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.
Operation Snow White was the Church of Scientology's name for a project during the 1970s to purge unfavorable records about Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard. This project included a series of infiltrations and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of Scientology, carried out by Church members; the single largest infiltration of the United States government in history with up to 5,000 covert agents.
Isaac Lee Hayes
(born August 20, 1942, in Covington
) was an American Grammy Award
and Academy Award
and funk singer
, record producer
, 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
, 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
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