The Church of Scientology


The Church of Scientology evolved from the belief systems of Scientology, which was created by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1952. To some, Scientology is a religion; to others it more closely resembles a cult. Hubbard himself described it as an applied religious philosophy.

Overview

The word Scientology means “the study of knowledge or truth”. The religion deals with the human spirit and its relation to the universe and its creator. Members of the Church of Scientology believe that an individual consists of three parts, the spirit, the mind, and the body, but the body is not considered the person. Spiritual enlightenment leads to understanding of oneself and others, as well as one’s relationship to the universe.

History

The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. Scientologists founded the church, while Hubbard founded the subject. His book Dianetics claims to be able to help people discover what is holding them back from a happy life. Dianetics was originally intended to be a form of psychotherapy, not the foundation of a new religion.

Beliefs

Scientologists believe that man is an immortal being whose experiences stretch far beyond a single lifetime. The church promotes spiritual rehabilitation through “auditing”. Study materials are made available to members upon making specified donations.

Scientology considers belief in God to be personal, and doesn’t offer a specific dogma. The nature of a Supreme Being is revealed personally to each individual.

Controversies

Many aspects of Scientology are controversial, including the following:

  • One belief that is often questioned is that souls reincarnate and have lived on other planets before Earth.
  • Another source of controversy is the opinion of the Church of Scientology that psychiatric disorders shouldn’t be treated, which can lead to dire consequences for the mentally ill.
  • A background check of some members of the Church of Scientology sometimes reveals criminal activity. An example of this is Operation Snow White, a project in the 1970s which aimed to purge unfavorable records about the Church of Scientology, and involved theft from government agencies.
  • Many people believe Scientology is a moneymaking endeavor or even a cult.

List of Famous Scientologists

It’s not hard to find people who are famous that have been associated with the Church of Scientology:

  • Tom Cruise was introduced to Scientology by his ex-wife Mimi Rogers.
  • Isaac Hayes was publicly dismissed from the show South Park over its offensive portrayal of Scientology.
  • Sonny Bono was from a Catholic background and became a convert to Scientology.
  • John Travolta and Kelly Preston were married in a Scientology ceremony in 1991.

Scientology is the only major religion to have been founded in the twentieth century. Hubbard has described his philosophies in over 5,000 writings, including many books and tape-recorded lectures. People who follow his teachings come from all walks of life, and the Church of Scientology now has been established on six continents.