Scientology is a body of religious beliefs and practices launched in May 1952 by American author L. Ron Hubbard (1911–86). Hubbard initially developed a program of ideas called Dianetics, which was distributed through the Dianetics Foundation. The foundation soon entered bankruptcy, and Hubbard lost the rights to his seminal publication Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health in 1952. He then recharacterized the subject as a religion and renamed it Scientology, retaining the terminology, doctrines, the E-meter, and the practice of auditing. Within a year, he regained the rights to Dianetics and retained both subjects under the umbrella of the Church of Scientology.
Riverside County, California
|Remarks||Flagship facility: Church of Scientology International, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Hubbard describes the etymology of the word "Scientology" as coming from the Latin word scio, meaning know or distinguish, and the Greek word logos, meaning "the word or outward form by which the inward thought is expressed and made known". Hubbard writes, "thus, Scientology means knowing about knowing, or science of knowledge".
Hubbard's groups have encountered considerable opposition and controversy. In January 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners brought proceedings against Dianetics Foundation on the charge of teaching medicine without a license. Hubbard's followers engaged in a program of criminal infiltration of the U.S. government.
Hubbard-inspired organizations and their classification are often a point of contention. Germany classifies Scientology groups as an "anti-constitutional sect". In France, they have been classified as a dangerous cult by some parliamentary reports.
L. Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986) was the only child of Harry Ross Hubbard, a United States Navy officer, and his wife, Ledora Waterbury. Hubbard spent three semesters at George Washington University but was placed on probation in September 1931. He failed to return for the fall 1932 semester.
In July 1941, Hubbard was commissioned as a Lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Naval Reserve. On May 18, 1943, his subchaser left Portland. That night, Hubbard ordered his crew to fire 35 depth charges and a number of gun rounds at what he believed were Japanese submarines. His ship sustained minor damage and three crew were injured. Having run out of depth charges and with the presence of a submarine still unconfirmed by other ships, Hubbard's ship was ordered back to port. A navy report concluded that "there was no submarine in the area." A decade later, Hubbard claimed in his Scientology lectures that he had sunk a Japanese submarine.
On June 28, 1943, Hubbard ordered his crew to fire on the Coronado Islands. Hubbard apparently did not realize that the islands belonged to US-allied Mexico, nor that he had taken his vessel into Mexican territorial waters. He was reprimanded and removed from command on July 7. After reassignment to a naval facility in Monterey, California, Hubbard became depressed and fell ill. Reporting stomach pains in April 1945, he spent the remainder of the war as a patient in Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California. According to his later teachings, during this time Hubbard made scientific "breakthroughs" by use of "endocrine experiments".
On October 15, 1947, Hubbard wrote a letter to the Veterans Administration formally requesting psychiatric treatment, but admitted that he was unable to afford it. Within a few years, Hubbard would condemn psychiatry as evil, which would grow into a major theme in Scientology.
Excalibur and Babalon Working
In April 1938, Hubbard reportedly reacted to a drug used in a dental procedure. According to his account, this triggered a revelatory near-death experience. Allegedly inspired by this experience, Hubbard composed a manuscript, which was never published, with the working titles of "The One Command" or Excalibur. The contents of Excalibur formed the basis for some of his later publications. Arthur J. Burks, who read the work in 1938, later recalled it discussed the "one command": to survive. This theme would be revisited in Dianetics, the set of ideas and practices regarding the metaphysical relationship between the mind and body which became the central philosophy of Scientology. Hubbard later cited Excalibur as an early version of Dianetics.[better source needed]
In August 1945, Hubbard moved into the Pasadena mansion of John "Jack" Whiteside Parsons, an avid occultist and Thelemite, follower of the English ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley and leader of a lodge of Crowley's magical order, Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). Parsons and Hubbard collaborated on the "Babalon Working", a sex magic ritual intended to summon an incarnation of Babalon, the supreme Thelemite Goddess. The Church of Scientology admits to Hubbard's involvement with Parsons while claiming that it was for the purpose of naval intelligence.
In May 1950, Hubbard's Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science was published by pulp magazine Astounding Science Fiction. In the same year, he published the book-length Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, considered the seminal event of the century by Scientologists. Scientologists sometimes use a dating system based on the book's publication; for example, "A.D. 25" does not stand for Anno Domini, but "After Dianetics".
Dianetics uses a counseling technique known as auditing in which an auditor assists a subject in conscious recall of traumatic events in the individual's past. It was originally intended to be a new psychotherapy and was not expected to become the foundation for a new religion. Hubbard variously defined Dianetics as a spiritual healing technology and an organized science of thought. The stated intent is to free individuals of the influence of past traumas by systematic exposure and removal of the engrams (painful memories) these events have left behind, a process called clearing. Rutgers scholar Beryl Satter says that "there was little that was original in Hubbard's approach", with much of the theory having origins in popular conceptions of psychology. Satter observes that in "keeping with the typical 1950s distrust of emotion, Hubbard promised that Dianetic treatment would release and erase psychosomatic ills and painful emotions, thereby leaving individuals with increased powers of rationality." According to Gallagher and Ashcraft, in contrast to psychotherapy, Hubbard stated that Dianetics "was more accessible to the average person, promised practitioners more immediate progress, and placed them in control of the therapy process." Hubbard's thought was parallel with the trend of humanist psychology at that time, which also came about in the 1950s. Passas and Castillo write that the appeal of Dianetics was based on its consistency with prevailing values. Shortly after the introduction of Dianetics, Hubbard introduced the concept of the "thetan" (or soul) which he claimed to have discovered. Dianetics was organized and centralized to consolidate power under Hubbard, and groups that were previously recruited were no longer permitted to organize autonomously.
Two of Hubbard's key supporters at the time were John W. Campbell Jr., the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, and Campbell's brother-in-law, physician Joseph A. Winter. Dr. Winter, hoping to have Dianetics accepted in the medical community, submitted papers outlining the principles and methodology of Dianetic therapy to the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1949, but these were rejected.
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list. According to religious studies professor Paul Gutjahr, Dianetics is the bestselling non-Christian religious book of the century.(subscription required) Publisher's Weekly gave a posthumous plaque to Hubbard to commemorate Dianetics' appearance on its list of bestsellers for one hundred weeks. Studies that address the topic of the origins of the work and its significance to Scientology as a whole include Peter Rowley's New Gods in America, Omar V. Garrison's The Hidden Story of Scientology, and Albert I. Berger's Towards a Science of the Nuclear Mind: Science-fiction Origins of Dianetics. More complex studies include Roy Wallis's The Road to Total Freedom.
Dianetics appealed to a broad range of people who used instructions from the book and applied the method to each other, becoming practitioners themselves. Dianetics soon met with criticism. Morris Fishbein, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association and well known at the time as a debunker of quack medicine, dismissed Hubbard's book. An article in Newsweek stated that "the Dianetics concept is unscientific and unworthy of discussion or review". Hubbard asserted that Dianetics is "an organized science of thought built on definite axioms: statements of natural laws on the order of those of the physical sciences."
Hubbard became the leader of a growing Dianetics movement. He became a popular lecturer and established the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where he trained his first Dianetics counselors or auditors.
Some practitioners of Dianetics reported experiences which they believed had occurred in past lives, or previous incarnations. In early 1951, reincarnation became a subject of intense debate within the Dianetics community. Hubbard took the reports of past life events seriously and introduced the concept of the thetan, an immortal being analogous to the soul. This was an important factor in the transition from secular Dianetics to the religion of Scientology. Sociologists Roy Wallis and Steve Bruce suggest that Dianetics, which set each person as his or her own authority, was about to fail due to its inherent individualism, and that Hubbard started Scientology as a religion to establish himself as the overarching authority.
Also in 1951, Hubbard incorporated the electropsychometer (E-meter for short), a kind of electrodermal activity meter, as an auditing aid. Based on a design by Volney Mathison, the device is held by Scientologists to be a useful tool in detecting changes in a person's state of mind. The global spread of Scientology at the latter half of the 1950s was culminated with the opening of churches in Johannesburg and Paris, while world headquarters transferred to England in Saint Hill, a rural estate. Hubbard lived there for the next seven years.
Dianetics is different from Scientology in that Scientology is a religion while Dianetics is not. The purpose of Dianetics is the improvement of the individual, the individual or "self" being only one of eight "dynamics." "According to Hugh B. Urban, Hubbard's early science of Dianetics would be best comprehended as a "bricolage that brought together his various explorations in psychology, hypnosis, and science fiction." If Dianetics is understood as a bricolage, then Scientology is "an even more ambitious sort of religious bricolage adapted to the new religious marketplace of 1950s America," continues Urban. According to Roy Wallis, "Scientology emerged as a religious commodity eminently suited to the contemporary market of postwar America." L. Ron Hubbard Jr. said in an interview that the spiritual bricolage of Scientology, as written by Hugh B. Urban, "seemed to be uniquely suited to the individualism and quick-fix mentality of 1950s America: just by doing a few assignments, "one can become a god."
Harlan Ellison has told a story of seeing Hubbard at a gathering of the Hydra Club in 1953 or 1954. Hubbard was complaining of not being able to make a living on what he was being paid as a science fiction writer. Ellison says that Lester del Rey told Hubbard that what he needed to do to get rich was start a religion.
Church of Scientology
In January 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners began proceedings against the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation for teaching medicine without a license, which eventually led to that foundation's bankruptcy. In December 1952, the Hubbard Dianetic Foundation filed for bankruptcy, and Hubbard lost control of the Dianetics trademark and copyrights to financier Don Purcell. Author Russell Miller argues that Scientology "was a development of undeniable expedience, since it ensured that he would be able to stay in business even if the courts eventually awarded control of Dianetics and its valuable copyrights to ... Purcell".
L. Ron Hubbard originally intended for Scientology to be considered a science, as stated in his writings. In May 1952, Scientology was organized to put this intended science into practice, and in the same year, Hubbard published a new set of teachings as Scientology, a religious philosophy. Marco Frenschkowski quotes Hubbard in a letter written in 1953, to show that he never denied that his original approach was not a religious one: "Probably the greatest discovery of Scientology and its most forceful contribution to mankind has been the isolation, description and handling of the human spirit, accomplished in July 1951, in Phoenix, Arizona. I established, along scientific rather than religious or humanitarian lines that the thing which is the person, the personality, is separable from the body and the mind at will and without causing bodily death or derangement. (Hubbard 1983: 55)."
In April 1953, Hubbard wrote a letter proposing that Scientology should be transformed into a religion. As membership declined and finances grew tighter, Hubbard had reversed the hostility to religion he voiced in Dianetics. His letter discussed the legal and financial benefits of religious status. Hubbard outlined plans for setting up a chain of "Spiritual Guidance Centers" charging customers $500 for twenty-four hours of auditing ("That is real money ... Charge enough and we'd be swamped."). He wrote:
I await your reaction on the religion angle. In my opinion, we couldn't get worse public opinion than we have had or have less customers with what we've got to sell. A religious charter would be necessary in Pennsylvania or NJ to make it stick. But I sure could make it stick.
In December 1953, Hubbard incorporated three churches – a "Church of American Science", a "Church of Scientology" and a "Church of Spiritual Engineering" – in Camden, New Jersey. On February 18, 1954, with Hubbard's blessing, some of his followers set up the first local Church of Scientology, the Church of Scientology of California, adopting the "aims, purposes, principles and creed of the Church of American Science, as founded by L. Ron Hubbard." The movement spread quickly through the United States and to other English-speaking countries such as Britain, Ireland, South Africa and Australia. The second local Church of Scientology to be set up, after the one in California, was in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1955, Hubbard established the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D.C.. The group declared that the Founding Church, as written in the certificate of incorporation for the Founding Church of Scientology in the District of Columbia, was to "act as a parent church for the religious faith known as 'Scientology' and to act as a church for the religious worship of the faith."
The Church experienced further challenges. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation concerning the claims the Church of Scientology made in connection with its E-meters. On January 4, 1963, FDA agents raided offices of the Church of Scientology, seizing hundreds of E-meters as illegal medical devices and tons of literature that they accused of making false medical claims. The original suit by the FDA to condemn the literature and E-meters did not succeed, but the Court ordered the Church to label every meter with a disclaimer that it is purely religious artifact, to post a $20,000 bond of compliance, and to pay the FDA's legal expenses.
In the course of developing Scientology, Hubbard presented rapidly changing teachings that some have seen as often self-contradictory. According to Lindholm, for the inner cadre of Scientologists in that period, involvement depended not so much on belief in a particular doctrine but on unquestioning faith in Hubbard.
In 1966, Hubbard purportedly stepped down as executive director of Scientology to devote himself to research and writing. The following year, he formed the ship-based Sea Organization or Sea Org which operated three ships: the Diana, the Athena, and the flagship the Apollo. One month after the establishment of the Sea Org, Hubbard announced that he had made a breakthrough discovery, the result of which were the "OT III" materials purporting to provide a method for overcoming factors inhibiting spiritual progress. These materials were first disseminated on the ships, and then propagated by Sea Org members reassigned to staff Advanced Organizations on land.
Hubbard in hiding, death, and aftermath
In 1972, facing criminal charges in France, Hubbard returned to the United States and began living in an apartment in Queens, New York. When faced with possible indictment in the United States, Hubbard went into hiding in April 1979. He hid first in an apartment in Hemet, California, where his only contact with the outside world was via ten trusted Messengers. He cut contact with everyone else, even his wife, whom he saw for the last time in August 1979. In February 1980 he disappeared into deep cover in the company of two trusted Messengers, Pat and Anne Broeker.
In 1979, as a result of FBI raids during Operation Snow White, eleven senior people in the church's Guardian's Office were convicted of obstructing justice, burglary of government offices, and theft of documents and government property. In 1981, Scientology took the German government to court for the first time.
Splinter groups: Independent Scientology, Freezone, and Miscavige's RTC
While Scientology generally refers to Miscavige-led Church of Scientology, other groups practice Scientology. These groups, collectively known as Independent Scientologists, consist of former members of the official Church of Scientology as well as entirely new members.
In 1950, founding member Joseph Winter cut ties with Hubbard and set up a private Dianetics practice in New York. In 1965, a longtime Church member and "Doctor of Scientology" Jack Horner (born 1927), dissatisfied with the Church's "ethics" program, developed Dianology. Capt. Bill Robertson, a former Sea Org member, was a primary instigator of the movement in the early 1980s. The church labels these groups "squirrels" (Scientology jargon) and often subjects them to considerable legal and social pressure.
On January 1, 1982, Miscavige established the Religious Technology Center (RTC). On November 11, 1982, the Free Zone was established by top Scientologists in disagreement with RTC. The Free Zone Association was founded and registered under the laws of Germany, and espouses the doctrine that the official Church of Scientology led by David Miscavige has departed from Hubbard's original philosophy.
The Advanced Ability Center was established by Hubbard's personal auditor David Mayo after February 1983 – a time when some of Scientology's upper and middle management split with Miscavige's organization.
Beliefs and practices
According to Scientology, its beliefs and practices are based on rigorous research, and its doctrines are accorded a significance equivalent to scientific laws. Scientology cosmology is, however, at odds with modern science, with claims of memories going back "76 trillion years": much longer than the age of the universe. Blind belief is held to be of lesser significance than the practical application of Scientologist methods. Adherents are encouraged to validate the practices through their personal experience. Hubbard put it this way: "For a Scientologist, the final test of any knowledge he has gained is, 'did the data and the use of it in life actually improve conditions or didn't it?'" He defined Scientology's aims as: "A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war; where the world can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology." He described Scientology as an "applied religious philosophy" because, according to him, it consists of a metaphysical doctrine, a theory of psychology, and teachings in morality. The core of Scientology teaching lies in the belief that "each human has a reactive mind that responds to life's traumas, clouding the analytic mind and keeping us from experiencing reality." Scientologists undergo auditing to discover sources of this trauma, believing that re-experiencing it neutralizes it and reinforces the ascendancy of the analytic mind, with the final goal believed to be achieving a spiritual state that Scientology calls "clear."
