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Difference between revisions of "Church of Scientology"

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The Church says that it continues to pursue Hubbard's vision, which he described as: "A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology." <ref>[http://www.scientology.org/wis/wiseng/eos/eos_1.htm Aims of Scientology]</ref>  The Church derives its income from various sources, including the sale of Hubbard's ''Dianetics'' and secret publications to converts.  In recent years, Scientology ministers have provided assistance at national and international disaster scenes.
 
The Church says that it continues to pursue Hubbard's vision, which he described as: "A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology." <ref>[http://www.scientology.org/wis/wiseng/eos/eos_1.htm Aims of Scientology]</ref>  The Church derives its income from various sources, including the sale of Hubbard's ''Dianetics'' and secret publications to converts.  In recent years, Scientology ministers have provided assistance at national and international disaster scenes.
 
==Sociology==
 
==Sociology==
Bainbridge and Stark (1980) note that by 1980 Scientology claimed to have raised over 16,000 members to a superhuman level of mental functioning known as "clear." They argue that "clear" has been transformed from a postulated objective state of being into a well-buttressed social status in the highly stratified social structure of the cult. Four strategies invented by the Hubbard encourage members to play the role associated with the "clear" status. The Scientology processes supposedly able to make people clear are examples of modern magic - mental and symbolic exercises undertaken to accomplish the impossible - and therefore are highly subject to empirical disconfirmation. Despite the momentary success of the cult's strategies to protect its magic, Bainbridge and Stark suggest that Scientology may be forced to promise supernatural rewards obtainable only in a world beyond the senses. The pejorative opinions expressed by  Bainbridge and Stark, however,  are not based on any intelligent and unbiased study of the Church, its parishioners, or any understanding or familiarity with the philosophy, science, or techniques of Dianetics and Scientology. Their opinions can therefore be handily discounted in favor of a more factual analysis of the sociological impact of Scientology and its many social programs, or the results being achieved within the group itself.
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Bainbridge and Stark (1980) note that by 1980 Scientology claimed to have raised over 16,000 members to a superhuman level of mental functioning known as "clear." They argue that "clear" has been transformed from a postulated objective state of being into a well-buttressed social status in the highly stratified social structure of the cult. Four strategies invented by the Hubbard encourage members to play the role associated with the "clear" status. The Scientology processes supposedly able to make people clear are examples of modern magic - mental and symbolic exercises undertaken to accomplish the impossible - and therefore are highly subject to empirical disconfirmation. Despite the momentary success of the cult's strategies to protect its magic, Bainbridge and Stark suggest that Scientology may be forced to promise supernatural rewards obtainable only in a world beyond the senses.
 
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==Under attack in Europe==
 
==Under attack in Europe==
  

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Scientology is a religion begun in the 1950s by American L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986). He founded the Church of Scientology to teach his doctrines, many of which are very tightly guarded from the general public by church officials.[1]

Scientology does not descend from any of the major world religions. Hubbard devised the word using "scio" (knowledge), and the Greek λόγος "logos" (word), "the study of knowledge". He stated it was a system of belief that provided knowledge of life and clarity of mind through training in, and counseling using, the principles of the subject. Hubbard said that Scientology enabled individuals to know how to find the answers to whatever questions or problems they may face.

Scientologists assert that their doctrines are derived from a very large secret corpus, in excess of forty millions words, and practical applications derived therefrom. These are intended to guide individuals in a heuristic journey of increasing insights into the truth concerning the actual condition of mankind and its true potential, and to provide the skills to gradually bring about the latter. Scientologists see the religion as a way for individuals to increase understandings, abilities, and freedoms, and bring about predictable, subjective improvements in their life that increase their value to society. Critics, on the other hand, call Scientology a cult operated for the financial benefit of church leaders, who they say charge large sums for the secret training programs.

Having experienced rapid growth, Scientology set up churches and missions in most of the countries of the world.

The Church says that it continues to pursue Hubbard's vision, which he described as: "A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology." [2] The Church derives its income from various sources, including the sale of Hubbard's Dianetics and secret publications to converts. In recent years, Scientology ministers have provided assistance at national and international disaster scenes.

Sociology

Bainbridge and Stark (1980) note that by 1980 Scientology claimed to have raised over 16,000 members to a superhuman level of mental functioning known as "clear." They argue that "clear" has been transformed from a postulated objective state of being into a well-buttressed social status in the highly stratified social structure of the cult. Four strategies invented by the Hubbard encourage members to play the role associated with the "clear" status. The Scientology processes supposedly able to make people clear are examples of modern magic - mental and symbolic exercises undertaken to accomplish the impossible - and therefore are highly subject to empirical disconfirmation. Despite the momentary success of the cult's strategies to protect its magic, Bainbridge and Stark suggest that Scientology may be forced to promise supernatural rewards obtainable only in a world beyond the senses.

Under attack in Europe

Belgium

In Belgium in September 2007, a state prosecutor recommended that the Church stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10- year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization. A Belgian parliamentary committee report in 1997 labeled Scientology a sect and investigations were launched into the group's finances and practices, such as the personality tests conducted on new members. Investigators have studied how far Scientology went in recruiting converts after numerous complaints were filed with police by ex-members alleging they'd been the victims of intimidation and extortion.[3]

Bibliography

  • Bainbridge, William Sims, and Rodney Stark. "Scientology: To Be Perfectly Clear," Sociological Analysis, Vol. 41, No. 2 (Summer, 1980), pp. 128-136 in JSTOR
  • Bednarowski, Mary Farrell. New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America. Indiana U. Press, 1989. 175 pp., chapter on Scientology
  • Harper, Charles L. "Cults and Communities: the Community Interfaces of Three Marginal Religious Communities." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 1982 21(1): 26-38. Issn: 0021-8294 Fulltext: in Jstor
  • Melton, J. Gordon. The Church of Scientology (2000), 80pp; by a neutral scholar. excerpt and text search
  • Wallis, Roy. The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology (Columbia University Press, 1977)

See also


notes

  1. photograph of Scientology's doctrine
  2. Aims of Scientology
  3. See AP report, "Scientology Faces Criminal Charges" Sep 09, 2007 at [1]