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Church of Scientology

Church of Scientology
Scientology building in Los Angeles, California
Formation 1954[1]
Headquarters Gold Base
David Miscavige

The Church of Scientology is an organization devoted to the practice, administration and dissemination of

  • Satellite Image of the Gold Base
  • Church of Scientology companies grouped at OpenCorporates
  • Operation Clambake, an archive of critical articles on Hubbard and Scientology
  • Church of Scientology Corporations Research Index
  • Cult Education Institute
Critical sites
  • Irving Hexham. "The religious status of Scientology". Is Scientology a religion?.  
Favorable sites
  • "Welcome to Scientology". Church of Scientology official home page. Church of Scientology. 
  • "What is Scientology ?". Common questions answered about Scientology and its activities. Church of Scientology. 
Church of Scientology

External links

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  3. ^ "At the top of the structure is the
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  5. ^ The Church of Scientology (Studies in Contemporary Religions, 1) By J. Gordon Melton Publisher: Signature Books in cooperation with CESNUR published September 2000 ISBN 978-1-56085-139-4 "The various missions, churches, and organizations, all autonomous corporations which fellowship with the larger movement, receive licenses to use the church's trademarks, service marks, and copyrights of Hubbard's published and unpublished works from RTC."
  6. ^ "Each church corporation is organized on a nonprofit basis with its own board of directors and executives responsible for its activities. What is Scientology? Published 1998 Bridge Publications ISBN 978-1-57318-122-8
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  12. ^ Weird, Sure. A Cult, No. Washington Post By Mark Oppenheimer, August 5, 2007
  13. ^ a b The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power TIME magazine, May. 06, 1991 by Richard Behar. The investigation paints a picture of a depraved yet thriving enterprise.
  14. ^ "Scientology Chronicle 1952-1955". 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  15. ^ Remember Venus?, Time, December 22, 1952
  16. ^ Hubbard, L. Ron (1954) Why Doctor of Divinity? Professional Auditor's Bulletin no. 32, August 7, 1954
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  21. ^ Tapper, James (2008-01-07). "'"Diana author names Tom Cruise as 'World Number Two in Scientology. Daily Mail (London). Elliot Abelson, general counsel for the Church of Scientology, said ... 'The only person who runs the Church and makes policy decisions is David Miscavige.' 
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  26. ^   "Scientology has achieved full legal recognition as a religious denomination in the United States."
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  76. ^ "Industry of Death exhibition on psychiatry walks a fine line". 8 August 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2012. “A major purpose of Scientology is to destroy psychiatry and replace it with its own pseudo-counselling techniques. And CCHR is one of Scientology’s front-group weapons attempting to achieve that goal,” says Stephen Kent, a University of Alberta sociologist specializing in new religions and cults. Scientology holds that psychiatrists are “cosmic demons,” he says. 
  77. ^ Kirsten Stewart (2 July 2005). "Scientology's political presence on the rise". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 23 September 2012. The church [of Scientology] kept a low profile, paying professional lobbyists to press its cause or relying on CCHR, which skeptics call a front group designed to recruit Scientologists and replace psychiatry with Dianetics. 
  78. ^ "[ Fence Post ]". Chicago Daily Herald (Letters to the Editor). 4 January 2001. Dangerous program / In a letter to Fence Post (Dec. 12), Susan Stozewski of the Chicago Church of Scientology attempts to promote a drug rehab program called Narconon. I wish to warn readers that Narconon is a front group for the Church of Scientology. I found from personal experience that Narconon is a sham and is, in fact, a slick device to lure unsuspecting people into Scientology. An acquaintance of mine recently discovered that she had serious liver damage from Narconon's bogus "purification" program and she now cannot get health insurance coverage. Another Scientology front group to beware of is the CCHR or Citizens Commission on Human Rights. The CCHR is using tax-exempt funds in a covert campaign to discredit psychiatric-psychology treatment. The CCHR has an extensive network of agents that are distributing distortions about psychiatric treatment and medications such as Prozac and Ritalin. This is a very dangerous thing and people should be aware that it is going on. / Jim Beebe / Northbrook 
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  92. ^ Dan McSwain: The Obama-Biden Transition Team (January 20, 2009). "The Citizen’s Briefing Book". Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. 
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  96. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (2003). "Other Psychic New Age Groups". Encyclopedia of American Religions (7th ed.). Detroit: Gale. 
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  98. ^ McLaughlin, Jim; Andrew Gully (1998-02-19). "Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter".  
  99. ^ Sweeney, John (2007-05-14). "Row over Scientology video". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  100. ^ "Reporter John Sweeney followed on Scientology story". BBC Panorama (BBC). September 27, 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  101. ^ The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power TIME magazine, May. 06, 1991 By Richard Behar. By all appearances, Noah Lottick of Kingston, Pa., had been a normal, happy 24-year-old who was looking for his place in the world... his fingers were still clutching $171 in cash, virtually the only money he hadn't yet turned over to the Church of Scientology, the self-help "philosophy" group he had discovered just seven months earlier.
  102. ^ Frantz, Douglas (November 14, 1998). "Florida Charges Scientology In Church Member's Death". New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  103. ^ Stasi, Linda (October 27, 2006). "Scientology Schizo: His Mom's Religion Said, No Meds. That Edict May Have Cost Her Life". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2007-02-10. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  104. ^ "French Scientologists Arrested in Italy". 
  105. ^ Juliet, Anne-Cécile. "L’étrange séquestration qui embarrasse la Scientologie". Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  106. ^ a b Ville vært i live i dag hvis hun ikke hadde gått til scientologene" - Innenriks -""". FR: Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  107. ^ The Foster Report. Chapter 5, "The Practices of Scientology;" section (a), "Recruitment;" pages 75-76. "... a systematic approach to answering the questions should yield systematic variations in the conclusions derived from an analysis of the test scores ... these two methods [for answering the questions of the test] would be expected to produce different, if not complementary, profiles ... These variations in answering the questions did not seem to affect the Oxford Capacity Analysis as the three methods produced remarkably similar profiles ... when each of two diametrically opposed methods of response produces the same extreme deviant scores as the other and as a third "random" response style, we are forced to a position of scepticism about the test's status as a reliable psychometric device."
  108. ^ "The Seven-Division Org Board". What is Scientology. Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. 
  109. ^ Dissemination by Churches of Scientology through "Field Staff Members", "Field Staff Member: a Scientology parishioner who introduces others to Scientology through personal contact."