Scientology does not preach or impose a particular idea of God on Scientologists. Rather, people are expected to discover the truth through their own observations as their awareness advances.
... the Church of Scientology has no set dogma concerning God that it imposes on its members. As with all its tenets, Scientology does not ask individuals to accept anything on faith alone. Rather, as one's level of spiritual awareness increases through participation in Scientology auditing and training, one attains his own certainty of every dynamic. Accordingly, only when the Seventh Dynamic (spiritual) is reached in its entirety will one discover and come to a full understanding of the Eighth Dynamic (infinity) and one's relationship to the Supreme Being.
Many Scientologists avoid using the words "belief" or "faith" to describe how Hubbard's teachings impacts their lives. They perceive that Scientology is based on verifiable technologies, speaking to Hubbard's original scientific objectives for Dianetics, based on the quantifiability of auditing on the E-meter. Scientologists call Dianetics and Scientology as technologies because of their claim of their scientific precision and workability.
Reactive mind, traumatic memories, and auditing
Scientology presents two major divisions of the mind. The reactive mind is thought to record all pain and emotional trauma, while the analytical mind is a rational mechanism that serves consciousness. The reactive mind stores mental images which are not readily available to the analytical (conscious) mind; these are referred to as engrams. According to Scientology, engrams are painful and debilitating; as they accumulate, people move further away from their true identity. To avoid this fate is Scientology's basic goal. Some engrams are taught by Hubbard to happen by accident while others are inflicted by "thetans who have gone bad and want power," as described by the Los Angeles Times. These engrams are named Implants in the doctrine of Scientology. Hubbard said, "Implants result in all varieties of illness, apathy, degradation, neurosis and insanity and are the principal cause of these in man."
L. Ron Hubbard described the analytical mind in terms of a computer: "the analytical mind is not just a good computer, it is a perfect computer." According to him it makes the best decisions based on available data. Errors are made based on erroneous data and is not the error of the analytical mind.
Dianetic auditing is one way by which the Scientologist may progress toward the Clear state, winning gradual freedom from the reactive mind's engrams and acquiring certainty of his or her reality as a thetan. David V. Barrett, a sociologist of religion who has written widely about the subject, says that according to Scientology, the "first major goal is to go Clear." Clearing was described to represent "the attainment of Man's dreams through the ages of attaining a new and higher state of existence and freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death, birth … Clear is the total erasure of the reactive mind from which stems all the anxieties and problems the individual has."
Scientology asserts that people have hidden abilities which have not yet been fully realized. It teaches that increased spiritual awareness and physical benefits are accomplished through counseling sessions referred to as auditing. Through auditing, people can solve their problems and free themselves of engrams. This restores them to their natural condition as thetans and enables them to be at cause in their daily lives, responding rationally and creatively to life events rather than reacting to them under the direction of stored engrams. Accordingly, those who study Scientology materials and receive auditing sessions advance from a status of Preclear to Clear and Operating Thetan. Scientology's utopian aim is to "clear the planet", that is, clear all people in the world of their engrams.
Auditing is a one-on-one session with a Scientology counselor or auditor. It is similar to confession or pastoral counseling, but the auditor records and stores all information received and does not dispense forgiveness or advice as a pastor or priest of another religion might do. Instead, the auditor's task is to help a person discover and understand the universal principles of affinity, reality, and communication (ARC). Most auditing requires an E-meter, a device that measures minute changes in electrical resistance through the body when a person holds electrodes (metal "cans"), and a small current is passed through them.
Scientology teaches that the E-meter helps to locate spiritual difficulties. Once an area of concern has been identified, the auditor asks the individual specific questions about it to help him or her eliminate the difficulty, and uses the E-meter to confirm that the "charge" has been dissipated. As the individual progresses up the "Bridge to Total Freedom", the focus of auditing moves from simple engrams to engrams of increasing complexity and other difficulties. At the more advanced OT levels, Scientologists act as their own auditors ("solo auditors").
Douglas E. Cowan writes that the e-meter "provides an external, material locus for the legitimation of [Scientology] practice." Scientologists depend on the "appearance of objectivity or empirical validity" of the e-meter rather than simply trusting an auditor's abstract interpretation of a participant's statements. He also states that without the e-meter, "Scientology could not have achieved whatever status it enjoys as a new religious movement." He also argues that without it, the Church may not have survived the early years when Dianetics was just formed.
Emotional Tone Scale and survival
Scientology uses an emotional classification system called the tone scale. The tone scale is a tool used in auditing; Scientologists maintain that knowing a person's place on the scale makes it easier to predict his or her actions and assists in bettering his or her condition.
Scientology emphasizes the importance of survival, which it subdivides into eight classifications that are referred to as "dynamics". An individual's desire to survive is considered to be the first dynamic, while the second dynamic relates to procreation and family. The remaining dynamics encompass wider fields of action, involving groups, mankind, all life, the physical universe, the spirit, and infinity, often associated with the Supreme Being. The optimum solution to any problem is held to be the one that brings the greatest benefit to the greatest number of dynamics.
Toxins and purification
The Purification Rundown is a controversial "detoxification" program used by the Church of Scientology as an introductory service. It features high-dose dietary supplements and extended time in a sauna (up to five hours a day for five weeks). Scientology claims it is the only effective way to deal with the long-term effects of drug abuse or toxic exposure.
Narconon is a "drug education and rehabilitation program" founded on Hubbard's beliefs about "toxins" and "purification". Narconon is offered in the United States, Canada and a number of European countries; its Purification Program also uses high-dose vitamins and extended sauna sessions, combined with auditing and study.
The Introspection Rundown is a controversial Church of Scientology auditing process that is intended to handle a psychotic episode or complete mental breakdown. Introspection is defined for the purpose of this rundown as a condition where the person is "looking into one's own mind, feelings, reactions, etc." The Introspection Rundown came under public scrutiny after the death of Lisa McPherson in 1995.
Rejection of psychology and psychiatry
Scientology is vehemently opposed to psychiatry and psychology. Psychiatry rejected Hubbard's theories in the early 1950s and in 1951, Hubbard's wife Sara consulted doctors who recommended he "be committed to a private sanatorium for psychiatric observation and treatment of a mental ailment known as paranoid schizophrenia." Thereafter, Hubbard criticized psychiatry as a "barbaric and corrupt profession".
Hubbard taught that psychiatrists were responsible for a great many wrongs in the world, saying that psychiatry has at various times offered itself as a tool of political suppression and "that psychiatry spawned the ideology which fired Hitler's mania, turned the Nazis into mass murderers, and created the Holocaust." Hubbard created the anti-psychiatry organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which operates Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, an anti-psychiatry museum.
From 1969, CCHR has campaigned in opposition to psychiatric treatments, electroconvulsive shock therapy, lobotomy, and drugs such as Ritalin and Prozac. According to the official church website, "the effects of medical and psychiatric drugs, whether painkillers, tranquilizers or 'antidepressants', are as disastrous" as illegal drugs.
Body and thetan
Scientology beliefs revolve around the immortal soul, the thetan. Scientology teaches that the thetan is the true identity of a person – an intrinsically good, omniscient, non-material core capable of unlimited creativity.
Hubbard taught that thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure. The universe has no independent reality but derives its apparent reality from the fact that thetans agree it exists. Thetans fell from grace when they began to identify with their creation rather than their original state of spiritual purity. Eventually they lost their memory of their true nature, along with the associated spiritual and creative powers. As a result, thetans came to think of themselves as nothing but embodied beings.
Thetans are reborn time and time again in new bodies through a process called "assumption", which is analogous to reincarnation. Scientology posits a causal relationship between the experiences of earlier incarnations and one's present life, and with each rebirth, the effects of the MEST universe (MEST here stands for matter, energy, space, and time) on the thetan become stronger.
Space opera and the Wall of Fire
The Church of Scientology holds that at the higher levels of initiation ("OT levels"), mystical teachings are imparted that may be harmful to unprepared readers. These teachings are kept secret from members who have not reached these levels. The church says that the secrecy is warranted to keep its materials' use in context and to protect its members from being exposed to materials they are not yet prepared for.
These are the OT levels, the levels above Clear, whose contents are guarded within Scientology. The OT level teachings include accounts of various cosmic catastrophes that befell the thetans. Hubbard described these early events collectively as "space opera".
In the OT levels, Hubbard explains how to reverse the effects of past-life trauma patterns that supposedly extend millions of years into the past. Among these advanced teachings is the story of Xenu (sometimes Xemu), introduced as the tyrant ruler of the "Galactic Confederacy". According to this story, 75 million years ago Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners, stacked them around volcanoes and detonated hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes. The thetans then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to do this today. Scientologists at advanced levels place considerable emphasis on isolating body thetans and neutralizing their ill effects.
Excerpts and descriptions of OT materials were published online by a former member in 1995 and then circulated in mainstream media. This occurred after the teachings were submitted as evidence in court cases involving Scientology, thus becoming a matter of public record. There are eight publicly known OT levels, OT I to VIII. The highest level, OT VIII, is disclosed only at sea on the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds. It has been rumored that additional OT levels, said to be based on material written by Hubbard long ago, will be released at some appropriate point in the future.
A large Church of Spiritual Technology symbol carved into the ground at Scientology's Trementina Base is visible from the air. Washington Post reporter Richard Leiby wrote, "Former Scientologists familiar with Hubbard's teachings on reincarnation say the symbol marks a 'return point' so loyal staff members know where they can find the founder's works when they travel here in the future from other places in the universe."
Ethics, suppressives, and disconnection
The Ethics system regulates member behavior, and Ethics officers are present in every Scientology organization. Ethics officers ensure "correct application of Scientology technology" and deal with "behavior adversely affecting a Scientology organization's performance", ranging from "Errors" and "Misdemeanors" to "Crimes" and "Suppressive Acts", as those terms defined by Scientology.
Scientology asserts some people are truly malevolent, and Hubbard taught 20 percent of the population were suppressive persons, which includes some hopelessly antisocial personalities who are the truly dangerous individuals in humanity: "the Adolf Hitlers and the Genghis Khans, the unrepentant murderers and the drug lords." Scientology disconnection policy prohibits most contact with Suppressive Persons. The church denies that a disconnection policy exists, and quotes Hubbard's definition of disconnection as "a self-determined decision made by an individual that he is not going to be connected to another."
A Scientologist who communicates with a suppressive person risks being declared a Potential Trouble Source. Defectors who turn into critics of the movement are declared suppressive persons, and the Church of Scientology has a reputation for moving aggressively against such detractors.
The term Fair Game is used to describe policies and practices carried out against people the Church perceives as its enemies. Hubbard established the policy in the 1950s, in response to criticism both from within and outside his organization. Individuals or groups who are "Fair Game" are judged to be a threat to the Church and, according to the policy, can be punished and harassed using any and all means possible.
Hubbard and his followers targeted many individuals as well as government officials and agencies, including a program of illegal infiltration of the IRS and other U.S. government agencies during the 1970s. They also conducted private investigations, character assassination and legal action against the Church's critics in the media. The policy remains in effect and has been defended by the Church of Scientology as a core religious practice.
In Scientology, ceremonies for events such as weddings, child naming, and funerals are observed. Friday services are held to commemorate the completion of a person's religious services during the prior week. Ordained Scientology ministers may perform such rites. However, these services and the clergy who perform them play only a minor role in Scientologists' religious lives.
Hubbard theorized in 1951 that the "aesthetic mind" is a phase of mental activity that "deals with the nebulous field of art and creation." In August 1965, Hubbard published the book Art that defines art as "a word which summarizes the quality of communication." He also claimed that art is "the least codified of human endeavors and the most misunderstood." The book is used as a textbook for art courses in Scientology.
The internal structure of Scientology organizations is strongly bureaucratic with a focus on statistics-based management. Organizational operating budgets are performance-related and subject to frequent reviews.
A 2001 survey estimated that 55,000 people in the United States claimed to be Scientologists. Worldwide estimates of Scientology's core practicing membership ranges between 100,000 and 200,000, mostly in the U.S., Europe, South Africa and Australia. The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey found that the number of American Scientologists had dropped to 25,000. A 2008 Trinity College survey concluded there were only 25,000 American Scientologists. Scientology is also declining in the United Kingdom. In 2011, high-level defector Jeff Hawkins estimated there were 40,000 Scientologists worldwide.
Although the Church of Scientology claims to be the fastest growing religious movement on Earth, the church's estimates of its membership numbers are reportedly significantly exaggerated.
The highest ranking people in the Scientology hierarchy are the members of the Sea Organization, or Sea Org. The organization includes some 5,000 of Scientology's most dedicated adherents, who work for low pay, and sign a billion-year contract.
Rehabilitation Project Force
The Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) is a controversial part of the Scientology "justice" system. When Sea Org members are found guilty of a violation, they are assigned to the RPF. The RPF involves a daily regimen of five hours of auditing or studying, eight hours of work, often physical labor, such as building renovation, and at least seven hours of sleep. Douglas E. Cowan and David G. Bromley state that scholars and observers have come to radically different conclusions about the RPF and whether it is "voluntary or coercive, therapeutic or punitive".
Office of Special Affairs
The Office of Special Affairs or OSA (formerly the Guardian's Office) is a department of the Church of Scientology which has been characterized as a non-state intelligence agency. It has targeted critics of the Church for "dead agent" operations, which is mounting character assassination operations against perceived enemies.
A 1990 article in the Los Angeles Times reported that in the 1980s the church more commonly used private investigators, including former and current Los Angeles police officers, to give themselves a layer of protection in case embarrassing tactics were used and became public.
Church of Spiritual Technology
The Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) has been described as "most secret organization in all of Scientology." The organization owns the copyrights to all Scientology materials and the bulk of Hubbard's estate. CST licenses this intellectual property to the Religious Technology Center who then sub-licenses it to Church of Scientology International.
The organization also operates the Scientology archiving project, which aims to preserve the works of Hubbard on stainless steel tablets, encased in titanium capsules in specially constructed vaults throughout the world.
Franchises and advanced organizations
Many Scientologists' first contact with Scientology is through local informal groups and field auditors practicing Dianetics counseling. In addition to these, Scientology operates hundreds of Churches and Missions around the world. This is where Scientologists receive introductory training, and it is at this local level that most Scientologists participate. Churches and Missions are licensed franchises; they may offer services for a fee provided they contribute a proportion of their income and comply with the Religious Technology Center (RTC) and its standards.
Operating Thetan levels are offered only at Scientology's Advanced Organizations (Los Angeles, Sydney, East Grinstead and Copenhagen). The Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida offers OT levels VI and VII. The Scientology ship Freewinds offers OT VIII.
In 1955, Hubbard created a list of 63 celebrities targeted for conversion to Scientology. In a church policy letter in 1973, L. Ron Hubbard wrote, "The purpose of [the] Celebrity Centre is, to forward the expansion and popularization of Scientology through the arts."
Scientology operates eight churches that are designated Celebrity Centres, designed to minister to celebrity Scientologists. The largest of these is in Hollywood, California, called Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International. The Celebrity Centre International was the first one that was opened in 1969 and its opening is celebrated the first week of August each year in an evening gala.
Scientology tech in jails and prisons, schools, and management
Several Scientology organizations promote the use of Scientology technology as a means to solve social problems. Scientology began to focus on these issues in the early 1970s, led by Hubbard. The church developed outreach programs to fight drug addiction, illiteracy, learning disabilities and criminal behavior. These have been presented to schools, businesses and communities as secular techniques based on Hubbard's writings. The Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) acts as an umbrella organization for these efforts. Notable examples include:
- Criminon, an offshoot of Narconon, introduces Scientology practices to criminal offenders.
- Applied Scholastics, founded in 1972, teaches Scientology study tech to K-12 students. Delphi Schools operates numerous private schools throughout the United States, including the flagship academy The Delphian School in Yamhill County, Oregon.
- The World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) applies Scientology technology to business management. The most prominent training supplier to make use of Hubbard's technology is Sterling Management Systems.
- The Way to Happiness Foundation promotes a moral code written by Hubbard, to date translated into more than 40 languages.
