Talk:Scientology/Archive 24

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The general phrasing and design of the article greatly favors Scientology. It does seem that the moderators of this are so strict of any critical tone in the submission of the article that actual neutrality becomes impossible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Can you give examples where you think it favours Scientology? MartinPoulter (talk) 13:13, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

date format choice

It's consistently international rather than US, which I've retained after auditing. However, please review this, since the topic appears to be fairly US-related. In the end, though, international would be defensible if the organisation is truly international. Tony (talk) 03:58, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

It is truly international. While small, the organization has memberships in many countries. The article contains references and sections devoted to Scientology's international presence. I think it makes sense to leave the current date scheme in place. --GoodDamon 19:16, 8 September 2008 (UTC)


"Scientology splinter groups" should mention the Australian Kenja cult, the subject of the "Beyond Our Ken" documentary. Panic Tools (talk) 23:30, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

We have to be careful here. I carry no torch for Scientology in the slightest, but a cursory examination shows some relationship in that former CoS members are involved. To take that to an assertion that this is somehow an offshoot of Scientology would require a reliable source that this is so. One thing you have to be aware of here is that whereas it's very easy to set up some sort of pseudo-religious system, (a) it's less easy to objectively provide evidence of the validity of such a system beyond its own values and (b) even harder to extend that system to other, even ostensibly derivative systems. This is not limited to Scientology, and applies equally to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It also applies, if you look at it, to The Flying Spaghetti Monster and Invisible Pink Unicorn. Bottom line is that this encyclopedia requires evidence, and if you can provide a reliable source beyond innuendo that Kenja is in fact a de facto splinter group of Scientology, then please do so. A third-party comparison of the constitutions of both organisations would satisfy that requirement. --Rodhullandemu 23:58, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Scientology Defined

{{editsemiprotected}} Scientology is also known as "The Most Ridiculous Religion in the History of Humankind."

Not done Declined. Unsourced, probably unverifiable and not neutral. --Rodhullandemu 15:45, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, it seems, you haven't heard of the religion Pastafarianism ( Unfortunately, people have no common sense and do not understood what God and religion is all about. As long as people take religion seriously and believe that their holy book is be all and end all and 'their' god is the best, such religions will keep pooping up to shake the fundamentalists... RAmen! (talk) 05:26, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I have. Still requires a source. See below. --Rodhullandemu 15:24, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

That doesn't seem like a very neutral view. However, the article should probably add some of the topics under controversies to more relevant sections. Also, as pointed out, the article seems to be attempting to retain too much neutrality, in that, it does not properly separate the stated beliefs with actually shown beliefs. Also, I think it should be given semi-protected status as it's an obvious target, not just for vandals, but for slight, minor edits by pro-scientology organizations. Also, exclusion from the religion portal would be logical, as it is a very small, minor group, known more for media attention then actual action. The creation of a grouping that involves scientology and other related large cults/minor religions and irreligions might be a good idea Zanotam - Google me (talk) 22:33, 20 September 2008 (UTC)zanotam


Not sure how to do proper sub headings sorry but maybe someone should add something about the reports that Pink has started in scientology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Can you give a link to a reliable source for this? Thanks. --Rodhullandemu 15:49, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


The last paragraph in the introduction seems poorly written. The opening sentence of that paragraph uses the term "Space Opera" incorrectly. It also states that the belief about alien spirits is a "major tenet" of Scientology and provides no source. This seems like someone's unbacked opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Matt2053 (talkcontribs) 22:45, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually, there is a source after the paragraph. Also, the Space opera page links to the Space Opera article here on Wikipedia.WacoJacko (talk) 01:18, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I went ahead and added an additional reference to the paragraph.WacoJacko (talk) 01:33, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Major "tenant" of scientology? Derflipper (talk) 22:12, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
tenant/tenet, I was not paying attention. It looks like someone has already corrected the mistake.WacoJacko (talk) 13:49, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Still there is no need to have two different paragraphs to introduce the Scientology doctrine and the last one puts an undue emphasis on only one little known aspect of the Scientology. Why? It seems to me that the purpose of this paragraph is just to create controversy. By all means why you didn’t put equal emphasis on the other aspects like the dynamics of life? Anyway there is no need in the intro to jump into details.

WP: LEAD "the relative emphasis given to information in the lead will be reflected in the rest of the text."

We only need one paragraph to introduce the Scientology doctrine and a small mention to space opera can be added with no more emphasis than the rest of the Scientology doctrine. Bravehartbear (talk) 15:13, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I believe that someone needs to undo this edit which does not "swap two paragraphs" but merely moves one paragraph -- the one paragraph in the whole of the introduction which hints in the least about the highly controversial nature of Scientology -- to the absolute end of the introduction. -- (talk) 23:17, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Presenting the Scientology dotrine takes precedence over presenting the controversy.Bravehartbear (talk) 04:55, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Where is your basis for that claim? What page can you point to which says "when presenting the subject X, the pro-X POV must be given precedence over any controversy or criticism of X"? None, and that's because no such principle will ever be Wikipedia practice; such a principle of favoring some POVs over others would violate WP:NPOV. It is especially incorrect to be declaring that "the Scientology doctrine" must be favored over the controversy in this article because "the Scientology doctrine" has its own article, Scientology beliefs and practices. The detail you are attempting to add to the introduction about "the Scientology doctrine" might be appropriate in the article that is actually focused on "the Scientology doctrine". In this article, especially when coupled with the incorrect declaration that anyything about "the Scientology doctrine" automatically takes precedence over "the controversy", adding the details you have been adding about "the Scientology doctrine" is functionally indistinguishable from what might be done by someone trying to hide the substantial controversy there is about Scientology, and bias this article to a pro-Scientology POV.
Someone needs to not only undo Bravehartbear's incorrect decision to relegate all mention of controversy to the back of the bus the end of the introduction, but also edit the introduction so that it reflects the focus of this article, not of some other article which is about "the Scientology doctrine". -- (talk) 23:02, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Whilst I don't necessarily agree that "presenting the doctrine takes precedence over the controversy" in general, we are dealing with the lead, which is intended to be an overview of the article. Accordingly, I would expect a neutral lead to set out the background, fundamental tenets of the CoS, and criticisms of the CoS in very general terms. It is beyond doubt, and fully within policy and consensus, that these issues are addressed. The exposition of the detail of any of these points is reserved not only to the body of the article but also to any sub-articles linked from it. We are here neither to praise, whitewash, nor denigrate or destroy the CoS. I have personal views, of course, but for the purposes of this encyclopedia, those views are irrelevant. What is more important is that this article reflects, neutrally, facts about its subject as exhibited by reliable sources., I'd like you to set out a specific list of text that should be moved, deleted or whatever. Bravehartbear, I'd appreciate an orderly debate in response to the above comment. Whilst I don't have time to take this article by the horns and put it under the microscope myself, I assume the best of all editors to sort it out between themselves. Finally, I remind all parties that the Arbitration Committee has placed all Scientology-related articles on probation, and sanctions are available for tendentious editing. However, I sincerely hope it won't come to that; over the last few months I've seen several editors come to this article and make major changes, and haven't had the time to ensure that those changes are within the spirit of the encyclopedia- well, now I do. --Rodhullandemu 23:46, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

My I ask why you are making a big deal of what comes first, I'm trying to push fluency reflecting the context of the article. A logical sequence would be to present what is scientology, what is its origin and them mention any controversy. This is the sequense that the article follows anyway. So under what logic you want to change this, other than personal preference? Actually I can argue your same points about Space Opera and the controversy, there are other articles about both. Are you saying that the focus of this article is about the controversy? I really have to disagree with that, that is not WP:NPOV. Bravehartbear (talk) 03:42, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I can present an overwhelming number of cites that the most important thing about Scientology is that it is controversial. Will you make a big deal then if the controversy is mentioned first? AndroidCat (talk) 03:59, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
First you present an idea and then you present the points against it. Presenting the points against an idea with out presenting the idea first just doesn't make sense. This is not about if Scientology is controversial or not but about how to present information so it can be understood easy.Bravehartbear (talk) 08:53, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
And if we were presenting an idea and the points against it, your logic would be impeccable. However, the fact is that "Scientology" is not an idea. "'Scientology' is a system of beliefs and practices, and also a shorthand name for the Church of Scientology" is an idea, but we are not proposing any challenges to that idea. What we are doing is observing the fact that both Scientology, the system of beliefs and practices, and "Scientology", the organization, are highly controversial. That's actually very easy to understand; the only information we need to introduce previously in order to avoid confusion is that 'Scientology' is a system of beliefs and practices, and also a shorthand name for the Church of Scientology. There is therefore no realistic justification for pushing all mention of controversy to the absolute end of the introduction. -- (talk) 22:46, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

<outdent Actually, I tend to disagree, but only slightly; the object of a lead to an article is to set out what the subject of an article is, and in the case of a controversial subject, a mention that it is controversial. The only point at issue as regards the lead is how much emphasis is given to that point. It seems simplistic to me to say that relegating controversy to the last paragraph of the lead is essentially biased, equally as it would be to use the word "however" when introducing such a paragraph. It's such a disputed topic, of that there is no doubt, and let's be clear here that no casting of the lead is ever going to be without dispute. The lead of an article sets out the stall; the rest of it is the pitch. --Rodhullandemu 23:03, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

All I care about is about flow and how to make the article easy to read. The way it was, the lead jumped from Scientology basic believes "to controversy" then back more Scientology believes "space Opera". The "space opera" section was a recent ad, all I wanted was to make one paragraph for Scientology believes that includes space opera so I made the last paragraph disapear putting it next to the believes paragraph. I was in no way intending to push the controversy to the last paragraph even thought that what happened when I removed the last paragraph. Now re-analysing I see that the flow works better if we put the controversy right afther Scientology organizations, so the change is done. I'm in no way bias I can see both sides of the argument and I was slighty offended when I was told that I was being bias. Bravehartbear (talk) 05:51, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Scientology is a terrible lie, how could anyperson believe that they can be from another planet, and be trapped in a body that they also believe has unlimmited potential, that does not seem like a trap, and if they have all this potential, why dont we remember getting put here in the first place, and how can we live forever if we hwve seen others die. LCSFAN(----)

Picture of Hubbard

I'm a little surprised that a picture of Hubbard is not included in the article. I feel that there should be a picture in the "Origin and definition" section. Danny (talk) 22:12, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

The problem is in finding free use images of Hubbard. Most images of Hubbard are claimed as copyright by Scientology, and the ownership of the others is usually with some image library company. Non-free images can't be used in multiple articles, so the L. Ron Hubbard article has it. (Using multiple non-free images, one per article, would probably been seen as trying to game the system.) AndroidCat (talk) 22:25, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec)... and it's difficult to know what it would add to understanding or illustrating this article; his own article has a picture of him, but here, I don't see any point having it. The article isn't about him, it's about something he created. By analogy, we don't have an image of Thomas Edison in "light bulb", although there is such an image (although not of just himself) in "phonograph". On the other hand, there are images of Buddha in "Buddhism", but again, it's moot whether the argument of "creating" follows from one analogy to another. Personally, I remain to be convinced. --Rodhullandemu 22:34, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Edit request

{{editsemiprotected}} In the opening paragraph there is an incomplete sentence, "Whereas the Church of Scientology promotes Scientology spiritual rehabilitation philosophy and techniques (auditing)." Also, in the following sentence (middle of 3rd paragraph), "Most controversial among the Scientology believes is that the thetan is..." believes should read beliefs. In this sentence (end of 3rd paragraph), "It is believed in Scientology that while the .... to make him more manageable and keep him trap in a “meat body”", trap should read trapped.

In the "Influences" section, this sentence, "Hubbard, himself the son of a navy officer, claims to have met, at the age of 12, Thompson during a trip from Seattle to Washington D.C. via the Panama Canal and says Thompson introduced him to Freudian analysis." Is incredible hard to read. It should be simplified or condensed to read something like "Hubbard claims that he was introduced to Freudian analysis at the age of 12 by Thompson during a trip from Seattle to Washington D.C...."

Jliening (talk) 20:35, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

 Done Good edits.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 05:35, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Scientology in Belgium

This articles states "Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom have not recognized Scientology as a religion". That's true, but there's more. In Belgium, Scientology is listed as a dangereous sect with criminal objectives. Stating that is much more powerful than just saying it's not recognized as a religion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with this. Seeing as Scientology is mainly known for his controversies there should be more attention to the attitudes various governments have to it in its title. Right now its far too slanted towards its beliefs. (talk) 21:04, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Slanted Synopsis of Scientology

The present submission for Scientology is extremely slanted and misleading. I highly recommend that the adminstrators of this page contact the church directly in order to receive accurate information on this subject. It's a careless, or perhaps calculated, abuse of power to hold in here a submission that would falsely sway people into misconceptions and suspicions about Scientology. You wouldn't want your own religion slanted, so don't do it to others please. Drakodan (talk) 13:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

We are meant to pursue a neutral point of view here; although some of CoS own material is cited (and some would say too much), to add more might well prejudice that policy- which is one our most important ones. --Rodhullandemu 14:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, that would be fine if it were a religion. But it isn't. It's a dangerous and greedy cult that destroys lives and families, steals and lies to its followers and brutally treats anyone who opposes them. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:28, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Again, these allegations are already dealt with as far as reliable sources can be found. --Rodhullandemu 14:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Just a reminder, in case you weren't aware, that the Arbitration Committee has placed all Scientology-related articles on probation, which means they are under special scrutiny. --Rodhullandemu 14:58, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Really. This article is one with the lowest standards on Wikipedia (aside from stubs). Derflipper (talk) 22:11, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Really? It is one of the most carefully-researched and watched articles we have; it has evolved and received the attention of editors who are pro-Scientology, anti-Scientology and those who have no specific interest in the topic beyond applying our policies for ensuring it is encyclopedic, which in this context means "neutral" and "reliably sourced". It has received attention from the highest authorities in Wikipedia as far as conduct, if not content, is concerned. Vandalism is generally reverted within minutes, and that includes biased and unreliable edits. If you have any specific concerns about the article, I invite you to articulate them here and now. Luckily I have most of October free and will be able to deal with any issues you may have, and probably within an hour or so, unless I'm asleep, which doesn't tend to happen that much. --Rodhullandemu 22:20, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I didn't want to sound generalizing and I can see that almost every second word has its own reference... but something like proofreading the article would probably help even more ("One of the major tenants of Scientology is a belief"??? or "Hubbard established Scientology's doctrines during a period from 1952 until his death in January 1986, establishing the basic principles in the 1950s and 1960s."????). I have seen the edit wars around this article and I don't want any part of it, otherwise I would try to group the content better. For example the controversies section reads like a shopping list and though I read the whole article I still don't know what scientology is (except that some people don't like it, which I knew since the "origin and definition" section). Maybe you find the time and maybe I can help you. Let me know. Derflipper (talk) 23:02, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Certainly, it's well-referenced, as a controversial topic deserves to be; the article may well benefit from copy-editing for style and language as long as doing that does not change the meaning derivable from the referenced sources. As for the controversies section, certainly it is beyond doubt that the CoS has attracted criticism, justified or not; as I see it, our responsibility as an encyclopedia as far as maintaining a neutral point of view based on reliable sources is to report that criticism in as unbiased way as is possible. As to the details of how that reportage is presented, that is open to debate. For example, even moving a paragraph upwards in the article may lay one open to bias from either side of the debate, and is probably not worth the risk, as far as I'm concerned. I've watched this article for about six months, and it appears to me to have reached a stage where it does not now attract that much controversy, which in part at least tells me that perhaps we've got it about right for now. --Rodhullandemu 23:30, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I have not edited this article for almost 8 months and I must say during this time the article went down in quality horrendously. Negative slants not covered in the reference, private blogs and home pages are being used as reference, POV edits all the way through. I am sorry but if there was "no controversy" about the article then only because all the knowledgeable editors and scientologists turned away from the article and it became fair game for the anti-scientology editor crowd. Shutterbug (talk) 23:04, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I definitely don't think this article is written with an anti-Scientology slant.WacoJacko (talk) 02:44, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Anyone who believes in Scientology is an idiot all of its claims are false and have proven to be, also i will zap you with my mind powers. Long live Xenu. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I think that Scientology is a pretty cool guy, eh throws frozen aliens in volcanoes and doesn't afraid of anything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DrewM9879 (talkcontribs) 22:22, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Delete "Non Affiliated" section