  110. ^ Official Scientology FAQ: "There are thousands of Scientologists who work full time in churches and missions throughout the world as executives or administrative staff. There are also those who further the dissemination of Scientology on a one-to-one basis or through the dissemination of Scientology materials and books, those who hold jobs in the Church’s social reform groups and those who work in the Office of Special Affairs involved in community betterment or legal work. All of these provide rewarding careers as each forwards the expansion of Scientology and thereby makes it possible for more and more people to benefit from its technology."
  111. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (May 10, 1981). "A Short Study of the Scientology Religion". Church of Scientology. The Church regularly propagates its beliefs through the traditional channels of liturgy, dissemination of its religious publications and in its community programs. 
  112. ^ Reproduced version of Introspection Rundown Release Contract
  113. ^ Ortega, Tony (2008-06-30). "Scientology's Crushing Defeat".  
  114. ^ "Religion". 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  115. ^ "Berlin Concerned about Huge New Scientology Center". Der Spiegel. January 9, 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-11.  "The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 in the US by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. It has around 8 million members worldwide, including several celebrities such as actors John Travolta and Tom Cruise. The organization has an estimated 6,000 members in Germany, but experts believe the church has only 150-200 members in Berlin."
  116. ^ Interview with Barbara Lieser, SPIRITA 1/93, Page 22
  117. ^ "Statement of Scientology Media Relations Director Linda Simmons Hight". May 11, 2002. 
  118. ^ Statement of Celebrity Centre Vice President Greg LaClaire, August 7, 2004 [3]
  119. ^ Spokesperson Beth Akiyama in: Scientology comes to town, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 24, 2005
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  122. ^ "Derek H. Davis". Spirit Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. 
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  126. ^ Self-Described Religious Identification Among American Adults at Infoplease
  127. ^ Wright, Lawrence (February 2011). "The Apostate". The New Yorker. 
  128. ^ "Self-Described Religious Identification of Adult Population". United States Census Bureau. 
  129. ^ a b c d e Lewis, James R. (September 2004). "New Religion Adherents: An Overview of Anglophone Census and Survey Data" (PDF). Marburg Journal of Religion 9 (1). Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  130. ^ Boyle, Kevin; Sheen, Juliet (1997), Freedom of Religion and Belief, London, UK/New York, NY: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-15978-4, p. 102
  131. ^ Statistics Canada
  132. ^ Verfassungsschutzbericht 2005, p. 292
  133. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2008-09-19). "2008 Report on International Religious Freedom - New Zealand". Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  134. ^ Religion's rise in the stars, The Herald Sun, July 9, 2007
  135. ^ "Census shows scientology numbers going backwards". ABC News. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  136. ^ "Scientology losing Swiss support: experts - The Local". 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  137. ^ Smith, L. Christopher (December 2008). "Scientology's Money Trail: Celebrities! Tax shelters! Bart Simpson! A glimpse into the finances of the secretive church". Condé Nast Portfolio (2008 Condé Nast Inc). Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
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  139. ^ Goodyear, Dana (2011-08-01). Château Scientology", The New Yorker, 14 January 2008""". Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  140. ^ 'Hernandez v. Commissioner'', U.S. Supreme Court"'". Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  141. ^ "Cienciología aquí, no…".  
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  146. ^ Kent, Stephen (July 1999). "Scientology -- Is this a Religion?". Marburg Journal of Religion. Retrieved 2006-08-26.  Kent, while acknowledging that a number of his colleagues accept Scientology as a religion, argues that "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." (Italics in original.)
  147. ^ Sir John Foster (December 1971). "Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology". Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London. Retrieved 2007-03-05. 
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  151. ^ (The Church of the New Faith v. The Commissioner for Payroll Tax, Australian Law Journal Reports 57 [1983]: p785)[4]
  152. ^ "'"Senator Nick Xenophon brands Scientology a 'criminal organisation. Herald Sun (Australia). Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
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  154. ^ Dalton, Alastair (2007-09-05). "Scientology branded a 'criminal organisation' and may face charges". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
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  164. ^ Agencies Warn Scientology Ban Doomed to Fail
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  166. ^ a b Legal questions concerning religious and worldview communities, prepared by the Scientific Services staff of the German Parliament (German)
  167. ^ Tom Lyons: Troubled Scientology Church in Ireland is now €1m in red, The Irish Independent, June 28, 2006
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  171. ^ Heruti-Sover, Tali (2007-01-19). "Youth group supported by Scientology".  
  172. ^ US State Department Report on International Religious Freedom, September 9, 1999 Quote: "Evangelical Christian and other religious groups also have complained that the police have been slow to investigate incidents of harassment, threats, and vandalism directed against their meetings, churches, and other facilities by two ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups, known as Yad L'achim and Lev L'achim."]
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  175. ^ "Scientology wins Dutch Scientology wins Dutch tax exemption status as a faith institute". Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  176. ^ Judgment on Application no. 18147/02 by CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF MOSCOW against Russia (April 5, 2007). Court press release here. Retrieved on 2007-05-15.
  177. ^ "St. Petersburg court shuts down Scientology Center".  
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  179. ^ "Spanish court rules Scientology can be listed as a religion". AFP. 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
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  183. ^ Wallop, Harry (August 11, 2006). "Scientology tax victory could cost Revenue millions". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  184. ^ "UK Supreme Court says Scientology is a religion, allows wedding". Reuters. December 11, 2013. 
  185. ^ Bingham, John (December 11, 2013). "Scientology is a religion, rules Supreme Court". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
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  187. ^ Hafiz, Yasmine (December 12, 2013). "Britain Recognizes Scientology As A Religion". Huffington Post. 
  188. ^ Dahl, David (1993-10-24). "IRS examined Scientology dollars, not dogma".  
  189. ^ Frantz, Douglas (1997-03-09). "Scientology's Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  190. ^ Judge Barry Silverman MICHAEL SKLAR; MARLA SKLAR v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL No. 00-70753 (PDF format) United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Argued and Submitted September 7, 2001, Pasadena, California, Filed January 29, 2002.
  191. ^ UNITED STATES TAX COURT, MICHAEL AND MARLA SKLAR, Petitioners v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent. Docket No. 395-01. Filed December 21, 2005.
  192. ^ Gerstein, Josh (February 8, 2008). "Judges Press IRS on Church Tax Break".  


