Portal:Scientology

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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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Hubbard said that the interstellar ruler Xenu transported his victims to Earth in interstellar space planes which looked exactly like Douglas DC-8s.
In Scientology, founder L. Ron Hubbard used the science fiction term space opera to describe what he said were actual extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in past lives. Upon Hubbard's death in 1986, it was announced by the Church of Scientology that he had discarded his physical body and was now "on a planet a galaxy away." It is a basic belief of Scientology that a human being is actually an immortal spiritual being, termed a thetan, that is presently trapped on planet Earth in a "meat body". The thetan has had innumerable past lives and it is accepted in Scientology that lives antedating the thetan's arrival on Earth lived in extraterrestrial cultures. Descriptions of space opera incidents are seen as nonfiction in the beliefs of Scientology and fit the description of a UFO religion. Hubbard said that the modern-day science fiction genre of space opera is merely an unconscious recollection of real events that took place millions of years ago. These events include the story of Xenu, the ruler of the Galactic Confederacy who brought billions of frozen people to Earth 75 million years ago, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs.

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Bridge Publications
Credit: Carl Lindström

Bridge Publications, Inc. (BPI) is based in Los Angeles, California, and is the Church of Scientology's North American publishing corporation. It publishes the Scientology and nonfiction works of L. Ron Hubbard. Outside of North America, this is done under the New Era Publications name, based in Copenhagen. It also published Hubbard's fiction and the annual Writers of the Future science fiction anthologies until 2002, when Galaxy Press was established for this purpose.

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L. Ron Hubbard in 1943
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986), better known as L. Ron Hubbard, was an American author in numerous pulp fiction genres as well as a prolific writer of non-fiction works, creator of Dianetics, and founder of the Church of Scientology. Hubbard was a highly controversial public figure during his lifetime. Many details of his life remain disputed, with official and unofficial biographies depicting Hubbard in radically different ways. Official Scientology biographies present him in hagiographic terms as "larger than life, attracted to people, liked by people, dynamic, charismatic and immensely capable in two dozen fields." In contrast, unofficial biographies (some of which are by former Scientologists) paint a much less flattering picture which often contradicts official Church accounts. One of Hubbard's unofficial biographers, Russell Miller, describes him as "one of the most successful and colourful confidence tricksters of the twentieth century" and comments that "every biography of Hubbard published by the church is interwoven with lies, half-truths and ludicrous embellishments." Particular areas of Hubbard's life described differently by the Church of Scientology and unofficial biographies include his career in the military, his motivation for forming Scientology as an "applied religious philosophy," and his role in various Scientology-related controversies.

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A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant

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Trey Parker
But we're friends with Penn Jillette, and Showtime wouldn’t let him do an episode of Bullshit! on Scientology..And hearing other people say, "You can’t do that,"—you can only say "You can't do that" so many times to Matt and me before we're gonna do it..So we realized we had to do it, and now that we’ve done it, now it’s like we’ve sort of opened the floodgates. People will be less scared.

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