The Church of Scientology began its "Volunteer Ministers" program as a way to participate in community outreach projects. Volunteer Ministers sometimes travel to the scenes of major disasters in order to provide assistance with relief efforts. According to critics, these relief efforts consist of passing out copies of a pamphlet authored by Hubbard entitled The Way to Happiness, and engaging in a method said to calm panicked or injured individuals known in Scientology as a "touch assist." Accounts of the Volunteer Ministers' effectiveness have been mixed, and touch assists are not supported by scientific evidence.
Other Scientology-related organizations include:
- International Association of Scientologists, the official Scientology membership organization. Since 1985, the IAS has held an annual ceremony awarding the IAS Freedom Medal.
- The National Commission on Law Enforcement and Social Justice, devoted to combating what it describes as abusive practices by government and police agencies, especially Interpol.
The Church of Scientology is one of the most controversial religious organizations. A first point of controversy was its challenge of the psychotherapeutic establishment. Another was a 1991 Time magazine article that attacked the church, which responded with a major lawsuit that was rejected by the court as baseless early in 1992. And a third is its religious status in the United States, formalized when the IRS granted the organization tax-exempt status in 1993.
It has been in conflict with the governments and police forces of many countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany). It has been one of the most litigious religious movements in history, filing countless lawsuits against governments, organizations and individuals.
Reports and allegations have been made, by journalists, courts, and governmental bodies of several countries, that the Church of Scientology is an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and brutally exploits its members. A considerable amount of investigation has been aimed at the church, by groups ranging from the media to governmental agencies.
The controversies involving the church and its critics, some of them ongoing, include:
- Criminal behavior by members of the Church, including the infiltration of the US Government.
- Organized harassment of people perceived as enemies of the Church.
- Scientology's disconnection policy, in which some members are required to shun friends or family members who are "antagonistic" to the Church.
- The death of a Scientologist Lisa McPherson while in the care of the church. (Robert Minton sponsored the multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Scientology for the death of McPherson. In May 2004, McPherson's estate and the Church of Scientology reached a confidential settlement.)
- Attempts to legally force search engines to censor information critical of the Church.
- Allegations the Church leader David Miscavige beats and demoralizes staff, and that physical violence by superiors towards staff working for them is a common occurrence in the church. Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis denied these claims and provided witnesses to rebut them.
Stephen A. Kent, a professor of sociology, has said that "Scientologists see themselves as possessors of doctrines and skills that can save the world, if not the galaxy." As stated in Scientology doctrine: "The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology." Kent has described Scientology's ethics system as "a peculiar brand of morality that uniquely benefited [the Church of Scientology] ... In plain English, the purpose of Scientology ethics is to eliminate opponents, then eliminate people's interests in things other than Scientology."
Many former members have come forward to speak out about the Church and the negative effects its teachings have had on them, including celebrities such as Leah Remini. Remini spoke about her split from the Church, saying that she still has friends within the organization who she is no longer able to speak to.
Much of the controversy surrounding Scientology stems from the criminal convictions of core members of the Scientology organization.
In 1978, a number of Scientologists, including L. Ron Hubbard's wife Mary Sue Hubbard (who was second in command in the organization at the time), were convicted of perpetrating what was at the time the largest incident of domestic espionage in the history of the United States, called "Operation Snow White". This involved infiltrating, wiretapping, and stealing documents from the offices of Federal attorneys and the Internal Revenue Service. L. Ron Hubbard was convicted in absentia by French authorities of engaging in fraud and sentenced to four years in prison. The head of the French Church of Scientology was convicted at the same trial and given a suspended one-year prison sentence.
An FBI raid on the Church's headquarters revealed documentation that detailed Scientology's criminal actions against various critics of the organization. In "Operation Freakout", agents of the church attempted to destroy Paulette Cooper, author of The Scandal of Scientology, an early book that had been critical of the movement. Among these documents was a plan to frame Gabe Cazares, the mayor of Clearwater, Florida, with a staged hit-and-run accident. 9 individuals related to the case were prosecuted on charges of theft, burglary, conspiracy, and other crimes.
In 1988, Scientology president Heber Jentzsch and ten other members of the organization were arrested in Spain on various charges including illicit association, coercion, fraud, and labor law violations.
In 2012, Belgian prosecutors indicted Scientology as a criminal organization engaged in fraud and extortion. On March 2016, the Church of Scientology was acquitted of all charges, and demands to close its Belgian branch and European headquarters were dismissed.
Scientology has historically engaged in hostile action toward its critics; executives within the organization have proclaimed that Scientology is "not a turn-the-other-cheek religion". Journalists, politicians, former Scientologists and various anti-cult groups have made accusations of wrongdoing against Scientology since the 1960s, and Scientology has targeted these critics – almost without exception – for retaliation, in the form of lawsuits and public counter-accusations of personal wrongdoing. Many of Scientology's critics have also reported they were subject to threats and harassment in their private lives.
According to a 1990 Los Angeles Times article, Scientology had largely switched from using church members to using private investigators, including former and current Los Angeles police officers, as this gives the church a layer of protection in case investigators use tactics embarrassing to the church. In one case, the church described their tactics as "LAPD sanctioned," which was energetically disputed by Police Chief Daryl Gates. The officer involved in this particular case of surveillance and harassment was suspended for six months.
Journalist John Sweeney reported that "While making our BBC Panorama film Scientology and Me I have been shouted at, spied on, had my hotel invaded at midnight, denounced as a 'bigot' by star Scientologists, brain-washed—that is how it felt to me—in a mock up of a Nazi-style torture chamber and chased round the streets of Los Angeles by sinister strangers".
Violation of auditing confidentiality
While the Church of Scientology claims to protect the confidentiality of auditing records, the Church has a history of attacking and psychologically abusing former members using information culled from the records. For example, a December 16, 1969, a Guardian's Office order (G. O. 121669) by Mary Sue Hubbard explicitly authorized the use of auditing records for purposes of "internal security." Former members report having participated in combing through information obtained in auditing sessions to see if it could be used for smear campaigns against critics.
The practice of shunning in Scientology is termed "Disconnection". Members can disconnect from any person they already know, including existing family members. Many examples of this policy's application have been established in court. Failure to disconnect from a Suppressive Person is itself labelled a Suppressive act.
Allegation of coerced abortions
The Sea Org originally operated on vessels at sea where it was understood that it was not permitted to raise children on board the ships. Pregnant women in the Sea Org have reported been pressured to undergo abortions. Sea Org members were reportedly shown secret writings by L. Ron Hubbard to convince them that having an abortion was not against Scientology practices.
A former high-ranking source reports that "some 1,500 abortions" have been "carried out by women in the Sea Organization since the implementation of a rule in the late 80s that members could not remain in the organization if they decided to have children." The source noted that "And if members who have been in the Sea Organization for, say, 10 years do decide to have kids, they are dismissed with no more than $1,000" as a severance package.
Many former members have claimed they were pressured to undergo abortion.
Longtime member Astra Woodcraft reportedly "left Scientology for good when the church tried to pressure her to have an abortion". Former Sea Org member Karen Pressley recounted that she was often asked by fellow Scientologists for loans so that they could get an abortion and remain in the Sea Org. Scientology employee Claire Headley has claimed she "was forced to have (two) abortions to keep her job and was subjected to violations of personal rights and liberties for the purpose of obtaining forced labor." Laura Ann DeCrescenzo reported she was "coerced to have an abortion" as a minor.
In March 2009, Maureen Bolstad reported that women who worked at Scientology's headquarters were forced to have abortions, or faced being declared a "Suppressive Person" by the organization's management. In March 2010, former Scientologist Janette Lang stated that at age 20 she became pregnant by her boyfriend while in the organization, and her boyfriend's Scientology supervisors "coerced them into terminating the pregnancy". "We fought for a week, I was devastated, I felt abused, I was lost and eventually I gave in. It was my baby, my body and my choice, and all of that was taken away from me by Scientology," said Lang.
Australian Senator Nick Xenophon gave a speech to the Australian Parliament in November 2009, about statements he had received from former Scientologists. He said that he had been told members of the organization had coerced pregnant female employees to have abortions. "I am deeply concerned about this organisation and the devastating impact it can have on its followers," said Senator Xenophon, and he requested that the Australian Senate begin an investigation into Scientology. According to the letters presented by Senator Xenophon, the organization was involved in "ordering" its members to have abortions. Former Scientologist Aaron Saxton sent a letter to Senator Xenophon stating he had participated in coercing pregnant women within the organization to have abortions. "Aaron says women who fell pregnant were taken to offices and bullied to have an abortion. If they refused, they faced demotion and hard labour. Aaron says one staff member used a coat hanger and self-aborted her child for fear of punishment," said Senator Xenophon. Carmel Underwood, another former Scientologist, said she had been put under "extreme pressure" to have an abortion, and that she was placed into a "disappearing programme", after refusing. Underwood was the executive director of Scientology's branch in Sydney, Australia.
Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis dismissed such claims as "utterly meritless". Mike Ferriss, the head of Scientology in New Zealand, told media that "There are no forced abortions in Scientology". Scientology spokesperson Virginia Stewart likewise rejected the claims and asserted "The Church of Scientology considers the family unit and children to be of the utmost importance and does not condone nor force anyone to undertake any medical procedure whatsoever."
Scientology, litigation, and the Internet
In the 1990s, Miscavige's organization took action against increased criticism of Scientology on the Internet and online distribution of Scientology-related documents.
Starting in 1991, Scientology filed fifty lawsuits against Scientology-critic Cult Awareness Network (CAN). Many of the suits were dismissed, but one resulted in $2 million in losses, bankrupting the network. At bankruptcy, CAN's name and logo were obtained by a Scientologist. A New Cult Awareness Network was set up with Scientology backing, which operates as an information and networking center for non-traditional religions, referring callers to academics and other experts.
In a 1993 U.S. lawsuit brought by the Church of Scientology against Steven Fishman, a former member of the Church, Fishman made a court declaration which included several dozen pages of formerly secret esoterica detailing aspects of Scientologist cosmogony. As a result of the litigation, this material, normally strictly safeguarded and used only in Scientology's more advanced "OT levels", found its way onto the Internet. This resulted in a battle between the Church of Scientology and its online critics over the right to disclose this material, or safeguard its confidentiality. The Church of Scientology was forced to issue a press release acknowledging the existence of this cosmogony, rather than allow its critics "to distort and misuse this information for their own purposes." Even so, the material, notably the story of Xenu, has since been widely disseminated and used to caricature Scientology, despite the Church's vigorous program of copyright litigation.
In January 1995, church lawyer Helena Kobrin attempted to shut down the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology by sending a control message instructing Usenet servers to delete the group. In practice, this rmgroup message had little effect, since most Usenet servers are configured to disregard such messages when sent to groups that receive substantial traffic, and newgroup messages were quickly issued to recreate the group on those servers that did not do so. However, the issuance of the message led to a great deal of public criticism by free-speech advocates. Among the criticisms raised, one suggestion is that Scientology's true motive is to suppress the free speech of its critics.
The Church also began filing lawsuits against those who posted copyrighted texts on the newsgroup and the World Wide Web, and lobbied for tighter restrictions on copyrights in general. The Church supported the controversial Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act as well as the even more controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Some of the DMCA's provisions (notably the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act) were heavily influenced by Church litigation against US Internet service providers over copyrighted Scientology materials that had been posted or uploaded through their servers.
Beginning in the middle of 1996 and ensuing for several years, the newsgroup was attacked by anonymous parties using a tactic dubbed sporgery by some, in the form of hundreds of thousands of forged spam messages posted on the group. Some investigators said that some spam had been traced to church members. Former Scientologist Tory Christman later asserted that the Office of Special Affairs had undertaken a concerted effort to destroy alt.religion.scientology through these means; the effort failed.
On January 14, 2008, a video produced by the Church of Scientology featuring an interview with Tom Cruise was leaked to the Internet and uploaded to YouTube. The Church of Scientology issued a copyright violation claim against YouTube requesting the removal of the video. Subsequently, the group Anonymous voiced its criticism of Scientology and began attacking the Church. Calling the action by the Church of Scientology a form of Internet censorship, participants of Anonymous coordinated Project Chanology, consisting a series of denial-of-service attacks against Scientology websites, prank calls, and black faxes to Scientology centers. On January 21, 2008, Anonymous announced its intentions via a video posted to YouTube entitled "Message to Scientology", and a press release declaring a "war" against the Church of Scientology and the Religious Technology Center. In the press release, the group stated that the attacks against the Church of Scientology would continue in order to protect the freedom of speech, and end what they saw as the financial exploitation of church members.
On January 28, 2008, an Anonymous video appeared on YouTube calling for protests outside Church of Scientology centers on February 10, 2008. According to a letter Anonymous e-mailed to the press, about 7,000 people protested in more than 90 cities worldwide. Many protesters wore masks based on the character V from V for Vendetta (who was influenced by Guy Fawkes) or otherwise disguised their identities, in part to protect themselves from reprisals from the Church of Scientology. Many further protests have followed since then in cities around the world.
The Arbitration Committee of the Wikipedia internet encyclopedia decided in May 2009 to restrict access to its site from Church of Scientology IP addresses, to prevent self-serving edits by Scientologists. A "host of anti-Scientologist editors" were topic-banned as well. The committee concluded that both sides had "gamed policy" and resorted to "battlefield tactics", with articles on living persons being the "worst casualties".
Disputes over legal status
The legal status of Scientology or Scientology-related organizations differs between jurisdictions. Scientology was legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in South Africa, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain. Scientology was granted tax-exempt status in the United States in 1993. The organization is considered a cult in Chile and an "anticonstitutional sect" in Germany, and is considered a cult (French secte) by some French public authorities.
The church argues that Scientology is a genuine religious movement that has been misrepresented, maligned, and persecuted. The Church of Scientology has pursued an extensive public relations campaign for the recognition of Scientology as a tax-exempt religion in the various countries in which it exists.
Scientology has often encountered opposition due to its strong-arm tactics directed against critics and members wishing to leave the organization. A number of governments regard the Church as a religious organization entitled to tax-exempt status, while governments variously classify it as a business, cult, pseudoreligion, or criminal organization.
In 1957, the Church of Scientology of California was granted tax-exempt status by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and so, for a time, were other local churches. In 1958 however, the IRS started a review of the appropriateness of this status. In 1959, Hubbard moved to England, remaining there until the mid-1960s.
In the mid-sixties, the Church of Scientology was banned in several Australian states, starting with Victoria in 1965. The ban was based on the Anderson Report, which found that the auditing process involved "command" hypnosis, in which the hypnotist assumes "positive authoritative control" over the patient. On this point the report stated,
It is the firm conclusion of this Board that most scientology and dianetic techniques are those of authoritative hypnosis and as such are dangerous ... the scientific evidence which the Board heard from several expert witnesses of the highest repute ... leads to the inescapable conclusion that it is only in name that there is any difference between authoritative hypnosis and most of the techniques of scientology. Many scientology techniques are in fact hypnotic techniques, and Hubbard has not changed their nature by changing their names.
The Australian Church was forced to operate under the name of the "Church of the New Faith" as a result, the name and practice of Scientology having become illegal in the relevant states. Several years of court proceedings aimed at overturning the ban followed. In 1973, state laws banning Scientology were overturned in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. In 1983 the High Court of Australia ruled in a unanimous decision that the Church of Scientology was "undoubtedly a religion and deserving of tax exemption.".
In 1967, the IRS removed Scientology's tax-exempt status, asserting that its activities were commercial and operated for the benefit of Hubbard, rather than for charitable or religious purposes. The decision resulted in a process of litigation that was settled in the Church's favor a quarter of a century later, the longest case of litigation in IRS history.
Scientology as a religion
Scientology is officially recognized as a religion in the United States. Recognition came in 1993, when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stated that "[Scientology is] operated exclusively for religious and charitable purposes." Scientology was again recognized as a religion by the U.S. courts when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment in Headley v. Church of Scientology International in 2012.