See also

However, this matter is still ongoing. On February 8, 2008, three judges in the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals "expressed deep skepticism" over the IRS's position that treatment of Scientology is "irrelevant to the deductions the Orthodox Jews, Michael and Marla Sklar, took for part of their children's day school tuition and for after-school classes in Jewish law".[192]

To date (2008) such a suit is not known to have been filed. In further appeal in 2006, the US Tax Court again rejected couple's deduction, stating:

In a 2001 legal case involving a married couple attempting to obtain the same deduction for charity to a Jewish school, it was stated by Judge Silverman:[190]

In 1993, however, the United States IRS recognized Scientology as a "non-profit charitable organization," and gave it the same legal protections and favorable tax treatment extended to other non-profit charitable organizations.[188] A New York Times article says that Scientologists paid private investigators to obtain compromising material on the IRS commissioner and blackmailed the IRS into submission.[189]

In 1979 Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, along with ten other highly placed Scientology executives were convicted in United States federal court regarding Operation Snow White, and served time in an American federal prison. Operation Snow White involved infiltration, wiretapping and theft of documents in government offices, most notably those of the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

United States

In December 2013, the UK Supreme Court officially ruled that Scientology is a religion, in response to a 5-year legal battle by Scientologist Louisa Hodkin to marry at the Church of Scientology chapel in central London. With the new ruling, the Registrar General of Births, Marriages and Deaths now recognize weddings performed within Scientology chapels and redefined religion so that it was "not... confined to those with belief in a supreme deity."[184][185][186][187]

The UK government's 1971 official report into Scientology was highly critical,[181] although concluded that it would be unfair to ban the Church outright. The UK government does not classify the Church of Scientology as a religious institution and it is not a registered charity.[129][182] However, in 2000, the Church of Scientology was exempted from UK value added tax on the basis that it is a not-for-profit body.[183]

United Kingdom

On October 31, 2007, the National Court in Madrid issued a decision recognizing that the National Church of Scientology of Spain should be entered in the Registry of Religious Entities. The administrative tribunal of Madrid's High Court ruled that a 2005 justice ministry decision to scrap the church from the register was "against the law." Responding to a petition filed by the church, the ruling said that no documents had been presented in court to demonstrate it was anything other than a religious entity.[179][180]


The European Court of Human Rights ruled in April 2007 that Russia's denial to register the Church of Scientology as a religious community was a violation of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of assembly and association) read in the light of Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion)".[176] In July 2007, the St. Petersburg City Court closed down that city's Scientology center for violating its charter.[177][178]


On October 17, 2013, a Dutch court ruled that "the Amsterdam arm of Scientology is a charitable organization and exempt from paying taxes."[174] reported that the court ruled "The Scientology Church in Amsterdam be treated in the same way as other church and faith-based organisations and allowed to claim tax breaks." The appeal court also ruled that "Scientology's classes don't differ significantly from what other spiritual organizations do, or can do."[174] The court noted "Scientology movement's training programmes are not the same as those offered by commercial companies because people who cannot afford them pay a reduced fee or get them free" and that "the courses are aimed at spiritual and theoretical enlightenment."[175]


In Israel, according to Israeli professor of psychology Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, "in various organizational forms, Scientology has been active among Israelis for more than thirty years, but those in charge not only never claimed the religion label, but resisted any such suggestion or implication. It has always presented itself as a secular, self-improvement, tax-paying business."[145] Those "organizational forms" include a Scientology Organization in [173]


[168], and Muslim leaders.Chief Rabbi The Irish government has not invited the Church of Scientology to national discussions on secularization by the Religious Council of Ireland. The meetings were attended by Roman Catholic bishops, representatives of the Church of Ireland, Ireland's [167] As in most European countries, the Church of Scientology is not officially recognized in


The legal status of the Church of Scientology in Germany is still awaiting resolution; some courts have ruled that it is a business, others have affirmed its religious nature.[166] The German government has affirmed that it does not consider the Church of Scientology to be a religious community.[166]

[165] The plans to ban Scientology were finally dropped in November 2008, after German officials found insufficient evidence of illegal activity.[164] The plans were quickly criticised as ill-advised.[163] In Germany it is seen as a totalitarian anti-democratic organization and is under observation by national security organizations due to, among other reasons, suspicion of violating the human rights of its members granted by the [160] In Germany, official views of Scientology are particularly skeptical.