I propose we delete the whole "Non Affiliated" section (though it's only one paragraph). At the lead of the article, we say "Not to be confused with Religious Science or Christian Science.". That's all that need be said. Every word beyond, is at best wasted, and at worst suggesting there's enough of a connection to justify real discussion (which there isn't). The Freud quote seems especially unnecessary. --Rob (talk) 04:25, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree that subsection should be removed. Cirt (talk) 07:59, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I third the motion. Anonymous

The "history" section

Perhaps an "early history" section is appropriate. But I dislike a full "history" section, as it introduces redundancies, such as having the 1993 tax mentioned there and also in the Tax exempt status" section. --Rob (talk) 19:08, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. Cirt (talk) 19:14, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Obviously the history section shouldn't introduce too much redundancy. But some redundancy is neccessary in cases where a large topic is part of the history. In those cases it deserves a very short mention in the history section, and a long mention in its own section. I meant the history section to be a summary of all of scientology's history, but I'm only one person.... help would be appreciated. Fresheneesz (talk) 21:32, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
The "summary of all of scientology's history" is already done much better in Timeline of Scientology, which is appropriately a bulletted chronological list. Efforts should go into improving that. This article can have section(s) on the early history/development of Scientology. The one paragraph currently in "history" reads like a list forced into a paragraph. By pointing the items into prose, you force the reader to read the whole thing, without being able to jump to point in time they're interested in. --Rob (talk) 22:38, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

The final two sentences in the 'History' section use present tense while the rest of the section uses past tense. The final two sentences should be restructured to use the present tense. (talk) 02:39, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

You're right about the ease of use Rob/Thivierr, in your opinion is there any use for a history section? Maybe some main points can be covered, and still keep the redirect to the timeline (obviously). I believe that is how it is normally done on large articles. Fresheneesz (talk) 20:51, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Primary sources

Hi all, been a while since I've checked on this page, and it disturbs me to note that there's a preponderance of primary sources in the body of article, especially the lead. I'd like to remind everyone, no matter which perspective you're editing from, that Wikipedia:No original research is an official policy, and primary sources are to be avoided per that policy. --GoodDamon 16:27, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Agree w/ GoodDamon (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 17:46, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Yup, and by including these sources, without balance, there is also a WP:NPOV issue. --Rodhullandemu 21:20, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
After the election -- right now most of my editing necessarily consists of defending articles against POV warriors -- I'll come in and attempt to do a cleanup, or at least find some better, WP:RS sources. --GoodDamon 21:52, 24 October 2008 (UTC)


I removed the "===Outreach===" section. It wasn't independently sourced (only source is LRH book). It's attempt at neutrality resorted to the weasel wording of "critics argue". It's made obvious in the rest of the article the Church actively tries to spread its message. It goes without saying any organization will claim it wants to keep "the public and the press accurately informed concerning". Half the article is about how Scientology spreads itself, so I don't see the point of this particular subsection. --Rob (talk) 21:41, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Agree, I can't see how it adds to an understanding of the topic, and arguably borders on doing CoS propaganda on their behalf; if there were reliable third-party comment on those issues, fine, we could report that, but we are not here to proselytise for them by proxy. WP:NPOV means that this sort of thing is unnecessary as this material is fully available elsewhere. --Rodhullandemu 21:51, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Also agree. WP:NPOV does not require equal amounts of positive and negative coverage. We don't need to "balance" the article by waxing effusive over Scientology with basically no reliable sources. --GoodDamon 21:54, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec)Actually, it can be more serious than that. We are all volunteers here, and to be honest, "working this article" could be a full-time job; it, and other Scientology-related articles are currently on ArbCom probation. I've seen several large-scale editors come along over the last few months and add/subtract/rejig the content; but to keep up requires full-time commitment to check the citations, ensure compliance with ALL the policies, and, to be honest, many editors have given up because arguably they have better things to do. As a result, it seems that (like some other articles I watchlist but have not the time to mother) some leeway has crept in. That is unacceptable from either a pro-CoS, anti-CoS, or more importantly, a neutral POV. Accordingly, I will be looking to set up a "task force" for this, and related articles, to operate within the ArbCom guidelines and ensure neutrality and encyclopedic purpose. --Rodhullandemu 22:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I concur. Cirt (talk) 21:59, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Scientology Lead

The lead to this article needs work. First off, it violates the guidelines of what a lead section should contain -- "a concise overview of the article." IMHO it is not written in "a clear, accessible style." It differs greatly from lead sections of other religions, which describe the basic beliefs and hierarchy of the religion. For example, there is no mention of "The Aims of Scientology"[1] and the Creed of the Church of Scientology,[2] the eight dynamics [3], the ARC triangle [4] and the fact that all the basic principles of the religion are contained in the basic Scientology and Dianetics books and lectures [5]. Rather, and in contrast with the lead articles on other religions in Wikipedia, it gets into opinions about the church, controversy, criticism. This skews the articled from the start. I think we should include a paragraph that summarizes these key beliefs, since that is what defines the religion. Anyone disagree or object?Su-Jada (talk) 04:39, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you that a concise paragraph describing the beliefs of Scientology is well in order. I would welcome this addition as a second paragraph. That being said, bear in mind that there is a more extensive section on some of the topics you mentioned (ARC, eight dynamics, etc). I suppose a good way to approach the problem is to imagine yourself in the place of a reader who has no idea what Scientologists believe, and how you would inform this person in a few sentences. Keep it short and succinct, and if you wish to add more detail, do so later in the page (beliefs/practices sections). Spidern 05:31, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Regarding your footnotes, in case you wish to use them in the article, we require third-party sources. The Church of Scientology is not a reliable source on the topic of scientology. You have to mention the controversy in the lead, since there's a dispute as to what the most basic teachings of Scientology actually are. We can't just present the Church's claim of what it's teachings are, without mentioning the controversy over what they actually teach. One controversy we should remove from the lead is mention of Tom Cruise. This is a bad case of recentism. --Rob (talk) 06:44, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
The article is heavily overburdened with primary Church of Scientology sources as it is, some of which are used where they are not WP:RS. AndroidCat (talk) 08:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, let's focus on removing these inappropriate, non-WP:RS, non-secondary sources. Cirt (talk) 10:48, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't totally understand how Scientology published books are unreliable sources. Wouldn't saying the Vatican, or the Bible would be unreliable sources for the teachings of The Catholic Church? The Bible is what is taught at Sunday school and at Church so wouldn't those be the beliefs of that religion and what that religion is about whether there are atheistic views as well? I personally think there are too many references of articles written by a person quoting an interview written from another article, that references another newspaper, that references a book written by the person who actually interviewed the person they claim they're quoting yet I'm still not sure that person gave consent to quote them or that the actual source even said that. To me that's not very reliable. Anyone agree, or see what I'm talking about? Chesire1984 (talk) 08:13, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the Bible would be the best source for many teachings of the Catholic Church. Different churches use that text but interpret it differently and often have very different beliefs because of it. If there are secondary sources whose statements aren't reliable, then the information should be referenced with something else or removed, but it seems like that's a much less common problem. Wutudidthere...isawit (talk) 09:18, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Chesire1984, I think the succinct difference is that Scientology is promoted by one network of organizations which has monetized the scriptures. Knowing that they have sued in the past for copyright infringement and sharing of "trade secrets", it is apparent that there is a vested business interest in the scriptures. Thus, they cannot be considered an RS. It would be similar to citing advertisements for windows on the Microsoft page. Furthermore, the materials make many pseudoscientific claims which are not peer-reviewed or academically accepted, generally speaking. Spidern 13:37, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Length of controversies section

I'm beginning to think that the controversies section is becoming much too large and overwhelmingly detailed for this page. I think the best way to deal with the situation is to migrate a great deal of that information over to the controversies page, and provide more of a broad outline here instead of going into as much detail. What are other peoples' thoughts on this? Spidern 13:37, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

That's been tried before. No. In fact, since a majority of references to Scientology are that it is controversial, why are so many topics confined to the ghetto of the Controversy section, while a number of fluffy topics backed with nothing but POV non-RS sources are allowed to freely roam the article space? AndroidCat (talk) 08:40, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree with this comment by AndroidCat (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 10:49, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
In that case, perhaps it would be prudent to integrate some of the material from the controversies section into the bulk of the article where applicable. Spidern 12:27, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

I'll second that notion. There are alot of places where implimenting the various dirty secrets and leaks into the main article would be prudent. Especially when you talk about belief systems. They belives that children are the same as adults and thats why they force the kids to audit people and ask questions about things like sex and masturbation. To them the child normally 10 - 13 is mature as an adult and can handle this. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 17:57, 13 November 2008 (UTC).

Over referencing

This articles reference list is massive, and it doesn't need to be so. There is no reason to have multiple references for a single point. For example, the article currently has 3 references for the fact that Scientology was created by L. Ron Hubbard. One would suffice. I will remove some of the extra references. DigitalC (talk) 21:59, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree. And I see these are being used to push an agenda. Case in point is the 3rd paragraph which includes 6 citations to "prove" that Scientology is uniformly considered to be harmful etc. whereas all the references show is that 6 sources held negative opinions. This has been used to justify making an overly strong statement "Former members, journalists, courts and authorities in multiple countries have described the Church of Scientology as..." which requires a modification such as "some former members", etc. I personally know many former members and journalists who don't hold these views, and there have been many court decisions that have been favorable to the church. There are authorities who endorse church programs. For example, the Church was awarded American Flags and commendations by several US Reps. So citations are being used to "prove" premises which they do not prove at all IMO.Su-Jada (talk) 03:11, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
This is a controversial topic where just about every point or reference is fought over. Over-referencing can get ridiculous, but it's better to have over- than under-referencing. Having a maximum of one ref per factual statement is going too far IMHO. Su-Jada says "I agree" about the over-referencing point but goes on to complain about under-referencing. With "Former members, journalists etc." the implied quantification is "some"- it would be odd in English to read it as "all journalists, all courts" around the world. I agree that there could be a lot more references to back up the negative statement, but then this clashes with DigitalC's point that there should be no more than one.MartinPoulter (talk) 17:30, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Removed KRC and ARC section

ARC and KRC triangles

The Scientology symbol contains two triangles which Hubbard called the "ARC triangle" and the "KRC triangle", respectively.[6] The points of the lower triangle are said to represent Affinity (emotional responses), Reality (an agreement on what is real) and Communication. Scientologists believe that improving one aspect of the triangle "increases the level" of the other two.[6]

The points of the upper triangle represent Knowledge, Responsibility and Control.[6] Many auditing processes and training routines aim at increasing an individual's ability to gain knowledge of, take responsibility for and exert control over external and internal elements.

I have removed this section from the article because it fails to establish notability, and only uses a primary source. Seems like undue weight is also given to this section. Spidern 00:37, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

There are scholarly works that detail these Scientology beliefs from an independent perspective. They should be briefly mentioned, but absolutely not sourced to Scientology books themselves. I'll see what I can dig up. --GoodDamon 00:49, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Any scholarly works that you can find would be very much appreciated. This page is in dire need of some solid academic information. Spidern 01:10, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Agree with the removal of this material by Spidern (talk · contribs), the material was all sourced to dubious primary sources, as opposed to the more preferable WP:RS/WP:V secondary sources. Cirt (talk) 04:52, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Here is another removal of content from the article for similar reasons. Posted here for discussion and archival, in the case that someone is able to find good outside sources. As of now, all of the other subsections of "beliefs" at least use some secondary sources in one way or another.(see below comment) Spidern 05:37, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Tone scale

The tone scale characterizes human mood and behavior by rating it on a scale from −40 ("Total Failure") to +40 ("Serenity of Being"). Positions on the tone scale are usually designated by an emotion, but Hubbard said the tone scale could also indicate health, mating behavior, survival potential or ability to deal with truth. According to Scientology, lower positions on the tone scale indicate more intricate problems and greater difficulties in solving them for lack of communication. It is believed that the higher the person’s tone is, the better the person’s ability to communicate; and conversely for lower tones.[citation needed]

I recant what I said above about the beliefs section, Dianetics subsection is still entirely primary-sourced. Spidern 05:44, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Better sources

I've found some good sources for overview information about the above topics, which is all we should go into. Too much detail would be undue weight for a summary style article. More detailed information should go in the Scientology beliefs and practices article, which also needs a primary sources cleanup.

So, on to the better sources:

I don't see a need for much more than what either of these very reliable academic books provide. --GoodDamon 19:32, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

These are excellent choices.
I have also found a few more I recommend:

Scientology's Money Trail

Good source of material on financial info about the organization. Cirt (talk) 18:41, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for this: added to the "Finances" section of the Church of Scientology article.MartinPoulter (talk) 17:34, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Hubbard Center closed up in Samara

Relevant source of info for this article. Cirt (talk) 16:01, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

South park episode?

There was a South park made about this. (sry i dont how to link) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:47, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Lots of viewers (including this editor) found the episode to be hilarious, but think about it: South Park has lampooned so many subjects--ranging from venture capitalist gnomes to Mormonism--practically every article in Wikipedia could be required to feature a South Park references section. And that would be kind of specious, considering that other fine TV series have also covered a similar amount of ground. Still, the episode evidently merits its own page, so maybe the article could include a "Pop-culture references" section linking to various other resources, if only for cross-reference purposes. However, I worry that such a section would devolve into a ridiculously consensual statement like "Many Scientologists[citation needed] did not enjoy the episode; however, many non-Scientologists[citation needed] did," etc. Rangergordon (talk) 10:40, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
There's a South Park Controversies article. The episode is noted extensively in there. See that article. Or see the article specifically for that episode.KriticKill (talk) 21:47, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I decided to check up the Scientology page after watching some episodes of South Park again. From memory, there are three episodes completely dedicated to poking fun at Scientology. One is explicitly about Scientology while the other two heavily imply a connection. Season 5 episode 3: Super Best Friends, season 9 episode 12: Trapped in the Closet, and season 10 episode 1: The Return of Chef. Due to the fact that there have been 3 episodes dedicated to how absurd the makers of South Park feel Scientology is, it should be noted on the Scientology page. For Clarification, the first episode mentioned is about "The Church of Blainology". The second episode explicitly discusses Scientology. The third episode parodies the second episode's format but makes the topic about pedophilia. For review, each of the episodes can be viewed at (Edit: Ack, forgot the sign again) Zencyde (talk) 12:12, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
There's a long history of popular entertainment shows having episodes that poke fun at Scientology, either mentioning it directly or with thinly veiled references that are obviously intended to be Scientology: Millennium (TV series) (Jose Chung's Domesday Defence), Absolutely Fabulous, Peep Show (TV series), the film Bowfinger and so on. We're not obliged to put these in an encyclopedia entry on Scientology, but if you want to compile them into a separate article, go ahead.MartinPoulter (talk) 12:36, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

This sentence makes no sense in ordinary English

As I see it, one of the purposes of this page is to provide a succinct understanding of Scientology beliefs and practices to outsiders in plain English. As one myself, I can not decipher this sequence of words. It depends on too many definitions which may be considered by some to be jargon. If anyone can explain it to me, or phrase it in a better way, please do. Until then, I have removed it from the article. Spidern (talk) 05:18, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

An action must contain construction which outweighs the destruction it contains in order to be considered good. "Good is any action which brings the greatest construction to the greatest number of dynamics while bringing the least destruction. "An 'absolute wrongness' would be the extinction of the universe and all energy and the source of energy. . . . An 'absolute "rightness"' would be the immortality of the individual himself, his children, his group, mankind and the universe."[7]

Thats Scientology for you. But hey, if you can't parse this, you must have a MU. I can paraphrase it, as "To be considered good, an action's benefits must outweigh its drawbacks". DigitalC (talk) 05:58, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

They've rephrased the philosophical argument about utility. For an action to be considered good, it needs to bring a higher ratio of good results to bad results than any other, and conversely for an action to be considered evil, it needs to bring a higher ration of bad results to good results than any other. It goes on to say that the best action would be one that brings immortality to people and / or mankind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Archival of "dianetics" subsection of "beliefs and practices"

I am attempting to transform the "beliefs and practices" section into more of a summary-style intro of Scientology beliefs, saving the nitty-gritty stuff for the appropriate separate articles. In so doing, I have removed a large portion of the "dianetics" section which I am placing here in the case that somebody could salvage it for usage on dianetics or elsewhere. Spidern 09:12, 23 November 2008 (UTC)


The mind in Scientology is described as a "bank of mental image pictures"[8] that give the spirit experience and knowledge. It is accepted by Scientologists that traumatic experiences (or engrams) inhibit success and happiness in life.[citation needed] Scientologists subdivide the mind into the analytical or conscious mind, which is and what is referred to as the reactive mind. [citation needed]

The spirit, represented with the Greek letter 'theta' (θ), is thought to exist exterior to and/or independent from a body.[citation needed] In 1952, Hubbard reported he was able to stand as a unit of life independently of the physical body.<ref name="TimeVenus"/> Hubbard called the phenomenon "exteriorization".