The New York Times noted in this connection that the Church of Scientology had funded a campaign which included a whistle-blower organization to publicly attack the IRS, as well as hiring of private investigators to look into the private lives of IRS officials. In 1991, Miscavige, the highest-ranking Scientology leader, arranged a meeting with Fred T. Goldberg Jr., the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service at the time. The meeting was an "opportunity for the church to offer to end its long dispute with the agency, including the dozens of suits brought against the IRS." The committee met several times with the Scientology legal team and "was persuaded that those involved in the Snow White crimes had been purged, that church money was devoted to tax-exempt purposes and that, with Mr. Hubbard's death, no one was getting rich from Scientology." In August 1993, a settlement was reached; the church would receive its tax-exempt status and end its legal actions against the IRS and its personnel. The church was required only to resubmit new applications for exemption to the IRS Exempt Organizations (EO) division, which was told "not to consider any substantive matters" because those issues had been resolved by the committee. The secret agreement was announced on October 13, 1993, with the IRS refusing to disclose any of the terms or the reasoning behind the decision. Both the IRS and Scientology rejected any allegations that foul play or undue pressure had been used on IRS officials, insisting that the decision had been based on the merits of the case. IRS officials "insisted that Scientology's tactics had not affected the decision" and that "ultimately the decision was made on a legal basis". Miscavige claims that the IRS's examination of Scientology was the most exhaustive review of any non-profit organization in history.
Elsewhere, Scientology is recognized as a religion in Australia, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Croatia, Hungary and Kyrgyzstan. In New Zealand, the Inland Revenue Department classified the Church of Scientology as a charitable organization and stated that its income would be tax exempt. It has gained judicial recognition in Italy,[clarification needed] and Scientology officials have won the right to perform marriages in South Africa.
Scientology is not recognized as a religion in Canada. In the UK, the Charity Commission for England and Wales ruled in 1999 that Scientology was not a religion and refused to register the Church as a charity, although a year later, it was recognized as a not-for-profit body in a separate proceeding by the UK Revenue and Customs and exempted from UK value added tax. In December 2013, the United Kingdom's highest court officially recognized Scientology as a religion. The ruling ended a five-year legal battle by Scientologist Louisa Hodkin, who sought the legal right to marry at the Church of Scientology chapel in central London. The opinion by five supreme court justices redefined religion in law, rendering the 1970 definition "out of date" in restricting religious worship to "reverence or veneration of God or of a Supreme Being."
Viewed as a commercial enterprise
In conjunction with the Church of Scientology's request to be officially recognized as a religion in Germany, around 1996 the German state Baden-Württemberg conducted a thorough investigation of the group's activities within Germany. The results of this investigation indicated that at the time of publication, Scientology's main sources of revenue ("Haupteinnahmequellen der SO") were from course offerings and sales of their various publications. Course offerings ranged from (German Marks) DM 182.50 to about DM 30,000 – the equivalent today of approximately $119 to US$19,560. Revenue from monthly, bi-monthly, and other membership offerings could not be estimated in the report, but was nevertheless placed in the millions. Defending its practices against accusations of profiteering, the Church has countered critics by drawing analogies to other religious groups who have established practices such as tithing, or require members to make donations for specific religious services.
Since 1997 Germany has considered Scientology to be in conflict with the principles of the nation's constitution. It is seen as an anticonstitutional sect and a new version of political extremism and because there is "evidence for intentions against the free democratic basic order" it is observed by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In 1997, an open letter to then-German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, published as a newspaper advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, drew parallels between the "organized oppression" of Scientologists in Germany and the treatment of Jews in 1930s' Nazi Germany. The letter was signed by Dustin Hoffman, Goldie Hawn and a number of other Hollywood celebrities and executives. Commenting on the matter, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State said that Scientologists were discriminated against in Germany, but condemned the comparisons to the Nazis' treatment of Jews as extremely inappropriate, as did a United Nations Special Rapporteur. Based on the IRS exemptions, the U.S. State Department formally criticized Germany for discriminating against Scientologists and began to note Scientologists' complaints of harassment in its annual human rights reports, as well as the annual International Religious Freedom Reports it has released from 1999 onwards. Germany will continue to monitor Scientology's activities in the country, despite continued objection from Scientology which cites such monitoring as abuse of freedom of religion.
France and Belgium have not recognized Scientology as a religion, and Stephen A. Kent, writing in 2001, noted that recognition had not been obtained in Ireland, Luxembourg, Israel or Mexico either. Although the Belgian State Prosecution Service recommended that various individuals and organizations associated with Scientology should be prosecuted, the Belgian courts finally decided in March 2016 that Scientology is not a criminal organization.
In Greece, Scientology is not recognized as a religion by the Greek government, and multiple applications for religious status have been denied, notably in 2000 and 2003.
In the Netherlands, Scientology was granted tax exempt status in October 2013. The status was revoked in October 2015. The court ruled that because auditing fees and course costs were more expensive than most commercial education institutions, Scientology appeared to be aimed at making a profit.
Scientology maintains strict control over the use of its symbols, icons, and names. It claims copyright and trademark over its "Scientology cross", and its lawyers have threatened lawsuits against individuals and organizations who have published the image in books and on Web sites. Because of this, it is very difficult for individual groups to attempt to publicly practice Scientology on their own, independent of the official Church of Scientology. Scientology has filed suit against a number of individuals who have attempted to set up their own auditing practices, using copyright and trademark law to shut these groups down.
The Church of Scientology and its many related organizations have amassed considerable real estate holdings worldwide, likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Scientology encourages existing members to "sell" Scientology to others by paying a commission to those who recruit new members. Scientology franchises, or missions, must pay the Church of Scientology roughly 10% of their gross income. On that basis, it is likened to a pyramid selling scheme. While introductory courses do not cost much, courses at the higher levels may cost several thousand dollars each. As a rule, the great majority of members proceeds up the bridge in a steady rate commensurate with their income. Most recently the Italian Supreme Court agreed with the American IRS that the church's financial system is analogous to the practices of other groups and not out of line with its religious purposes.
In November 2009, Australian Senator Nick Xenophon used a speech in Federal Parliament to allege that the Church of Scientology is a criminal organization. Based on letters from former followers of the religion, he said that there were "allegations of forced imprisonment, coerced abortions, and embezzlement of church funds, of physical violence and intimidation, blackmail and the widespread and deliberate abuse of information obtained by the organization".
Scientology in religious studies
Describing the available scholarship on Scientology, David G. Bromley and Douglas E. Cowan stated in 2006 that "most scholars have concluded that Scientology falls within the category of religion for the purposes of academic study, and a number have defended the Church in judicial and political proceedings on this basis." Hugh B. Urban writes that "Scientology's efforts to get itself defined as a religion make it an ideal case study for thinking about how we understand and define religion." Toward the second decade of the 2000s, a new interest for Scientology emerged among scholars, bringing the subject from obscurity.
According to the Encyclopedia of Religious Controversies in the United States, "even as Scientology raises questions about how and who gets to define religion, most scholars recognize it as a religion, one that emerges from and builds on American individualism and the spiritual marketplace that dominated 1950s America." David G. Bromley comments that Scientology "could gain strength by adding to the new perspective on existence, the hope and human meaning that only a transcendent creed can give."
Bromley and Cowan noted in 2008 that Scientology's attempts "to gain favor with new religion scholars" had often been problematic. According to Religious Studies professor Mary Farrell Benarowski, Scientology describes itself as drawing on science, religion, psychology and philosophy but "had been claimed by none of them and repudiated, for the most part, by all."
Regis Dericquesbourg writes about the efficacy of Scientology in imparting knowledge: "Scientology indeed not only brings knowledge, it also brings personal introspection through auditing, and transmission in upper levels is not merely reading texts: what is transmitted is experienced through a solo or duo auditing experience." He compared it to psychoanalysis.
Frank K. Flinn, adjunct professor of religious studies at Washington University in St. Louis wrote, "it is abundantly clear that Scientology has both the typical forms of ceremonial and celebratory worship and its own unique form of spiritual life." Flinn further states that religion requires "beliefs in something transcendental or ultimate, practices (rites and codes of behavior) that re-inforce those beliefs and, a community that is sustained by both the beliefs and practices", all of which are present within Scientology. Similarly, World Religions in America states that "Scientology contains the same elements of most other religions, including myths, scriptures, doctrines, worship, sacred practices and rituals, moral and ethical expectations, a community of believers, clergy, and ecclesiastic organizations."
While acknowledging that a number of his colleagues accept Scientology as a religion, sociologist Stephen A. Kent writes: "Rather than struggling over whether or not to label Scientology as a religion, I find it far more helpful to view it as a multifaceted transnational corporation, only one element of which is religious" [emphasis in the original].
Donna Batten in the Gale Encyclopedia of American Law writes, "A belief does not need to be stated in traditional terms to fall within First Amendment protection. For example, Scientology—a system of beliefs that a human being is essentially a free and immortal spirit who merely inhabits a body—does not propound the existence of a supreme being, but it qualifies as a religion under the broad definition propounded by the Supreme Court."
J. Gordon Melton asserts that while the debate over definitions of religion will continue, "scholars will probably continue in the future to adopt a broad definition, thus including Scientology in a wider religious field."
The material contained in the OT levels has been characterized as bad science fiction by critics, while others claim it bears structural similarities to gnostic thought and ancient Hindu beliefs of creation and cosmic struggle. Melton suggests that these elements of the OT levels may never have been intended as descriptions of historical events and that, like other religious mythology, they may have their truth in the realities of the body and mind which they symbolize. He adds that on whatever level Scientologists might have received this mythology, they seem to have found it useful in their spiritual quest.
Scholar Luigi Berzano of the University of Turin listed five religious characteristics of Scientology: a set of doctrines leading to a spiritual goal, a community of believers, an authority figure (Hubbard), ritual practices, and "an ethical-moral view of life."
In Handbook of Scientology, scholar Erin Prophet states that the derision and opposition that Scientology arouses is not proportional to its “actual size, influence and ability to do harm.” Prophet uses Monster Theory to explain this phenomenon. According to Derrida, a monster is a “hybridization,” a “species for which we do not yet have a name.” Prophet explains that the object of Monster Theory does not mean they are actually monsters, but that “people are more willing to believe false and exaggerated claims about them, to deny them basic human rights, event to treat them as a different species, due to their perceived hybridity.”
During his lifetime, Hubbard was accused of using religion as a façade for Scientology to maintain tax-exempt status and avoid prosecution for false medical claims. The IRS cited a statement frequently attributed to Hubbard that the way to get rich was to found a religion. Though some claim the statement is unsubstantiated, many of Hubbard's science fiction colleagues, including Sam Merwin, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach and Sam Moscowitz, recall Hubbard raising the topic in conversation.
Hubbard grew up in a climate that was very critical of organized religion, and frequently quoted anti-religious sentiments in his early lectures. The scholar Marco Frenschkowski (University of Mainz) has stated that it was not easy for Hubbard "to come to terms with the spiritual side of his own movement. Hubbard did not want to found a religion: he discovered that what he was talking about in fact was religion. This mainly happened when he had to deal with apparent memories from former lives. He had to defend himself about this to his friends." Frenschkowski allows that there were practical concerns in the question of "how to present Scientology to the outside world", but dismisses the notion that the religious format was just an expedient pretense; Frenschkowski points to many passages in Hubbard's works that document his struggle with this question. Frenschkowski suggests that it was a biographical mistake to suggest that Hubbard only became interested in Scientology as a religion in 1954. He notes that Hubbard discussed religion and the concept of God even in the years leading up to the emergence of Scientology, and that he did not "rush into religion" but rather, "discovered it through the development of his work with pre-clears."
Drawing parallels to similar struggles for identity in other religious movements such as Theosophy and Transcendental Meditation, Frenschkowski sees in Hubbard's lectures "the case of a man whose background was non-religious and who nevertheless discovers that his ideas somehow oscillate between 'science' (in a very popular sense), 'religion' and 'philosophy', and that these ideas somehow fascinate so many people that they start to form a separate movement." Hubbard experiments with traditional religious language in a short piece written in 1953 called "The Factors", "a basic expression of Scientologist cosmology and metaphysics", reprinted in current Scientology literature. Frenschkowski observes that the text is partly biblical in structure and that this development is a component of Scientology's metamorphosis into a religion, written at a point when the nature of the new movement was unclear.
The Church of Scientology denounces the idea of Hubbard starting a religion for personal gain as an unfounded rumor. The Church also suggests that the origin of the rumor was a remark by George Orwell which had been misattributed to Hubbard. Robert Vaughn Young, who left the Church in 1989 after being its spokesman for 20 years, suggested that reports of Hubbard making such a statement could be explained as a misattribution, despite having encountered three of Hubbard's associates from his science fiction days who remembered Hubbard making statements of that sort in person. It was Young who by a stroke of luck came up with the "Orwell quote": "but I have always thought there might be a lot of cash in starting a new religion, and we'll talk it over some time". It appears in a letter by Eric Blair (known the world as George Orwell) to his friend, Jack Common, dated 16-February-38 (February 16, 1938), and was published in Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, vol. 1. In 2006, Rolling Stone's Janet Reitman also attributed the statement to Hubbard, as a remark to science fiction writer Lloyd Eshbach and recorded in Eshbach's autobiography.
Scientology as a UFO religion
Scientology can be seen as a UFO religion in which the existence of extraterrestrial entities operating unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are an element of belief. In this context, it is discussed in UFO Religions by Christopher Partridge, and The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of UFO Religions by James R. Lewis, while Susan Palmer draws several parallels with Raelianism. Gregory Reece, in his book UFO Religion: Inside flying saucer cults and culture, writes:
Scientology is unique within the UFO culture because of this secretiveness, as well as because of the capitalist format under which they operate. Scientology is also difficult to categorize. While it bears strong similarities to the Ashtar Command or the Aetherius Society, its emphasis upon the Xenu event as the central message of the group seems to place them within the ancient astronaut tradition. Either way, Scientology is perhaps most different from other UFO groups in their attempt to keep all of the space opera stuff under wraps. They really would have preferred the rest of us not to know about Xenu and the galactic federation. Alas, such secrets are hard to keep
Regardless of such statements by critics, Hubbard wrote and lectured openly about the material he himself called "space opera." In 1952, Hubbard published a book (What to Audit / A History of Man) on space opera and other material that may be encountered when auditing preclears.
According to David G. Bromley, Scientology is "part therapy, part religion, part UFO group. It's a mix of things unlike any other religious group out there." Scholar Andreas Grunschlo writes that as a ufogical religion, Scientology "conceives of earthly human beings primarily as extraterrestrial spirits ('Thetans') which have now to put on their 'bridge to freedom' again —a soul conception which is paralleled by the typical ufogical 'star seeds' or 'walk-ins' planted on this earthly 'garden' for spiritual growth."
The general orientation of Hubbard's philosophy owes much to Will Durant, author of the popular 1926 classic The Story of Philosophy; Dianetics is dedicated to Durant. Hubbard's view of a mechanically functioning mind in particular finds close parallels in Durant's work on Spinoza. According to Hubbard himself, Scientology is "the Western anglicized continuance of many early forms of wisdom." Ankerberg and Weldon mention the sources of Scientology to include "the Vedas, Buddhism, Judaism, Gnosticism, Taoism, early Greek civilization and the teachings of Jesus, Nietzsche and Freud." Hubbard asserted that Freudian thought was a "major precursor" to Scientology. W. Vaughn Mccall, Professor and Chairman of the Georgia Regents University writes, "Both Freudian theory and Hubbard assume that there are unconscious mental processes that may be shaped by early life experiences, and that these influence later behavior and thought." Both schools of thought propose a "tripartite structure of the mind." Sigmund Freud's psychology, popularized in the 1930s and 1940s, was a key contributor to the Dianetics therapy model, and was acknowledged unreservedly as such by Hubbard in his early works. Hubbard never forgot, when he was 12 years old, meeting Cmdr. Joseph Cheesman Thompson, a U.S. Navy officer who had studied with Freud and when writing to the American Psychological Association in 1949, he stated that he was conducting research based on the "early work of Freud".