[159] "On the France thing I don't think that's going to have any lasting impact, simply because they got a nine hundred thousand dollar fine I think - which is like chump change to them. They've got literally nearly a billion dollars set aside in a war chest," said Rathbun.[159] In an interview on the

In France, a parliamentary report classified Scientology as a dangerous cult.[155] On November 22, 1996, the leader of the Lyons Church of Scientology, Jean-Jacques Mazier, was convicted of fraud and involuntary homicide and sentenced to eighteen months in prison for his role in the death of a member who committed suicide after going deeply into debt to pay for Scientology auditing sessions. Fourteen others were convicted of fraud as well.[156] In 2009, members of the church were sued for fraud and practicing pharmacology without a license,[157] and the Church was convicted of fraud in October 2009, being fined €600,000, with additional fines and suspended prison sentences for four officers.[158]


In September 2007, a Belgian prosecutor announced that they had finished an investigation of Scientology and said they would probably bring charges. The church said the prosecutor's public announcement falsely suggested guilt even before a court could hear any of the charges. In December 2012, Belgian officials completed their file on Scientology and brought charges of extortion, illegal medicine, various breaches of privacy, and fraud.[153][154]


[152] On November 18, 2009 the Church came under fire from an Independent senator in the Commonwealth Parliament,

There is currently no legal restriction in Australia on the practice of Scientology. In 1983 the High Court of Australia dealt with the question whether the Church of Scientology is a religious institution and as such not subject to payroll tax. The Court unanimously confirmed the Church of Scientology to be a religious institution.[151]


Early official reports in countries such as the United Kingdom (1971), South Africa (1972), Australia (1965) and New Zealand (1969) have yielded unfavorable observations and conclusions.[147][148][149][150]

While a number of governments now give the Church of Scientology protections and tax relief as an officially recognized religion,[142][143][144] other sources describe the Church as a pseudoreligion or a cult.[145] Sociologist Stephen Kent published at a Lutheran convention in Germany that he likes to call it a transnational corporation.[146]

Scientology México headquarters in Mexico City near the Alameda Central. The Secretaría de Gobernación has thrice denied the Church of Scientology's petition to be legally recognized as a religion.[141]

Government opinions of Scientology

Critics say it is improper to fix a donation for religious service; therefore the activity is non-religious. Scientology points out many classes, exercises and counseling may also be traded for "in kind" or performed cooperatively by students for no cost, and members of its most devoted orders can make use of services without any donations bar that of their time. A central tenet of Scientology is its Doctrine of Exchange, which dictates that each time a person receives something, he or she must give something back. By doing so, a Scientologist maintains "inflow" and "outflow", avoiding spiritual decline.[140]

Scientologists can attend classes, exercises or counseling sessions for a set range of "fixed donations"; however, membership without courses or auditing is possible. According to a sociological report entitled "Scientology: To Be Perfectly Clear", progression between levels above "clear" status cost $15,760.03 in 1980 (without including additional special treatments).[138] Scientologists can choose to be audited by a fellow Scientologist rather than by a staff member.[139]

The Church of Scientology and its large network of corporations, non-profits and other legal entities are estimated to make around 500 million US dollars in annual revenue.[137]


  • In 2001, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) reported that there were 55,000 adults in the United States who consider themselves Scientologists.[126] A 2008 survey of American religious affiliations by the US Census Bureau estimated there to be 25,000 Americans identifying as Scientologists.[127][128]
  • The 2001 United Kingdom census contained a voluntary question on religion, to which approximately 48,000,000 chose to respond. Of those living in England and Wales who responded, a total of 1,781 said they were Scientologists.[129]
  • In 2001, Statistics Canada, the national census agency, reported a total of 1,525 Scientologists nationwide,[129] up from 1,220 in 1991.[130] In 2011 census the number of scientologist raised to 1,745.[131]
  • In 2005, the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution estimated a total of 5,000 – 6,000 Scientologists in that country, and mentioned a count of 12,000 according to Scientology Germany.[132]
  • In the 2006 New Zealand census, 357 people identified themselves as Scientologists, although a Church spokesperson estimated there were between 5,000 and 6,000 Scientologists in the country.[133] Earlier census figures were 207 in the 1991 census, 219 in 1996, and 282 in 2001.[129]
  • In 2006, Australia's national census recorded 2,507 Scientologists nationwide, up from 1,488 in 1996, and 2,032 in 2001.[129][134] The 2011 census however found a decrease of 13.7 per cent from the 2006 census.[135]
  • In 2011 support for Scientology in Switzerland was said to have experience a steady decline from 3,000 registered members in 1990 to 1,000 members and the organisation was said to be facing extinction in the country. A Church of Scientology spokeswoman rejected the figures insisting that the organisation had 5,000 “passive and active members in Switzerland.”[136]

Statistics from other sources:

The "Scientologists Online" website presents "over 16,000 Scientologists On-Line".[125]

