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Not to be confused with Religious Science, Christian Science, or Epistemology

The Scientology cross has eight corners representing the eight dynamics of existence.[1]
TypeReligious / Commercial[2]
HeadquartersGold Base
Riverside County, California[3]
Chairman of Religious Technology CenterDavid Miscavige
RemarksFlagship facility: Church of Scientology International, Los Angeles, California, USA

Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics, after he sold the rights to use the name Dianetics to pay off bankruptcy debts.[4] Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.[5][6]

Hubbard claimed that Dianetics can increase intelligence, eliminate unwanted emotions and alleviate a wide range of illnesses he believed to be psychosomatic. Among the conditions purportedly treated against are arthritis, allergies, asthma, some coronary difficulties, death, eye trouble, ulcers, migraine headaches, and sex deviations.[7]

Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature.[8] Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counselling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects.[9] Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations.[10] Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in the United States and some other countries,[11][12][13][14] and the Church of Scientology emphasizes this as proof that it is a bona fide religion.[15] In other countries, notably France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Scientology does not have comparable religious status.

A large number of organizations overseeing the application of Scientology have been established,[16] the most notable of these being the Church of Scientology. Scientology sponsors a variety of social service programs.[16][17] These include the Narconon anti-drug program, the Criminon prison rehabilitation program, the Study Tech education methodology, a volunteer organization, Wikipedia:Volunteer Ministers, a business management method, Wikipedia:World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, and a set of moral guidelines expressed in a booklet called Wikipedia:The Way to Happiness.[18]

The Church of Scientology is one of the most controversial new religious movements to have arisen in the 20th century. As with most controversy, the less scholarly the analysis, the less measured the argument. Least convincingly, it is routinely described as a Wikipedia:cult, but of course 'Cult' itself is a mainstream propaganda phrase that is taken with a pinch of salt by the counterculture. The media often categorize it as a group that financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services, but then these descriptions mark the extreme end of a continuum that most organized religions share.[10][19][20] The Church of Scientology has consistently used litigation against such critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its foes has been condemned as harassment.[21][22]

Further controversy has focused on Scientology's belief that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth.[23] Former members say that some of Hubbard's writings on this remote extraterrestrial past, included in confidential Upper Levels, are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology.[24][25] Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is Anti-psychiatry; that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished.[26][27]

In 1901, Allen Upward coined Scientology "as a disparaging term, to indicate a blind, unthinking acceptance of scientific doctrine" according to the Internet Sacred Text Archive as quoted in the preface to Forgotten Books' recent edition of Upward's book, The New Word: On the meaning of the word Idealist.[28] Continuing to quote, the publisher writes "I'm not aware of any evidence that Hubbard knew of this fairly obscure book."[29]

In 1934, philosopher A Nordenholz published a book that used the term to mean "science of science".[30] It is also uncertain whether Hubbard was aware of this prior usage of the word.[31]

Although a literal translation into colloquial English is Science Science, the word Scientology is a pairing of the Latin word scientia ("knowledge", "skill"), which comes from the verb scīre ("to know"), and the Greek λόγος lógos ("word" or "account [of]").[32][33]

Three yachts started the fleet reserved for elite members of Scientology called Wikipedia:Sea Org;[34][35] the current leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, began with Scientology as a less elite member, whose tasks included delivering telexes, grounds-keeping, food service and taking photographs for Scientology brochures.[35]


See Wikipedia:Dianetics

Operation Snow White[edit]

See Wikipedia:Operation Snow White

Operation Snow White was the Church of Scientology's name for a conspiracy during the 1970s to purge unfavorable records about Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard. This project included a series of infiltrations and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of Scientology, carried out by Church members, in more than 30 countries;[36] the single largest infiltration of the United States government in history[37] with up to 5,000 covert agents.[38] This was also the operation that exposed 'Operation Freakout', because this was the case that initiated the US government investigation of the Church.[38]

Scientology members infiltrated government offices, most notably those of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, setting up wiretaps and stealing documents. Eleven highly-placed Church executives, including Mary Sue Hubbard (wife of founder L. Ron Hubbard and second-in-command of the organization), pleaded guilty or were convicted in federal court of obstructing justice, burglary of government offices, and theft of documents and government property. The case was United States vs. Mary Sue Hubbard et al., 493 F. Supp. 209 (D.D.C. 1979).[39][40][41][42]

Operation Freakout[edit]

See Wikipedia:Operation Freakout

Operation Freakout, also known as Operation PC Freakout, was a Church of Scientology covert plan intended to have the US author and journalist Paulette Cooper imprisoned or committed to a mental institution. The plan, undertaken in 1976 following years of Church-initiated lawsuits and covert harassment, was meant to eliminate the perceived threat that Cooper posed to the Church and obtain revenge for her publication in 1971 of a highly critical book, Wikipedia:The Scandal of Scientology. A high ranking CS leader, having been directed to obtain information about PC so that she could be "handled",[43] ordered his subordinates to "attack her in as many ways as possible" and undertake "wide-scale exposure of PC’s sex life".[44] Much of the campaign against Cooper was extreme harassment and libel of a sexual nature; she also received death threats.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered documentary evidence of the plot and the preceding campaign of harassment during an investigation into the Church of Scientology in 1977, eventually leading to the Church compensating Cooper in an out-of-court settlement.

Space Opera[edit]

Wikipedia:Space opera in Scientology

Particularly during its early years, Scientology had links with science fiction. Hubbard was originally a pulp science fiction and adventure story writer; his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was first publicised through John W. Campbell's magazine Astounding Science Fiction and Hubbard recruited followers from the science fiction milieu. Hubbard returned to science fiction in the 1980s with his books Battlefield Earth and the ten-volume Mission Earth series.

Not merely science-fictional references, but that characteristic of 1950s pulp magazines and drive-in B Movies acquired by Wikipedia:Retrofuturism, can be found in Hubbard's Scientology-related works. Scientologists could find themselves living in "robot bodies" in past lives, being killed by "zap guns," living aboard spaceships or flying "space wagons" capable of traveling "a trillion light years per day."[45] Scientology magazines even now are often illustrated with pictures of spaceships and exploding stars, and Scientology books published during the 1960s and 1970s depicted science fiction scenes on their dustjackets.

Hubbard later dramatized the story of Xenu as a film script, Revolt in the Stars, in 1977, but failed to find a studio willing to buy the work. His novels Battlefield Earth and Mission Earth are not directly related to Scientology, but critics have noted a similarity between themes of these later novels and Scientology doctrine, particularly "the very strong opposition against 20th century psychology and psychiatry, which is seen as a major source of evil."[46]

See Also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Barrett, David V. (1998). Sects, ‘Cults’ & Alternative Religions: A World Survey and Sourcebook (Paperback) New Ed, Sterling Pub Co Inc.
  • Behar, Richard (1991). Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power, Time Magazine.
  • Henrik, (2009). "The Church of Scientology in Sweden," {{{journal}}}, {{{volume}}}, .
In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology, p. 335–344, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • David G., (2009). "Making Sense of Scientology," {{{journal}}}, {{{volume}}}, .
In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology, p. 83–101, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Douglas E., (2006). "The Church of Scientology," {{{journal}}}, {{{volume}}}, .
In Gallagher, Eugene V. (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, p. 169–196, Greenwood Press.
  • Cowan, Douglas E. (2007). Cults and New Religions: A Brief History, Blackwell Publishing.
  • Carole M., (2009). "Celebrity, the Popular Media, and Scientology: Making Familiar the Unfamiliar," {{{journal}}}, {{{volume}}}, .
In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology, p. 389–409, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Carole M., (2009). "Pastoral Care and September 11: Scientology's Nontraditional Religious Contribution," {{{journal}}}, {{{volume}}}, .
In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology, p. 435–437, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Stephen A., (2001). "The French and German versus American Debate over 'New Religions', Scientology, and Human Rights," Marburg Journal of Religion, 6, .
  • Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Lewis, James R. (2007). The Invention of Sacred Tradition, Cambridge University Press.
  • Melton, J. Gordon (2000). The Church of Scientology, Salt Lake City: Signature Press.
  • Neusner, Jacob (2003). World Religions in America, Westminster John Knox Press.
  • Susan J., (2009). "The Church of Scientology in France: Legal and Activist Counterattacks in the "War on Sectes"," {{{journal}}}, {{{volume}}}, .
In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology, p. 295–322, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • James T., (2009). "Scientology in Court: A Look at Some Major Cases from Various Nations," {{{journal}}}, {{{volume}}}, .
In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology, p. 283–294, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Willms, Gerald (2005). Scientology: Kulturbeobachtungen jenseits der Devianz, Bielefeld, Germany: transcript Verlag. (German)
  • Gerald, (2009). "Scientology: "Modern Religion" or "Religion of Modernity"?," {{{journal}}}, {{{volume}}}, .
In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology, p. 245–265, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Zellner, William W. (1998). Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: a Sociological Analysis, Praeger Publishers.


