What People Believe: Scientology
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Scientology is an ideology that is constantly in the spotlight, with advertisements visible across London and celebrities such as Tom Cruise espousing its ideals. TNS delves into the truth behind Scientology... Who? Scientology was founded in the USA in 1954 by L. Ron Hubbard. The religion succeeds Hubbard’s earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Dianetics is a set of ideas and practices which aim to eliminate all mental illness and psychosomatic illness via the process of ‘auditing’ whereby a Scientology auditor asks the auditee personal questions. Famous Scientologists include Tom Cruise, Juliette Lewis, John Travolta and Patrick Swayze. What do they believe?
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- The Scientology cross, a symbol of Scientology, has eight corners representing the eight dynamics of existence – the self, family, society, humankind, life forms, matter, spirit and supreme being.
- In the late 1940s, perhaps not doing his cause any favours, L. Ron Hubbard declared, "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."
- In the mid-sixties, the Church of Scientology was banned in Australia based on a government report that the "cult" relied heavily on controlling members via hypnosis.
- Psychiatrists are the single most hated beings according to the cult's doctrine, and several leading personalities - including Cruise and Travolta - have been campaigning against psychiatrists.
- Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in the United States, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain although in other countries, notably Canada, France, Germany and the UK, Scientology does not have comparable religious status, but Churches are allowed.