The organization has said that it has anywhere from eight million to fifteen million members worldwide.[117][118][119][120][121] Derek Davis[122] stated in 2004 that the Church organization has around 15 million members worldwide.[123] Religious scholar J. Gordon Melton has said that the church's estimates of its membership numbers 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." Melton has stated that If the claimed figure of 4 million American Scientologists were correct, "they would be like the Lutherans and would show up on a national survey".[124]

In 2007, the German national magazine Der Spiegel reported about 8 million members worldwide, about 6000 of them in Germany, with only 150-200 members in Berlin.[115] In 1993, a spokesperson of Scientology Frankfurt had mentioned slightly more than 30,000 members nationwide.[116]

It is difficult to obtain reliable membership statistics. The International Association of Scientologists (IAS), the official Church membership system since 1984, has never released figures. Church spokespersons either give numbers for their countries or a worldwide figure.[113] Some national censuses have recently included questions about religious affiliations, though the United States Census Bureau states that it is not the source for information on religion.[114]

Membership statistics

[112] Recent legal actions involving Scientology's relationship with its members (see

Legal waivers

Further proselytization practices - commonly called "dissemination" of Scientology[108] - include information booths, flyers and advertisement for free seminars, Sunday Services in regular newspapers and magazines, personal contacts[109][110] and sales of books.[111]

Members of the public entering a Scientology center or mission are offered a "free personality test" called the Oxford Capacity Analysis by Scientology literature. The test, despite its name and the claims of Scientology literature, has no connection to Oxford University or any other research body. Scientific research into three test results came to the conclusion that "we are forced to a position of skepticism about the test's status as a reliable psychometric device" and called its scientific value "negligible".[107]

A Scientologist administers a stress test using an e-meter.

Missionary activities

On Friday March 28, 2008, Kaja Bordevich Ballo, daughter of Olav Gunnar Ballo, Norwegian parliament member and vice president of the Norwegian Odelsting, took a Church of Scientology personality test while studying in Nice. Her friends and co-inhabitants claim she was in good spirits and showed no signs of a mental breakdown, but the report from the Church of Scientology said she was "depressed, irresponsible, hyper-critical and lacking in harmony". A few hours later she committed suicide by jumping from her balcony at her dorm room leaving a note telling her family she was sorry for not "being good for anything". The incident has brought forward heavy criticism against the Church of Scientology from friends, family and prominent Norwegian politicians.[106] Inga Marte Thorkildsen, parliament member, went as far as to say "Everything points to the scientology cult having played a direct role in making Kaja choose to take her own life".[106]

In addition, the Church has been implicated in kidnapping members who have recently left the church. In 2007, Martine Boublil was kidnapped and held for several weeks against her will in Sardinia by four Scientologists. She was found on January 22, 2008, clothed only in a shirt. The room she was imprisoned in contained refuse and an insect infested mattress.[104][105]

[103] sanctioned by Scientology. The death of Elli Perkins at the hands of a disturbed family member, one whose disease could have been treated by methods and medications banned by Scientology, again raised questions in the media about the Church's methods.alternative remedies as early as 2001, the Perkins family chose not to seek psychiatric help for him and opted instead for schizophrenia, was stabbed to death by her mentally disturbed son. Though Elli Perkins's son had begun to show symptoms of psychiatry, another adherent to Scientology's beliefs regarding Elli Perkins These charges attracted press coverage and sparked lawsuits. Eight years later, [102] In 1995, Lisa McPherson was involved in a minor automobile accident while driving on a [101] Some key activities of the Church of Scientology carry risks for members, and the deaths of some Scientologists have brought attention to the Church both due to the circumstances of their demises and their relationship with Scientology possibly being a factor.

Members' health and safety

Sweeny subsequently made a follow up documentary, The Secrets of Scientology, in 2010 during which he was followed and filmed on multiple occasions and one of his interviewees was followed back to his home.[100]

Yet it has continued to aggressively target people it deems suppressive. In 1998, regarding its announcement that it had hired a private investigator to look into the background of a Boston Herald writer who had written a series on the church, Robert W. Thornburg, dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University, said, "No one I know goes so far as to hire outsiders to harass or try to get intimidating data on critics. Scientology is the only crowd that does that."[98] It has apparently continued as recently as 2010. In 2007 when BBC journalist John Sweeney was making Scientology and Me, an investigative report about the Church and was the subject of harassment:

Of these activities the current Church laments:

On January 22, 2013, attorneys for the organization, as well as some of its members, reacted toward the CNN News Group for its airing of a story covering the release of a book published by a former member, entitled 'Going Clear', published earlier the same year. CNN News Group then chose to publish the reactionary correspondence, with confidential information redacted, on its web site.

[97] When fingerprints on them matched hers, the Justice Department began prosecution, which could have sent Cooper to prison for a lengthy term. The Church's plan was discovered at the same time as its Operation Snow White actions were revealed. All charges against Cooper were dismissed, though she had spent more than $20,000 on legal fees for her defense.[97] The Church has also in the past made use of aggressive tactics in addressing those it sees as trying to suppress them, known as

Under the Guardian's Office (now renamed the KGB). This was known as Operation Snow White. In the trial which followed discovery of these activities the prosecution described their actions thus:

Illegal activities

Unlike many well-established religious organizations, Scientology maintains strict control over its names, symbols, religious works and other writings. The word Scientology (and many related terms, including L. Ron Hubbard) is a registered trademark. Religious Technology Center, the owner of the trademarks and copyrights, takes a hard line on people and groups who attempt to use it in ways unaffiliated with the official Church (see Scientology and the legal system).

