Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

 

Religious Tolerance logo

World religions

Menu

The Church of Scientology,®
founded by L. Ron Hubbard.

Church of Scientology photo

Exterior view of the Scientology building on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA.

Where to go for information about Scientology:

  • Ours is not an official Scientology site.

  • If you want to read material that promotes Scientology, please go to the Church of Scientology web site.

  • If you want to read a balanced discussion of Scientology, please go to the Rational Wiki web site at: http://rationalwiki.org/

  • If you want to read material that attacks the Church, please go to an anti-cult web site. One is http://www.xenu.net/

horizontal rule

Overview:

The Church of Scientology is a relatively new faith, founded by American science fiction/fantasy author Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986). He is most commonly referred to within the Church as L. Ron Hubbard.

The word Scientology means the "study of knowledge or truth." The Church attempts to address the rehabilitation and salvation of humanity.

Unlike many new religions, Scientology survived the death of his founder in 1986 and has since grown. It is now led by David Miscavige, who was a friend of Hubbard.

The total number of Scientologists in the world is extremely difficult to estimate, for a variety of reasons. Estimates vary over a 100 to 1 range, from 10 million (as stated by the Church itself) to 100,000 as estimated by some skeptics.

The Church of Scientology has been recognized as a religious organization by some countries, and is banned in others. It has been criticized by some critics as more of a cult or a corporation than a religion. Currently, it is perhaps the most controversial of the new religious movements (NRMs).

Until 2014-OCT, this menu included links to a number of essays on Scientology. However, after reassessing their quality, we concluded that they do not meet the standards expected of essays on this web site. On 2014-OCT-05, we removed them.

Sponsored link:

Reference used:

  1. Photo by PictorialEvidence. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
  2. "Scientology®: A reference work presented by the Church of Scientology International," at: http://www.bonafidescientology.org/

Three recommended books:

book cover Jenna Miscavige Hill & Lisa Pulitzer, "Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape," William Morrow; First Edition edition (2013). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. Amazon.com sells it for: $10.92 in Kindle format, $12.98 plus shipping in Hardcover, $9.03 plus shipping in Paperback, and in Audiobook and Audio CD.

Amazon.com product description:

"Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect; details her experiences as a member Sea Org -- the church's highest ministry; speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization; and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

In this tell-all memoir, complete with family photographs from her time in the Church, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider's profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood's brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta."

James R. Lewis, "Scientology," Oxford University Press, 2009-MAR, 464 pages. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. Amazon.com sells it in Kindle format for $16.74 and in hardcover for $9.95 as of 2017-JUL-25.

Product description (shared by Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble):

Scientology is arguably the most persistently controversial of all contemporary New Religious Movements. The Church of Scientology has been involved in battles over tax issues, a ten-year conflict with the Food and Drug Administration, extended turmoil with a number of European governments, and has even been subjected to FBI raids in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
 
Negative publicity, however, has not prevented the Church from experiencing remarkably steady growth. Official national census figures indicate that the number of Scientologists grew significantly in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia throughout the 1990s, and studies show that the Church gained 10,000 members in the United States during that decade. This has led Scientology to begin referring to itself as "The World's Fastest Growing Religion." But despite its highly public profile, recently enhanced by celebrity spokespersons like Tom Cruise and Isaac Hayes, little has been published about the Church, its history, theology, and mission.

The present volume brings together an international group of top scholars on New Religious Movements to offer an extensive and even-handed overview and analysis of all of these aspects of Scientology, including the controversies to which it continues to give rise. The book's six parts take a detailed look at the Church through its similarities to and differences from other religions, conflicts with various groups, overseas missions, and its theology, history, and sociology.

James R. Lewis has assembled an unusually comprehensive anthology, incorporating a wide range of different approaches. This volume is a welcome and long-overdue resource for scholars, students, and others interested in this controversial and little-understood religious movement.

book cover image Lawrence Wright, "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief," Vintage, 2013-NOV, 560 pages. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. Amazon.com sells it for: $19.05 plus shipping in Hardcover, $13.27 plus shipping in Paperback.

This book was honored as a National Book Award Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, A New York Times Notable Book, A Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New York magazine, SlateChicago Tribune, Huffington Post, NewsdayEntertainment Weekly, People, The WeekPublishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and a GoodReads Reader's Choice!

Amazon.com product description:

"Scientology presents itself as a scientific approach to spiritual enlightenment, but its practices have long been shrouded in mystery. Now Lawrence Wright -- armed with his investigative talents, years of archival research, and more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists -- uncovers the inner workings of the church. We meet founder L. Ron Hubbard, the highly imaginative but mentally troubled science-fiction writer, and his tough, driven successor, David Miscavige. We go inside their specialized cosmology and language. We learn about the church’s legal attacks on the IRS, its vindictive treatment of critics, and its phenomenal wealth. We see the church court celebrities such as Tom Cruise while consigning its clergy to hard labor under billion-year contracts. Through it all, Wright asks what fundamentally comprises a religion, and if Scientology in fact merits this Constitutionally-protected label. Brilliantly researched, compellingly written, Going Clear pulls back the curtain on one of the most secretive organizations at work today."

Site navigation: Home page > World religions > here

Scientology, Dianetics and The Bridge are trademarks and service marks owned by Religious Technology Center.
Menu copyrighted © 1997 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2017-JUL-25
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or to the "world religions" menu, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 
 

Sponsored links: