as an "arribada" (the arrival). Celebrity Scientologists, notably Tom Cruise, have been extremely vocal in attacking the use of psychiatric medication. The fact that most species return to nest at the locations they were born at seems to indicate an imprint of that location's magnetic features. 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). They are highly sensitive to the Earth's magnetic field and probably use it to navigate. He cast them in the role of assisting Xenu's genocide of 75 million years ago. Sea turtles have an extraordinary sense of time and location.

Around the same time, Hubbard decided that psychiatrists were an ancient evil that had been a problem for billions of years. The Leatherback is the only sea turtle that doesn't have a hard shell instead carrying a mosaic of bony plates beneath its leathery skin. 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. Different species are distinguished by varying anatomical aspects: for instance the prefrontal scales on the head, the number of and shape of scutes on the carapace, and the type of inframarginal scutes on the plastron. 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:. Most other species are smaller being two to four feet in length (0.5 to 1 m) and proportionally less wide. 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. The Leatherback is the largest, measuring six or seven feet (2 m) in length at maturity, and three to five feet (1 to 1.5 m) in width, weighing up to 1300 pounds (600 kg).

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. The Flatback turtle is found solely on the northern coast of Australia. However, for all these statements, the Church has failed to present any evidence supporting this view of psychiatry.
Sea turtles are found in all the world's oceans with the exception of the Arctic Ocean, and some species travel between oceans. 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]. There are seven surviving species of sea turtle, all endangered:. He was also convinced psychiatrists were themselves deeply unethical individuals, committing "extortion, mayhem and murder. Sea turtles are large, ocean-dwelling turtles.

He regarded psychiatrists as denying human spirituality and peddling fake cures. Family Protostegidae (extinct). Furthermore, it is evident much of his criticism is based upon old and flawed information regarding psychiatry [15]. Dermochelys coriacea (Leatherback Sea Turtle). 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. Genus Dermochelys

    . Ron Hubbard was bitterly critical of psychiatry's citation of physical causes for mental disorders, such as chemical imbalances in the brain. Family Dermochelyidae
      .

      L. Family Thalassemyidae (extinct). From the Church of Scientology FAQ on Psychiatry:. Family Toxochelyidae (extinct). 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. Natator depressus (Flatback Turtle) (Previously in Chelonia). This theme appears in some of Hubbard's literary works. Genus Natator

        .

        Scientology is publicly and vehemently opposed to psychiatry and psychology. Syllomus aegypticus (extinct). 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". Genus Syllomus

          . 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. Eretmochelys imbricata (Hawksbill Sea Turtle). In Australia, critics point to a certain passage in a 1982 ruling by the High Court of Australia. Genus Eretmochelys
            .

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

              . To date, such a suit is not known to have been filed. Subfamily Cheloniinae
                . Judge Silverman concurred, [12] saying:. Lepidochelys kempii (Kemp's Ridley).

                On January 29, 2002 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the IRS's opposition. Lepidochelys olivacea (Olive Ridley). 00-70753, attempted to obtain the same deduction for their payments to a Jewish school. Genus Lepidochelys

                  . COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL No. Caretta caretta (Loggerhead Sea Turtle). The Sklars, in the case MICHAEL SKLAR; MARLA SKLAR v. Caretta patriciae (extinct).

                  [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:. Genus Caretta

                    . 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. Subfamily Carettinae
                      . [9]. Family Cheloniidae
                        . 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.

                        The Church pursues an extensive public relations campaign arguing Scientology is a bona fide religion. 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 ongoing controversies involving the Church and its critics include:. 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.

                        Since that time, many Scientologists have adopted a more relaxed view toward minor criticism. 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. However, a notable number of countries around the world have apparently embraced Scientology, including Italy, Spain and Thailand. 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.

                        [7]. 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. 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 religious bona fides of Scientology have been repeatedly questioned.

                        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. [6]. In Belgium, the minister of justice refused Scientology as a candidate for the status of recognized religion. The church has been subjected to considerable pressure from the state in Russia.

                        The United Kingdom government does not recognize Scientology as a bona fide religion. The case is pending. 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. In several court cases Scientology lost filed complaints against continued surveillance because the court holds the opinion that Scientology still pursues anticonstituitional activities.

                        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. No criminal or civil charges have been brought as a result of this surveillance. 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 Germany, for instance, Scientology is not considered a religion by the government, but a commercial business.

                        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. 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. Applications for charity status in the UK and Canada were rejected in 1999. In the United States, the church obtained "public charity" status (IRS Code 501(c)(3)) and the associated preferential tax treatment after extended litigation.

                        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. 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). Different countries have taken markedly different approaches to Scientology. 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.

                        Of the many new religious movements to appear during the 20th century, Scientology has from its inception been the most controversial. Breakaway groups avoid the name "Scientology" so as to keep from being sued, instead referring to themselves collectively as the Free Zone. 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. Ron Hubbard's principles or otherwise become overly domineering.

                        Such groups are invariably breakaways from the original Church, and usually argue that it has corrupted L. 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. This includes:. Ron Hubbard's philosophies in all areas of life.

                        It forms the center of a complex worldwide network of corporations dedicated to the promotion of L. Today's Church of Scientology was established in 1954. A Church of Scientology was first incorporated in Camden, New Jersey as a non-profit organization in 1953. In a lecture given on July 19, 1962 entitled "The E-meter", Hubbard said:.

                        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"). However, it is not clear to what extent Hubbard was aware of these earlier uses. [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". [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").

                        Although today associated almost exclusively with Hubbard's work, it was originally coined by philologist Allen Upward in 1907 as a synonym for "pseudoscience". The word scientology has a history of its own. [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. An influence that Hubbard did acknowledge is the system of General Semantics developed by Alfred Korzybski in the 1930s.

                        Some investigators have noted similarities in Hubbard's writings to the doctrines of Crowley,[2] though the Church of Scientology denies any such connection. Immediately prior to his first Dianetics publications, Hubbard was involved with occultist Jack Parsons in performing rites developed by Aleister Crowley. 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. 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.

                        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. 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. (Hubbard, Hymn of Asia, 1952). 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.

                        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). 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. Hubbard claimed that Islam was also the result of an extraterrestrial memory implant, called the Emanator, of which the Kaaba is supposedly an artifact. Again, it should be emphasized that even if this teaching is genuine, only a minority of Scientology adherents have learned it.

                        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. 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). 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). 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.

                        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:. Hubbard himself cautioned against the unwise or improper use of powers in his book History of Man. Critics maintain that, within Scientology, "spiritual abilities" tends to be synonymous with "mystical powers" rather than with "inner peace". 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.

                        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. 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. 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. The Church of Scientology has publicly stated:.

                        Scientology teaches that it is fully compatible with all existing major religions. the Xenu incident). 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. 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.

                        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. 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. 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". For instance, Hubbard's 1958 book Have You Lived Before This Life documents past lives described by individual Scientologists during auditing sessions.

                        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. 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. He is said to be still alive today. Xenu is allegedly imprisoned in a mountain by a force field powered by an eternal battery.

                        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. These space planes were said to have been copies of Douglas DC-8s, with the addition of rocket engines. 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). He also explained how to reverse the effects of such traumas.

                        In the confidential OT levels, Hubbard describes a variety of traumas commonly experienced in past lives. 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. The highest level, OT VIII, is only disclosed at sea, on the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds. The most advanced of all are the eight Operating Thetan levels, which require the initiate to be thoroughly prepared.

                        They have never been published by the Church, except for use in highly secure areas. The contents of these courses are held in strict confidence within Scientology. 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. Scientology doctrine includes a wide variety of beliefs in extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in Earthly events, collectively described by Hubbard as "space opera".