Scientology describes the physical body as "a carbon-oxygen machine" of which the spirit is the engineer. Illnesses and injuries to the body are said to be relieved through the use of "assists."[citation needed]

Silent birth

I realize that silent birth is notable enough to merit its own page on English Wikipedia, but this section was too bad to leave in. Nearly every statement was referenced to primary sources, starting with "Hubbard said", "Hubbard declared", etc. I also think undue weight might have been given, having this on the main Scientology page. If anyone wants to salvage this, we need a summary-style description in a paragraph to be put in the beliefs and practices main section. Spidern 07:14, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Silent birth and infant care

Stemming from his belief that birth is a trauma that may induce engrams, Hubbard stated that the delivery room should be as silent as possible[9] and that words should be avoided because any words used during birth might be reassociated by adults with their earlier traumatic birth experience.

Hubbard also wrote that the mother should use "as little anesthetic as possible."[10] In the 1960s Hubbard gave certain dietary recommendations,[11] writing that breastfeeding should be avoided if the mother is smoking, drinking or is lacking good nutrition herself.[12] Hubbard described common replacement formulas as "mixed milk powder, glucose and water, total carbohydrate" and offered as an alternative to commercial products what he called the "Barley Formula" made from barley water, homogenized milk and corn syrup.[13] Hubbard said that he "picked it up in Roman days,"[14] referring to the use of barley.[15] Hubbard crafted the barley formula to, in his words, provide "a heavy percentage of protein"[14] and called it "the nearest approach to human milk that can be assembled easily."[16] Although the formula is still popular with many Scientologists, health practitioners advise that it is an inappropriate replacement due to the absence of important nutrients like Vitamin C,[17] the lack of which causes scurvy.


The majority of this article is about Scientology controversies while hardly any space is used on things like what Scientology does, what Scientologists do and why etc. This article seems to concentrate on controversy. There is a separate article for that already so we should work on making this a summary article of all facets of Scientology. It starts with the lead section which consists to 70% of "controversy", all related to the Church of Scientology, which - again - has its own article. Spidern removed dozens of sources and managed to shrink the article by a lot (without anyone saying "blip" I might add). This is good. Now let's add more reliable sources written by people who know what they are talking about and get rid of the fluff. Shutterbug (talk) 22:46, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

The reliable, third party sources focus on the controversy. Following WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE, we need to follow the weight given to the topic in the reliable sources. If you would like to help find reliable, third party sources that discuss "what Scientology does, what Scientology do and why etc.", that would be quite beneficial. What is currently in the article, that you believe is "fluff"? DigitalC (talk) 22:54, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but it's not WP:RS sources that focus on controversy but the editors of this article. Look at the thread above, Spidern and Su-Jada had started looking up sources that are not connected to the anti-Scientology crowd but written by people whose NPOV is unchallenged. We need more of those actually added in the article. "Fluff" for example is the section "History". It talks about individual court cases, some local law enforcement activities, all a good 30+ years old but makes no mention about the fact that in 1993 the Church of Scientology has been recognized by the IRS as charitable organization. I would say this is part of the "history", isn't it. Also no mention is made about where Scientology is located, which countries, since then. All material I would expect in a "History" section. But no, there is only "fluff" about a couple of bad Scientologists. That's WP:UNDUE weight. Shutterbug (talk) 23:06, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Please assume good faith, rather than asserting that editors are purposefully focusing on controversy. The majority of mainstream sources I have seen do not have a positive POV towards the church, and I certainly haven't been looking for sources "connected to the anti-Scientology crowd". If the IRS position is to be mentioned, again that would have to be NPOV, which would mean incorporating statements from the other POV, which I'm sure exist. I don't think that where Scientology is located is relevant to history, nor is which countries it operates out of. Thats not undue weight, simply material not relevant to history, as they aren't historical events or facts. DigitalC (talk) 03:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Shutterbug, I can understand your frustration; however being well versed in such things, you could easily remedy the situation by adding some of the aforementioned content yourself. Nobody is stopping you from doing this. If you believe the information you have to present is of value, then be bold and add it yourself (as long as its well-sourced). The phrase which comes to mind (which I myself often apply) is that "if you want it done right, you've gotta do it yourself." Spidern 22:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
The history of an organization is usually marked by a) its birth, b) its growth or decline and c) by any notable changes or events. Can we agree on that? Shutterbug (talk) 22:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Edit dispute over paragraph in lead.

Here are the edits in question:

I believe that it is a highly relevant to have this paragraph in the lead. Shutterbug disagrees. I do not understand his argument, as the content of the paragraph is not only limited to the organization called "Church of Scientology". I also do not agree that it is a "bulgy repetition of the controversy section". It is not a sin to repeat information which is relevant, particularly when presented in summary style in the lead of an article. Spidern 22:56, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I have restored it to the previous version, and urge Shutterbug to abide by WP:BRD. --GoodDamon 23:05, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Ok, here we are. As noted above this section presents undue weight for an article about Scientology and is a violation of WP:NPOV. The opinion of one article writer of Time magazine of 1991 is not representative for 54 years of Scientology worldwide. Then "One major litigation point is that of copyright infringement.". The source does not show that and I highly doubt this as verifiable. Further, it has no relevance in a WP:LEAD section. These two phrases have no backing in WP:NPOV, WP:UNDUE and WP:LEAD. Shutterbug (talk) 23:18, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Do we really have to go through all this again? It's been months. Alright...
  • This article is primarily about the Church of Scientology's copyright enforcement efforts. That sentence is a very good summary of the entire article.
  • WP:NPOV does not mean the article must be balanced between positive and negative material. It means the article must be neutral in tone. Let me be blunt: The vast, overwhelming majority of reliable sources take a dim view of Scientology. That Wikipedia reflects that is not a violation of WP:NPOV. You need to accept that the article will reflect most of the written material available about Scientology, and that is normal. The alternative would be to try finding reliable sources that paint Pol Pot as a nice fellow, and the Dalai Lama as a jerk, to provide "balance."
  • Per WP:LEAD: The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any notable controversies that may exist.
I hope this helps. --GoodDamon 23:40, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
(e/c) Tend to agree broadly with Shutterbug. Picking out a string of press articles in this way is a kind of WP:OR. There are scholarly sources that address how Scientology has been received. Jayen466 23:42, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Just to address the question of tone, have a look at how Scientology is discussed in this work, authored by a leading U.S. scholar of religion (there are many pages discussing Scientology in this book, not just the first one that comes up when you click on the link; you can search within the book; a dedicated section on Scientology begins on page 196). This kind of tone is quite normal in scholarly works – although obviously, there is a broad spectrum of opinion, with some scholars like Kent more outspokenly critical – and it's a far cry from the tone adopted by an early nineties Time magazine article. Here are other relevant sources to peruse. Jayen466 23:50, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
    • The leading scholarly author on Scientology is Stephen Kent, who has published peer-reviewed articles on the topic. Of course, we would also have to define what we mean by scholarly. Would you consider Scientology:To Be Perfectly Clear to be a scholarly work?. Further, we are not bound to use scholarly works, and the tone of articles in the mainstream media (3rd party sources) should be used to determine the tone of the article DigitalC (talk) 00:11, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Source for your statement about Kent? Shutterbug (talk) 00:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
That would be an original research statement, which is perfectly acceptable for talk page discussion, as I am not advocating using it in the article. DigitalC (talk) 00:34, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)Stephen A. Kent is the leading and most outspoken scholarly critic of Scientology, representing one extreme of the spectrum of scholarly opinion with regard to Scientology. But the Encyclopedia Britannica, e.g., got Melton to write their article on Scientology, not Kent. Melton is comfortably at the other extreme of the spectrum. WP:RS tells us that Academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources when available. On this topic, we have literally hundreds of academic and peer-reviewed publications available. I do not see support in WP:RS for the notion that mainstream media sources should set the tone of an article in the way that you argue. Cheers, Jayen466 00:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

      • Btw, to answer your question, while it may be a bit dated, of course Stark & Bainbridge qualifies as a scholarly work. Jayen466 00:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
That wouldn't be in WP:RS, that would be in WP:NPOV, in which we should weight the tone of the article according to the reliable sources used. DigitalC (talk) 00:34, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't see such support in WP:NPOV either. NPOV tells us to reflect published viewpoints in proportion to their prominence in WP:RS. In other words, we have to cover the viewpoints of, say, Wallis (also dated), Wilson, and Melton as well as those of Kent et al. Would you agree? Jayen466 00:40, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with Wallis or Wilson. Do you have links to their work? I would agree that if viewpoints are raised prominently in reliable sources, they should be reflected in the article. DigitalC (talk) 03:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Wallis is ISBN 0231042000 – widely cited, it is now out of print, I believe. The text is webbed in a few places, including here. For Bryan R. Wilson see [1], webbed here and on Scientology's own sites. Also see [2] and [3]. Cheers, Jayen466 11:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Cult awareness network in history

I have undid revision 253886670 by User:Shutterbug. The information is objective, well-sourced, and is very relevant to the article and section. Spidern 23:17, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree, it is object, well-sourced and very relevant to the article. But not the "history" section. There is nothing historical about the bankruptcy of a deprogrammer group. They were critics and that is where this section belongs.Shutterbug (talk) 23:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
The characterization of the New CAN as a "promotional arm for the Church of Scientology" is contradicted by some more recent academic sources. See [4] (James R. Lewis, 2005), [5] (Anson Shupe, 2006). Jayen466 23:31, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Controversy inside the controversy... I think this should be added. Shutterbug (talk) 23:39, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Two of the three links referred to in that second source appear to be defunct. Spidern 16:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

The CAN is relevent to scientology even if only mentioned in the controversy section because scientology created a strategic and aggressive plan to bankrupt them AND to buy them in bankruptsy court so they could use them for thier own purposes. This is well documented by TIMEAaron Bongart (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 16:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC).

Scientology is not a 'destructive cult'

I think that is a one-sided opinion, I do NOT want 'destructive cult' under see also, anyone agree? I am a scientologist and I think that is quite offensive.

Well, as a member of the sect you're not objective. Those not involved are mch more objective in this matter.

Yes but if we write this article with the intetion of not offending scietologist then how can it be netural

It is a destructive cult, there is extensive documentation for this. Just as was the case with nazizm or communism - those were oppresive, destructive systems. And we write about it, about facts, not worrying about offending some communists or members of a nazi regime.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Heartislove (talkcontribs) 14:18, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Highly POV, considering the linked article does not mention Scientology at all, and removed. --Rodhullandemu 14:23, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

It is a destructive cult, have you ever seen the inside of an RPF camp? It looks like a concentration camp and is full of people that are physically harmed because the "church" finds them undesirable.

I think that you should relink it as scientology has been proven to be harmfull not only through legal action but the actual scientology documents themselvs talk of fair game and rehabilitation project force. Yet ask yourself why then does scientology do everything in its power to supress ANYTHING critical of them from the public eye? what has it to hide if not the fields of dead bodies. bodies not even born here. bodies stolen from other countrys so that they may work hard labour to build new church facilitys. I have seen the camps with my own eyes and have been in gold base. Its nowhere near as bad as it used to be but that does not change the cold fact of the matter. Slavery is wrong, scientology is wrong and no matter how much they try to surpress information and assault protesters they will fall.

They still deny the xenu story and I have no doubt you will as well. But the fact remains it is real and it is in l rons own handwritting. The same is said about all the curel and inhumans policys that exist in corporate scientology. (talk) 17:05, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, entertaining and lurid as your comments are, they constitute original research and the issue of whether Scientology is a destructive cult is not addressed by either article. That's why the link has been removed. It is paramount that we maintain a neutral point of view. If you have reliable sources to state that Scientology IS a destructive cult, please feel free to cite them. --Rodhullandemu 17:13, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, read about the cult a bit, then try to resolve the big dilemma of yours if it is a destructive, money grabbing cult or not. Educate yourself, then post here, not the other way around. Unless you have an agenda and try to make a dangerous sect look quite alright. What's next - gonna try to make Hitler be a nice fella? What you do is not entertaining, it is either ignorant or purposeful, thus wrongful. --Pitdog (talk) 23:36, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, but it doesn't quite work like that here. My only agenda here is to ensure that verifiability policy is adhered to. It isn't my job to do my own original research to make up my own mind as to whether Scientology is a "dangerous cult". That would be invalid, in spades. I reiterate: provide some reliable sources to state that Scientology IS a destructive cult, or not. No dilemma; your proposition, and therefore, by OUR rules, your proof. If you're not happy with that, please feel free to pursue your agenda elsewhere. --Rodhullandemu 00:07, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

What about the images of children working in the fields at gold base? What about the numerous lawsuites against the church for human rights violations. what about the actual leaked policy letter pened to paper by L ron hubbar himself? Is that not enough? It took us forever to get the xenu story to stay up without it getting removed. Even though that had plenty of evidence. Now look I see what your saying, while there are plenty of sources that when viewed togethure make one classify the church as a deystructive cult there is no actual research with the singular purpose of proving that. if there was it would use the resources already cited in this article as well as others. I will get some stuff togethure for you to read. I do recomend you go to whyweprotest They have all the leaked dox and durty secrets posted thier for all to see. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 18:02, 13 November 2008 (UTC).

Reliable sources? --Rodhullandemu 00:07, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
While I agree that Scientology is a destructive and criminal cult preying on gullible people with sly tactics and manipulation, this really isn't the place for that discussion. Head over to alt.scientology if you want to cult bash them (and for the guy there who said he's a scientologist, you belong to a scam, not an actual religion. Anywhere else I would not give a wit about offending your 'religion') KriticKill (talk) 19:13, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

He is right you know, deystructive cult is deystructive. It kills people, forces them not to seek medical attention when they need it. You got your slave camps your ilegal activity, your physical and emotional abuse. The jenifer ghorman rape is a perfect example. She was told by her surperviser to move in with him. She had no choice and then she was repeatedly raped by him and the church did nothing. WHY? because he was a cacon. somebody who acording to the church can be "Forgiven the death penalty 10 times over"... That seems pretty deystructive to me. You look at all the people who blew the org they all have horrifying storys to tell about thier experieneces inside. they can't every last one of them be lieing. Mark my words after I am done citeing my sources this article will be forever linked with deystructive cults. Aaron Bongart (talk) 16:42, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

In the Latey Judgement (a High Court judgement in the UK), Scientology was described as "corrupt, sinister and dangerous" and referred to as a cult. Justice Latey described at length why he used those terms, and the judgement was upheld by the Law lords on appeal. Judgement of Mr Justice Latey, Re: B & G (Minors) (Custody) Delivered in the High Court (Family Division), London, 23 July 1984. I don't think this in itself justifies putting it in a list of dangerous cults on WP, but it legitimises a weaker, more careful statement.MartinPoulter (talk) 17:24, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree thank you for backing my statement with the relevent research. I think somewhere on there is a list of different court judges giving their two sence about the "church" and calling it a cult. I don't think they can be used here can they? Is the word of a judge considerd a decent source?Aaron Bongart (talk) 18:12, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

This thing needs some work.

Since I am currently unable to edit the article directly I will post any changes here. I will not cite any of the sources of this information untill I am done skimming through the entirity of the article and posting edits here. After which I have posted all my sources most of which will be leaked scientology documents I will request the changes be made.