Although the religious nature of Scientology has been questioned both in the United States and around the world, Scientology has been acknowledged as a new religion as manifested in the Church's court victories and the gain of religious rights and privileges that are exclusive to legally established religious bodies.[96]

In some countries Scientology is treated legally as a commercial enterprise, and not as a religion or charitable organization. In early 2003, in Germany, The Church of Scientology was granted a tax-exemption for the 10% license fees sent to the US. This exemption, however, is related to a German-American double-taxation agreement, and is unrelated to tax-exemption in the context of charities law. In several countries, public proselytizing undergoes the same restrictions as commercial advertising, which is interpreted as persecution by Scientology.

[95][94][93].International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 The U.S. State Department has criticized Western European nations for discrimination against Scientologists in its published annual International Religious Freedom report, based on the [92] administration to investigate, as determined in an internet poll run by the presidential transition team soliciting public input for the incoming administration.Barack Obama In January 2009, removal of the tax exemption was rated as number 9 in items for the incoming [91] In addition, Scientology also dropped more than fifty lawsuits against the IRS when this settlement was reached. Scientology cites its tax exemption as proof the United States government accepts it as a religion.[90] From 1952 until 1966, Scientology was administered by an organization called the

Classification as church or business

In his book World Religions in America, religious scholar Jacob Neusner states that Scientology's "high level of visibility" may be perceived as "threatening to established social institutions".[89]

In 1979, several Scientology members were convicted for their involvement in the church's Operation Snow White, the largest theft of government documents in U.S. history.[83][84] Scientologists were also convicted of fraud, manslaughter and tampering with witnesses in French cases,[85][86] malicious libel against lawyer Casey Hill and espionage in Canada.[87][88]

Though it has attained some credibility as a religion in many countries, Scientology has also been described as both a cult and a commercial enterprise.[13] Some of the Church's actions also brought scrutiny from the press and law enforcement. For example, it has been noted to engage in harassment and abuse of civil courts to silence its critics, using fair game policies and procedures against people it perceives as its enemies.[81][82]


In order to facilitate the continued expansion of Scientology, the Church has made efforts to win allies in the form of powerful or respected people.[80]


  • One of the best-known WISE-affiliated businesses is Sterling Management Systems, which offers Hubbard's management "technology" to professionals such as dentists and chiropractors.
  • Another well-known WISE-affiliated business is e.Republic, a publishing company based in Folsom, California.[79] e.Republic publications include Government Technology and Converge magazines. The Center for Digital Government is a division of e. Republic that was founded in 1999.
  • Internet ISP EarthLink was founded by Scientologist Sky Dayton as a Scientology enterprise. The company now distances itself from the views of its founder, who has moved on to become CEO of Helio (wireless carrier), formerly known as SK-EarthLink.

Many other Scientologist-run businesses and organizations belong to the Hubbard College of Administration, which offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree.


The Citizens' Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), co-founded with front group.[76][77][78]


Founded in 1989, the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) is an umbrella organization that administers six of Scientology's social programs:


The RTC employs lawyers and has pursued individuals and groups who have legally attacked Scientology or who are deemed to be a legal threat to Scientology. This has included breakaway Scientologists who practice Scientology outside the central church and critics, as well as numerous government and media organizations. This has helped to maintain Scientology's reputation for litigiousness (see Scientology and the legal system).

Around 1982 all of the Hubbard's intellectual property was transferred to a newly formed entity called the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) and then licensed to the Religious Technology Center (RTC) which, according to its own publicity, exists to safeguard and control the use of the Church of Scientology's copyrights and trademarks.

Religious Technology Center (RTC)

The Church of Scientology began its "Volunteer Ministers" program as a way to participate in community outreach projects. Over the past several years, it has become a common practice for Volunteer Ministers to 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 L. Ron 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."

Volunteer Ministers

[74] In 1974, Hubbard established the

[73] Critics of Scientology have spoken out against the disciplinary procedures and policies of the Sea Org, which have been

Scientologists who are qualified to do so are often encouraged to join the Sea Org, which involves a lifetime commitment to Scientology organizations in exchange for room and board, training and auditing, and a small weekly allowance. Members sign an agreement pledging their loyalty and allegiance to Scientology for "the next billion years," committing their future lifetimes to the Sea Org. The Sea Org's motto is "Revenimus" (or "We Come Back").

The Sea Org is described by the church as forming an elite group of the most dedicated Scientologists, who are entrusted with the international management of Scientology and upper level churches such as the Advanced Organization Los Angeles, American Saint Hill Organization, Celebrity Center International.

The Sea Organization (often simply referred to as the "Sea Org") is an unincorporated fraternal religious order founded in 1967 by L. Ron Hubbard, as he embarked on a series of voyages around the Mediterranean Sea in a small fleet of ships entirely staffed by Scientologists. Hubbard—formerly a lieutenant junior grade in the US Navy—bestowed the rank of "Commodore" of the vessels upon himself. The crew who accompanied him on these voyages became the foundation of the Sea Org.

Sea Org

In 2010, an exception to the rule was made specifically for the Louis Farrakhan publicly announced his embracement of Dianetics, and has been actively promoting Dianetics, while stating he has not become a Scientologist. He has courted a relationship with the Church, and materials and certifications are still required to be purchased from the Church of Scientology, and are not independently produced.[70][71][72]

The Church of Scientology denies the legitimacy of any splinter groups and factions outside the official organization, and has tried to prevent independent Scientologists from using officially trademarked Scientology materials. Independent Scientologists, also known collectively as the "Free Zone" are referred to as squirrels within the Church. They are also classified by the Church of Scientology as suppressive persons ("SPs")—opponents or enemies of Scientology.