                        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. (For example, not everyone was a Roman, or Chinese, etc, although each was common enough). Not all things found have been experienced by all beings. 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.

                        As a result, Hubbard's 30-year development of Scientology focused on streamlining of the process to address only key factors. 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. 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. He extended this view further in Scientology, declaring that thetans have existed for tens of trillions of years.

                        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. 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. The tone scale is used by Scientologists in everyday life to evaluate people. 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 a characterization of human mood and behavior by various positions on a scale. 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. Hubbard called this 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).

                        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 some instances, former members have claimed the Church used information obtained in auditing sessions against them. 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 Church maintains that its auditing records are kept confidential, after the manner of confession in Christian churches.

                        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. So, according to the Church, the psychotherapist treats mental health and the Church treats the spiritual being. 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. Indeed, an Australian report stated that auditing involved a kind of command hypnosis that could lead to potentially damaging delusional dissociative states.

                        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 E-meter is used to help locate an area of concern. they are forbidden from suggesting, interpreting, degrading or invalidating the preclear's answers. Per Church policy, auditors are trained not to "evaluate for" their preclears, i.e.

                        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. 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. 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". 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 auditor follows an exact procedure toward rehabilitating the human spirit. 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". For more information regarding these explanations, see Scientology - Outsider Explanations. Many non-Scientologists and Critics have offered explanations of Scientology beliefs and practices.

                        This freed state is called Operating Thetan, or OT for short. 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. Exact methods of spiritual counseling are taught and practiced which are designed to enable this change. Scientology claims to offer an exact methodology to help a person achieve awareness of their spiritual existence and better effectiveness in the physical world.

                        Some central beliefs of Scientology:. 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. The steps lead to the more advanced strata of Scientology's more esoteric knowledge. For example, the bad effects of drugs should be addressed before other issues can be addressed.

                        Scientology practices are structured in a series of levels, because Hubbard believed that rehabilitation takes place on a step by step basis. [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). 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. By the mid-1950s, Hubbard had relegated Dianetics to a sub-study of Scientology.

                        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. Most of the basic principles of the church were set out during the 1950s and 1960s. 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. .

                        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. 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. However, the Church of Scientology has attracted much controversy and criticism. 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.

                        The Church presents itself as a religious non-profit organization dedicated to the development of the human spirit and providing counseling and rehabilitation programs. 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. 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).

                        Ron Hubbard. Scientology is a word first introduced in 1952 by author L. [8]. Ron Hubbard's life, in particular accounts of Hubbard discussing his intent to start a religion for profit.

                        Differing accounts of L. 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). Use of high-pressure sales tactics to obtain money from members. Claims of brainwashing and mind control.

                        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). Scientology's disconnection policy, in which members are encouraged to cut off all contact with friends or family members critical of the Church. 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.

                        Some critics charge Scientology with being a cult of personality, with much emphasis placed on the alleged accomplishments of its founder. Scientology's harassment and litigious actions against its critics and enemies. The Gabriel Williams sexual abuse case. 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).

                        a publishing company, e-Republic, which publishes Government Technology and Converge magazines and coordinates the Center for Digital Government;. a consulting firm based on Hubbard's management techniques (Sterling Management Systems);. World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, or WISE, which licenses Hubbard's management techniques for use in businesses;. a "moral values" campaign (The Way to Happiness);.

                        projects to implement Hubbard's educational methods in schools (Applied Scholastics);. activities to reform the field of mental health (Citizens Commission on Human Rights);. criminal rehab programs (Criminon);. drug treatment centers (Narconon);.

                        Thus, the tenets of Scientology are expected to be tested and seen to either be true, or not, by Scientology practitioners. No beliefs should be forced as "true" on anyone. What is true is what is true for you. A person is basically good, but becomes "aberrated" by moments of pain and unconsciousness in his life.

                        The thetan has lived through many past lives and will continue to live beyond the death of the body. A person is an immortal spiritual being (termed a thetan) who possesses a mind and a body.

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