"It is believed that thetans were brainwashed by these extraterrestrial cultures as a means of population control. The belief of extraterrestrial origins are not taught to new members, but are only presented after members have advanced through the ranks of Scientology"

-The rank at which the xenu creation story is taught is "OT3". Sources:

"Scientology asserts that people have hidden abilities which have not yet been fully realized.[48] The Church of Scientology claims its tenets are not a matter of faith but of testable practice.[49] It is believed that further spiritual awareness and physical benefits are accomplished through counseling sessions referred to as "auditing".[50] Through auditing, it is said that people can solve their problems and free themselves of ethical transgressions and bad decisions.[51] Those who study Scientology materials and receive auditing sessions advance from a status of "preclear" to "Operating Thetan".

-I think somebody should point out that some of the things listed in scientology doctrine as abilitys of I think OT8 and above is the ability to "exteriorise" or walk through solid objects. Also move things with thier mind. Sources:

"Conflicting statements about L. Ron Hubbard's life, in particular accounts of Hubbard discussing his intent to start a religion for profit, and of his service in the military.[14]"

- somewhere is shoudl mention that hubbard was a racist, and send letters to his first wife useing the N word. There are excerpts of different lectures he did were he said equally negative things about blacks. Its not extreamly important and would most lilly bias the article to much but it none the less should be mention that hubbards moderate dislike for minoritys was an inflence in the joining of the nazi party by scientology. I have a few old newspaper image of scientologist dressed up with swasticas I will post after I am done going through the article. Aaron Bongart (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 12:39, 14 November 2008 (UTC). Sources:

The South African native is probably the one impossible person to train in the entire world — he is probably impossible by any human standard.

–L. Ron Hubbard, PAB No. 119, 1 September 1957, as published in Level 0 PABS (c.1968, The American St. Hill Organization).

As long as a white foreman is there, they will prevent soil erosion; but the moment that a white foreman turns his back — boo! There goes the whole program. And you finally get up to the point of where he's [native] supposed to take care of something, a lesson which has never been taught to the native of South Africa.

–L. Ron Hubbard, 15th ACC (Power of Simplicity) lecture "Education: Point of Agreement", 30 Oct 1956.

…the African tribesman, with his complete contempt for truth and his emphasis on brutality and savagery for others but not for himself, is a no-civilization.

–L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, Bridge Publications: Los Angeles, 1997.

[Y]ou'll find in Africans a fantastic amount of heavy space opera and so on, going on … which makes the colored African very, very interesting to process because he doesn't know why he goes through all these dances … and why he feels so barbarous ….

–L. Ron Hubbard, 1st Melbourne ACC, lecture "Principal Incidents on the Track", 27 November 1959.

They took people who were totally dedicated to certain tribal procedures … and said, "You're free." And they said, "Free. Free? Free. Ah! You mean there's no police anymore." Boom! Boom!

–L. Ron Hubbard, State of Man Congress, Opening lecture, 1 January 1960.

You shouldn't be scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees. Get yourself a nigger; that's what they're born for.

–L. Ron Hubbard, in a letter to first wife, Polly Grubb

Unlike yellow and brown people, the white does not usually believe he can get attention from matter or objects. … The white goes further. He often believes he can get attention only from whites and that yellow and brown people's attention is worthless. Thus the yellow and brown races are not very progressive, but, by and large, saner.

–L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, Bridge Publications: Los Angeles, 1997.

Now it's of peculiar interest to an Arab country that there is a company and a certain set of bankers who also finance the World Federation of Mental Health. …and we see that although the KGB and so forth seems to be associated with the World Federation of Mental Health, their other organization in action seems to go back to Jewish Bankers.

–L. Ron Hubbard, Aides Conference, "Covert Operations", 2 November 1969

… gooks … really more or less savage at heart.

–L. Ron Hubbard, personal diary, June-July 1927

get more here

Need I say more? So will somebody please make the neccecary adjustments to the article?

Discussion of proposed content additions above

I see no mention of the RPF or FairGame. I will provide documentation, I have images of Big blue where they have 3 bunks high and abotu 100 bunks to a small room. one bathroom. Stuff like that. I had alot more before somebody vandalised my articel. Keep in mind whoever is doing this that all this stuff is protected under the fair use act.

This is taking longer then I thaught, there is just SO MUCH dox to prune through. I mean in the past 8 months more scientology dox have been leaked in that time then at any other time in history combined. So there is alot of content. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaron Bongart (talkcontribs) 13:34, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

We can't over-utilize primary sources, and Hubbard's own writings -- as bizarre as they are -- are primary sources. Ideally, scholarly researchers and newspapers will publish reliable secondary sources of information providing detailed analysis of the leaked materials, but publishing that ourselves is not Wikipedia's job. Wikipedia is not news, and there's no deadline for getting material into it. It would be best if you tracked down reputable news and scholarly sources, and pointed us towards those instead. Those can be used. --GoodDamon 16:51, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Actually those can be used, there is no more realiable source then the handwirtten journals of the guy. You can't possibly say that "secondary" research is more solid and reliable then the original information. If that was the case we would define a word in the dictionary not by its definition but by somebody esles interpritation of the definition. I am sure you can see the clear lapse of logic in this. There is nothing that I am aware of that says secondary research is better then the ORIGINAL 2 + 2 = 4. Wiki is not about makeing peopls minds for them. If we are to substitue EVERY original source of information for one that is the result of an already made decision or interpritation we sevar the artery of nutrality and throw open the doors to bias and oppinion. These sources will be used because they are straight from church doctrine. It is impossible for there to be ANYTHING more "reputable" then the original. All fltrations and interpretations of the original open the door to leading opinions and biases against the church. I do not want that I was fairness. Aaron Bongart (talk) 17:22, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I understand where you're coming from, but what you're describing is actually a big no-no in Wikipedia, original research. Please read WP:OR, Wikipedia's policy outlining the kind of research to avoid. Far superior to original research is the use of reliable sources, sources like newspapers and academic journals with strong histories of fact-checking and verification. If I read one of Hubbard's books -- and frankly, I don't have any desire to do that -- then report here on its contents, you have to trust my research to be accurate. If instead I make citations to Time magazine and reputable scholars who have investigated Scientology, then it's their research you're trusting to be accurate, and frankly, they have reputations for fact-checking that I do not. Citing leaked material you've looked at yourself makes you the source for that information, and that's against Wikipedia policy. But if you find a newspaper that reaches the same conclusions you have? That can go in. --GoodDamon 19:24, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I see what you mean, but what is more reliable the the original physical journal? What fact checking would be required other than reading it and then makeing sure the copies of it are transcribed without error? If claim that Book A says "lolwut" and then I cite a source that has images and the original Book A am I not citing a source better then if Time goes to the same location I did and writes and article that cites the original Book A just as I did? Because that is the situation we are talking about.

For example if I say Unlike yellow and brown people, the white does not usually believe he can get attention from matter or objects. … The white goes further. He often believes he can get attention only from whites and that yellow and brown people's attention is worthless. Thus the yellow and brown races are not very progressive, but, by and large, saner.

–L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, Bridge Publications: Los Angeles, 1997.

I am saying something about the source and the source is an original scilon doc. Called L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, Bridge Publications: Los Angeles, 1997. So if I then provide a link to that actual document as a source is it THEN better then just refering to the site that mentions the reference?

So if I qoute one of his lecture and then for my source I provide a link to the actual audio lecture and transcript, as oppsed to just saying where it came from is it then acceptable being that nobody can fake the actual document with his voice/handwritting what have you? I mean if what you say is true then that woul explain why there isnt hundreds of images of the slave camps with 10 year olds toiling in bloody agony. Because the images are taken by somebody with a long zoom camera hiding on a hill somewhere. and not by time or some "reputable" source. So basically in Time goes and sits in the same spot and takes the same picture at the same time as a regular activist the image the activist takes is now allowed in wiki but the image taken by the time journalist is. While i am sure this rule has its practical uses I at the moment see it as a hinderence to anybody that has firsthand proof of something and just because of who they are it is inadmissible.. when in court that would not be the case. Aaron Bongart (talk) 19:41, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

The problem with that is that transcripts/recordings/etc. can be faked, and while I believe you -- heck, I've seen some of the same things myself -- there's no way for anyone reading the article to verify that what they are seeing or listening to in that link is legit, unless it's hosted on a website controlled by an organization or source with a reputation for fact-checking. Let me put it another way: You don't want to leave any doors open to challenging this material's inclusion in the encyclopedia, right? Well, unless the citations are performed properly, there's room to challenge. Which would you see as the more reliable statement?
  • "L. Ron Hubbard said [insert crazy rant]" (Source: This possibly photoshopped scan hosted by my website)
  • "L. Ron Hubbard said [insert crazy rant]" (Source: Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Tmes, etc.)
But fortunately, there has been a lot of reporting on these information leaks, and a lot of vetting of those leaks. So your job, now, is to find those reliable sources, avoid original research of your own, and provide those citations for incorporation into the article. --GoodDamon 23:48, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I completly understand you now. I tottaly get it. The issue is whenever some reputable org decides to cover something scientology related they get fair gamed hardcore. The book "the complex" is going to be available soon and I will try to use some sources from that for the whole dangurous cult angle. I would like to point out that some of the racist rants from hubbard are cited in The bare faced messiah.. That would be considerd a useable source yes? Because it is a book that has been put under INTENSE legal scrutiny to the point where every last mention of hubbard was verified. Could racist jibble from the book be used here? If so then I would definatly go about it that way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaron Bongart (talkcontribs) 00:20, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely. Bare-Faced Messiah is a scholarly work by an author with a strong reputation for fact-checking, and as you say, it has been gone over practically word by word. In fact, it's already used frequently in the article. And since Anonymous hit the scene, no one's afraid of Fair Game anymore, which is why more and more newspapers cover Scientology unflinchingly. --GoodDamon 00:52, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

TAA DAAA That tape was played in a court environment with loyers and all that jazz so it can be used right? I mean this SAME TAPE is in use in scientology today telling kids to drop out of school and join the org. If you watch the video they have like 2 judges there and the guy playing the tape is an ex-scilon who was exaplaining why he wanted to leave school. it also talks about disconnection.. somebody take a look at this and tell me i its useable. Aaron Bongart (talk) 07:41, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Facepalm. AndroidCat (talk) 07:43, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Aaron, I wish to remind you that you are not on WhyWeProtest--this is Wikipedia. I ask that you kindly respect Scientologists by referring to them as just that, no derogatory or terms or anything that could be taken as such. I'm sure you're acting with the best of intentions, but you need to conduct yourself in a respectable manner around here. As for the tape, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to accomplish with it. The tape itself is considered a primary source, and we try to look for objective secondary sources around here. A good place to look for secondary sources is on Google News, Google Scholar, Google Books, or Amazon's Search inside this book service. Spidern 14:58, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
No its secondary because it was played during a court. Right? That is how it works isnt it. If the authenticity of a source is verified by legal means like for example in bare faced messiah everything went through court then it can be used as a source I think. Also I was totaly unaware that "scilon" was anything other then a nutral term, I will use scientologist instead. If I am wrong in my useage of this source please tell me how. Last time goodDamon said the reason we use secondary stuff is because then it is more likly that the primary source the secondary one is derived from is accurate. So if this tape was braught into evidence in a court then are we not to assume that it has been verified as genuine? I learn best by trial and error, So I ask what is "sketchy" about this source? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaron Bongart (talkcontribs) 16:15, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Just because they quoted the material doesn't make it a secondary source. It's still the same source, just quoted. See this reference from the WP:NOR page I mentioned earlier:

Borough of Manhattan Community College, A. Philip Randolph Memorial Library, "Research Help:Primary vs. Secondary Sources" notes that a secondary source "analyzes and interprets primary sources", is a "second-hand account of an historical event" or "interprets creative work". It also states that a secondary source "analyzes and interprets research results" or "analyzes and interprets scientific discoveries".

This means that had they interpreted the source, then it would have been counted as a secondary source. It doesn't magically become a second source if they simply quote it.
I would also kindly ask that you indent correspondence here to show the hierarchy of discussion. You may do so by adding a ":" for however many levels of replies there are. Please sign your posts with four tilde (~) characters. Spidern 17:20, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I think I understand, So in any stretch of the meaning is this source verifiable? I think its more then qouting sure but if there is a legal case with evidence and the evidence is "jim's gun" could we then cite that court preceding as a source supporting that this specific gun belongs to none other than Jim? That was the logic I was useing.Aaron Bongart (talk) 22:41, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Church of Scientology vs Scientology

This article has hardly any information about Scientology but concentrates on information about the Church of Scientology, incorporations, controversies, legal fights etc etc. How about moving some of this over to Church of Scientology? Shutterbug (talk) 21:25, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

