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PostSubject: Scientology    Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:10 am

Scientology

The Scientology cross has eight corners representing the eight dynamics of existence.[1]
Formation 1953
Type Religious / Commercial[2]
Headquarters Gold Base
Riverside County, California[3]
Chairman of Religious Technology Center David Miscavige
Website scientology.org
Remarks Flagship 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.[4] Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.[5][6]

Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature.[7] 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.[8] Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations.[9] Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in the United States, Italy,[10][11]South Africa,[12]Australia,[13]Sweden,[14]New Zealand,[15][16]Portugal[17] and Spain;[18][19][20][21][22] the Church of Scientology emphasizes this as proof that it is a bona fide religion.[23] In other countries, notably Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Scientology does not have comparable religious status although Churches are allowed.

A large number of organizations overseeing the application of Scientology have been established,[24] the most notable of these being the Church of Scientology. Scientology sponsors a variety of social-service programs.[24][25] These include the Narconon anti-drug program, the Criminon prison rehabilitation program, the Study Tech education methodology, the Volunteer Ministers, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, and a set of moral guidelines expressed in a booklet called The Way to Happiness.[26]

The Church of Scientology is one of the most controversial new religious movements to have arisen in the 20th century. It has often been described as a cult that brainwashes,[27] financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services.[9][28][29] In response, Scientologists have argued that theirs is a genuine religious movement that has been misrepresented, maligned and persecuted.[30] The Church of Scientology has consistently used litigation against its critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its foes has been condemned as harassment.[31][32] Further controversy has focused on Scientology's belief that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth,[33] and that some of the related teachings are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology.[34][35] Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished.[36][37]
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