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World religions


About the Church of Scientology®
A religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard

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Note: This section discusses the Church of Scientology.

Ours is not an official Scientology site.
Other than these essays about Scientology (and many
dozens of sections on other religions in our web site),
we have no Scientology content.

If you want to read material that promotes Scientology,
please go to a Church of Scientology site.

If you want to read material that attacks that Church
please go to an anti-cult web site.

Otherwise, please stay a while, and read this material,
which we believe is accurate and balanced.

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The Scientology religion is an expanding new religion, founded by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. The word Scientology means the "study of knowledge or truth" and addresses the rehabilitation and salvation of the human spirit.

According to a Scientology web site:

"Today its more than 6,000 churches, missions, related organizations, groups and activities span the globe and minister the religion to more than eight million people in 159 countries in over 66 languages." 1

Additionally, Churches of Scientology support more than a thousand social betterment groups, which utilize L. Ron Hubbard's methods in the fields of education, drug and criminal rehabilitation, and moral rejuvenation.

The total number of Scientologists in the world is extremely difficult to estimate, for a variety of reasons. Estimates range from 8 million (as estimated by the Church itself) to 100,000 as estimated by skeptics.

Topics covered in this section:

bulletBasic information about Scientology Its symbols, history, beliefs and practices

bulletHow many Scientologists are there?
bulletAdditional information: Programs, important dates, books & magazines
bulletResolution of religious intolerance
bulletInternet/copyright conflicts
bulletHuman rights programs
bulletNews from the media between 2007-OCT and now

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Reference used:

  1. "Scientology®: A reference work presented by the Church of Scientology International," at: http://www.bonafidescientology.org/

Two recommended books:

James R. Lewis, "Scientology," Oxford University Press, 2009-MAR, 464 pages. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. List price is $35.00. Amazon.com sells it for $25.20 as of 2009-APR-13..

Product description (shared by Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble):

Scientology is arguably the most persistently controversial of all contemporary New Religious Movements. The Church of Scientology has been involved in battles over tax issues, a ten-year conflict with the Food and Drug Administration, extended turmoil with a number of European governments, and has even been subjected to FBI raids in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
Negative publicity, however, has not prevented the Church from experiencing remarkably steady growth. Official national census figures indicate that the number of Scientologists grew significantly in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia throughout the 1990s, and studies show that the Church gained 10,000 members in the United States during that decade. This has led Scientology to begin referring to itself as "The World's Fastest Growing Religion." But despite its highly public profile, recently enhanced by celebrity spokespersons like Tom Cruise and Isaac Hayes, little has been published about the Church, its history, theology, and mission.

The present volume brings together an international group of top scholars on New Religious Movements to offer an extensive and even-handed overview and analysis of all of these aspects of Scientology, including the controversies to which it continues to give rise. The book's six parts take a detailed look at the Church through its similarities to and differences from other religions, conflicts with various groups, overseas missions, and its theology, history, and sociology.

James R. Lewis has assembled an unusually comprehensive anthology, incorporating a wide range of different approaches. This volume is a welcome and long-overdue resource for scholars, students, and others interested in this controversial and little-understood religious movement.

book cover image Lawrence Wright, "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief," Vintage, 2013-NOV, 560 pages. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. Amazon.com sells it for: $19.05 plus shipping in Hardcover, $13.27 plus shipping in Paperback.

This book was honored as a National Book Award Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, A New York Times Notable Book, A Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New York magazine, SlateChicago Tribune, Huffington Post, NewsdayEntertainment Weekly, People, The WeekPublishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and a GoodReads Reader's Choice!

Amazon.com produce description:

"Scientology presents itself as a scientific approach to spiritual enlightenment, but its practices have long been shrouded in mystery. Now Lawrence Wright -- armed with his investigative talents, years of archival research, and more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists -- uncovers the inner workings of the church. We meet founder L. Ron Hubbard, the highly imaginative but mentally troubled science-fiction writer, and his tough, driven successor, David Miscavige. We go inside their specialized cosmology and language. We learn about the church’s legal attacks on the IRS, its vindictive treatment of critics, and its phenomenal wealth. We see the church court celebrities such as Tom Cruise while consigning its clergy to hard labor under billion-year contracts. Through it all, Wright asks what fundamentally comprises a religion, and if Scientology in fact merits this Constitutionally-protected label. Brilliantly researched, compellingly written, Going Clear pulls back the curtain on one of the most secretive organizations at work today.

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Scientology, Dianetics and The Bridge are trademarks and service marks owned by Religious Technology Center.
Menu copyrighted © 1997 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2014-FEB-03
Author: B.A. Robinson

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