[Fredric Rice, The Skeptic Tank: The authorship of these files on
cults has his or her own motivations for providing them and will
contain his or her own bias. What I find typical is that
individuals and organizations which report on cults are usually
themselves a competition cult yet like to think of themselves as
"a religion, not a cult." In actual fact, _ALL_ religions are
cults by the primary, secondary, and terciary usage definition of
the term. Some of the information you find here is inaccurate and
contains urban legend -- take what you find with a grain of salt.
If you wish to acquire a copy of the Law Enforcement Guide on
Occult Crime, contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or at The Skeptic
Tank (818) 335-9601 and I'll forward the address and information
[Fredric Rice: The legend that the $cientology cult was
formed on a bet has been debunked. Various versions of
the legend include Robert A. Heinlein and various others
ranging from Velikovsky to Robert Frost. Information on
$cientology can be downloaded from The Skeptic Tank
though there is a lot of it -- over 700 files, in fact,
covering costs of "courses" and details about the various
things they "teach." The cult of $cientology also has
many front organizations, among the newest is "The Reformed
Cult Awareness Network" -- an attempt to subvert the real
organization "Cult Awareness Network" which is itself
a religious cult. (Gets complicated, huh?)]
Also known as Dianetics, the Church of Scientology was formed
in California in 1950 by sci-fi writer Ron Hubbard. Two years
before he set up Scientology, Hubbard allegedly suggested to
colleagues (at a meeting of the Science Fiction Association)
that the best way to make money would be to start a religion.
The Church claims to have seven million members worldwide and
recently launched a massive electronic billboard campaign which
it says was seen by 30 million people in Times Square,
Piccadilly Circus, Tokyo, Mexico City and Moscow. According
to Scientology Today, the Church's flagship magazine: 'The
dissemination of LRH's wisdom [Lafayette Ron Hubbard] will
carry on across the entirety of 1995.' Hubbard's book
Dianetics has, according to the Church, sold 16 million copies.
Scientologists believe that each person is the temporal vessel
for immortal souls called Thetans, creators of the universe.
Their enemies are called Engrams which are disruptive forces,
some of which were implanted in the universe millions of years
ago by forces outside our galaxy. Through Dianetics, an
intense, Eastern-influenced and loosely Freudian form of
therapy, Scientologists believe that Engrams can be purged
. The therapy is provided exclusively by senior Scientology
members called auditors in a number - critics say a never-ending
number - of courses which can cost up to£50,000 per person.
The level of Engrams in you can be measured by a machine called
an E-meter. The Mark Super VII E-Meter was recently advertised
to the British readers of Auditor magazine at a cost of £2,600.
Permanent staff within the Church wear blue US naval type uniforms
in recognition of Ron Hubbard's heroic career in the navy during
World War II. (Critics of the movement insist that Hubbard was
never ranked as a Commodore, and was once officially assessed
by an officer as being 'not temperamentally fitted for
independent command'.) Hubbard surrounded himself with
young members, or children of members (called 'Messengers').
It is alleged that punishment for slack behaviour included
severe physical abuse and malnutrition. In 1959, Hubbard's
eldest son left the Church and publicly branded his father
'insane'. His other son committed suicide in 1976.
Since Hubbard's death in 1986, the Church has been run from
its Miami headquarters by ex-Messenger 'Captain' David Miscaviage.
To comment about this Website, our paper and all
associated articles, you can mail us at the Observer: