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Church of Scientology

Other Main Names:

  • Scientology
  • Dianetics
  • L Ron Hubbard (1911-1986, founder, sci-fi author)
  • David Miscavige (born 30 April 1960, present leader)

Overview History Beliefs Practices Other names Quotes More Info



Time Magazine (6 May 1991) called this group the "Cult of Greed and Power." Although Scientology claims to be a religion, Time stated "In reality the church is a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner." The group is characterised by its love of legal action against anyone who annoys them, whether they win or not - the aim is primarily to harrass. (For example, Scientology used at least 10 lawyers and six private detectives to "threaten, harass and discredit" Time magazine writer Richard Behar. The supreme court eventually threw out Scientology's case againt Time Warner and refused to accept any more appeals by Scientology.)

Basically, people pay to undergo flawed psychological or intelligence testing, then pay to have information (strangely resembling cheap science fiction) revealed to them. By the time they get to the highest levels they may have paid over US$400,000.

Scientology claims eight to ten million people have paid to take the courses. Current members number around 600,000 worldwide with active members around 60,000. There are approximately 280 active members in New Zealand.

Scientology makes a big deal of actors who support the group. Actors include John Travolta, Kirsty Alley, Tom Cruise and Jenna Elfman (Dharma in Dharma and Greg). Jenna Elfman was introduced by her husband Bhodi Elfman (the son of Danny Elfman, who wrote the theme to Batman and The Simpsons).

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