Church of Scientology

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Scientology, Church of,

philosophical religion founded by L(afayette) Ron(ald) Hubbard, 1911–86, b. Tilden, Nebr. Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950) first set forth the basis of his philosophy, offering an alternative path to overcoming physical and mental stress. The church believes that a person's spirit can be cleared of past painful experiences through a process called "auditing," freeing the person of the burdens that interfere with happiness and self-realization. The first church was established in Los Angeles in 1954. A prolific author, Hubbard wrote many works on Scientology and is also noted for his science-fiction novels and short stories.

Scientology has been regarded with suspicion by many during its history. The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association questioned the tenets of Scientology during the 1950s, and in the 1960s the governments of England, Australia, and the United States opened investigations into church activities, particularly for suspected practices of tax evasion. The church's status as a religion was, however, ultimately established in those and other countries, but elsewhere it has been regarded as a sect. It has continued to face governmental challenges, perhaps most notably in Germany, where it has been accused of being antidemocratic and unconstitutional and where its members have experienced personal discrimination, and in France, where it has been convicted of fraud. Some, including some former members, view the church as an elaborate cult, a charge the church and some religious scholars deny. In 1996 there were more than 3,000 churches, missions, and groups worldwide, with headquarters in Los Angeles.

Bibliography

See J. Reitman, Inside Scientology (2011); H. B. Urban, The Church of Scientology (2011); L. Wright, Going Clear (2013).


Church of Scientology:

see Scientology, Church ofScientology, Church of,
philosophical religion founded by L(afayette) Ron(ald) Hubbard, 1911–86, b. Tilden, Nebr. Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
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References in periodicals archive ?
Freedom is a magazine published by the Church of Scientology International.
To learn more about the activities of the Church of Scientology International European Office for Public Affairs and Human Rights visit their website at www.
Freedom Magazine is published by the Church of Scientology International.
LOS ANGELES -- Scientology Volunteer Ministers, the Church of Scientology International emergency response and independent relief organization, were responsible for overseeing one-on-one help at 23 separate disaster sites in 2008.
8220;The Way to Happiness - Creating a World of Honesty, Trust & Self-Respect” is one of a series of brochures published by the Church of Scientology International to meet requests for more information about the Scientology religion and its support of global humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs.

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