Portal:Scientology

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The Scientology Portal

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Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by Speculative Fiction author L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.

Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counselling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects. Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations. Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt organization in the United States and some other countries, and the Church of Scientology emphasizes this as proof that it is a bona fide religion. In other countries, notably France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Scientology does not have comparable religious status.

A large number of organizations overseeing the application of Scientology have been established, the most notable of these being the Church of Scientology. Scientology sponsors a variety of social service programs. These include the Narconon anti-drug program, the Criminon prison rehabilitation program, the Study Tech education methodology, a volunteer organization, a business management method, and a set of moral guidelines expressed in a booklet called The Way to Happiness.

The Church of Scientology is one of the most controversial new religious movements to have arisen in the 20th century. It has often been described as a cult that financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services. The Church of Scientology has consistently used litigation against such critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its foes has been condemned as harassment. Further controversy has focused on Scientology's belief that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth. Former members say that some of Hubbard's writings on this remote extraterrestrial past, included in confidential Upper Levels, are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology. Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished. Notable Scientologists include many well known people such as Tom Cruise, Greta Van Susteren, Chick Corea, John Travolta, Priscilla Presley and Kirstie Alley.

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Andreas Heldal-Lund, founder
Operation Clambake, also referred to by its Web address, Xenu.net, is a website launched in 1996 that publishes mostly critical information about the Church of Scientology. It is owned and maintained by Andreas Heldal-Lund, who has stated that he supports the rights of all people to practice Scientology or any religion, though Operation Clambake has also referred to Scientology as: "a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion." The site includes articles, exposés, and primary source documents. The site has been ranked as high as the third spot in Google searches for the term "Scientology". After the site hosted Scientology documents pertaining to Xenu and OT III, the Church of Scientology attempted to get this material removed through use of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). After receiving a DMCA takedown notice, Google removed many Xenu.net pages from its indexes. This inspired Google to contribute to the Chilling Effects archive, informing others about material missing from Google indexes due to DMCA takedown notices and other legal threats.

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Photo of Scientology anti-psychiatry demonstration in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Credit: Legolam

Scientology and psychiatry have come into conflict with each other since the foundation of Scientology in 1952. Scientology is publicly, and often vehemently, opposed to both psychiatry and psychology. It offers itself as an alternative to psychiatry, which Scientologists believe to be a barbaric and corrupt profession.

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Isaac Hayes in 1973
Isaac Lee Hayes (born August 20, 1942, in Covington, Tennessee) was an American Grammy Award and Academy Award winning soul and funk singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger, and actor. Hayes was one of the main creative forces behind Southern soul music label Stax Records, for which he served as both an in-house songwriter/producer and later as its premier recording artist. In addition to his work in popular music, Hayes has also written scores for several motion pictures as well. His best known film score, for the 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft, earned Hayes an Academy Award for Best Original Song (the first Academy Award received by an African-American in a non-acting category) and two Grammy Awards. Hayes received a third Grammy for his 1971 album Black Moses. In 1992, Hayes was crowned an honorary king of Ghana's Ada district thanks to his humanitarian deeds. From 1997 to 2006, he provided the voice for "Chef", a singing ladies' man and elementary school cook, on the animated sitcom South Park. There are conflicting statements from Hayes' publicists and others as to why he left the show, and this controversy is satirized in the South Park episode, "The Return of Chef".

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The trade secrets that they're trying to protect, all that science fiction space opera stuff at the end of the road, it's already on the hard load--hard drives of millions of people. In other words, the cat's out of the bag. So anybody that cares to investigate this organization are just a few keystrokes away from finding the truth-- and it's out there.

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