In Dianetics, Hubbard cites Hegel as a negative influence — an object lesson in "confusing" writing. According to Mary A. Mann, Scientology is considered nondenominational, accepting all people regardless of their religions background, ethnicity, or educational attainment. Another major influence was Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics. Hubbard was friends with fellow science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, who explored the implications of Korzybski's non-Aristotelian logic in works such as The World of Null-A, and Hubbard's view of the reactive mind has clear and acknowledged parallels with Korzybski's thought; in fact, Korzybski's "anthropometer" may have been what inspired Hubbard's invention of the E-meter.
Beyond that, Hubbard himself named a great many other influences in his own writing – in Scientology 8-8008, for example, these include philosophers from Anaxagoras and Aristotle to Herbert Spencer and Voltaire, physicists and mathematicians like Euclid and Isaac Newton, as well as founders of religions such as Buddha, Confucius, Jesus and Mohammed – but there is little evidence in Hubbard's writings that he studied these figures to any great depth.
As noted, elements of the Eastern religions are evident in Scientology, in particular the concept of karma found in Hinduism and Jainism. In addition to the links to Hindu texts, Scientology draws from Taoism and Buddhism. According to the Encyclopedia of Community, Scientology "shows affinities with Buddhism and a remarkable similarity to first-century Gnosticism."
In the 1940s, Hubbard was in contact with Jack Parsons, a rocket scientist and member of the Ordo Templi Orientis then led by Aleister Crowley, and there have been suggestions that this connection influenced some of the ideas and symbols of Scientology. Religious scholars Gerald Willms and J. Gordon Melton have stated that Crowley's teachings bear little if any resemblance to Scientology doctrine.
J. Gordon Melton writes that Scientology has its roots in Esoteric thought. He cited the significance of understanding Scientology's appeal as aligned with Esoteric tradition. The Church is a "significant revision" and "meaningful revitalization" within the esoteric tradition. Melton states that Scientology can also be traced back to Gnosticism, Manicheanism, Freemasonry and Theosophy.
According to James R. Lewis, Scientology is in the same lineage of supernatural religious movements such as New Thought. Scientology goes beyond this and refers to their religio-therapeutic practices as religious technology. Lewis wrote, "Scientology sees their psycho-spiritual technology as supplying the missing ingredient in existing technologies—namely, the therapeutic engineering of the human psyche."
Scientology and hypnosis
Hubbard was said to be an accomplished hypnotist, and close acquaintances such as Forrest Ackerman (Hubbard's literary agent) and A. E. van Vogt (an early supporter of Dianetics) witnessed repeated demonstrations of his hypnotic skills. Scientology literature states that L. Ron Hubbard expertise in hypnosis led to the discovery of the Dianetic engram. However, Hubbard wrote that hypnosis is a "wild variable", and compared parlor hypnosis to an atom bomb. He also wrote:
Hypnotism plants, by positive suggestion, one or another form of insanity. It is usually a temporary planting, but sometimes the hypnotic suggestion will not "lift" or remove in a way desirable to the hypnotist.
Etymology of "Scientology" and earlier usage
The word Scientology, as coined by L. Ron Hubbard, is a derivation from the Latin word scientia ("knowledge", "skill"), which comes from the verb scīre ("to know"), with the suffix -ology, from the Greek λόγος lógos ("word" or "account [of]"). Scientology is further defined as "the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes, and other life."
The term scientology had been used in published works at least twice before Hubbard. In The New Word (1901) poet and lawyer Allen Upward first used scientology to mean blind, unthinking acceptance of scientific doctrine (compare scientism). In 1934, philosopher Anastasius Nordenholz published Scientology: Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge, which used the term to mean the science of science. It is unknown whether Hubbard was aware of either prior usage of the word.
ARC and KRC triangles
The ARC and KRC triangles are concept maps which show a relationship between three concepts to form another concept. These two triangles are present in the Scientology symbol. The lower triangle, the ARC triangle, is a summary representation of the knowledge the Scientologist strives for. It encompasses Affinity (affection, love or liking), Reality (consensual reality) and Communication (the exchange of ideas). Scientology teaches that improving one of the three aspects of the triangle "increases the level" of the other two, but Communication is held to be the most important. The upper triangle is the KRC triangle, the letters KRC positing a similar relationship between Knowledge, Responsibility and Control.
Among Scientologists, the letters ARC are used as an affectionate greeting in personal communication, for example at the end of a letter. Social problems are ascribed to breakdowns in ARC – in other words, a lack of agreement on reality, a failure to communicate effectively, or a failure to develop affinity. These can take the form of overts – harmful acts against another, either intentionally or by omission – which are usually followed by withholds – efforts to conceal the wrongdoing, which further increase the level of tension in the relationship.
Bridge to total freedom
Scientologists seek to attain spiritual development through study of Scientology materials and auditing. The subject (called Technology or Tech in Scientology jargon) is structured in a series of levels (or gradients) of gradually increasing complexity. The sequence of study ("training") and auditing ("processing") levels is termed the "Bridge to Total Freedom", or simply "the Bridge". Training concerns primarily the principles and techniques of auditing. Processing is personal development through participation in auditing sessions.
The Church of Scientology teaches the principle of reciprocity, involving give-and-take in every human transaction. Accordingly, members are required to make donations for study courses and auditing as they move up the Bridge, the amounts increasing as higher levels are reached. Participation in higher-level courses on the Bridge may cost several thousand dollars, and Scientologists usually move up the Bridge at a rate governed by their income.
According to David G. Bromley, religious studies professor, working toward being an "Operating Thetan" means moving up the Bridge to Total Freedom, "which at the highest level transcends material law." He further emphasizes this belief of Scientologists: "You occasionally come across people in Scientology who say they can change the material world with their mind."
Scientology in popular culture
The 2005 South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet" publicized the story of Xenu, based directly on the actual Scientology Operating Thetan III document, and accompanied by an onscreen caption reading "This is what Scientologists actually believe". After explaining these beliefs, the character representing the church's president ultimately reveals to Stan that the church is in reality a money-making scam.
Paul Thomas Anderson's 2012 film The Master features a religious organization called "The Cause" that has many similarities to Scientology. Also, the character of Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, shares a physical resemblance to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
In April 2015, following the recent release of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Saturday Night Live aired a music video featuring the "Church of Neurotology", a parody of Scientology's 1990 music video "We Stand Tall".
In November 2016, cable network A&E began airing Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, a documentary series. Remini, a TV actress and star, was a member of the Church of Scientology for over 30 years and a public proponent of Scientology for years before a public falling out in 2013. She is an executive producer of the series. The series follows Remini as she explores the history and workings of the Church, discusses her experiences and interviews ex-members willing to speak out about alleged abuses of the Church. The initial episode drew 2.1 million viewers.
- Cusack 2009, p. 400
- Lewis, J. (2017). Lewis, James R.; Hellesoy, Kjersti (eds.). Handbook of Scientology. Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion. Brill. ISBN 9789004330542.
- Associated Press (August 13, 1991). "Rural studio is Scientology headquarters". San Jose Mercury News. p. 6B.
- "L Ron Hubbard's Birthday: Who was he and what is Scientology? | Metro News". metro.co.uk. March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Scientology glossary". Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- Melton 2000, pp. 28
- "Remember Venus?". Time. December 22, 1952. Archived from the original on July 21, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2007.
- Melton, J. Gordon (1992). Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America. New York: Garland Pub. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-8153-1140-9.
- Guiley, Rosemary (1991). Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience. [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-06-250365-7.
- DeChant & Jorgenson 2003, p. 227
- Kent, Stephen A. (July 1999). "Scientology – Is this a Religion?" (PDF). Marburg Journal of Religion. 4 (1): 1–23. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- Cohen, David (October 23, 2006). "Tom's aliens target City's 'planetary rulers'". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
As Miscavige begins to crescendo "our next step is eradicating psychiatry from this planet, we will triumph!"
- Christensen, Dorthe Refslund (June 24, 2016). "Rethinking Scientology A Thorough Analysis of L. Ron Hubbard's Formulation of Therapy and Religion in Dianetics and Scientology, 1950–1986". Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review. 7: 155–227. doi:10.5840/asrr201662323.
- Reitman, Janet (2011). Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780547549231.
- Lebron, Robyn E (2012). Searching for Spiritual Unity...can There be Common Ground?: A Basic Internet Guide to Forty World Religions & Spiritual Practices. ISBN 9781462712618. Archived from the original on September 3, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
- Urban, Hugh B. Magia sexualis: sex, magic, and liberation in modern Western esotericism, p. 137. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-520-24776-5
- Urban, Hugh B. (2008). "Secrecy and New Religious Movements: Concealment, Surveillance, and Privacy in a New Age of Information". Religion Compass. 2 (1): 66–83. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8171.2007.00052.x. ISSN 1749-8171.
- "Hubbard's Church 'Unconstitutional': Germany Prepares to Ban Scientology – SPIEGEL ONLINE". Spiegel Online. spiegel.de. December 7, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "National Assembly of France report No. 2468". assemblee-nationale.fr. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- A 1995 parliamentary report lists Scientology groups as cults, and in its 2006 report MIVILUDES similarly classified Scientology organizations as a dangerous cult
- Le point sur l'Eglise de Scientologie, Le Nouvel Observateur
- Wallis, p. 21
- Atack, p. 75
- Hubbard, L. Ron (October 23, 1956). CRA Triangle. Fifteenth American Advanced Clinical Lectures. Los Angeles, CA: Golden Era Publications.
- Miller, p. 139
- Atack, p. 82
- "A Summary on Scientology for Scientists (1969)". wiseoldgoat.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Miller, R. (2016). Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard. Silvertail Books. ISBN 9781909269361. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "'Going Clear': A New Book Delves Into Scientology: NPR". npr.org. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "The History of Excalibur". lermanet.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Hubbard, "The Anatomy Of Thought". Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letter 26 April 1970R, revised March 15, 1975.
- "PunʞLawyer". american-buddha.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Letter to Forrest Ackerman January 13, 1949, "THE SCIENCE OF MIND, really EXCALIBUR" quoted by http://tonyortega.org/2014/10/23/l-ron-hubbard-explains-to-a-friend-the-real-reason-he-wrote-dianetics/
- "Google Books". books.google.com.
- Miller, p. 113
- Wright, Lawrence (2013). Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780385350273.
- Robinson, Jill (November 11, 1997). "L. Ron Hubbard". Secret Lives. A&E.
- Hubbard, L. Ron (October 1958). The Story of Dianetics and Scientology, Lecture 18 (Speech).
- Hubbard, What is Scientology?, 1998 softcover edition, pg. 529.
- "The Creation of 'Religious' Scientology". Religious Studies and Theology. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2006. Originally published by Stephen A. Kent in December 1999.
- Grant, Boyd (2014). What is Scientology? History, Beliefs, Rules, Secrets, and Facts. Newark, DE: Speedy Publishing LLC. p. 4.
- Melton 2000, p. 4
- Melton 2000, pp. 9, 67
- Melton 2000, pp. 9
- Gutjahr, Paul C. (2001). "The State of the Discipline. Sacred Texts in the United States". Journal Book History. 4: 351–352. JSTOR 30227336.
- Melton 2000, p. 28
- Wilson, Bryan (1970). Religious Sects: A Sociological Study, McGraw-Hill, p. 163
- Lewis, James R (2004). Book: The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements By James R. Lewis, p. 110. ISBN 978-0-19-514986-9. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- McCall, W. Vaughn (September 2007). "Psychiatry and Psychology in the Writings of L. Ron Hubbard". Journal of Religion and Health. 46 (3): 437–447. doi:10.1007/s10943-006-9079-9.
- Satter, Beryl (July 3, 2003). "The Sexual Abuse Paradigm in Historical Perspective: Passivity and Emotion in Mid-Twentieth-Century America". Journal of the History of Sexuality. 12 (3): 424–464. doi:10.1353/sex.2004.0014. JSTOR 3704895.
- Gallagher, Eugene; Ashcraft, Michael (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America: African diaspora traditions and other American innovations. p. 172. ISBN 9780275987176. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
- Passas, Nikos, and Manuel Escamilla Castillo. "Scientology And Its 'Clear' Business." Behavioral Sciences & The Law 10.1 (1992): 103–116. Academic Search Premier
- Wallis, Roy (1975). "Scientology: Therapeutic Cult to Religious Sect". Sociology. 9 (1): 89–100. doi:10.1177/003803857500900105. JSTOR 42851574.
- Wright, L. (2013). Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780385350273. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Miller, Russell (1987). Bare-faced Messiah, The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (First American ed.). New York: Henry Holt & Co. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-8050-0654-4.
- Wallis, Roy (1977). The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0-231-04200-0
- June 18, 1950 to December 24
- "Adult New York Times Best Seller Lists for 1950". Hawes.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 172
- Melton 2000, p. 13
- Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. USA: Oxford University Press.
- "Poor Man's Psychoanalysis?". Newsweek. November 6, 1950.
- Carroll, Robert (January 11, 2011). The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. ISBN 9781118045633. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- Melton 2000, p. 10
- Wallis, Roy; Steve Bruce (Spring 1984). "The Stark-Bainbridge Theory of Religion: A Critical Analysis and Counter Proposals". Sociological Analysis. 45 (1): 11–27. doi:10.2307/3711319. JSTOR 3711319.
- Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. Oxford University Press.
- Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret (2006). A Reader in New Religious Movements: Readings in the Study of New Religious Movements. Bloomsbery Academic.
- Urban, Hugh B. (2011). The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691146089.
- Underdown, James (2018). "'I Was There...': Harlan Ellison Witnesses the Birth of Scientology". Skeptical Inquirer. 42 (6): 10.
- Flowers 1984, pp. 96–97
- Thomas Streissguth Charismatic Cult Leaders, p. 70, The Oliver Press Inc., 1996 ISBN 978-1-881508-18-2
- George Malko Scientology: the now religion, p. 58, Delacorte Press, 1970 ASIN B0006CAHJ6
- "Jon Atack: The games L. Ron Hubbard played". tonyortega.org.
- Miller, 1987: 202–203
- "The Creation of "Religious" Scientology". solitarytrees.net. Archived from the original on February 8, 2005.
- Christian D. Von Dehsen-Scott L. Harris Philosophers and Religious Leaders, p. 90, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 ISBN 978-1-57356-152-5
- Frenschkowski, Marco (2016). "Images of Religions and Religious History in the Works of L. Ron Hubbard". Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review. 7: 111–153. doi:10.5840/asrr20166620.
- Miller, p. 213
- Kent, Stephen A. "The Creation of 'Religious' Scientology." Religious Studies and Theology 18:2, pp. 97–126. 1999. ISSN 1747-5414
- Hubbard, L. Ron. Letter of April 10, 1953. Quoted in Miller, p. 213
- Miller, Russell (1987). Bare-faced Messiah, The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (First American ed.). New York: Henry Holt & Co. pp. 140–142. ISBN 978-0-8050-0654-4.
- Melton 2000, p. 11
- Melton 2000, p. 12
- Zald, Mayer N.; McCarthy, John David (1987). Social Movements in an Organizational Society: Collected Essays. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9780887388026.[better source needed]
- Garrison, Omar V. (1974). The Hidden Story of Scientology. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel Press, Lyle Suart, Inc. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-8065-0440-7.
- Garrison, Omar V. (1974). The hidden Story of Scientology. Secaucus, MJ: Citadel Press, Lyle Stuart, Inc. pp. 136, 142. ISBN 978-0-8065-0440-7.
- "1963 FDA raid". Cs.cmu.edu. January 4, 1963. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Garrison, Omar V. (1974). The Hidden Story of Scientology. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel Press, Lyle Stuart, Inc. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-8065-0440-7.
- Lindholm, Charles (1992). "Charisma, Crowd Psychology and Altered States of Consciousness". Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. 16 (3): 287–310. doi:10.1007/BF00052152. hdl:2144/3836.
- Wallis, Roy (1977). The Road to Total Freedom. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 153.
