The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them a

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[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 frice@stbbs.com or at The Skeptic Tank (818) 335-9601 and I'll forward the address and information you need.] Scientology [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: bill@dial.pipex.com

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