What information do you think it should have, which it doesn't already? The corporations, controversies, and legal fights are all very critical in understanding the history of Scientology, and the behaviors described herein are not isolated to the organization called "Church of Scientology". Spidern 22:40, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
There does not seem to be a difference between the Scientology and Church of Scientology article. But Scientology is (dependent who you ask) a religion, philosophy, mindset etc and not an organizational network. Imagine you know nothing about Scientology and start reading. After three pages you still have no information about Scientology but learned a lot about controversies related to the Church of Scientology. That's what I think we need to change. Shutterbug (talk) 22:49, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I changed the sequence in this regard. Reads much more fluent now. Don't you agree? Shutterbug (talk) 22:56, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Scientology is notable mainly for its controversies. I'm sorry, but that's simply the way it is right now. You hardly see any mentions of it in any mainstream news or religious scholarly work without extensive coverage of the controversies. Without them, this article would barely merit a stub; it's a very tiny belief system with about 50,000 practitioners in the United States, somewhat less even than the Bahá'í Faith, with 150,000 members. --GoodDamon 23:03, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
What makes this not your personal opinion but an objective fact? There are almost 400 articles on Wikipedia, one for each slightest facet of Scientology, its members, organizations etc etc. This article is about Scientology and not its controversies. It should supply an overview of what Scientology is and not how something thinks it is being perceived right now. What happened to WP:NPOV here? Shutterbug (talk) 23:30, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Here's a simple test: Find a news article about Scientology. Not something about the recent shooting, or something about Tom Cruise, or anything like that, but about Scientology itself.
  • Does it mention Xenu?
  • Does it call Scientology "controversial" or any variant thereof?
  • Does it mention the Church of Scientology's extensive history of litigation?
  • Does it otherwise mention any of the things that are largely regarded as unusual or controversial about Scientology, such as the RPF, or Fair Game?
If the answer to all of these is no, then you've found a very rare article about Scientology. --GoodDamon 00:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
GoodDamon, I am sorry, I cannot follow your reasoning here. For one, your assertions do not seem to be borne out by the actual results of such a test as you describe. For example, Google News gives an initial count of 30,000 news articles that mention Scientology; of these, 393 mention Xenu, 2280 mention the word "controversial", 606 mention the word litigation. I agree that longer news articles in news sources have generally touched upon all of these points, as indeed have scholarly sources. But even to the extent that this is so, there is still a problem here. Look at US news reports on Islam. What do they focus on? How many of them mention adab, Gabriel, name the five pillars of Islam, and so on? If we followed this reasoning, our article on Islam should not mention any of these things, but should instead discuss 9/11, suicide bombers, women's rights, mullas and Islamic extremists. If you look at our article on Islam, which is an FA, you'll see that the information it presents on Islam is very different from that usually found in news sources.
I'll hazard a guess that this present article will never mature beyond its C rating as long as it ignores almost the entire and very copious scholarly literature on its subject. Here's another simple, and in my view more salient test: Find a scholarly book on Scientology. What do they write about? Have we got those points covered in proportion to their prominence?
Scientology has been an American religion for 15 years. In my opinion, it's time we treated it like one. Cheers, Jayen466 11:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Jayen about the desirability of improving the article with academic sources, but find the Islam analogy unhelpful for this issue. Islam is not promoted almost entirely by one system of corporations. The scriptures of Islam do not mention flying airliners into tower blocks, nor strapping explosive to oneself. Scriptures of Scientology do mandate undermining democratic government by illegal means, frivolous lawsuits and smear campaigns against detractors, various punishments for disobedient members and so on. The Prophet did not get into trouble with the FDA, then declare his operation a spiritual/religious one for legal purposes. To present Scientology uncontroversially as a religion would be to ignore its history and even its present.MartinPoulter (talk) 13:16, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I think you may lack familiarity with the discourse and polemics of avowed opponents of Islam. Islamic scripture comes in for exactly the same sort of criticism, but that is another matter. Of course we should cover the historical controversy around Scientology's status as a religion. But in terms of writing the article, the mainstream position today is that it is a religion, and we should write from that perspective. Jayen466 15:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Jayen, I can't tell if you looked at any of those news stories from your first search, and your method was essentially attacking a straw man. Nearly every story in that search is about some controversial aspect of Scientology. Certainly, if you limit your search to the specific word "controversial", you'll vastly reduce the number of stories found. But that's a very incomplete measure of what I asked Shutterbug to find. Seriously, go into any of the stories on the front page of your search -- or heck, back page will do, too. You'll find almost every story to be largely about the controversies or about how weird the organization is. Look... If you have to dig and search and parse for stories that don't mention any of that, and you only have to search for the word "Scientology" to find stories that do, then you have a rough idea of the majority media view of Scientology.
I should also point out that your comparison with Islam is facetious. Islam has billions of adherents, has existed for hundreds of years, and has a wealth of written scholarly material about it. The two do not even begin to equate. --GoodDamon 16:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
It is not age or number of adherents that makes a religion. Both are recognized religions in the US and many other countries. Both have been vilified and stereotyped in the press. Of course Islam is a "bigger" religion, it is a world religion. But there is a significant body of scholarly literature for both. Would you agree with WP:RS that the scholarly view, where available, is usually the most reliable view, and should be given preference in constructing a WP article? Or do you feel that this article is an exception? Cheers, Jayen466 16:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Age itself may not make a religion, but if it survives the test of time then it has a real chance to mature in terms of academic understanding, and general acceptance. Islam too was controversial when it was first introduced. However, when paired with the idea of corporations and lawsuits religion has a way of exemplifying corruption, hypocrisy, and deceit (this applies all across the board). Having its origins rooted in a time when such things as lawsuits and corporate structure can be easily be abused creates entirely new realms of possible action which we have seen utilized by Scientology. Not to mention the fact that they once declared that they were "not a psycho-therapy nor a religion.", until it became convenient to represent the latter. Yes, they have their set of beliefs which they are fully entitled to practice. But to gain significant acceptance as a religion anywhere the beliefs must survive the test of time, and the adherents must number significantly enough to represent their viewpoints as a religion. This is not a question of technical or legal recognition, but merely the way in which religious recognition becomes accepted by society as a whole. Would you argue that Flying Spaghetti Monsterism is a religion? What about the Church of the SubGenius? Spidern 17:24, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Are you arguing that contemporary academic views are unreliable because Scientology is young? If so, I would disagree with you. As for what else you say above, this is one view, which I suppose is your own. As for the historical development of Scientology into a religion, that is something Wilson and others have commented about. See e.g. [6], [7], [8], etc. That too is a significant view that we should reflect. Cheers, Jayen466 17:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
As published by the Church of Scientology at, hardly an academic source. AndroidCat (talk) 07:40, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
All I'm trying to say is that the significant viewpoints must be acknowledged. You've asserted that major scholars in the field have expressed this opinion, so we must give due weight to this. Provide sources, and we will cover the viewpoints with a weight proportional to their numbers. However, regardless of how strongly certain scholars feel about whether Scientology is a religion, also significant is the opinion that it is not. This is found in both academic and news sources. WP:NPOV defines an opinion as "a matter which is subject to dispute." Of the notion that the religious status of Scientology is disputed, it is most certain (hence the section). To sum up what we should be doing here, as quoted from WP:NPOV Assert facts, including facts about opinions—but do not assert the opinions themselves. We must not debate which opinion is definitively more "correct" or "true", instead we should simply summarize the conclusions drawn by each, giving a weight proportional to their prevalence. Spidern 18:10, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
You say, But to gain significant acceptance as a religion anywhere the beliefs must survive the test of time. This is simply not true, and I wonder what source you would base that on. The fact is, Scientology has gained significant acceptance as a religion in many first-world countries, including the US. And ever since Scientology was recognized as a religion by the IRS, the US State Department has been criticising, on an annual basis, other governments such as that of Germany who have not yet followed suit in its Religious Freedom Reports, for religious discrimination against Scientologists. This is, by any measure, significant acceptance. It has been significant enough to have caused diplomatic rows between the US and the European governments concerned. Even in Germany, come to think of it, most court decisions have, according to the Scientific Services Dept. of the German Parliament, acknowledged the religious nature of Scientology (see Scientology as a state-recognized religion). Jayen466 18:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
We have reliable sources detailing the controversy behind how the tax exemption agreement was made in the first place, stating that it was obtained through nefarious means. So tax exemption is a technicality, but means little for a theologian or religious scholar of substance. They will have focused on the actual doctrines of the religion, not a cited case of a government declaring its final opinion. Also, you may want to check out Kimball, Charles (2002) "When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs", ISBN 0060506539, page 25 Spidern 18:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
(Arbitrarily un-indenting to a reasonable level). This is in response to Jayen466. Your links above to do not inspire me with confidence in the scholarly nature of those works. That is a Scientology-fronted website, and not exactly the pinnacle of reliable sourcing. --GoodDamon 18:35, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I can understand that. Research the author, Bryan R. Wilson. Times obituary. When you have done so, let me know if we need to go to RS/N or not. And as convenience links go, I prefer Scientology websites to Operation Clambake in this article. Cheers, Jayen466 19:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Wilson's analysis is entirely based on theological grounds. I'd like it reflected in the article, as an alternative narrative to the "Scientology as a business cloaked as a religion" take.
Re IRS, do you have a source for "nefarious"? And btw, looking at that section, the sentence "However, it is important to note the circumstances under which the tax-exempt agreement was made; it was reported by the New York Times that multiple intimidation tactics were used in an attempt to influence the IRS into granting tax exemption. Tactics used included hiring private investigators to look into the private lives of IRS officials, as well as funding a whistle-blower organization to gather incriminating information against the IRS." cited to the NY Times article does not fully and accurately reflect that source.
First of all, "It is important to note" is OR. We need a source that says that. Secondly, "that multiple intimidation tactics were used in an attempt to influence the IRS into granting tax exemption" is not what the NY Times says. The word "intimidation" is part of a verbatim quote of an interviewed ex-Scientologist. Thirdly, the NY Times states, "While I.R.S. officials insisted that Scientology's tactics had not affected the decision, some officials acknowledged that ruling against the church would have prolonged a fight that had consumed extensive Government resources and exposed officials to personal lawsuits. At one time, the church and its members had more than 50 suits pending against the I.R.S. and its officials." We should stick more closely to that, and mention the official IRS statement that denies any undue influence. Lastly, the NY Times report is 10 years old. Nothing has changed, even though IRS personnel must have changed considerably since 1993. As mentioned above, and reported in the NY Times, the State Department, which was not involved in this dispute, also changed its policy at that time. I agree the controversy and the NY Times article should be mentioned, but they should be mentioned as a controversy, not the main presentation of fact.
Kimball's book looks interesting, but according to the Look Inside function, it does not have a single mention of Scientology or Hubbard. If that is correct, then we can't use it as a source here; but perhaps you just meant it as a reading recommendation. Will take a look. Cheers, Jayen466 19:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
You make some good points. Regarding the "it is important to note", I will admit that I overlooked the fact that it was original research when I wrote it in the article. I will admit that "nefarious" is my interpretation (I didn't use it in the article). Having 50 lawsuits open consecutively as a means of forcing your opponent to submit to attrition is my idea of nefarious. However, that remains my opinion and we should stick to facts. I agree with your proposed edit, and think it probably illustrates the situation more adeptly. And yes, the book was a general reading recommendation. All of that being said, the point I'm trying to make in regards to academics is that a governmental decision ruling that an organization is religious doesn't always have a bearing on whether the nation's scholars believe that the set of beliefs constitutes as a religion. A judicial process does not nullify prior conclusions drawn about an organization which has questionable motives (see quotations below). Of course, its possible that what you say is true and that the generally held academic opinion is that Scientology is a religion. If so, please provide more than the two sources you gave below and I'll accept that your assertion is not original research. Spidern 19:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Thanks! I am glad we are now talking about sources. Melton (2000) e.g. said about the IRS decision,

Scientology's problems in Germany, disruptive as they are, have been more than balanced by the 1993 resolution of its lengthy battle with for recognition with the Internal Revenue Service in the United States. The end of conflict between the church and the US government, which acknowledged its status as a religion, is destined to have far-reaching influence. The decision follows the opinions of the overwhelming majority of religious scholars and sociologists who have studied the church, a number of whom have been willing to put their opinion in print.

— J. Gordon Melton, The Church of Scientology, 2000

Such dissenting views as there are on this question acknowledge openly that they are opposed by other scholars:

I'd like to explore some more scholarly sources here. I will paste some quotations from a few books on the subject, for easy reference to anyone wishing to improve the article.Spidern 14:44, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Wallis, Roy (1977). "The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology", Columbia University Press, ISBN 0231042000

  • Star, Rodney and Bainbridge, William Sims (1986) "The Future of Religion: Secularization, Revival and Cult Formation", University of California Press ISBN 0520057317, p. 266

  • Smith, Ralph Lee (1968) "Today's Health, Dec. 1968", p. 34

  • Hopkins, Joseph Martin "Scientology: Religion or Racket?" Christianity Today 7 November 1969: 6-9; 21 November 1969: 10-13.

  • Miller, Timothy (1995) "America's Alternative Religions", State University of New York Press ISBN 0791423980, p. 385

  • Roske, Ralph Joseph (1968) "Everyman's Eden: A History of California", The Macmillan Company ASIN: B000JC1U80, p. 553

Source for latest notable scientology event

Not really relevant to the main Scientology article. See WP:NOTNEWS. --GoodDamon 23:06, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree with GoodDamon Spidern 23:21, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree too. Jayen466 23:52, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Disagree. When combined with previous altercations that have occured at Scientology buildings, a subsection could be added to the article. The essay on NOTNEWS is not applicable, as I am not proposing an "[article] about items in the news", only that this source may be used to add relevant information. Perhaps you meant WP:NOT#NEWS, but even that is irrelevant, because it states "News coverage can be useful source material for encyclopedic topics, but not all events warrant an encyclopedia article of their own". Again, I am not advocating creating an article on this event, but that it may be "useful source material" for this article.
  • See also The Oregonian] for coverage of an attack in Portland in 1996.
  • I may be mistaken, but I believe there was another event in addition to these 2.
DigitalC (talk) 00:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Event reporting is for newspapers, not for an encyclopedia, at least per WP:NOT ("Wikipedia considers the historical notability of persons and events.") and WP:NOTE ("Wikipedia is not a news source: it takes more than just a short burst of news reports about a single event or topic to constitute evidence of sufficient notability. The Wikimedia project Wikinews covers topics of present news coverage."). Shutterbug (talk) 02:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you should review WP:N and WP:NOT, as your comment looks like wiki-lawyering. Notability is only relevant as to whether an article exists or does not exist. It has no relevance on whether something should or should not be included in an article. As such, "the historical notability" is irrelevant in this context. ("These notability guidelines only pertain to the encyclopedic suitability of topics for articles but do not directly limit the content of articles."). As for WP:NOT, the only potentially relevant part is "While including information on recent developments is sometimes appropriate, breaking news should not be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information.". I am not asking for the content to "be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information". So again, you may wish to review policy and guidelines, so as to not misinterpret policy to justify inappropriate actions. DigitalC (talk) 03:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I guess we will not solve this. Care to ask for mediation? Shutterbug (talk) 03:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
There is no need for mediation unless you continue to misrepresent policy and guidelines, as you have continued to do since I suggested to review WP:NOT and WP:N (in a section below). I have listed the source here for potential inclusion in the article, and if someone feels bold enough to do so, then it will go in the article. Nothing you have posted above is relevant to the situation at hand, and I would appreciate it if you would strikethrough the misrepresentation of policy above. DigitalC (talk) 04:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
IMHO you are a classical example for the need of mediation. Care to at least quote the Wikipedia policy you are refering to? Shutterbug (talk) 23:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I have quoted the policies being refered to in my comments above, and wikilinked them in my previous comment for your convenience. With regards to wikilawyering, misrepresenting policy, and disruptive editing, I would recommend the guideline WP:DE, and the related essays WP:WL and WP:TEND. DigitalC (talk) 03:56, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

The sword incident DIRECTLY relates to the kind of mental damage and instability the arguably results from being a member of the "church". I think it is extreamly relevant considering yet again scientology is refusing to comment on the behaviors of thier paritioners and what part they played in said behavior. Also I just want to say that I love that everybody here talks like I do in real life. There are other smart people out thier YAY smart people. Aaron Bongart (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 16:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC).

I think it's best to keep this news item out of the article while it's still news. In the future, people can see if it's still being written about, and if it has a lasting signficance. Time allows reporters to get their facts straight, and let's things be put in proper perspective. "When combined with previous altercations..." is for 3rd party reliable sources to do, and it's for us to follow them.--Rob (talk) 22:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

A plea for calm

This article and this talk page have been relatively calm for months now. All of a sudden, the same old arguments over the lead are popping up, and the article is starting to look like it's being battled over again. One major point of concern for me is that several editors are trying, all of a sudden, to remove reliably-sourced material outright. For example, in this edit, User:Su-Jada removed references to Time Magazine and Salon with the completely inaccurate edit summary "rm non-notable/opinion". I have very little good faith to grant for utterly inappropriate edits like that which smack of POV-pushing and conflicts of interest. This kind of behavior needs to stop immediately. So I ask that everyone take a step back, breathe for a moment, and talk first. Preferably before an incident report gets filed on any of this. Remember, it's bold, revert, discuss, not bold, revert, bold, revert, infinitum... --GoodDamon 01:02, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Let's talk and no personal attacks, please. The reason why these old issues keep coming up is that they never have been resolved. And in the last months no one was here challenging the reliability, verifiability and NPOV-compatibility of this article. So we got this piece which is almost wholly based on tabloid style sources or primary sources to push a certain POV, like DigitalC said: "third party sources focus on the controversy". That's exactly the problem. Third party sources get filtered to forward a majority editor's (not majority source's) POV. But that is not what WP:NPOV means. Shutterbug (talk) 02:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power#Awards Tabloid? AndroidCat (talk) 03:34, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
First off, Shutterbug, stop. I didn't commit a personal attack, and I ask you to immediately retract the accusation. I described an edit accurately and explained the issues with it as an example of the sorts of problematic editing I'm seeing springing up. And you absolutely must stop trying to describe reliable sources from Salon to Time Magazine as "tabloid." I could formally take that to the reliable sources noticeboard, but I doubt you want that. The administrators will make it quite clear that those are reliable sources, and that will be that.
Secondly, the primary sources this article contains are Church of Scientology-owned websites. I'm assuming those aren't the ones you were talking about, so could you be more specific about the references you take issue with? --GoodDamon 03:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I Second the motion to talk. Lets start with why you think that the Cult Awareness Network's bankruptcy is being given undue weight. The CAN being bankrupted by Scientology-related lawsuits is important information which, like it or not, is part of the the Church's history. It is well-sourced, and belongs in the history section. The dispute of "religion" status must be given more weight than the actual beliefs because the issues it deals with are covered by more media than the actual beliefs themselves, who are practiced by under 55,000 people (as of 2001).[18] And why should a critical statement made by Time, a reputable news source quoted from an article which won awards, be removed from the lead? Spidern 03:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
GoodDamon--I applaud your plea for calm but I must admit I see a lack of this in your own posting here. Frankly, I would describe the 17-year old (1991) Time Magazine article as dated and more than a bit sensational (i.e. tabloid) myself (you've read it, right?) but whether you or I like it or not, certainly a quote from a legitimate scholar on the subject is something we want to encourage in the article. I also think Shutterbug has the right to express her views of sources, and defend her right to do so just as I would defend your rights here as well. Let's all of us focus on providing scholarly references to upgrade this article, rather than engaging in personal attacks.Su-Jada (talk) 04:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
A few things:
  • The lack of calmness you see from me is the result of being accused of attacking you when I simply pointed out problems with one of your edits. I don't take very kindly to false accusations. After spending time editing at the Barack Obama article, I've got a much lower tolerance for them than I used to.
  • The Time Magazine is dated for certain areas, yes. But for many others, including CoS history, it's perfectly usable. And it's an award-winning piece of journalism; seriously, if you bring it to the reliable sources noticeboard, it will absolutely be declared a prime example of reliability, and the contention that it is tabloid will be resoundingly rejected. But by all means, don't take my word for it. Take it to the noticeboard, and get independent analysis.
  • I have nothing against incorporating scholarly quotes. Do you have any specific ones in mind? This would be a pleasant return to discussing content.
  • Now you know I have little tolerance for accusations. You have now also accused me of engaging in personal attacks. Please retract it. --GoodDamon 05:34, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Time Mag Spidern, you are mixing up WP:NOT, WP:RS and WP:NOTE. Time Magazine is a reliable source but not everything Time prints is notable. And the trivia quoted from Time in the lead section of the article is just not notable. Scientology is such a broad subject with thousands of sources, news papers, scholar papers etc, so what would warrant a quote from Time Magazine of 1991? It also does not represent the majority of the sources in any way. So per WP:NPOV and WP:NOTE it needs to MOVE DOWN in the article. Shutterbug (talk) 04:24, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I have suggested above that you review WP:N. I will now ask that you stop misrepresenting WP:N, as it does not apply here. Again, quoting from WP:N (as I did above for you), "These notability guidelines only pertain to the encyclopedic suitability of topics for articles but do not directly limit the content of articles.". DigitalC (talk) 05:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
"One major litigation point is that of copyright infringement" This is not covered in the source and an "internet-POV" but not real life. Teh Church of Scientology has been litigating all kinds of things, from libel cases to civil action against blackmailers. A scan over legal databases on the net shows you that copyright is probably the tiniest fraction of all. Yes to say that would be WP:OR. That's why I said to remove this POV push. Shutterbug (talk) 04:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
"Civil action against blackmailers"? I'm not familiar with any of those, unless you are advancing an interesting OR/POV view for cases like Christofferson or the Woods to be included in that? (Surely not the Lisa McPherson estate?) AndroidCat (talk) 04:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
This is all super-old stuff. I checked Nexis for the last five years, all Federal and State Courts in the US only. 12 cases, zero copyright cases. Give me an email address and I send them to you. Can't be used though, WP:OR. Shutterbug (talk) 04:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I can be reached via Wikipedia, but if you'd rather send direct, I'd love to analyze the headers on the email. AndroidCat (talk) 05:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Send me a message via Wikipedia then. Shutterbug (talk) 23:36, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Original research? Here's something to chew on. 36 secondary sources detailing the copyright efforts of Scientology.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54] Spidern 05:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I guss I am partially to blame for this, I was the catalyst for this noise. The last thing we should be doign is editing and removing stuff. Leave your anger and your rage aside, these things blind you and make you see things that are not there or not see things that are there. I once got somebody angry enough that they were unwilling to admit that the US was an electoral democrasy despite Me citeing .gov websites and even past presidents. So as silly and insane as it sounds stranger things have happend where emotions have blocked the truth and the light from us. Do NOT let this happen here. This article is far to important, far to vital to be sliced at like this. Your all very intelegent, some of you rival even myself in speechcraft and communicative ability but that dose not mean you too are not subject to the bias of emotion. When I have time later I will look over EVERYTHING and refresh my memmory of the different rules and protocals and then contribute my then educated oppinion on this.Aaron Bongart (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 16:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC).