There are many independently chartered organizations and groups which are staffed by Scientologists, and pay license fees for the use of Scientology technology and trademarks under the control of Scientology management. In some cases, these organizations do not publicize their affiliation with Scientology.[68][69]

Affiliated organizations

Occupying 185,000 square feet, the dissemination center "prints Church magazines in 15 languages."[66] Some of the capabilities of the center is to "address, sort and seal 150,000 pieces in an 8 hour shift that is hard-wired directly into the US Postal Service, with a postal representative on site [and] package ship 500,000 items per week."[67]

International Dissemination and Distribution Center

The Golden Era Productions located in the Hollywood Guaranty Building is a Scientology production facility that produces promotional materials for the Church of Scientology, as well as lectures, training films and other materials related to the works of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.[65]

Golden Era Productions

Production Facilities

Since 2003, twenty-nine new churches or "Ideal Orgs" as referred to by the church, have been constructed, which are new or revamped buildings that the church has acquired and converted. The church states that the Ideal Orgs "realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard's vision for the religion and its churches."[57] The Church of Scientology has continued to buy hotels and church buildings, a total of 62 in all in the past five years,[58] under the leadership of the church’s ecclesiastical leader, David Miscavige.[59] Some of the most notable Ideal Org openings are: Johannesburg, South Africa, which was opened on November 2, 2003 and expanded and rededicated on August 3, 2011;[60] Rome, Italy; Malmo, Sweden; Dallas, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Washington D.C.[58] Phoenix, Arizona,[61] Inglewood, California,[57] and Santa Ana, California.[62] Other locations where Ideal Orgs have opened are Florence, Kentucky; Clearwater, Florida; Sacramento, California; Melbourne, Australia; Mexico City, London, Quebec, and Seattle, Washington.[63]On Oct 31 2015, a new Scientology Ideal Org opened in Milan, Italy, at the entrance of the city from Sesto San Giovanni. The building was pegged as the “largest” Church of Scientology at almost 10,000 square meters and five stories.[64]

Scientology Ideal Orgs

The blue asbestos.[56]


[55] The Church of Scientology maintains a large base on the outskirts of

Trementina Base

The Church of Scientology bought a former resort, which had been popular with Hollywood figures, in 1978; the resort became Gold Base.[49] The facilities at Gold Base have been toured by journalists several times. They are surrounded by floodlights and video observation cameras,[44][50][51][52] and the compound is protected by razor wire.[53] Gold Base also has recreational facilities, including basketball, volleyball, and soccer facilities, an exercise building, a waterslide, a small lake with two beaches, and a golf course.[54]

The headquarters of the Religious Technology Center, the entity that oversees Scientology operations worldwide, is located in unincorporated Riverside County, California, near Gilman Hot Springs and north of Hemet. The facility, known as Gold Base or "Int", is owned by Golden Era Productions and is the home of Scientology's media production studio, Golden Era Studios. Several Scientology executives, including David Miscavige, live and work at the base.[44] Therefore, Gold Base is Scientology's international administrative headquarters.[45][46][47][48]

Gold Base, Riverside County, California

Another museum in the area is the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, located on Sunset Boulevard, which is operated by the church-affiliated Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

Scientology's Celebrity Center International is located on Franklin Avenue, while the Association for Better Living and Education, Author Services and the official headquarters of the Church of Scientology International (in the Hollywood Guaranty Building) are all located on Hollywood Boulevard. The ground floor of the Guaranty Building also features the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition, a museum detailing the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard that is open to the general public.

The Church of Scientology successfully campaigned to have the city of Los Angeles rename one block of a street running through this complex "L. Ron Hubbard Way." The street has been paved in brick.

Church of Scientology Western United States.

Organizations in Hollywood, California

Scientology leader David Miscavige led the opening and dedication of the 377,000-square-foot Flag Building on November 17, 2013. The multi-million cathedral is the new spiritual headquarters of Scientology. The fifth and sixth floor contain the “Super Power Program”, which includes specially designed machines that Scientologists believe allow users to develop new abilities and experience enlightenment. The building also includes a dining facility, course rooms, offices and small rooms for “auditing” purposes.[41][42][43]

In the years since its foundation, Flag Base has expanded as the Church of Scientology has gradually purchased large amounts of additional property in the downtown and waterfront Clearwater area. Scientology's largest project in Clearwater has been the construction of a high-rise complex called the "Super Power Building," Scientology's new Flag Building "is the centerpiece of a 160-million construction campaign."[40]

[39] The organization was founded in the late 1970s when a Scientology-founded group called "Southern Land Development and Leasing Corp" purchased the

The "worldwide spiritual headquarters" of the Church of Scientology is known as "Flag Land Base," located in Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization, Inc..

Flag Land Base, Clearwater, Florida

L. Ron Hubbard moved to England shortly after founding Scientology, where he oversaw its worldwide development from an office in London for most of the 1950s. In 1959, he bought Scientology teaching, OT 9 and OT 10, will be released and made available to church members when all the major organizations in the world have reached Saint Hill size.

Saint Hill, Sussex, England

Scientology organizations and California, 6331 Hollywood Blvd, in the Hollywood Guaranty Building. The Church of Scientology also has several major headquarters, including:

Locations of major Scientology centers in the United States and the United Kingdom
1. Saint Hill Manor 2. Flag Land Base 3. PAC Base 4. Gold Base 5. Trementina Base 6. Flag ship, Freewinds

Headquarters, Bases, and Central Orgs

All Scientology churches built after Hubbard's death include a corporate-style office set aside for Hubbard's reincarnation, with a plaque on the desk bearing his name, and a pad of paper with a pen for him to continue writing novels.[36][37]

Scientologists are taught that a series of events, or incidents, occurred before life on earth.[32] Scientologists also believe that humans have hidden abilities which can be unlocked.[34][35]

Scientology claims that its practices provide methods by which a person can achieve greater spiritual awareness.[33] Within Scientology, progression from level to level is often called The Bridge to Total Freedom. Scientologists progress from "Preclear", to "Clear", and ultimately "Operating Thetan".

One of the major tenets of Scientology is that a human is an immortal alien spiritual being, termed a thetan, that is presently trapped on planet Earth in a physical "meat body." Hubbard described these thetans in "The Space Opera" cosmogony. The thetan has had innumerable past lives and it is accepted in Scientology that lives preceding the thetan's arrival on Earth lived in extraterrestrial cultures. Descriptions of space opera incidents are seen as true events by Scientologists.[32]

Scientology describes itself as the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others, and all of life. According to the Encyclopedia of American Religions, it is “concerned with the isolation, description, handling and rehabilitation of the human spirit.”[30] One purpose of Scientology, as stated by the Church of Scientology, is to become certain of one's spiritual existence and one's relationship to God, or the "Supreme Being."[31]

Scientology teaches that people are immortal spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature. The story of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in Earthly events, collectively described as space opera by Hubbard.[23] Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counseling known as "auditing", in which practitioners aim to re-experience consciously painful or traumatic events in their past, in order to free themselves of their limiting effects.[24] Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations.[25] Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in the United States[26] and other countries,[27][28][29] and the Church of Scientology emphasizes this as proof that it is a bona fide religion.

The Church of Scientology promotes Scientology, a body of beliefs and related practices created by L. Ron Hubbard, starting in 1952 as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics.[22]


In May 1987, following Hubbard's death, David Miscavige, one of Hubbard’s former personal assistants and video photographer, assumed the position of Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), a non-profit corporation that administers the trademarked names and symbols of Dianetics and Scientology. Although RTC is a separate corporation from the Church of Scientology International, whose president and chief spokesperson is Heber Jentzsch, Miscavige is the effective leader of the movement.[21]

Hubbard had official control of the organization until 1966 when this function was transferred to a group of executives.[19] Although Hubbard maintained no formal relationship with Scientology's management, he remained firmly in control of the organization and its affiliated organizations.[20]

Hubbard stated, "A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology."[18]

The first Scientology church was incorporated in December 1953 in Camden, New Jersey by[8][9] L. Ron Hubbard, his wife Mary Sue Hubbard, and John Galusha, although the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI) had already been operating since 1952[14][15] and Hubbard himself had already been selling Scientology books and technologies. Soon after, he explained the religious nature of Scientology in a bulletin to all Scientologists,[16] stressing its relation to the Dharma. The first Church of Scientology opened in 1954 in Los Angeles.[17]

L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology



  • History 1
  • Beliefs 2
  • Headquarters, Bases, and Central Orgs 3
    • Saint Hill, Sussex, England 3.1
    • Flag Land Base, Clearwater, Florida 3.2
    • Organizations in Hollywood, California 3.3
    • Gold Base, Riverside County, California 3.4
    • Trementina Base 3.5
    • Freewinds 3.6
    • Scientology Ideal Orgs 3.7
  • Production Facilities 4
    • Golden Era Productions 4.1
    • International Dissemination and Distribution Center 4.2
  • Affiliated organizations 5
    • Sea Org 5.1
    • Volunteer Ministers 5.2
    • Religious Technology Center (RTC) 5.3
    • ABLE 5.4
    • CCHR 5.5
    • WISE 5.6
  • Celebrities 6
  • Controversy 7
    • Classification as church or business 7.1
    • Illegal activities 7.2
    • Members' health and safety 7.3
    • Missionary activities 7.4
    • Legal waivers 7.5
  • Membership statistics 8
  • Finances 9
  • Government opinions of Scientology 10
    • Australia 10.1
    • Belgium 10.2
    • France 10.3
    • Germany 10.4
    • Ireland 10.5
    • Israel 10.6
    • Netherlands 10.7
    • Russia 10.8
    • Spain 10.9
    • United Kingdom 10.10
    • United States 10.11
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13

Although in some countries it has attained legal recognition as a religion,[12] the church has been the subject of a number of controversies, and has been accused by critics of being both a cult and a commercial enterprise.[13]

The highest authority in the Church of Scientology is in The Church of Scientology International (CSI) and the Religious Technology Center (RTC), whose headquarters are in Los Angeles. CSI "is the mother church and has the mission of propagating the Scientology creed around the world." RTC's main function is to "preserve, maintain, and protect the purity of the Scientology technology in accord with Hubbard's original research and to insure its proper and ethical delivery." The Scientology Missions International is under CSI and RTC and functions as "the central church to Scientology missions worldwide."[11]

[10], the location of which is kept secret from most Scientologists.Riverside County, California area of unincorporated, located in an Gold Base Its international headquarters are located at the [9][8].L. Ron Hubbard by Camden, New Jersey The first Scientology church was incorporated in December 1953 in [7][6][5] Every Church of Scientology is separately incorporated and has its own local board of directors and executives responsible for its own activities and corporate well-being.[4][3][2]

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