  1. Cusack 2009, p. 400
  2. Scientology is recognized as a religion in countries such as the United States, Spain and Australia, while the German and French governments for example consider it a profit-making enterprise.
  3. Associated Press (August 13, 1991). "Rural studio is Scientology headquarters". San Jose Mercury News: p. 6B. </li>
  4. "Remember Venus?". Time Magazine. 1952-12-22.,9171,889564,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-20. </li>
  5. Melton, J. Gordon (1992). Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America, New York: Garland Pub.
  6. Guiley, Rosemary (1991). Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience, [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco.
  7. Of Two Minds. TIME Magazine. URL accessed on 2008-07-04.
  8. Neusner (2003), p. 227 </li>
  9. Melton (2000), p. 28 </li>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Melton </li>
  11. Paul Finkelman (2006). Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties, CRC Press. "Scientology has achieved full legal recognition as a religious denomination in the United States."
  12. Derek H. Davis (2004). Zeitdiagnosen: Religion and Conformity. (PDF) Lit Verlag.
  13. Lucy Morgan (29 March 1999). "Abroad: Critics public and private keep pressure on Scientology". St. Petersburg Times. "In the United States, Scientology gained status as a tax-exempt religion in 1993 when the Internal Revenue Service agreed to end a long legal battle over the group's right to the exemption" </li>
  14. Shamus Toomey, (2005-06-26) "'TomKat' casts spotlight back on Scientology.", Chicago Sun-Times
  15. Willms 2009, p. 245. "Being a religion is one of the most important issues of Scientology's current self-representation."
  16. 16.0 16.1 Koff, Stephen (1988-12-22). "Dozens of groups operate under auspices of Church of Scientology". St. Petersburg Times. </li>
  17. Neusner 2003, p. 222
  18. Melton 2000, pp. 39–52
  19. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, (2003). "Scientology: Religion or racket?," Marburg Journal of Religion, 8, 1–11.
  20. Marney Holly. Cult or cure?. Opinion. Scotsman.
    Mallia, Joseph Powerful church targets fortunes, souls of recruits. Inside the Church of Scientology. Boston Herald.
    Huus Kari. Scientology courts the stars. MSNBC.
  21. Richard Behar (6 May 1991). "Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power". Time Magazine.,9171,972865,00.html. </li>
  22. Palmer, Richard (1994-04-03). "Cult Accused of Intimidation". Sunday Times.
    Copyright – or wrong?. Salon Technology.
    Kennedy, Dan Earle Cooley is chairman of BU's board of trustees. He's also made a career out of keeping L. Ron Hubbard's secrets.. BU's Scientology Connection. Boston Phoenix. URL accessed on 2009-01-04.
    Sumi, Glenn Managing Anger: Kenneth Anger speaks out on phones, artistic theft and Scientology. NOW Magazine. URL accessed on 2009-01-04.Template:dead link
    Welkos, Robert W.; Sappell, Joel (1990-06-29). "On the Offensive Against an Array of Suspected Foes". Los Angeles Times.,0,138179,full.story. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
    Methvin, Eugene H. (May 1990). "Scientology: Anatomy of a Frightening Cult". Reader's Digest. pp. 1–6.
    "Oral Questions to the Minister of State for the Home Office, 17 December 1996" Hansard, vol. 760, cols. 1392–1394 quote: "Baroness Sharples (take note, would-be writers of Gormenghast fan fiction): Is my noble friend further aware that a number of those who have left the cult have been both threatened and harassed and many have been made bankrupt by the church?"
  23. Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (1990-06-24). "Defining the Theology". Los Angeles Times.,0,7631220,full.story. Retrieved 2008-10-26. </li>
  24. Ortega, Tony Scientology's Crushing Defeat. Village Voice. URL accessed on 2009-01-04.
  25. Kennedy, Dominic (2007-06-23). "'Church' that yearns for respectability". The Times (London). Retrieved 2009-01-04. "Scientology is probably unique in that it keeps its sacred texts secret until, typically, devotees have paid enough money to learn what they say." </li>
  26. Kent, Stephen A "Scientology – Is this a Religion?" (1999). Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  27. Cohen, David (23 October 2006). "Tom's aliens target City's 'planetary rulers'". Evening Standard. </li>
  28. The New Word original version available for download.
  29. The New Word, Publisher: Forgotten Books (February 7, 2008), ISBN 1-60506-811-X ISBN 978-1-60506-811-4
  30. Anastasius Nordenholz Scientology: Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge, Freie Zone e. V., 1995 ISBN 978-3-9804724-1-8
  31. The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, page 556
  32. Cusack 2009, p. 394
  33. Benjamin J. Hubbard/John T. Hatfield/James A. Santucci An Educator's Classroom Guide to America's Religious Beliefs and Practices, p. 89, Libraries Unlimited, 2007 ISBN 978-1-59158-409-4
  34. Times Staff Writer (June 20, 2009). "David Miscavige bio, and bios of Scientology officials who defected". St. Petersburg Times ( Retrieved 2010-10-12. </li>
  35. 35.0 35.1 Tobin, Thomas C. The man behind Scientology. part 2. St. Petersburg Times. URL accessed on August 27, 2007.
  36. Labaton, Stephen Scientologists Granted Tax Exemption by the U.S.. New York Times. URL accessed on 2008-05-25.
  37. Ortega, Tony (1999-12-23). "Double Crossed". Phoenix New Times (New Times Media). Retrieved 2006-06-12. </li>
  38. 38.0 38.1 Mystery of the Vanished Ruler. TIME. URL accessed on 2007-08-10.
  39. [ United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia against Mary Sue Hubbard, Henning Heldt, Jane Kember et al.
  40. [ Mary Sue Hubbard et al. Sentencing Memorandum - corrected
  41. Timeline of Scientology versus the IRS
  42. wikisource:U.S. v. Hubbard 650 F.2d 293 (1981)
  43. United States of America v. Jane Kember, Morris Budlong, Sentencing Memorandum; pp. 23-25
  44. DG Info US, “Re: Intell US Weekly Report W/E 25 Sept & 5 Oct 72”, 10 October 1972
  45. Hubbard, SHSBC 266, The Helatrobus Implants, 1963
  46. Marco, (1999). "L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology: An annotated bibliographical survey of primary and selected secondary literature," Marburg Journal of Religion, 4, .
  47. </ol>