- DeChant & Jorgenson 2003, p. 225
- Melton 2000, p. 17
- "The paranoid, depressed L. Ron Hubbard: Jim Dincalci's 1997 'Secret Lives' TV interview ' The Underground Bunker". tonyortega.org. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Atack, p. 258
- Atack, p. 259
- Miller, p. 364
- Elisabeth Amveck Researching New Religious Movements, p. 261, Routledge, 2006 ISBN 978-0-415-27754-9
- L. Ron Hubbard's last refuge | Cover Story | New Times San Luis Obispo, CA Archived December 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "~dst/Library/Shelf/wallis/wallis1". cs.cmu.edu. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Melton, J. G. (Ed.) (2003). "Church of Eductivism". Encyclopedia of American Religions. Detroit: Gale. p. 815.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Free Zone Assoc. (January 30, 2002). "Introduction". Freezone.org. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Meyer-Hauser, Bernard F. (June 23, 2000). "Religious Technology Center v. Freie Zone E. V". Case No. D2000-0410. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013.
- Brown, Janelle (July 22, 1999). "Copyright – or wrong? : The Church of Scientology takes up a new weapon – the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – in its ongoing battle with critics". Salon. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009.
- Colette, Mark. "Former Scientology film crew member describes surveillance activities in Ingleside on the Bay". Caller-Times, Corpus Christi. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Lewis & Hammer 2007, p. 24
- William W. Zellner Extraordinary Groups, p. 295, Macmillan, 2007 ISBN 978-0-7167-7034-3
- "Free Zone". Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Nordhausen & Billerbeck (2008), pp. 469–470
- Sweeney, John (September 26, 2010). "Mr Shouty and Cruise: the rematch". The Sunday Times.
Marty Rathbun, who like Rinder is now an independent scientologist ... Rinder, though a 'heretic' to the church, lives and breathes Independent scientology.
- Tobin, Thomas C.; Childs, Joe (January 1, 2012). "In new year's message, Scientology insider blasts 'extreme' fundraising". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
Rathbun, now a leading figure in a movement for Scientologists to practice independently of the church ...
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, pp. 170–171
- Hubbard, L. Ron (2007). Scientology : the fundamentals of thought. Commerce, Calif.: Bridge Publications. p. 178. ISBN 9781403144201. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
- Wilkins, Margaret; Chryssides, George D. (2006). A Reader in New Religious Movements: Readings in the Study of New Religious Movements. A&C Black.
- Kent, Stephen A. (2001). From Slogans to Mantras: Social Protest and Religious Conversion in the Late Vietnam War Era. Syracuse University Pres.
- Dericquebourg, Regis (2014). "Acta Comparanda". Affinities between Scientology and Theosophy. International Conference – Scientology in a scholarly perspective 24–25th January 2014 (in English and French). Antwerp, Belgium: University of Antwerp, Faculty for Comparative Study of Religions and Humanism. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017.
- Escobedo, Dan Gilgoff and Tricia. "Scientology: What exactly is it?".
- "Does Scientology have a concept of God?". www.scientology.org. January 0001. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
- Flowers 1984, p. 98
- Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6.
- Bednarowski, Mary Farrell (1995). New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America (Religion in North America). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-253-20952-8.
- Pollock, Robert (2002). The Everything World's Religions Book: Discover the Beliefs, Traditions, and Cultures of Ancient and Modern Religions. Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-58062-648-4.
- DeChant & Jorgenson 2003, pp. 221–236
- Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (June 24, 1990). "Defining the Theology". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
- Melton 2000, p. 32
- Barrett, David V. (2011). A Brief Guide to Secret Religions: A Complete Guide to Hermetic, Pagan and Esoteric Beliefs. Little, Brown Book Group.
- J. Gordon Melton The Encyclopedia of American Religion, p. 224, McGrath Publishing Co., 1978 ISBN 978-0-7876-9696-2
- Paul Finkelman Religion and American Law, p. 509, Taylor & Francis, 2000 ISBN 978-0-8153-0750-1
- Reitman, Janet (February 8, 2011). "Inside Scientology". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 175
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, pp. 176–177
- Palmer 2009, p. 316
- DeChant & Jorgenson 2003, pp. 229–230
- Cowan, Douglas E. (2014). "Acta Comparanda". Clearly Material: Objects, Meaning, and the Ongoing Construction of New Religious Reality. International Conference – Scientology in a scholarly perspective 24–25th January 2014 (in English and French). Antwerp, Belgium: University of Antwerp, Faculty for Comparative Study of Religions and Humanism. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017.
- Malko, George (1970). Scientology: The Now Religion. New York: Delacorte Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-112-96373-5.
- John Corrigan (2008). The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion, page 132. ISBN 978-0-19-517021-4.
- Roy Wallis. "The Road to Total Freedom A Sociological analysis of Scientology, page 1". Archived from the original on October 15, 2013.
- Melton 2000, p. 31
- Melton 2000, p. 25
- Bouma, Gary D. (2006). Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the 21st Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-521-67389-1.
- Christensen, Dorthe Refslund (2009). "Sources for the Study of Scientology". In James R. Lewis (ed.). Scientology. New York: Oxford University Press US. pp. 420–421. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Al-Zaki, Taleb; B Tilman Jolly (January 1997). "Severe Hyponatremia After Purification". Annals of Emergency Medicine. 29 (1): 194–195. doi:10.1016/S0196-0644(97)70335-4. PMID 8998113.
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 182
- Melton 2000, pp. 45–46
- Technical Bulletins X Bridge Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-88404-481-5 (1991)
- Tobin and Childs (June 21, 2009). "Death in slow motion: Part 2 of 3 in a special report on the Church of Scientology". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- "Scientology Beliefs & Practices: What is Scientology? | Scientology's views on the evils of materialism". scientology.org. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Cooper, Paulette (1997). Scientology Versus Medicine in Scandal of Scientology. Web Edition.
- Mieszkowskii, Katharine (2005). "Scientology's War on Psychiatry". Salon.com. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 184
- Miller, p. 184
- Melton 2000, p. 49
- Aagaard Petersen, Jesper (2014). Controversial New Religions. Oxford University Press.
- Carl G. Liungman Symbols, p. 297, Ionfox AB, 2004 ISBN 978-91-972705-0-2
- Melton 2000, p. 33
- Ortega, Tony (December 23, 1999). "Double Crossed". Phoenix New Times. Village Voice Media. Archived from the original on June 20, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
- Sappell, Joel; Robert W. Welkos (June 24, 1990). "The Scientology Story". Los Angeles Times. pp. A36:1. Archived from the original on January 11, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2006. Another link: Carnegie-Mellon University
- Hines, Matt (September 8, 2003). "Scientology loss keeps hyperlinks legal". CNET. Archived from the original on November 16, 2006. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
- Derek Davis New Religious Movements and Religious Liberty in America, pp. 45–47, Baylor University Press, 2004 ISBN 978-0-918954-92-3
- Lewis & Hammer 2007, p. 36
- Coordinates of Trementina Base
- Leiby, Richard (November 27, 2005). "A Place in the Desert for New Mexico's Most Exclusive Circles". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 180
- Melton 2000, p. 34
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 181
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 177
- Zellner & Petrowsky 1998, pp. 146–147
- "What is Disconnection?". Retrieved November 30, 2015.
- Bednarowski, Mary Farrell (1995). New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America (Religion in North America). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-253-20952-8.
- Miller, Timothy (1995). America's alternative religions. Albany, N.Y: State University of New York Press. p. 388. ISBN 978-0-7914-2397-4.
- Marshall, Gordon (1990). In praise of sociology. Boston: Unwin Hyman. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-04-445687-2.
- Flowers 1984, p. 101
- Grossman, Wendy (1997). Net. wars. New York: New York University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-8147-3103-1.
- Greenawalt, Kent (2006). Religion and the Constitution. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-691-12582-4.
- Melton 2000, p. 36
- Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology, 212 Cal. App. 3d 872 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1989)
- Frank K. Flinn testimony in Church of Scientology of California, 1984, vol.23, pp.4032–4160
- Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California, Court of Appeal of the State of California, civ.no. B023193, July 18, 1989
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 170
- Berzano, Luigi (June 18, 2017), "Scientology's Spatial Aesthetics" (PDF), A Zero Conference on Research in the Religious Fields, Bologna, retrieved July 26, 2017
- "Scientology Cross", Church of Scientology International. Accessed November 8, 2007. Archived May 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Bernstein, Fred (November 9, 2010). "In Pasadena, a Model for Scientology's Growth Plan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- "Scientologists: How Many Of Them Are There, Anyway?".
- Goodstein, Laurie (March 6, 2010). "Defectors Say Church of Scientology Hides Abuse". The New York Times.
- Urban, Hugh B. (2017). "The Third Wall of Fire". Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 20 (4): 13–36. doi:10.1525/nr.2017.20.4.13.
- Oppenheimer, Mark (October 18, 2011). "In the Clear: On Scientology". The Nation – via www.thenation.com.
- Cooper, Robert (August 19, 2014). "Scientology Gateshead building still empty after seven years". BBC News.
- Bromley, David; Cowan, Douglas. Cults and new religions: a brief history. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Flinn, Frank K. (July 5, 2005). "Scientology". Live discussion. Washington Post. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- Jarvik, Elaine (September 18, 2004). "Scientology: Church now claims more than 8 million members". Deseret News. Archived from the original on June 16, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
Melton, who has been criticized by some for being too easy on Scientology, and has been criticized by the church for being too harsh, says that the church's estimates of its membership numbers – 4 million in the United States, 8 to 9 million worldwide – are exaggerated. "You're talking about anyone who ever bought a Scientology book or took a basic course. Ninety-nine percent of them don't ever darken the door of the church again." If the church indeed had four million members in the United States, he says, "they would be like the Lutherans and would show up on a national survey" such as the Harris poll.
- Melton 2000, p. 43
- Wakefield, Margery Understanding Scientology
- Cisar, Joe (translator) The Guardian Office (GO)
- Hamburg Regional Office of the German Constitutional Security Agency Der Geheimdienst der Scientology-Organisation – Grundlagen, Aufgaben, Strukturen, Methoden und Ziele – Zweite Auflage, Stand 06.05.1998"
- Scientologists pay for libel, Clare Dyer, The Guardian, June 9, 1999.
- On the Offensive Against an Array of Suspected Foes, Los Angeles Times, Joel Sappell, Robert W. Welkes, page A1, June 29, 1990. This story is also available on the Carnegie Mellon University library website as "Part 6: Attack the Attacker, On the Offensive . . . "
- "Scientology's Secret Vaults: A Rare Interview With a Former Member of Hush-Hush "CST"". Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- "Inside the mysterious Scientology compound that may hold its leader's missing wife". Business Insider. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- MORAN, LEE. "Scientology compound Twin Peaks, Shelly Miscavige's reputed hideout, exposed – NY Daily News". nydailynews.com. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- Melton 2000, p. 39
- Melton 2000, p. 42
- Bromley 2009, p. 98
- Melton 2000, p. 40
- Melton 2000, p. 41
- Shaw, William (February 14, 2008). "What do Tom Cruise and John Travolta know about Scientology that we don't?". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- Frantz, Douglas (February 13, 1998). "Scientology's Star Roster Enhances Image". New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast).
- DeChant & Jorgenson 2003, p. 233
- Melton, J. Gordon. "Celebrity Centre International (First Week of August)." Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations. Ed. J. Gordon Melton. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011. 168. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. January 8, 2014.
- Cusack 2009, pp. 394–395
- Spitznagel, Eric. "Juliette Lewis Explains Why Scientologists Can Celebrate Christmas". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
- Neusner, Jacob (2009). World Religions in America (4th ed.). Westminster John Knox Press.
- Melton 2000, p. 44
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 183
- Sly, Randy (September 2, 2010). "Updated: Scientologists in Haiti: Volunteers or Vultures?". Catholic.org. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- Winn, Patrick (May 15, 2015). "Scientologists are in Nepal trying to 'heal' trauma victims". Global Post. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- Winn, Patrick (April 11, 2011). "Scientology's global disaster squad". MinnPost. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- Melton 2000, pp. 50–51
- "Publications listing on the website of the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution". Lfv.bayern.de. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- "US State department Report 2006".
- Lewis, James R. (March 11, 2009). Scientology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199887118. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
- Morgan, Lucy (March 29, 1999). "Abroad: Critics public and private keep pressure on Scientology". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
Canada's highest court in 1997 upheld the criminal conviction of the Church of Scientology of Toronto and one of its officers for a breach of trust stemming from covert operations in Canadian government offices during the 1970s and 1980s.
- Souchard, Pierre-Antoine (February 2, 2012). "Scientology Fraud Conviction Upheld". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
A French appeals court on Thursday upheld the Church of Scientology's 2009 fraud conviction on charges it pressured members into paying large sums for questionable remedies.
- Behar, Richard (May 6, 1991). "Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power". Time. Archived from the original on August 19, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
- Leiby, Richard (December 25, 1994). "Scientology Fiction: The Church's War Against Its Critics – and Truth". The Washington Post. p. C1. Retrieved June 21, 2006.
- Goodin, Dan (June 3, 1999). "Scientology subpoenas Worldnet". CNET News.com. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2006.
- "Marburg Journal of Religion: Framing Effects in the Coverage of Scientology versus Germany: Some Thoughts on the Role of Press and Scholars" (PDF). Web.uni-marburg.de. May 22, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Richardson 2009, p. 283
- Farley, Robert (June 24, 2006). "The unperson". St. Petersburg Times. pp. 1A, 14A. Archived from the original on July 17, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
- Farley, Robert (May 29, 2004). "Scientologists settle death suit". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
- Matt Loney; Evan Hansen (March 21, 2002). "Google pulls anti-Scientology links". CNet. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2007.
- Joe Childs, Thomas C. Tobin (June 23, 2009). "The Truth Run Down". St Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- Joe Childs, Thomas C. Tobin (June 23, 2009). "Scientology: Ecclesiastical justice". St Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- Gianni, Luke (February 22, 2007). "Scientology does detox – David E. Root, M.D". local stories > 15 minutes. Sacramento News & Review. Archived from the original on January 30, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2007.
- Seifman, David (April 21, 2007). "Local Pols Cruised in Free to Tom Gala". New York Post. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2007.
- "Monserrate Defends Detox Program". The Politicker. New York Observer. April 20, 2007. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2007.
- Etter, Lauren (January 19, 2007). "Program for prisoners draws fire over Scientology". Wall Street Journal. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2007.
- Reitman, Janet (February 8, 2011). "Inside Scientology". Rolling Stone Magazine. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Hubbard, L.R. (1965): Keeping Scientology working (Series 1), page 7. The Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letter, titled Keeping Scientology Working Series 1, was included in the attached documents submitted to the IRS in 1993. Available from Xenu.net: 
- Stephen A. Kent (September 2003). "Scientology and the European Human Rights Debate: A Reply to Leisa Goodman, J. Gordon Melton, and the European Rehabilitation Project Force Study". Marburg Journal of Religion. 8 (1). Retrieved May 21, 2006.; Kent cites Hubbard, L. Ron (1976a). Modern Management Technology Defined. Copenhagen, New Era Publications
- Eggenberger, Nicole (September 10, 2013). "Leah Remini Tells Ellen DeGeneres She 'Lost Friends"'After Leaving Scientology". US Weekly. Archived December 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- Ficsher, Erika. National Reporting, 1941–1986. Walter de Gruyter. p. 302.
- Morgan, Lucy (March 29, 1999). "Abroad: Critics public and private keep pressure on Scientology". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on December 19, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- Catholic Sentinel, March 17, 1978
- Charles L. Stafford; Bette Orsini (January 9, 1980). "Scientology: An in-depth profile of a new force in Clearwater" (PDF). St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 24, 2016. Original (18M) Archived August 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Koff, Stephen (December 22, 1988). "Scientology church faces new claims of harassment". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved April 19, 2008.
