The church of scientology
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The Church of Scientology. RELS 225 Cults and New Religious Movements. Scientology. Probably the most controversial NRM in the world Legal actions against them Ontario search warrant in the 1970’s In Europe for direct government interference. Can’t get a German contract

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The Church of Scientology

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The church of scientology

The Church of Scientology

RELS 225

Cults and New Religious Movements



  • Probably the most controversial NRM in the world

  • Legal actions against them

    • Ontario search warrant in the 1970’s

    • In Europe for direct government interference.

      • Can’t get a German contract

      • Security can open their mail, wire-tap, investigate bank records

  • Why controversial?

    • Successful

    • Highly bureaucratic ($300 million / year in the US)

Nrms in the news

NRMs in the News

  • Scientology leader's niece to reveal 'strange and disturbing' details about life inside church in tell-all memoir

    • Jenna Miscavige Hill, 28, is the daughter of Scientology leader David Miscavige's older brother Ron

    • She left the church in 2005 and set up a support group for other Scientology deserters

    • MsMiscavige Hill: 'My experience in growing up in Scientology is that it is both mentally and at times physically abusive'

    • Book will reveal 'strange and disturbing' details about growing up in the church and will provide a firsthand account of Scientology's 'upper ranks', say publishers (DailyMail)

The church of scientology 40 31

Religion or Cult?

The Church of Scientology (40:31)



  • tax-exempt status

  • claim to be a religion

  • perceived threats to traditional medicine

    • Refusing medical help

    • Lisa McPherson case in the 1990’s


      • First criminal charges

Lafayette ronald hubbard

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

  • Born in Tilden, Nebraska

  • Conventional life, except father was in Navy.

    • Bright, eclectic guy; sailor, explorer, charter, photographer, glider pilot, Navy, roving lost intellect, restless.

    • G.W. university – Nuclear physics. Dropped out.

  • Wounded in WW2. hospitalized (shell-shocked).

    • Veterans admin not helping.

  • Indiana Jones? Or Fantasy world?

    • “You can’t make money writing” You need to start a religion.

Lafayette ronald hubbard1

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

  • Influenced by Jack Parsons, disciple of occultist Aleister Crowley

    • Observing things on the astral plane?

    • Rituals. As govemment agent? Or not?

  • Had read Freud, developed interest in subconscious, and learned psychoanalysis in the Navy.

  • First non-fiction book was 1950 Dianetics.

  • Claimed a cure for anything. All illness is psychosomatic.

  • In 1954, asserted legal control over the movement’s technology.

  • In 1956, Scientology: The foundations of thought was published.

Lafayette ronald hubbard2

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard

  • 1966: Guardian’s Office (GO) founded, to protect the church

  • 1970s: illegal activities, leading to:

  • 1977 FBI raid. Hubbard’s wife went to jail

  • 1980s: restructured

  • 1986: Hubbard died

David miscavige

David Miscavige

  • 1987-

  • 1991: major exposé by Time magazine

  • 1993: IRS tax exemption

  • 1995: Lisa McPherson died

  • 2005: Tom Cruse attacks psychiatry

The world

The World

  • Thetans got bored and created universes.

  • Xenu (the head of a galactic federation of planets) caused thetans to be implanted in humans about 95 million years ago

    • Enthralled by their games, they were absorbed into them, and became lost in MEST. They forgot who they were.

  • Doctrine of humans

    Doctrine of Humans

    • humans are essentially spiritualbeings

      • More than mind and body

    • Lost thetans

      • immortal

    • “the bridge to freedom” Anti-virus to get rid of encumbrances and recover hidden capacity

    • Objective: Become cause, not effect.

    • Go exterior (not limited by body)



    • Engram: unconscious sensory impressions

      • Reactive Mind = Unconscious mind; has corrupted files.

      • Analytical Mind = conscious mind. Doesn’t make mistakes.

    • Unlike psychotherapy, Scientology is pragmatic; the analytical mind can dispel engrams.

    • Each person has 100’s of past lives, yielding engrams.



    • Hubbard’s true genius

    • Structured form of questioning and listening

    • Hundreds of exercises / tests to break down your basic understanding of who you are and how you can change them.

    • Very first self-help

      • Simultaneously patient and practiser

      • Helping others.



    • Clear

      • The status of “clear” means having no basic engrams.

    • Operating Thetan (OT)

      • A Thetan is a static immortal.

      • Escaping from MEST (reminiscent of Q from Star Trek) is the quest of the OT.

      • 8 levels of OT

    • Higher levels

      • Pay-per-use organization:

      • To reach these, one can pay for courses, or render services in lieu of payment.



    • Freedom from fears

    • New creative capacity

    • Improved physical health

    • Improved appearance

    • Peace of mind

    Concept of divine

    Concept of divine

    • No doctrine of God.

    • 8 dynamics.

      • Urge to exist as

        • Self

        • Sex

        • Group

        • Humankind

        • Animal

        • Universe

        • Spiritual

        • Infinity = God

    • Gnostic divine spark



    • Thetan will be reincarnated

    Good life

    Good life

    • Non-prescriptive

    • No ethics

    • Extremely litigious; not open to being studied.

    • 30-year legal case with IRS

    • War with psychiatry; medicine, IRS.

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