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Cult Watch: Scientology

Scientology building in New York City.

Scientology building on 46th Street in New York City.

The seeds of Scientology began when L. Ron Hubbard published 2 magazine articles in 1950 and also his book Dianetics which came out in May found itself on the NY Times bestseller list. Some people found Dianetics appealing so using the book as a guide they became practitioners of Dianetics and the growing Hubbard cult. Hubbard became a popular lecturer so he formed the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in New Jersey where he personally trained the first Dianetic counselors or auditors. It was here that he introduced that toy know as an electropsychometer or e-meter for short which is still used widely in Scientology today. That was enough, in 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners instituted proceedings against the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation for teaching medicine without a license, which eventually led to the foundation’s bankruptcy. Quite an illustrial start for Dianetics but L. Ron wasn’t done. Building on Dianetics,  in 1952 Hubbard published Scientology, A Religious Philosophy. This should clear up the objection that some have claiming the Hubbard didn’t intend to start a cult but some fans ‘stole’ his work. In 1953 Hubbard realized he was beat on the medical front so he made a bizzare swerve and incorporated 3 churches in New Jersey. Guess he showed those dumb medical examiners. Early in 1954 the first church of Scientology outside of New Jersey was set up by Hubbards followers in California. Quickly following that was the opening of another Scientology church in of all places Auckland, New Zealand. In 1955 Hubbard established a Scientology church in Washington DC. In 1957 in a quite comical farce the Internal Revenue Service granted the Scientology churches tax-exempt status but realized their folly, reviwed the status in 1958 but didn’t fully remove it until 1967, proof bureaucratic wheels grind exceedingly slow. Yet again in 1993 they reversed the decision and granted tax-exempt  status after a 25 year long battle in court with the church of Scientology.

In the 60s Australia banned the church of Scientology. Not to be stopped by a mere law, they changed their name to the church of the New Faith and as a result they have banned Scientology in any name from a few Australian states. Unfortunately for Australians, Scientology was officially recognized as a religion in 1983 so it was no longer banned and a few churches appeared almost overnight.

Hubbard died in 1986 but Scientology showing it’s growing cult status decided to file in 1991 50 lawsuits against the Cult Awareness Network because they were extremely critical of Scientology. The result of this was the CAN was forced into bankruptcy by Scientology’s frivolous court cases. Not being satisfied Scientology again turned to court in 1993 where they sued Steven Fishman who in court revealed lots of Scientology’s cosmogony. Xenu made his first public appearence in a court case, I find that quite funny. As a result, Scientology was forced to issue a press release acknowledging the existence of this, rather than allow its critics “to distort and misuse this information for their own purposes.” which translated means that Scientology wishes its critics do not make fun of this idiotic cosmogony. Despite Scientology’s statement the material, most notably the story of Xenu, has since been widely disseminated and used to caricature Scientology, despite the Church’s vigorous program of copyright litigation and one that I fully expect to be a target of due to this article calling them a cult.

I can go on and on about the horrors of Scientology, most tragically seen in the case of Lisa McPherson but the information is all over the internet for anyone to find. Some of you may have noticed a glaring absence of any real images such as Scientology’s 8 pointed cross or their logo. There are a few, like 2, images on Wikipedia here and here but unfortunately Scientology does hold the copyright and I really do not want to lose this blog over a silly copyright violation although it would most certainly fall under fair use had Scientology decided to pursue matters. Interestingly enough, Scientology has pursued these matters and quite a few pictures of their cross and logo have disappeared off the internet forever yet the images on Wikipedia remain. If anyone reading this is seriously considering Scientology as a choice, I beg you not to. There are many resources on the web and anyone that requests them from me at this link will get them.

[tweetmeme source=”noreligionblog” only_single=false https://noreligionblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/cult-watch-scientology%5D

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