- "Scientology convicted for fraud in France, escapes ban". Reuters. October 27, 2009. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010., Reuters, October 27, 2009
- "French court upholds Scientology fraud conviction"., AFP, February 2, 2012
- "Could Belgium Bring Down Scientology? – The Atlantic". thewire.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Belgium will try two Scientology organizations and 10 Scientologists for fraud ' The Underground Bunker". tonyortega.org. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Our man in Europe reports on Belgium's criminal prosecution of Scientology ' The Underground Bunker". tonyortega.org. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Scientology: Belgium court acquits church of organised crime charges – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". abc.net.au. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "A Sci-Fi Faith". Time. April 5, 1976. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- Behar, Richard (May 6, 1991). "The Scientologists and Me". Time.
- Strupp, Joe (June 30, 2005). "The press vs. Scientology". Salon. Archived from the original on January 7, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
- Sweeney, John (May 14, 2007). "Row over Scientology video". BBC News. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
- Melton 2000, p. 29
- Donaghy, James (June 9, 2007). "My name is L Ron Hubbard". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
- Breckenridge, Memorandum of Intended Decision in Church of Scientology of California vs. Gerald Armstrong, Superior Court, Los Angeles County, case no. C420153. quoted in Atack, Jon (1990). A Piece of Blue Sky. Carol Publishing Group. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-8184-0499-3.
- Koff, Stephen (December 22, 1988). "Scientology church faces new claims of harassment". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
- Steven Girardi (May 9, 1982). "Witnesses Tell of Break-ins, Conspiracy". Clearwater Sun: 1A.
- Judgement of Mr Justice Latey, Re: B & G (Minors) (Custody) Delivered in the High Court (Family Division), London, July 23, 1984
- "Judge brands Scientology 'sinister' as mother is given custody of children". The Times. July 24, 1984. p. 3.
- "News and Notes: Scientology Libel Action". British Medical Journal. 1 (5743): 297–298. January 30, 1971. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.5743.297. ISSN 0007-1447. PMC 1794922. PMID 5294085.
- Hubbard, L. Ron (2007). Introduction to Scientology Ethics (Latin American Spanish ed.). Bridge Publications. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-4031-4684-7.
- Kelly, Brian (November 10, 2009). "The Even Darker World of Scientology". Catholicism.org. Saint Benedict Center, Richmond, New Hampshire. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
- The Times of India staff (July 17, 2003). "Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology". The Times of India.
- New York Post staff (June 29, 2005). "Abort-Happy Folks". New York Post. News Corporation. p. 011.
- Los Angeles Times staff (February 29, 2008). "Kids against Scientology". Web Scout. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
- Lattin, Don (February 12, 2001). "Leaving the Fold – Third-generation Scientologist grows disillusioned with faith". San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle Publishing Co. p. A1.
- MSNBC staff (January 15, 2008). "Exclusive: 'Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography' – Read an excerpt from Andrew Morton's controversial new book". MSNBC. NBC. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
- Morton, Andrew (2008). Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography. St. Martin's Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-312-35986-7.
- Pressley, Karen Schless (2017). Escaping Scientology: An Insider's True Story. Bayshore Publications. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-9990881-0-4.
- Perrault, Michael (March 26, 2009). "Suit alleges wing of Church of Scientology violated labor laws". The Press-Enterprise. The Press-Enterprise Co. p. C01.
- Courthouse News Service staff (April 3, 2009). "Scientology Accused of Human Trafficking". Courthouse News Service. www.courthousenews.com. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
- Baca, Nathan (March 31, 2009). "Former Scientologist Recounts 'Torturous' Past Inside the Church". KESQ-TV.
- "Scientologists forced me to have two abortions". Herald Sun. www.heraldsun.com.au. March 17, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- Australian Associated Press (March 17, 2010). "Scientologists forced me to have two abortions, ex-disciple says". News.com.au. News Limited. Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- "Scientologists pressured me to have abortions". ABC News (Australia). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. March 27, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- Tedmanson, Sophie (November 19, 2009). "Church of Scientology accused of torture and forced abortions". The Times. Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved November 19, 2009.
- Agence France-Presse (November 18, 2009). "Australian PM voices 'concerns' over Scientology". Canada.com. Canwest News Service. Archived from the original on November 21, 2009. Retrieved November 19, 2009.
- Collins, Pádraig (November 19, 2009). "Scientology faces allegations of abuse and covering up deaths in Australia". Irish Times. www.irishtimes.com. Retrieved November 19, 2009.
- O'Loughlin, Toni (November 18, 2009). "Scientology faces allegations of torture in Australia: Australian prime minister considers inquiry after senator tables allegations including forced abortions, assault and blackmail". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved November 19, 2009.
- Saulwick, Jacob (November 18, 2009). "Pressure mounts for Scientology inquiry". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved November 19, 2009.
- Ansley, Greg (November 19, 2009). "Church attacked for 'criminal' activities". New Zealand Herald. APN Holdings NZ Limited. Retrieved November 19, 2009.
- 3 News staff (November 26, 2009). "Kiwi blows the whistle on Scientology". 3 News. www.3news.co.nz. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2009.
- Australian Associated Press (March 18, 2010). "Scientologists reject claims they forced abortions". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- Grossman, Wendy (October 1997). "Copyright Terrorists". Net.Wars. New York: New York University Press. pp. 77–78. ISBN 978-0-8147-3103-1. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2006.
- Knapp, Dan (December 19, 1996). "Group that once criticized Scientologists now owned by one". CNN. Time Warner. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
- Russell, Ron (September 9, 1999). "Scientology's Revenge – For years, the Cult Awareness Network was the Church of Scientology's biggest enemy. But the late L. Ron Hubbard's L.A.-based religion cured that–by taking it over". New Times LA.
- Lewis, James R (May 3, 2005). Book: Cults: A Reference Handbook By James R. Lewis, Published by ABC-CLIO, 2005, ISBN 1-85109-618-3, ISBN 978-1-85109-618-3. ISBN 978-1-85109-618-3. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Goodman, Leisa, Human Rights Director, Church of Scientology International (2001). "A Letter from the Church of Scientology". Marburg Journal of Religion: Responses From Religions. pp. Volume 6, No. 2, 4 pages. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
- Dawson, Lorne L.; Cowan, Douglas E. (2004). Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet. New York, NY/London, UK: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 262, 264–265. ISBN 978-0-415-97022-8.
- Wendy Grossman Net.wars, p. 77, NYU Press, 1997 ISBN 978-0-8147-3103-1
- Steven Vedro Digital Dharma, p. 190, Quest Books, 2007 ISBN 978-0-8356-0859-6
- Mike Godwin Cyber Rights, p. 219, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2003 ISBN 978-0-262-57168-5
- Catharine Cookson Encyclopedia of Religious Freedom, p. 432, Taylor & Francis, 2003 ISBN 978-0-415-94181-5
- Wendy Grossman Net.wars, p. 90, New York University Press, 1997 ISBN 978-0-8147-3103-1
- Sarno, David (February 11, 2008). "takes part in Scientology protests". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012., Los Angeles Times, February 11, 2008.
- Christopher Lueg From Usenet to CoWebs, p. 37, Springer, 2003 ISBN 978-1-85233-532-8
- Wendy Grossman Net.wars, pp. 74–76, NYU Press, 1997 ISBN 978-0-8147-3103-1
- Nordhausen, Frank (2008). Scientology: Wie der Sektenkonzern die Welt erobern will (in German). Links Christoph Verlag. p. 518. ISBN 978-3-86153-470-9.
- John Cook (March 17, 2008). "Scientology – Cult Friction". Radar Online. Radar Magazine. Archived from the original on March 23, 2008. Retrieved March 18, 2008. External link in
- Vamosi, Robert (January 24, 2008). "Anonymous threatens to "dismantle" Church of Scientology via internet". cnet.com. CNET. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
- KNBC Staff (January 24, 2008). "Hacker Group Declares War On Scientology: Group Upset Over Church's Handling Of Tom Cruise Video". KNBC. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Vamosi, Robert (January 24, 2008). "Anonymous hackers take on the Church of Scientology". CNET News. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Greenwald, Will (February 11, 2008). "Anonymous Attacks!". Cnet. Archived from the original on August 29, 2012.
- George-Cosh, David (January 25, 2008). "Online group declares war on Scientology". National Post. Canwest Publishing Inc. Archived from the original on January 28, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Singel, Ryan (January 23, 2008). "War Breaks Out Between Hackers and Scientology – There Can Be Only One". Wired. CondéNet, Inc. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Feran, Tom (January 24, 2008). "Where to find the Tom Cruise Scientology videos online, if they're still posted". The Plain Dealer. Newhouse Newspapers. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Chan Enterprises (January 21, 2008). "Internet Group Declares "War on Scientology": Anonymous are fighting the Church of Scientology and the Religious Technology Center". Press Release. PRLog.Org. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 8, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Matthew A. Schroettnig; Stefanie Herrington; Lauren E. Trent (February 6, 2008). "Anonymous Versus Scientology: Cyber Criminals or Vigilante Justice?". Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- Dodd, Gareth (Editor); Agencies (January 25, 2008). "Anonymous hackers vow to "dismantle" Scientology". Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2008.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Brandon, Mikhail (January 28, 2008). "Scientology in the Crosshairs". The Emory Wheel. Emory University. Archived from the original on May 15, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Feran, Tom (January 31, 2008). "The group Anonymous calls for protests outside Scientology centers – New on the Net". The Plain Dealer. Newhouse Newspapers. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- Vamosi, Robert (January 28, 2008). "Anonymous names 10 February as its day of action against Scientology". CNET News. CNET Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
- Carlos Moncada (February 12, 2008). "Organizers Tout Scientology Protest, Plan Another". TBO.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
- Harrison, James (The State News) (February 12, 2008). "Scientology protestors take action around world". Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
- Forrester, John (February 11, 2008). "Dozens of masked protesters blast Scientology church". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on October 27, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- Andrew Ramadge (March 17, 2008). "Second round of Anonymous v Scientology". News.com.au. News Limited. Archived from the original on October 6, 2009. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
- Shea, Danny (May 29, 2009). "Wikipedia Bans Scientology From Site". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on September 20, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2009.
- Metz, Cade (May 29, 2009). "Wikipedia bans Church of Scientology". The Register. Archived from the original on March 18, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2009.
- Alan Aldridge Religion in the Contemporary World, p. 20, Polity, 2007 ISBN 978-0-7456-3405-0
- "Scientology Marriage Officers Approved in South Africa". CESNUR. April 11, 2000. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
- High Court of Australia "CHURCH OF THE NEW FAITH v. COMMISSIONER OF PAY-ROLL TAX (VICT.) 1983 154 CLR 120". Archived from the original on May 13, 2013.
- "Decision of March 13, 2000 registering Scientology as a "religious community" in Sweden". CESNUR. March 13, 2000. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
- "Scientology gets tax-exempt status". New Zealand Herald. December 27, 2002. Retrieved August 1, 2007.
the IRD said the church met the criteria of a charitable organisation in the category of the advancement of religion
- "Opinion of the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department on the Charitable Status of Scientology". December 4, 2002.
- "2007 U.S. Department of State – 2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Portugal". State.gov. March 11, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- "La Audiencia Nacional reconoce a la Cienciología como iglesia". El Pais. November 1, 2007. Archived from the original on May 13, 2011. (in Spanish)
- Finkelman, Paul (2006). Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. CRC Press. p. 287. ISBN 978-0-415-94342-0. "Scientology has achieved full legal recognition as a religious denomination in the United States."
- Davis, Derek H. (2004). "The Church of Scientology: In Pursuit of Legal Recognition" (PDF). Zeitdiagnosen: Religion and Conformity. Münster, Germany: Lit Verlag. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 8, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2008.
Many countries, including the United States, now give official recognition to Scientology as a religion [...]
- Lucy Morgan (March 29, 1999). "Abroad: Critics public and private keep pressure on Scientology". St. Petersburg Times.
In the United States, Scientology gained status as a tax-exempt religion in 1993 when the Internal Revenue Service agreed to end a long legal battle over the group's right to the exemption.
- Toomey, Shamus (June 26, 2005). "'TomKat' casts spotlight back on Scientology.", Chicago Sun-Times
- Urban, Hugh B. (August 22, 2011). The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion. Princeton Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-691-14608-9. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- Willms 2009, p. 245. "Being a religion is one of the most important issues of Scientology's current self-representation."
- Kennedy, Dominic (June 23, 2007). "'Church' that yearns for respectability". The Times. London. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
Scientology is probably unique in that it keeps its sacred texts secret until, typically, devotees have paid enough money to learn what they say.
- Cowan & Bromley 2007, p. 17
- Garcia, Wayne (March 31, 1994). "Scientology suit on PR firm heads for trial". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
For 21⁄2 years, Hill & Knowlton worked closely with the controversial religion, coming up with ways to turn around Scientology's maligned image and teaching Scientologists how to handle reporters' questions.
- Cowan, Douglas E. (July 2004). "Researching Scientology: Academic Premises, Promises, and Problematic". CESNUR 2004 International Conference. Retrieved June 23, 2006.
- Hexham, Irving (1997) . "The Religious Status of Scientology: Is Scientology a Religion?". University of Calgary. Archived from the original on November 19, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2006.
- Frantz, Douglas (March 9, 1997). "Scientology's Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 21, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
- Melton 2000, p. 14
- Anderson, Kevin Victor, Q.C. (1965). Report of the Board of Enquiry into Scientology. Victoria Board of Enquiry into Scientology. Melbourne: Government Printer. p. 155.
- Lewis, James R. (March 11, 2009). Scientology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199715954. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- Phillip Lucas New Religious Movements in the 21st Century, p. 235, Routledge, 2004 ISBN 978-0-415-96577-4
- "Recognition was based upon voluminous information provided by the Church regarding its financial and other operations to the Internal Revenue Service." IRS press release December 31, 1997 "Church of Scientology & IRS Confidentiality". Archived from the original on May 18, 2012.. Retrieved August 13, 2007.
- Dahl, David; Vick, Karl (October 24, 1993). "IRS examined Scientology dollars, not dogma". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2007.
- De ATLEY, RICHARD K. (July 24, 2012). "CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY: Two former ministers' lawsuit loses on appeal". Press Enterprise. Press Enterprise. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Frantz, Douglas (March 19, 1997). "Scientology Denies an Account Of an Impromptu IRS Meeting". New York Times. Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
- Richardson 2009, p. 288
- "http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/Declaration/dmdec.txt". Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. External link in
- Richardson 2009, p. 286: "After doing a thorough analysis, the [High] Court [of Australia] stated unequivocally that Scientology met the criteria establishing itself as a religion, and therefore should be granted exempt status for tax purposes. The Court went on to state that a religion did not have to be theistic, and that a religion involved both belief and behavior ... This case is still the leading case in Australia defining religion, and is cited in other courts and countries as well."
- "2007 U.S. State Department – 2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Portugal".: "In November the government officially recognized Scientology as a religion."
- "Cienciología entre las "entidades religiosas"". Archived from the original on April 11, 2013.: "Un tribunal administrativo de la Audiencia Nacional de Madrid, máxima instancia judicial española, aceptó un recurso interpuesto por ese movimiento fundado en 1954 por el autor de ciencia ficción Lafayette Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), para ser inscripto en el registro de los movimientos religiosos del país."
- "La justice espagnole accorde à la Scientologie le statut de religion". Archived from the original on August 4, 2012., 2008-01-09, Le Monde
- "Decision of 13 March 2000 registering Scientology as a "religious community" in Sweden". CESNUR. March 13, 2000. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
- Bogdan 2009, p. 338: "on March 13, 2000, the Church of Scientology was registered as a religious community by the National Judicial Board for Public Lands and Funds following a new law, titled the Act on Religious Communities ..., which took on effect on January 1, 2000, with the separation of the Church of Sweden from the state. On June 10, 2000, the first legal Scientology wedding in Europe was celebrated in Stockholm."
