Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by Speculative Fiction author L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.
Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. 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. Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations. Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt organization in the United States and some other countries, and the Church of Scientology emphasizes this as proof that it is a bona fide religion. In other countries, notably France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Scientology does not have comparable religious status.
A large number of organizations overseeing the application of Scientology have been established, the most notable of these being the Church of Scientology. Scientology sponsors a variety of social service programs. These include the Narconon anti-drug program, the Criminon prison rehabilitation program, the Study Tech education methodology, a volunteer organization, a business management method, and a set of moral guidelines expressed in a booklet called The Way to Happiness.
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 financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services. The Church of Scientology has consistently used litigation against such critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its foes has been condemned as harassment. Further controversy has focused on Scientology's belief that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth. Former members say that some of Hubbard's writings on this remote extraterrestrial past, included in confidential Upper Levels, are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology. Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished. Notable Scientologists include many well known people such as Tom Cruise, Greta Van Susteren, Chick Corea, John Travolta, Priscilla Presley and Kirstie Alley.
Dianetics is a set of ideas and practices regarding the relationship between the spirit, mind and body that were developed by author L. Ron Hubbard. According to Hubbard, mental and psychosomatic physical problems are caused by traumatic recordings called engrams that are stored in the reactive mind. The goal of Dianetics is to become rid (or "cleared") of this portion of one's mind. Once at this state of "Clear," according to Hubbard, an individual becomes able to function at his or her full potential. Dianetics is still employed and disseminated by the Church of Scientology, as reaching the state of "Clear" is a requirement to access Scientology's upper levels. Hubbard first introduced Dianetics to the public in April 1950, in an article published in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction. In his subsequent book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950), Hubbard presented Dianetics as a revolutionary and scientifically developed alternative to conventional psychotherapy and psychiatry, claiming that it could increase intelligence, eliminate unwanted emotions and alleviate a wide range of illnesses he believed to be psychosomatic.
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Kirsten Louise Alley
(born January 12, 1951) is an American Emmy Award
best known for her role in the TV show Cheers
, where she played Rebecca Howe
from 1987-1993, winning an Emmy
as the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
for 1991. A year later, she won a Golden Globe
for her performance in Cheers
as well. She won an Emmy
in 1994 for her role in the TV-drama David's Mother
. Other critically acclaimed roles Alley is known for include: playing Diane Barrows in It Takes Two
and a single mother in Look Who's Talking
, Look Who's Talking Too
, and Look Who's Talking Now
(all co-starring John Travolta
). Alley has won two People's Choice Awards
in the years 1991
. Alley joined Scientology in 1979, and has served as the national spokesperson for Narconon
. She has continued her Scientology training and has attained the level of Operating Thetan
6. In May 2000, she purchased the former home of fellow Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley
, a 5,200-sq-ft. waterfront mansion in Clearwater, Florida
, for $1.5 million. Alley was married to actor Parker Stevenson
(Richard Stevenson Parker, Jr.) from December 22, 1983, until 1997.
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