Actually, the dispute described above had nothing to do with you. The issues came up when there were some misinterpretation (and badly justified invocation) of Wikipedia guidelines/policy, which sparked an editwar. That being said, the recent turn of events should NOT stop you from editing (see WP:BRD). Being bold is a necssary part of the healthy evolution of an online encyclopedia, or nothing would get done around here. Spidern 17:06, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Cirt's edits

Cirt, with all due respect, you would not be the person call COI edits. As a reminder you might want to look at your own edit history and the one's of your earlier user names. Please contribute on the talk page instead of deleting WP:RS-conform sources. Shutterbug (talk) 03:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Speaking of which: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/COFS Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/COFS/Evidence AndroidCat (talk) 03:50, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I am at least open about my viewpoints (and I contribute with information instead of accusations). That "evidence" is still a lie - as Cirt knows very well - and this ArbCom did not solve anything. I think we need a new one, this time including you, Cirt, GoodDamon and some of these new Anonymous-connected editors. Justanother seems to be "dead". Misou probably O.D.ed on beer. Did I forget anyone? Shutterbug (talk) 04:18, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
What's "anonymous-connected" mean? AndroidCat (talk) 04:50, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
The comment also confounds me. Spidern 05:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Now it's all coming back. This ridiculous game with me asking you something and you giving a question back instead. Forget what I said. I am going to concentrate on the article. Shutterbug (talk) 04:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I know how he would determine anonymouse editers, anybody that has ither first hand knowledge of the "camps" or forwardly chats about the contraverys in a depth far deeper then the articles do is most likly an anon. Think about it there is SOOOO much research and doc dropping going on now and who has the dirty secrets? Anonymouse , so if somebody comes in here and starts talking about something scandulous that most people havent heard of or only thaught to be rumor its probably an anon talking on a recently leaked document. At least thats my interpretation of it. Aaron Bongart (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 21:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC).
Maybe if it can be shown that many editors are all editing from the same router with an Anonymous-owned IP address on the fourth floor of Anonymous's HQ building in LA? AndroidCat (talk) 05:25, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm astonished I even have to answer this. You know, I know, and everyone else here knows full well that the very idea of an ArbCom report on myself, Cirt, and AndroidCat is absurd. It would go nowhere, fast. Cirt is an administrator, and both AndroidCat and myself are editors in good standing, of multiple areas in Wikipedia. I don't see the need for any further discussion of that idea, and would rather you just retract it. --GoodDamon 05:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh! Was I supposed to be included? I wasn't in the last one, nor was I within the scope of the arbitration's authority. (Except in the general probation over all Scientology articles.) Well... Good luck with that! AndroidCat (talk) 05:20, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
There's a word for this... WP:SNOW Spidern 05:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

WP:Arbitration is not "a report on someone", it is the last step in dispute resolution, which any editor of whatever standing can be involved in. But it's the last step of that process, not the first. Mediation might not be a bad idea the way you guys are going at the moment. Jayen466 12:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Sadly, it usually amounts to "a report on someone." I don't see this one going any differently, if one gets created. --GoodDamon 16:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
You can't create one without first pursuing mediation. These are just content disputes; content disputes are potentially healthy, and being involved in one does not per se reflect badly on an editor. Jayen466 17:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Wow, these reactions are not exactly impressive. Yes, thanks, I meant to roll up the arbitration again and to include all active editors in it. Didn't know that mediation can't be skipped. Bummer... I participated in two mediations and they went exactly nowhere (one time the opposition party stopped talking, the other time some agreement was reached and broken right after. A waste of time, especially for the mediator who has to read into the subject for hours first). Anyway, we are currently far from something to mediate about with all those accusations flying around. So let's concentrate on one part, how about this one? Shutterbug (talk) 23:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
First thoughts: The NYT IRS story should be dealt with in only one place, IMO. The NY Times story is already covered under "Dispute of religion status". I propose that in this section (History) we simply say the IRS recognized Scientology. I would also drop the CAN controversy from the History section – while it was a notable event, and could have its own subsection under controversies, it is not a key event in the history of Scientology per se. Further, I am not quite clear whether something like that should go into Church of Scientology rather than this article. Any thoughts on what the respective content of these two articles should be, and to what extent it's desirable for them to overlap/have separate functions? Jayen466 02:25, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
This article, as the parent of a bunch of sub-articles, should be a summary of all things Scientology-related in Wikipedia. There should be a summary of Scientology beliefs and practices, a summary of the notable criminal cases, a summary of the various and sundry controversies, a summary of the hierarchy and organizational structure, a summary of the hidden creation myth, and miscellaneous summaries of Scientology's origins, its creator, and notable events in its history. --GoodDamon 04:32, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
This is a very good point. DigitalC (talk) 05:38, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I think you have put that brilliantly, and I agree. I think this is something we can work with. Jayen466 11:44, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Although "Church of Scientology" refers to a specific legal organization, officials of Scientology as well as members of the public tend to use it interchangeably with the term "Scientology". For that reason alone, it becomes a bit tricky figuring out what goes where. As for the CAN story, it was not the organization called "Church of Scientology" which initiated the lawsuits but rather Scientologists in federal and state courts. This classifies the event under "Scientology", and not the specific organization "Church of Scientology", as there is no evidence that the lawsuits were coordinated by the Church of Scientology itself. As for the placement, I haven't quite decided yet. It is both notable and well-sourced, but I'm not sure if the main history section is necessarily the best place for it. I'll have to think about that a bit more. Spidern 04:55, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Shutterbug, will you please explain precisely what your issue is with the history section in its current form? Spidern 04:25, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Time magazine

We should not rely on the Time magazine article to the exclusion of other views, or present it as though it were a representative view. For example, Gallagher says,

"Melton notes the economic dimension of the Scientology controversies, ibid. [The Church of Scientology], 59–60. A more popular, and more negative, treatment can be found in the Time Magazine cover story, Richard Behar, "Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", May 6 1991, ...

NPOV requires that we present Melton's viewpoint as well. Gallagher's characterisation of the Time Magazine article as "more popular, and more negative" may also be worth including. There have been other comments on the piece:

  • Here is a New York University Press publication saying, "The Time article was way over the top. Even Saddam Hussein was portrayed less badly."
  • Here is another work (SUNY Press) characterising the Time article, and Scientology's rejoinder to it, as part of an unhelpful pattern of "attack and counterattack". Note that the scholar references both the Time article and Scientology's rejoinder, whereas we do not even mention that there was a rejoinder!

At any rate, our editorial tone should not take its cues from what reliable sources have described as an over-the-top attack piece. If we mention and draw on it, then this mention also has to include references to how the piece has been received. Jayen466 12:15, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Also note [[9]]. The controversy section badly needs a subsection reflecting existing RS analyses of the wide-spread hostility towards Scientology and the reasons for it, which in the view of many RS, including the one cited here, are not simply normal and reasonable responses to Scientology's actions. Wallis (cited above) e.g. likened it to a moral panic. Would editors object to having a properly sourced paragraph on this? Jayen466 13:08, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

As long as the viewpoint described is well-sourced and relevant to the topic, I can not object. We have to represent all significant viewpoints. The hostility reflected is generally common among news sources, which the article has an abundance of. If, however, you've been able to find an opposing viewpoint which is coming from multiple reliable sources then by all means add it. That being said, the Time article did win multiple journalistic awards, and the source is no less reliable than it ever was. Spidern 13:49, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Scientology Creed

Note that the Army Manual just linked above in the Ceremonies section also states the Scientology creed, whose existence we have failed to cover either in this article or the Beliefs and Practices article (at least I couldn't find any reference to it). I think it is a basic fact that needs to be included. Where do editors think it should go? Jayen466 12:47, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

It falls directly under the category of "Beliefs", therefore I see no reason not to include mention of it. The only condition is that we keep it down to a sentence or two, and keep it within the main section of beliefs and practices (I dislike creating excessive sections, especially for summary articles).Spidern 13:31, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I thought the same; a brief mention here, and perhaps the complete thing in Beliefs and Practices. Any other views? Jayen466 15:34, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
That would be a suitable use for it. Summarize it in the beliefs section of this article, expand on it in the dedicated article. Welcome to summary style editing. :) --GoodDamon 15:46, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
By "the whole thing" you don't mean the actual creed, do you? That would be a copyvio, not to mention original research having come from a primary source. If you mean just a well-sourced expanded mention of it in the beliefs and practices page then yes, we are in agreement. Spidern 15:47, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I did the mean the whole creed. We regularly reproduce this sort of thing for other religions, and the whole creed is quoted in multiple secondary sources, for example, here in An Educator's Classroom Guide to America's Religious Beliefs and Practices, published by Libraries Unlimited. This being so, would you still object? Jayen466 17:59, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, for reasons of WP:copyvio, WP:undue, WP:NOTADVERTISING. How many bible verses are quoted verbatim in an encyclopedia? I was just explaining to Aaron above that using primary sources because they are quoted by secondary ones is not justified. Stick to summarizing secondary sources, rather than directly quoting primary ones. Spidern 18:27, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  1. Spidern, it is clearly not advertising – or are you suggesting that the Army Manual and the LU classroom instruction guide are also "advertising" Scientology? I am really puzzled by this comment.
  2. It is clearly not a copyvio, since the creed is reproduced in multiple secondary sources.
  3. And if multiple secondary sources quote a primary source, it is legitimate for us to quote it, too – these are the precise circumstances that make quoting a primary source legitimate: when multiple secondary sources have quoted it.
As for comparisons to other faiths, we do state the Islamic pillars of faith in the article on Islam, and we do give the wording of various Christian creeds in full. In Christianity e.g. we refer the reader to wikisource; that's also an option we might have here. Let me assure you that I am not interested in "advertising" Scientology. All I am saying is it's a recognized religion, and we should cover it just like we cover any other, giving an outline of its most basic articles of faith etc. Do any other editors have views on this? Jayen466 01:17, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
I've included a section in the Beliefs and Practices article, based primarily on World Religions in America, p. 223, citing the above two sources as supplementary refs. It's not the full text, but a summary, as you suggested; on reflection, that does seem to make sense here. Cheers, Jayen466 02:25, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Scientology Ceremonies?

I have removed the following section from the article. I have seen no academic or news mention of any of these ceremonies. The fact that the only sources used here are CESNUR and the Church of Scientology is concerning. Can anyone find any reliable secondary sources to back any of this knowledge up? Spidern 08:12, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I've tried googling it, and I've taken a look through the religious references I have on hand, but I can't find anything about it. As we're not trying to reproduce in whole or in part any Scientology literature, I don't particularly mind if primary sources like those below are removed from the article. --GoodDamon 18:05, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Spidern, you removed a core practice of Scientology from the "Scientology" article. The RS, Régis Dericquebourg is "head lecturer in social psychology at the University of Lille" [10] which makes him a far better source than most of the other "authorities" in this article. Shutterbug (talk) 21:06, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
The text you restored included two links to a primary source, and the CESNUR source alone -- which is of questionable validity as far as reliability is concerned -- does not support the content. --GoodDamon 21:13, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
CESNUR is not the source, but a scholar paper by Regis Dericquebourg supported by CESNUR. What yardstick are you using? Shutterbug (talk) 21:17, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
What do you mean by the "yardstick" comment? I don't follow. In any event, my primary point was that the link didn't support the text. If Regis Dericquebourg is a noted religious scholar, I don't see anything specifically wrong with using a CESNUR-hosted courtesy link, although the disclaimers about its usage at the top lead me to wonder if there might not be a better article elsewhere. --GoodDamon 22:55, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't see anything wrong with using a CESNUR courtesy link either. That is why I disagreed when you removed it. The "yardstick" question meant what is your measure for a "reliable" source. When is a source reliable? I go as far as to say that private pages are NEVER a reliable source. Shutterbug (talk) 00:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
What's a "private page?" If you're referring to a non-news blog or something like that, I agree. But a "private page" can be something like that, or something like Rotten Tomatoes, which is now arguably as influential and respected in the world of movie reviews as Roger Ebert's review column. --GoodDamon 00:50, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


First version: The Church of Scientology provides Sunday services as well as social ceremonies for marriage, birth, and death that are performed by an ordained Scientology minister.[55][56] Most, if not all, of the actual ceremonies used were written by L. Ron Hubbard and are collected in the book, Ceremonies of the Church of Scientology.[57] At a funeral service, the minister speaks directly to the departing spirit and grants forgiveness for anything the deceased has done so he can begin life anew.[55][56]

Second version: The Church of Scientology provides Sunday services as well as social ceremonies for marriage, birth, and death that are performed by an ordained Scientology minister. Most, if not all, of the actual ceremonies used were written by L. Ron Hubbard and are collected in the book, Ceremonies of the Church of Scientology. At a funeral service, the minister speaks directly to the departing spirit and grants forgiveness for anything the deceased has done so he can begin life anew.[55]

  • No. Any discussion should take place here first and only go to RS/N if unresolved once the various positions have been clarified here. Dumping unformed discussions directly into noticeboards that roll over every week could be seen as an attempt to bury any real discussion. That tactic is getting old. AndroidCat (talk) 06:33, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    • My issue with the source is that I can not find a single secondary source to corroborate the information. Were that requirement fulfilled, I would be more inclined to include the paragraph in the article. Furthermore, the only mention that I can find for Regis' background (aside from a brief mention on is on four Scientology-owned sites plus a Scientology-slanted blog. Spidern 12:03, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Other sources documenting that there are such ceremonies are not difficult to find. See this US Army Manual or this description of Sunday services etc. More such sources can be found. You may find it useful to use (google books) for your searches. We can cut back on some of the detail if we find it is not covered in secondary sources. Jayen466 12:39, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
        • Thanks for the sources. I had checked scholar but neglected to check books. Spidern 13:27, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure that military organization guides should be seen as authoritative. They have no particular interest in recognizing or dismissing the beliefs of men and women in their commands. (If it helped morale, they'd don colanders and do noodley touch-assists for the FSM.) Until recently, the US Navy was publishing a Scientology section on their site that was sometimes used as a reference here–except that it was copied from the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance site, and, at least the most recent version, directly written by Scientology. (There was also a frequently overlooked disclaimer on the US Navy site.) AndroidCat (talk) 04:59, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the above will do to document that such ceremonies exist and have been commented upon by secondary sources. Jayen466 11:20, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Net wars

A lot of the most bitter fighting and bitching around Scientology happens on the net. As Wikipedians, we are all likely to use net sources more than most people. Therefore, for an outside perspective:

Hope we can make use of this. Cheers, Jayen466 20:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikiscanner revelations

Hope we can make use of some of this info as well. Cheers, Cirt (talk) 20:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Not to forget the reliable source "Associated Press" of 24 November 2008[12] stating: "The Church of Scientology was established in 1945". Obviously true, AP reported it and they are they know what they are talking about when it comes to religions. Let's change it right away. /irony. Cirt, this thread is about increasing the quality of the sources used. I can't see how to achieve that with day-to-day news sources. Some journalists's opinion or a quote of a axe-to-grind ex-scientologist in a newspaper is the lower end of WP:RS standards. Shutterbug (talk) 22:52, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Comment: FWIW, as reported on in multiple news sources, the info as identified by Wikiscanner tracks back to Here is an edit made by that IP. Other editors can draw their own conclusions. Cirt (talk) 23:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC), was the IP for a "Symantec Web Filter Proxy" owned by the Church of Scientology, several years ago, and used by hundreds if not thousands of Scientology members, in Church-owned hotels/pensions etc.. It was a moral safety measure and gave off warnings when porn sites etc were about to be accessed. I have not heard of it for about a year and I doubt it still exists. It was pretty slow. Having said that, what is missing in this presentation is that all substantial IP edits have stopped several years ago and did take place at a time when Wikipedia did not have the NPOV/COI rule yet.Shutterbug (talk) 23:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Claims such as these given by the Church of Scientology do not appear to be backed up by any hard evidence, unfortunately. Cirt (talk) 01:36, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Repeatedly referring to Shutterbug as the Church of Scientology is argumentative and serves no useful purpose. The Arbcom never established that she was an official voice of the Church or that any of the editors that shared an IP proxy were acting improperly. All that was established by the Arbcom was that there was sufficient ambiguity among that specific group of users that they were to be considered as one editor for any purpose involving consensus-building. It is entirely appropriate for Shutterbug to edit articles here provided she, like all of us, work within the policies. Calling her "the Church of Scientology" would be no more appropriate, Cirt, that if I consistently referred to you as "hero of Anonymous". Which I will not. So please stop that; it is unbecoming of the project and of you personally and please accord her the respect any good-faith editor is entitled to here. As I will accord that respect to editors that clearly edit from their own overpowering point-of-view yet endeavor to remain within the policies and frameworks of this project. --Justallofthem (talk) 02:18, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
The facts as shown by Wikiscanner and speak for themselves. Cirt (talk) 03:12, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I was not previously aware of this, and frankly it's troubling. As Shutterbug previously edited under an acronym for the Church of Scientology, I find myself suddenly concerned about conflict-of-interest issues. There are already obvious single-purpose account issues. I'm going to back out of this article for a little while to review editing histories, but I'm inclined to file an incident report of some kind. Frankly, it is improper to be editing these articles in any sort of official Church capacity. --GoodDamon 04:44, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Being a relative newcomer to Wikipedia, I am not as familiar with the processes here as some of you are. But I was just looking up Requests for comment, and considered that it may be appropriate to get an outsider's opinion in this matter. Do any of you think this would be helpful? Spidern 05:03, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
ARIN's record for that net block. [13] The story of "used by hundreds if not thousands of Scientology members, in Church-owned hotels/pensions etc.." is exceedingly implausible. Many sites publish their access logs (including IP address) where Google can find them, so should turn up in large numbers of Google results if that were true. It doesn't. Instead, it's a small number of Wikipedia-connected results. Please leave these fairy tales for people who don't understand the Internet. AndroidCat (talk) 06:14, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
And positing that the CofS would make their access logs public knowledge is no more than another fairy tale that you seem to be promoting, AC. The fact that a number of Scientology organizations and facilities worldwide used a common proxy should certainly be understandable to someone as net-savvy as you, AC. This is old news, review the Arbcom. Shutterbug is considered to have some undefined connection to the Church by virtue of her prior use of a Church-owned server and is one of a group of users that need to be careful to not appear to act in concert. That is it. Other than that she is not barred from editing and should be accorded the respect any editor here deserves, including not playing games with her handle. --Justallofthem (talk) 12:35, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Not the CoS logs, the logs of all the sites that these mythical thousands of people were accessing on the Internet. AndroidCat (talk) 12:54, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, well, I never tried to present myself as more net-savvy than you :) However, I doubt that most organizations publish their logs, why would anyone with the least bit of interest in privacy issues do that? I don't buy it as proving your point. In any event, my point stands as to the outcome of the arbcom and the restrictions, such as they are, that Shutterbug may be subject to. Other than that, she is due the respect any of us deserve and is as entitled to her POV as any of us and to not have someone that should know better play games with her username. That caught my eye. Other than that, carry on! --Justallofthem (talk) 14:31, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Justallofthem, what AndroidCat was referring to was third party websites who usually inadvertently get their web stats indexed by search engines. When googling the aforementioned IP, one finds mention in only three such logs (1, 2, and 3). So the line of reasoning AndroidCat was following is that if there were in fact, hundreds of users on this web proxy, there would be more results showing up on stats pages. For example, take a look at this DOW Chemical Company IP and see the results on web statistics pages. It's not always that way, it's just a common tendency. Spidern 15:34, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Let's look at another random WP article. Here are the WikiScanner results for Israel. The top IP is "Cogeco Cable Solutions (St. Catharines, Ontario)" - If you enter that in google, you get this – zilch. Yet Cogeco is a reasonably big Canadian Internet service provider, certainly used by "hundreds of users". The next IP on the Wikiscanner list for that article is Again, nothing in google. The next IP has one hit. What is this fuss about? It's been common knowledge since the arbcom last year that Shutterbug and others had edited via a CoS-owned Internet connection. The arbcom remedies didn't say there was anything wrong with that. So why is it even being brought up now? Jayen466 12:20, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
You are incorrectly interpreting the argument. The premise is that for corporations that use a static-ip web proxy (see wikiscanner for some examples) for hundreds (or more) of users, one tends to find a pattern of google results on web statistics pages. You didn't choose a corporation, or someone who purports to grant web access to hundreds of people from a single IP. Instead you chose one cable subscriber out of potentially thousands of residential subscribers. The size of an ISP has no bearing in GoodDamon's argument (it actually weakens yours, considering that there are more dynamic IPs to choose from and less chance statistically over dynamic re-assignment which will lead to it showing in a webstat page). Spidern 14:06, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, bear with me. I was under the impression that an ISP IP address such as the Cogeco address mentioned above would also be shared by a number of users. No? According to Wikiscanner, the IP range of the LA Church of Scientology International is That is, 256 IP addresses. If you just enter the first three segments of that address range – i.e. 205.227.165 – in google, you still get all of 7 results. You have been saying, if other people had used the same IP address as Shutterbug, the address should be showing up in stats all over the place. What this google result shows, however, is that even if you widen the search to the entire IP address space of the LA CoS, you still don't get anything substantial showing in google. See what I mean? Surely all the other Scientologists besides Shutterbug are using their computers and those 256 IP addresses for something in LA, yet nothing shows. You can try the same thing with any individual IP address within the CoS range – i.e. [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], etc. Jayen466 17:14, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

(arbitrary outdent) For the record, I'm not assuming bad faith at all, I'm simply explaining how your interpretation of the argument is flawed.

  1. Yes, cogentco addresses and other such ISPs have dynamic IP reassignment, which recycles old IP addresses. Genereally, however, larger ISPs have larger ranges. Thus, a higher ratio of available IPs to subscribers, lessening the possibility that individual IPs were logged under multiple web service logs.
  2. The ip range you specified doesn't mean that all 254 ( and are reserved) ip addresses are in use. It's simply a placeholder.
  3. A google search for any class c range (x.x.x) will exclude individual results for class d ranges in most cases (x.x.x.x). (note that when searching for, more results show than 205.227.165) This is an issue of google syntax, as google treats sequences of numbers in the same way as words, no wildcards implicit.
  4. The fact that more results do not show up is precisely why Shutterbug's suggestion of "hundreds if not thousands" of users fails.
  5. You arbitrarily assume that all Scientologists in the LA area use the IP range which is the assigned to Scientology-owned servers at their own properties--but the properties of individual Scientologists contributing on their own time are not necessarily behind this range. They are more likely to have cable or DSL connections. Even if they were using the internet from behind this range, if what Shutterbug said is correct they'd only be under one IP, which is their web proxy.

So to summarize what the above evidence suggests, it appears that only a limited number of individuals directly involved with the Church of Scientology (behind the proxy of are making edits under that IP address. Not "hundreds" or even on that order of magnitude. Spidern 17:56, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

(1) ok. (2) ok. Some clearly are in use though, and where they show up, they typically show up with one google hit. I checked about a quarter of them. :-) (3) I noticed that; this is why I gave individual search results for class d ranges as well. (4) I still doubt that this follows. I am currently on an AOL IP. According to our page on those, each AOL IP is "shared with hundreds or thousands of other AOL users". Still, if I enter my own current IP in google, I get zero search hits. Yet hundreds or thousands of users will have used this IP before me, and will have been online with it. Here is an example of an AOL IP, from one of the ranges given on the linked AOL page, that has all of 3 google hits. Here is another one with 5 google hits. These too are addresses that have been used by hundreds of Internet users. (5) No, I did not assume that. But the LA CoS building is substantial, and I assume that there is a large number of people using its IT facilities on a daily basis. Yet I am unable to find evidence of large numbers of stat records for any of the other IP addresses. (We can take this to your or my talk page if you want to discuss this further.) Cheers, Jayen466 18:27, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

For newer editors' convenience, the previous arbitration case is here. As for myself, I welcome Shutterbug's presence here, as long as she edits in good faith, brings reliable sources and works towards consensus on the talk page (rather than edit-warring, which does not help anyone).
It is not surprising to get the odd Scientologist editing here from a Scientology building. As in the case of the other 20 organisations that the Independent article reports as having edited WP articles related to them from official IP addresses – these included the CIA, FBI, the Republican Party, the Labour Party and the Israeli government as well as the Church of Scientology – I do not believe that this is some kind of official drive by the Church of Scientology to attack Wikipedia. As in these other cases, I think it more likely that these are simply individuals who want to make an article better, in this case a C-Class article that clearly still can do with improvement.
The official stance of the Church of Scientology, last time I looked, was that Wikipedia was written by teenaged geeks and beyond redemption. I'd like to prove them wrong. Cheers, Jayen466 11:35, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Here is some additional interesting info. Cirt (talk) 13:03, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't get it. There are 122 edits there, made over a three or four-year period, spanning 15 wiki projects. What do these 122 edits indicate to you? Jayen466 13:21, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
WP:SPA. Or in this case, SP-org. Cirt (talk) 13:25, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Let's resolve the conflict.

When the article is locked, it gives us a chance to smell the roses for a while. Even so, we're going to eventually need to figure out how to resolve the conflict which lead to the editwar in the first place so we can continue to improve upon the article. So let's discuss what outstanding issues there are, and try to come to some sort of resolution or comprise. I'm requesting that all parties involved [Myself, Jayen466, Shutterbug, GoodDamon, Su-Jada, Cirt](named in chronological order of edits during editwar) who disagree with the currently locked version of the article come forward and explain precisely what they feel is not being adequately accomplished by the article. Creating a section here to accuse another editor of COI editing is out of line and unnecessary. Instead, let's focus on the content of the article, not the perceived agenda of other editors. Spidern 14:24, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Instead, let's focus on the content of the article, not the perceived agenda of other editors. Hear Hear --Justallofthem (talk) 14:35, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
As I've said before, there is a whole genre of significant published views (mostly academic views) that are inadequately represented, or not represented at all. I have posted links to some of these above, and I'll repeat them here for convenience:
Scholarly treatments
US Army source (another source demonstrating recognition as a religion, and how it is described in government publications)
Support materials for classroom education
I would really appreciate all editors' – and especially Scientologist editors' – help in researching these and similar sources to get this article into a more mainstream and balanced shape. We have plenty of capable and prolific editors who have done a very good job of researching anti-Scientology and media sources, so I do not think there is much more effort required on that front. Jayen466 15:58, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I have the Melton book too! What about Black[20]? Bravehartbear (talk) 16:32, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Have added Black to the list above. Jayen466 18:24, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Per WP: Lead this is what we need to do in the lead

Introductory text

  • Provide an accessible overview
    • "The lead section should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it can stand on its own as a concise version of the article."
This lead does not follow the most important points covered in the article but it is selective on what points it wants to push.
    • "In general, specialized terminology should be avoided in an introduction. Where uncommon terms are essential to describing the subject, they should be placed in context, briefly defined, and linked."
If you want to use technical Scientology terms like Thetan the term should be complete explain or not used at all.
    • "The subject should be placed in a context with which many readers could be expected to be familiar."
This lead really weird and not familiar at all.
  • Relative emphasis
    • "In general, the relative emphasis given to material in the lead should reflect its relative importance to the subject according to reliable sources."
It think the lead is selective on the points it wants to push and doesn't give equal access to many othher points.
    • "Avoid lengthy paragraphs and over-specific descriptions, especially if they are not central to the article as a whole."
Definetly it needs a clean up on this.
  • Opening paragraph
    • "The first paragraph of the introductory text needs to unambiguously define the topic for the reader."
This lead is not unambiguously at all.
  • Length
    • "The appropriate length of the lead section depends on the total length of the article. As a general guideline, the lead should be no longer than four paragraphs."

Comment by Bravehartbear (talk)

Thanks for your feedback Bravehartbear. I will address each of your points in order.

This lead does not follow the most important points covered in the article but it is selective on what points it wants to push...
It think the lead is selective on the points it wants to push and doesn't give equal access to many othher [sic] points.

What important (and sourced) points does it not cover?

If you want to use technical Scientology terms like Thetan the term should be complete explain or not used at all.

The thetan article gives the definition: "the concept of thetan (pronounced THAY-tan, /'θeɪtən/) is similar to the concept of spirit or soul found in other belief systems.", which is adequately summarized in the definition given. As it is defined sufficiently in this context, the usage is appropriate.

This lead really weird and not familiar at all...
This lead is not unambiguously [sic] at all.

What is weird about it? Can you please get very specific here so we can directly address your concerns.

Definetly it needs a clean up on this. [referring to avoiding lengthy paras]

I've copyedited this lead many times, and tried to trim it down as much as possible. I'd be interested in knowing what you think needs to be trimmed. I'm a firm believer in saying what needs to be said with as few words possible. Note also that there are only four paragraphs. Spidern 16:57, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
One thing I do when looking at paragraphs is try to assign one word or idea to them to see if the paragraph is too long or if others need to be merged. Right now, the way I look at the lead paragraphs is:
  1. Intro
  2. Spiritual Beliefs
  3. Organizations & Criticism
  4. Scientology's official viewpoint & promotional campaigns
Do you have any suggestions on how to improve upon the existing structure? Spidern 17:06, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

The lead Debunked

  • Paragraph one is about L Ron Hubbard the founder of Scientology and the creation of Scientology. Then suddenly it says:

“A commonly held belief among Scientologists is that psychiatry and psychology are destructive and abusive fields, which must be abolished.”

What exactly this line has to do with the first paragraph? The Scientology and psychiatry section is part of the Scientology controversy and should be placed in controversy paragraph in the lead if at all.

  • Scientology advocates that people are immortal spiritual beings (or thetans) which have lived many lifetimes.

All religions see man as a spiritual being. And how can an immortal spiritual being have lived many lifetimes when he can’t die? This is confusing. About the word Thetan The wikilink is not enough, WP: Lead states "In general, specialized terminology should be avoided in an introduction. Where uncommon terms are essential to describing the subject, they should be placed in context, briefly defined, and linked." I see the link but nothing else, define it or remove it.

  • Scientologists believe that the primary purpose of existence is survival.

Amazing at last one Scientology concept from dozens of different concepts, and what happened with the scientology principles that were in the article? A Scientology article with no Scientology principles is ridiculous!

  • One controversial aspect of Scientology beliefs is the idea that thetans lived among extraterrestrial cultures before becoming trapped in bodies on Earth.[9] It is believed that thetans were brainwashed by these extraterrestrial cultures as a means of population control. The belief of extraterrestrial origins is not taught to new members, but is only presented after members have advanced through the ranks of Scientology.

A whole paragraph devoted for the Scientology higher level and one little line about a Scientology principle. Are you kidding me? This is way unbalanced.

  • There are a large number of organizations overseeing the application of Scientology, many of which are separate legal entities.

All scientology organizations are separate legal entities. Who cares? This is too much info for intro, it should be in the body.

  • These organizations have remained highly controversial since their inception.

This sentence is a generality and POV pushing, there have not been great controversy surrounding the way to happiness foundation or youth for human rights.

  • Most notable of these organizations is the Church of Scientology, whose primary concern is to uphold the belief system of Scientology.

Where is the line that divides the church of Scientology with associated organizations that promotes different aspects of Scientology. Mangling everything together is confusing.

  • "Time Magazine describes Scientology as "a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner."

This is already in the lead part of "Former members, journalists, courts, and authorities in multiple countries have described Scientology as a cult and an unscrupulous commercial enterprise." There is no need for a quote from a specific magazine when the point has already being stated. This is a double kill not needed. The lead should be ambiguos and not state a specific quote from a specific magazine.

The lead should be divided like this:
  1. Scientology origin and brief history
  2. The church of Scientology and associated organizations.
  3. Beliefs and practices
  4. Controversy

Humbly Bravehartbear (talk) 17:22, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

"there have not been great controversy surrounding the way to happiness foundation or youth for human rights" *rolls eyes*


Some of those links have expired, but I still have a local copy of each of them and can cite them without the link. I'm not sure what threshold is for "great controversy"—Some 18 high ranking members convicted and two convictions against Scientology itself as with Operation Snow White? AndroidCat (talk) 05:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not talking about the CoS only assosiated orgs, the only thing controversial about The Way to Happiness and Youth for Human Rights is that it is associated with CoS. That's what all your links state. What about if we just state:
Scientology and associated organizations have been highly controversial since it's induction.
I would go for that.Bravehartbear (talk) 07:38, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Comments on "The Lead debunked"

I agree that the sentence about psychiatry and psychology at the end of the first para is badly placed and should move to controversies. Jayen466 23:28, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

As for the structure of the lead, I would propose:

  1. Scientology origin and brief history
  2. Beliefs and practices
  3. The church of Scientology and other organizations
  4. Controversy

I think it makes more sense to retain Beliefs and Practices as the second element, since we are, in this article, dealing with Scientology, i.e. a religious philosophy.

The things about auditing, anti-drug programs etc. could go together with the beliefs outlined in the second paragraph, couldn't they? Jayen466 23:34, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

The "lived many lifetimes" is indeed a bit daft. We could say, approximately following Melton, "inhabited many different bodies throughout their existence". Jayen466 23:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

"What happened with the scientology principles that were in the article?" They were sourced to primary sources, Bravehartbear, which is not good enough, since then it is editors deciding which elements are noteworthy and which are not. Please help us reintroduce them by researching reliable sources that describe these principles. Melton has a few such descriptions, and there may be more in the academic works for which I gave google books links above. Most of the pages of these books can be read online in google books. (If occasionally a page is not available, try switching from to or another country. Sometimes a page that is blanked in one google country is not blanked in another. Some of the books are also browsable, for a limited number of pages, in, if you are a registered customer there.) Jayen466 23:49, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the Xenu "not taught to new members" thing takes up too much room in the lede. Xenu is central to the discourse of Scientology opponents (serving mostly to ridicule the religion), but is not a central belief of Scientology. As such, it is perhaps better placed in the controversies part of the lede. Jayen466 23:53, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Bravehartbear that naming the Time magazine article is overkill, given that we have already summarized the claims of journalists, former members, critics etc. Perhaps an overall summary like this would do in that part of the lede:

"Scientology has been subject to exceptionally intense and wide-spread criticism. Ex-members, journalists, courts, and authorities in multiple countries have alleged that Scientology is a cult, an unscrupulous commercial enterprise, and that it uses methods of intimidation and harassment against its critics."

Jayen466 00:02, 29 November 2008 (UTC)


This "religion" is a joke. The "Galactic Confederacy"...LULZ. However, the article is actually extremely well written, the sources, especially in the lead are nothing short of perfection, and I certainly hope nobody is considering making any large changes. Thats all. (talk) 04:08, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Although your suggestions aren't exactly article improving, I have to agree on all counts... (talk) 08:35, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Remember: Wikipedia is not a forum Xavexgoem (talk) 23:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Two bits from Melton

It is not clear how literally Hubbard expected church members to accept the mythology of the OT levels. As with biblical mythology, aspects are difficult to correlate with, e.g., modern geological findings. But as is the case with New Age notions of Atlantis and Lemuria, Hubbard may merely have meant this cosmic history to be received as mythological truth, stories which tell the truth about the self better than mere abstract propositions. It is the case, however, that on whatever level Scientologists have received this mythology, they have found it a meaningful tool in their quest to become fully spiritual beings.

— Melton (2000), p. 33

Scientology believes psychiatry is built upon a false foundation which ignores basic insights discovered by Hubbard—that the mind is composed primarily of mental image pictures, that the brain is simply a conduit for the mind, and that humans are essentially spiritual beings. Rather, according to Hubbard, psychiatry and the related field of psychology have built their understanding on the premise that humans are basically animals, that mental activity originates in the brain, and that humans respond most directly to environmental stimuli. Scientology has also charged that, however well meaning some individual practitioners may be, psychiatry as a field has become permeated with criminality and has repeatedly offered itself as a governmental tool for political suppression.

— Melton (2000), p.49

Offers useful angles and alternative viewpoints that we should include. Jayen466 22:35, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality and inclusiveness

The unfortunate aspect about the Scientology Corporation's foundings and history is that it literally takes several books to cover all of it, all the crimes, human rights abuses, civil rights abuses, motivations, behavior, once-secret bait-and-switch bunko scams and everything else.

Wikipedia articles can't be nearly as inclusive as everyone (other than Scientology crime bosses and ringleaders) would like them to be because then the Wiki entry would literally be a thousand pages long.

I mention this because someone claiming to be a Scientology customer complained about Scientology being a "danger cult" -- which it is and which everyone recognizes as being factual and which belongs in any article about Scientology.

A reasonable solution would be to enumerate all of the massive exposures of Scientology's racketeering crimes, human rights abuses, and what not as covered in the numerous books, magazines, and newspaper articles which have been published since the 1960's. Neutrality means that one covers the truth and does not pander to the wishes of criminals, after all, but enumerating all the mountain of court documentation and the pile of books written by law enforcement, health officials, one-time ringleaders, and previous customers of the crime syndicate would help. Fredric Rice (talk) 23:53, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a forum. Do you have a suggestion for improving the article? --GoodDamon 23:55, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Are you fucking retarded? Everything they said was about the article. If you're aspiring to be a wikipedia policy toughguy, you have just epically failed; congratulations. (talk) 21:53, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I think he is makeing a suggestion. He is basically asking people to do what I am doing. Summerising some of the more major crimes of scientology, source and cite them and then put them into the main article. This is what I am doing. The best part is NOBODY can dispute something about scientology if it is in L ron's own hand writting as for example his journal entries are. The ones showing him as a flamming racist. Nutrality actually means no shifting to biases of one side or the other, listing the good and the bad. So far the article has alot of nutrality but lacks insight on the darker more dangurous sides of the "church". Aaron Bongart (talk) 17:18, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

There is very little good side to Scientology. In the interest of neutrality, however, someone might want to note the considerable anti-drug work and funding that they do.KriticKill (talk) 17:12, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
You are aware that much of that work is against psychiatric drugs? I'm no fan of Ritalin or our society's drug-first mentality, but Scientologists literally don't believe a paranoid schizophrenic should be treated with anti-psychotic drugs. That's not exactly a point in Scientology's favor. --GoodDamon 17:56, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
There are separate articles about Narconon and CCHR, which are already linked from the Scientology article. I agree that their efforts should be described as "anti drug" rather than "anti drug abuse". Don't agree that depriving people of medication for reasons of pseudoscience counts as a good point.MartinPoulter (talk) 18:22, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes yes, valid points all but, not all of the people in thoses rehabs need drugs, scientology does do some good. Albeit the methods of treatment in narconon are very bizzare and ritualist like pretending your inside the ash tray and then tahnking the ashtray. thats one of the things you hear about them doing. It's ironic that scientologists have no problem smokeing even though smokes are loaded with drugs, not to mention adictive and cancer causing ones. However hubbard DID say scientologists are immune to cancer if they are clear and up. So yeah deffinatly specific drug use rather then abuse, and also please try to point out the positive stuff little that there is, if only for the sake of nutrality. The activist in me wants scandal and controversy but the autistic in me was pure unbias and neutral facts. Aaron Bongart (talk) 17:31, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Scientology was not 'created'

Scientology was not 'created'. You would not say that Christianity was created by Jesus Christ. You also would not say that the notion of God was created by a group of ignorant Egyptians and perpetuated by Jews. Similarly the jobs that a person has done are not relevant to describing something that they have discovered. We don't describe Christianity as: A body of beliefs and related practices created by a jewish Israeli criminal and carpenter Jesus Christ. The practices of Scientology were discovered by L Ron Hubbard. It would be objective to change the first sentence to: "Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices written down by L. Ron Hubbard." If it is relevant it could carry on; "L. Ron Hubbard was the first practitioner of Scientology, he was also a science fiction writer." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

WP:RS/WP:V secondary sources to back up this notion? Cirt (talk) 21:47, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
and I would certainly like to see evidence of it existing before the birth of Hubbard. --Rodhullandemu 22:27, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Hubbard may not have been aware, but the word "Scientology" was used prior to his definition of it, for entirely different usage, back in 1871. Cirt (talk) 22:37, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Christianity wasn't created by Jesus of Nazareth, it evolved (and continues to evolve) into various divergent sects based on the interpretations of his alleged life and teachings by successive generations of followers. Scientology was obviously created by LRH over the course of his lifetime. His life is well documented and, unlike Jesus, he explicitly wrote down his ideas. To say he "discovered" any religious truths while fucked up on amphetamines (or listening to his young son's rambling after forcing him to take speed) is to endorse the teachings of the Church of Scientology. Wormwoodpoppies (talk) 22:02, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

The IP address editor needs to be aware that Wikipedia's core policies and guidelines require that the vast majority of its content be derived from sources that meet the criteria established in WP:RS, that those sources be verifiable per WP:V, that the majority of those sources match the majority viewpoint, per WP:WEIGHT, and that the material be neutral in tone, per WP:NPOV (of which WP:WEIGHT is a sub-policy). Now, the vast majority of sources for material that meets these Wikipedia standards are overwhelmingly negative about Scientology. They establish a few things that most Scientologists would probably take issue with:

  • That Scientology was invented by L. Ron Hubbard
  • That Scientology is largely regarded as a cult
  • That Scientology is abusive towards its members
  • That as you progress through Scientology, you learn about Xenu and the rest of the so-called "space opera"

And so on. These are no doubt regarded as little more than lies by most Scientologists. But the thing is, Wikipedia makes no judgment as to whether they are lies or not. As far as Wikipedia is concerned, the secondary sources it relies on have already determined what is and is not true, and there is no need for Wikipedia to further vet it.

If most of the material about Scientology available from secondary sources were overwhelmingly positive and accepted Hubbard at his word -- that he "discovered" Scientology -- then this article would reflect that. --GoodDamon 00:42, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Er, I somehow feel that this "majority rules" complex isn't constructive. Who's to say that Christianity wasn't created? It might have been. The majority of people might think otherwise; but, as you may recall, the majority of people used to believe the Sun was at the center of the Universe. Aren't sources required to be capable of proving ideas rather than simply being required to say something is right or wrong? Mind you, this is what it sounds like you're implying. Zencyde (talk) 13:32, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The point is not whether Wikipedia reflects the views of the majority--its whether we reflect the verifiable majority. Although, it's often been said that if Wikipedia were around when the general assumption was that the world is flat, that is what would have been reflected on the Earth article. Wikipedia is NOT an outlet for truth, Wikipedia is a source of verifiable knowledge. All else is original research, which is not encyclopedic. Spidern 14:27, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
GoodDamon was just explaining the rules of Wikipedia. For me (from a Scientific Rationalism perspective) the No Original Research rule has been the hardest to get used to, for the sort of reasons you talk about, but it it were relaxed, every kind of crackpot would be editing their theories into articles, saying "just because every academic expert says this is rubbish, doesn't mean it is". That would be a disaster, so I'm persuaded the rule is a very good idea on the whole.MartinPoulter (talk) 14:28, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Christianity may well have been created (although in many respects its more like an extension of Judaism), but the fact is no one has yet uncovered enough evidence to prove or disprove that. The sources in the Wikipedia articles for Christianity and its related articles reflect that. On the other hand, we know that Scientology was created by Hubbard. There's no mystical Scientology tradition that existed in mystery and shadow for 1500 or whatever years, that Hubbard 'discovered'. There are no archaeological digs to uncover the history of Scientology, we have and we know DEFINITIVELY with sources to back it up, that Scientology was created by Hubbard in the early 50's. There is no argument, and if you believe that Scientology existed before Hubbard then I have some swampland in Florida I wanna sell you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by KriticKill (talkcontribs) 15:46, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Legal status

Is it appropriate to designate a legal status in this article? It seems to me that the Scientology article should be dealing with the beliefs and practices as they pertain to followers worldwide, not just a single organization (such as the CoS or CSI which may be based in a single country). Since different countries have often classified Scientology in very different ways, it seems like designating Scientology itself as non-profit would be incorrect. Wutudidthere...isawit (talk) 09:45, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

This is a good point. Cirt (talk) 10:33, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

well your correct, there is few things non-profit about scientology. For the most part it is a business. The gratuitous ammounts of money they save by useing slave labour to refurnish and build new facilitys is astronomical. Forgive me for sounding evil but you really got to hand it to them. I think hubbard said something about the best slave or prisioner being the one that thinks he is free. Something like that and he is right. If you look at how much the sea org people get paid to work from 7am to 11pm you would see its only 15euros a week. It is even worse in the US. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 17:55, 13 November 2008 (UTC).

Agreed. The article needs a serious revamp of less Scientology doctrine, and more actual info. I would say sum most of the article down to a single section summarizing their beliefs. I can't believe that the church itself isn't actually writing this article. I've got a feeling we're going to need semi-pro status on it to make a real article out of it (I'd really love to see a section detailing their criminal exploits, like Operation Snow White, for example). KriticKill (talk) 15:29, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
There's a whole article on Operation Snow White. AndroidCat (talk) 01:30, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Should the section on legality include the case of Van Dyun v. Home Office, Case 41/74, [1974] ECR 1337? This is where the UK government rejected leave for a Dutch woman to enter the UK to take up a job as a secretary for the Church of Scientology UK. When the case was taken to the European Court of Justice the UK argued that activities of the Church of Scientology were "socially harmful" and it was reasonable to limit her freedom of movement on that basis. sb742 (talk) 16:15, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

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