- "U.S. State Department – 2005 Report on International Religious Freedom: Kyrgyzstan".: "In the past year the State Commission on Religious Affairs (SCRA) also registered the Church of Scientology"
- "Scientology gets tax-exempt status". The New Zealand Herald. December 27, 2002. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Richardson 2009, p. 291
- Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, ISBN 978-0-275-98712-1, p. 185
- Harry Wallop: "Scientology tax victory could cost Revenue millions". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on May 1, 2008., Daily Telegraph, August 11, 2006
- "UK Supreme Court says Scientology is a religion, allows wedding". Reuters. December 11, 2013.
- Bingham, John (December 11, 2013). "Scientology is a religion, rules Supreme Court". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on April 1, 2014.
- Hafiz, Yasmine (December 12, 2013). "Britain Recognizes Scientology As A Religion". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013.
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (September 2003). "Scientology: Religion or racket?". Marburg Journal of Religion. 8 (1). Retrieved June 30, 2006.
- Zur Frage der Beobachtung der Scientology-Organisation durch die Verfassungsschutzbehörden (in German) (PDF format)
- Melton 2000, p. 60
- "Scientology-Organisation". Archived from the original on February 10, 2013.
- ‹See Tfd›(in German)""Eskalierende Gewaltkultur" bei Scientology – heute-Nachrichten". Heute.de. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- Schmid, John (January 15, 1997). "German Party Replies To Scientology Backers". Archived from the original on February 28, 2009., Herald Tribune
- "Germany, America and Scientology". Archived from the original on June 10, 2014., Washington Post, February 1, 1997
- Bonfante, Jordan; van Voorst, Bruce (February 10, 1997). ""Does Germany Have Something Against These Guys?". Time. February 10, 1997. Archived from the original on May 20, 2013.", Time
- Staff (April 2, 1998). ""U.N. Derides Scientologists' Charges About German 'Persecution'". The New York Times. April 2, 1998.", New York Times
- Peter Beyer; Lori G. Beaman (2007). Religion, globalization and culture. BRILL. p. 274. ISBN 978-90-04-15407-0. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- "Germany drops attempt to ban Scientology". msnbc.com. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Kent 2001
- "Church of Scientology Faces Criminal Charges in Belgium – International News". FOXNews.com. September 4, 2007. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Planchar, Roland (September 4, 2007). "La Scientologie plus près de son procès" (in French). La Libre Belgique. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
- "US Dept of State International Religious Freedom Report 2004". State.gov. January 1, 2004. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- "Scientology tax-exempt in Netherlands". New York Post. Associated Press. October 18, 2013. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
- Pieters, Janene (October 22, 2015). "Hague Court Deal Blow to Scientology Tax-Free Status". NL Times. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- "ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2015:2875" (in Dutch). Gerechtshof Den Haag. October 21, 2015. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- Plotkin-Wells & Wimmer E-Commerce Law & Business, Section 8.01, Aspen Publishers Online, 2003 ISBN 978-0-7355-4148-1
- Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (June 24, 1990). "The Man In Control". Los Angeles Times. p. A41:4. Archived from the original on June 2, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2006.
- West, Louis Jolyon (July 1990). "Psychiatry and Scientology". Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
- Melton 2000, p. 59
- Melton, J. Gordon (2000). The Church of Scientology. Salt Lake City: Signature Press. ISBN 978-1-56085-139-4
- "Rudd's concerns about Scientology (quoted from embedded video, "Xenophon attacks Scientology – Independent Senator Nick Xenophon attacks Scientology as a 'criminal organisation'")". The Age. November 18, 2009.
- Urban, Hugh B.: The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion Chapman, Mark. Review of Religious Research. 2013. vol. 55. Issue: 1, pp. 203–204
- Dericquebourg, Regis (2014). "Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review". 4 (1). University Charles De Gaulle Lille.
- Neal, Lynn S. (2013). "Scientology". In Bill J. Leonard and Jill Y. Crainshaw (ed.). Encyclopedia of Religious Controversies in the United States. 2 (2nd ed.). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. pp. 697–699.
- Bromley, David G. (1987). The Future of New Religious Movements. Mercer University Press.
- Bednarowski, Mary Farrell (1995). "The Church of Scientology: Lightning Rod for Cultural Boundary Conflicts". In Timothy Miller (ed.). America's Alternative Religions. SUNY Press. p. 388. ISBN 978-0-7914-2397-4.
- Dericquebourg, Regis (2014). "Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review". University Charles de Gaulle Lille. 4 (1).
- Flinn, Frank K. (September 22, 1994). "Scientology: The Marks of Religion". Church of Scientology. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012.
- DeChant, Dell; Jorgensen, Danny L. (October 7, 2009). Neusner, Jacob (ed.). World Religions in America, Fourth Edition: An Introduction. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 297. ISBN 9781611640472.
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (September 2003). "Scientology: Religion or racket?" (PDF). 8 (1). Marburg Journal of Religion. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- Kent, Stephen (July 1999). "Scientology – Is this a Religion?" (PDF). 4 (1). Marburg Journal of Religion. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- Jeffrey Lehman; Shirelle Phelps, eds. (2005). "Religion". West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 8 (2nd ed.). Detroit: Thomson/Gale. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-7876-6375-9.
- Melton, J. Gordon (2000). Massimo Introvigne (eds.). Studies in Contemporary Religion: The Church of Scientology. Signature Books. ISBN 978-1-56085-139-4. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
- Herrick, James A. (2004). The Making of the New Spirituality. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-8308-3279-8.
- Berzano, Luigi (2018). "Is Scientology a Religion?". The Journal of CESNUR. 2 (2). ISSN 2532-2990.
- Prophet, Erin (2017). "Deconstructing the Scientology 'Monster'". In Lewis, James R.; Hellesoy, Kjersti (eds.). Handbook of Scientology. Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion. Brill.
- Miller, Russell (1987). Bare-faced Messiah, The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (First American ed.). New York: Henry Holt & Co. pp. 140–142. ISBN 978-0-8050-0654-4. Archived from the original on March 12, 2011.
- Melton 2000, pp. 55, 74
- 1910–2003., Eshbach, Lloyd Arthur (1983). Over my shoulder : reflections on a science fiction era. Philadelphia: O. Train. ISBN 9781880418116. OCLC 939141508.
- Russell., Miller (1988) . Bare-faced messiah : the true story of L. Ron Hubbard (1st American ed.). New York: H. Holt. ISBN 978-0805006544. OCLC 17481843.
- Frenschkowski, Marco (January 1, 2010). "Researching Scientology: Some Observations on Recent Literature, English and German". Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review. 1 (1): 38. ISSN 1946-0538. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
- Frenschkowski, Marco (2016). "Images of Religions and Religious History in the Works of L. Ron Hubbard". Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review. 7: 111–153. doi:10.5840/asrr20166620.
- Platvoet & Molendijk The Pragmatics of Defining Religion, pp. 63–64, Brill, 1999 ISBN 978-90-04-11544-6
- Jentzsch, Heber. "Church of Scientology FAQ: Did L. Ron Hubbard state that the way to make money was to start a religion?". Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
- The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell (4 volumes), vol. 1, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968 ASIN: B000GLJ10S
- Janet Reitman Inside Scientology, Rolling Stone, February 23, 2006
- Partridge, Christopher Hugh (2003), UFO religions, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-26323-8
- Lewis, James R. (editor) (November 2003). The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of UFO Religions. Prometheus Books. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-57392-964-6.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Palmer, Susan J. Aliens adored : Raël's UFO religion, Rutgers University Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-8135-3475-6
- Reece, G.l., UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture, I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 2007, pp. 182–186.
- "Scientology: A History of Man | Bridge Publications, Inc". www.bridgepub.com. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Church of Scientology, "Complete List of Scientology and Dianetics Books and Materials of 1952".
- Rothstein, Mikael (2009). Lewis, James R. (ed.). Scientology. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 375. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Lewis, James R. (2008). Lewis, James R. (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements. 1. OUP USA. ISBN 9780195369649.
- Willms 2009, pp. 248–249
- Ankerberg, John; Weldon, John (1996). Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs. Harvest House Publishers.
- Pretorius, S.P. (2006). "The concept "salvation" in the Church of Scientology". HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies. 62 (1): 313–327. doi:10.4102/hts.v62i1.353.
- Mccall, W. Vaughn (2007). "Psychiatry and Psychology in the Writings of L. Ron Hubbard". Journal of Religion and Health. 46 (3): 437–47. doi:10.1007/s10943-006-9079-9.
- Willms 2005, pp. 54–60
- Lewis & Petersen Controversial New Religions, p. 238, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-515682-9
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 171
- Hubbard, L Ron. 'Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health'. Los Angeles, California: Bridge Publications, 2007: 3. ISBN 978-1-4031-4484-3
- Mann, Mary A. (2004). Science and Spirituality. ISBN 9781418492946. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- Bryan Wilson (1995): "Religious Toleration & Religious Diversity". Archived from the original on October 31, 2013., The Institute for the Study of American Religion.
- James R. Lewis The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, p. 429, Oxford University Press US, 2004 ISBN 978-0-19-514986-9
- Kent, Stephen A. "Scientology's Relationship With Eastern Religious Traditions". Archived from the original on September 2, 2012., Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1996, page 21
- Karen Christensen, David Levinson (2003): Encyclopedia of Community, SAGE, p. 1210: "Scientology shows affinities with Buddhism and a remarkable similarity to first-century Gnosticism."
- John A. Saliba (1996): Signs of the Times, Médiaspaul, p. 51
- Willms 2009, p. 259
- Melton 2000, pp. 7–8, 67
- Melton, J. Gordon (2014). "Acta Comparanda". On doing research on Scientology. International Conference – Scientology in a scholarly perspective 24–25th January 2014 (in English and French). Antwerp, Belgium: University of Antwerp, Faculty for Comparative Study of Religions and Humanism. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017.
- Lewis, James R. (March 2009). Scientology. Cary, NC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- "Is Scientology like hypnotism, meditation, psychotherapy or other mental therapies?". www.scientology.org. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- Urban, Hugh B. (August 22, 2011). The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691146089.
- Hubbard, L. Ron (1968). Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Copenhagen, Denmark: Advanced Organization Saint Hill Denmark. p. 72. ISBN 978-87-87347-19-8.
- Hubbard, L. Ron (1968). Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Copenhagen, Denmark: Advanced Organization Saint Hill Denmark. p. 82. ISBN 978-87-87347-19-8.
- Cusack 2009, p. 394
- Benjamin J. Hubbard/John T. Hatfield/James A. Santucci An Educator's Classroom Guide to America's Religious Beliefs and Practices, p. 89, Libraries Unlimited, 2007 ISBN 978-1-59158-409-4
- "Beginnings". Patheos.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- The New Word original version available for download.
- Anastasius Nordenholz Scientology: Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge, Freie Zone e. V., 1995 ISBN 978-3-9804724-1-8
- The New Word, Publisher: Forgotten Books (February 7, 2008), ISBN 978-1-60506-811-4 ISBN 978-1-60506-811-4
- The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, page 556
- Cowan & Bromley 2006, p. 176
- "Scientology Glossary of Terms – K". Whatisscientology.org. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
- Ortega, Tony (January 6, 2012). "Scientology in Turmoil: Debbie Cook's E-Mail, Annotated". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on February 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- DeChant & Jorgenson 2003, p. 228
- Melton 2000, pp. 59–60
- Arp, Robert, ed. (December 11, 2006). South Park and Philosophy: You Know, I Learned Something Today. William Irwin (Series Editor). Blackwell Publishing (The Blackwell Philosophy & Pop Culture Series). pp. 27, 59, 60, 118, 120, 132, 137, 138, 140, 224. ISBN 978-1-4051-6160-2.
- Brown, Lane (December 3, 2010). "So This New Paul Thomas Anderson Movie Is Definitely About Scientology, Right?". NYMag.com. New York Media Holdings. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- Brown, Lane (March 17, 2010). "Universal Passes on Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology Movie". NYMag.com. New York Media Holdings. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- Pilkington, Ed (April 26, 2011). "Church of Scientology snaps up Hollywood film studio". Guardian.co.uk. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved June 12, 2011.
- Yamato, Jen (June 10, 2010). "Will Scientologists Declare War on Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master?". Film.com. RealNetworks. Archived from the original on June 9, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- Ortega, Tony (April 5, 2015). "Saturday Night Live's genius spoof of Scientology: Lyrics and images". The Underground Bunker. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- Carlson, Adam (April 5, 2015). "SNL's 'Neurotology' Skit Puts Musical Spin on Scientology". People. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- Oriana Schwindt (November 30, 2016). "Leah Remini Scientology Doc Premiere Draws 2.1 Million Viewers for A&E | Variety". variety.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- Barrett, David V. (1998). Sects, 'Cults' & Alternative Religions: A World Survey and Sourcebook (Paperback) New Ed. Sterling Pub Co Inc. ISBN 978-0-7137-2756-2.
- Behar, Richard (1991). Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power, Time magazine.
- Bogdan, Henrik (2009). "The Church of Scientology in Sweden". In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 335–344. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Bromley, David G. (2009). "Making Sense of Scientology". In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 83–101. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Cowan, Douglas E.; Bromley, David G. (2006). "The Church of Scientology". In Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (eds.) (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America. 5. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 169–196. ISBN 978-0-275-98712-1.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Cowan, Douglas E.; Bromley, David G. (2007). Cults and New Religions: A Brief History. Malden, MA / Oxford, UK / Carlton, Victoria, Australia: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-6127-5.
- Cusack, Carole M. (2009). "Celebrity, the Popular Media, and Scientology: Making Familiar the Unfamiliar". In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 389–409. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Cusack, Carole M.; Digance, Justine (2009). "Pastoral Care and September 11: Scientology's Nontraditional Religious Contribution". In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 435–437. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Flowers, Ronald B. (1984). Religion in Strange Times: The 1960s and 1970s. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-86554-127-6.
- Frenschkowski, Marco (1999). "L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology: An annotated bibliographical survey of primary and selected secondary literature". Archived from the original on September 2, 2005.
- Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (eds.) (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-275-98712-1.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Garrison, Omar V. (1974). The Hidden Story of Scientology. Citadel Press. ISBN 978-0-8065-0440-7.
- Hunt, Stephen J. (2003). Alternative Religions: A Sociological Introduction. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-3410-2.
- Kent, Stephen A. (1996). "Scientology's Relationship With Eastern Religious Traditions". Journal of Contemporary Religion. 11 (1): 21–36. doi:10.1080/13537909608580753. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
- Kent, Stephen A. (2001). "The French and German versus American Debate over 'New Religions', Scientology, and Human Rights". Marburg Journal of Religion. 6 (1). Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Lewis, James R.; Hammer, Olav (2007). The Invention of Sacred Tradition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86479-4.
- Melton, J. Gordon (2000). The Church of Scientology. Salt Lake City: Signature Press. ISBN 978-1-56085-139-4.
- DeChant, Dell; Jorgenson, Danny L. (2003). "Chapter 14: The Church of Scientology: A Very New American Religion". In Neusner, Jacob (ed.). World Religions in America. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-22475-2.
- Palmer, Susan J. (2009). "The Church of Scientology in France: Legal and Activist Counterattacks in the "War on Sectes"". In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 295–322. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Reitman, Janet (2011). Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. ISBN 978-0-618-88302-8.
- Richardson, James T. (2009). "Scientology in Court: A Look at Some Major Cases from Various Nations". In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 283–294. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Urban, Hugh B. (2011). The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion. Princeton Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14608-9.
- Willms, Gerald (2005). Scientology: Kulturbeobachtungen jenseits der Devianz (in German). Bielefeld, Germany: transcript Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89942-330-3.
- Willms, Gerald (2009). "Scientology: "Modern Religion" or "Religion of Modernity"?". In Lewis, James R. (2009). Scientology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 245–265. ISBN 978-0-19-533149-3.
- Zellner, William W.; Petrowsky, Marc (1998). Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: a Sociological Analysis. Westport CT: Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0-275-96335-4.
- Church of Scientology homepage
- Scientology at Curlie
- Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR List of Scientology articles)
- Scientology – Is This a Religion? by Stephen A. Kent
- A Short Study of the Scientology Religion by J. Gordon Melton
- An Annotated Bibliographical Survey of Primary and Secondary Literature on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology