In August 1950, amidst the success of Dianetics, Hubbard held a demonstration in Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium where he presented a young woman called Sonya Bianca (a pseudonym) to a large audience including many reporters and photographers as "the world's first Clear." However, despite Hubbard's claim that she had "full and perfect recall of every moment of her life", Bianca proved unable to answer questions from the audience testing her memory and analytical abilities, including the question of the color of Hubbard's tie. Hubbard explained Bianca's failure to display her promised powers of recall to the audience by saying that he had used the word "now" in calling her to the stage, and thus inadvertently froze her in "present time," which blocked her abilities. Later, in the late 1950s, Hubbard would claim that several people had reached the state of Clear by the time he presented Bianca as the world's first; these others, Hubbard said, he had successfully cleared in the late 1940s while working incognito in Hollywood posing as a swami. In 1966, Hubbard declared South African Scientologist John McMaster to be the first true Clear. McMaster left the Sea Org in November 1969, expressing continuing belief in the Scientology Tech, but disapproval of the way Scientology was managed.
February: After learning that the Hubbard Dianetic Foundation of Wichita, Kansas would be liable for the debts of the defunct Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation of Elizabeth, New Jersey, the board of directors, led by Don Purcell, voted to file for voluntary bankruptcy over Hubbard's objections. Hubbard forms a rival Hubbard College, also in Wichita, and disputes control of the copyrights of the Dianetics materials.
May: Hubbard publicly announces the formal establishment of the philosophy of Scientology and the formation of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, demonstrates the E-meter, and moves to Phoenix, Arizona.
Church of Scientology, Church of American Science and Church of Spiritual Engineering incorporated in Elizabeth, New Jersey by L. Ron Hubbard. Co-signatories were Henrietta Hubbard, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., John Galusha, Verna Greenough and Barbara Bryan. Named as trustees of the Church of Scientology were L. Ron Hubbard, Mary Sue Hubbard (not present), and John Galusha.
The Church of Scientology was banned in several Australian states, starting with Victoria. The ban was based on the Anderson Report, which found that the auditing process involved "command" hypnosis, in which the hypnotist assumes "positive authoritative control" over the patient."
The IRS strips the Church of Scientology in California, Scientology's headquarters, of its tax-exempt status, asserting that its activities are commercial and operated for the benefit of Mr. Hubbard, rather than charitable or religious reasons.
OT III is made available to Scientologists. This level of Operating Thetan contains the story of Xenu, which becomes a source of enormous controversy for Scientology from the 1990s onward.
The Sea Organization (or Sea Org) officially established.
December 27: The first Advanced Organization, offering the advanced levels of Scientology to the public, was established aboard the Royal Scotman, the flagship of the Sea Organization. (This ship was later renamed the Apollo.)
As a result of FBI raids, eleven senior people in the church's Guardian's Office were convicted of obstructing justice, burglary of government offices, and theft of documents and government property. (See Operation Snow White)
December: An estimated 3,000 gather at Clearwater City Hall to protest the church coming to Clearwater. Across the street, Scientologists stage a counter rally, dressed as clowns and wearing animal costumes.
The High Court of Australia overturns the Scientology ban, declaring that "The applicant has easily discharged the onus of showing that it is religious. The conclusion that it is a religious institution entitled to the tax exemption is irresistible."
December: The Internal Revenue Service of the United States grants full religious recognition and tax exemption to all Scientology Churches, missions and social betterment groups in that country.
November: After reviewing the McPherson case for 11 months, State Attorney Bernie McCabe charges the Church of Scientology with two felonies: practicing medicine without a license and abuse of a disabled adult. Also, the church begins construction of the Flag Building, launching a $160-million construction project in downtown Clearwater, Florida.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales denies the Church of Scientology's application for charitable status, ruling that it is not a religion and that there is no established "public benefit arising out of the practice of Scientology". The Church does not appeal the decision.
November: The government of Sweden declares that the Church of Scientology is a charitable, non-profit organization with a religious purpose. A year later, the Church's ministers are granted the right to perform marriages, completing official recognition as a church in Sweden.
Bob Minton, a banker critical of Scientology, starts a protest organization called the Lisa McPherson Trust. The organization picketed Scientology buildings on the anniversary of McPherson's death. The group was disbanded in November 2001.
March: The Italian Supreme Court upholds Scientology's religious status in Italy while reaffirming that Narconon is a non-tax-exempt for-profit business.
Scientology ministers are granted the right to perform marriages in South Africa.
In the United Kingdom, the Church of Scientology is exempted from value added tax on the basis that it is a not-for-profit body.
June: McCabe drops the criminal case against the church, noting that the medical examiner's change of opinion about the cause of McPherson's death undercuts the prosecution's effort to prove the criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The government of New Zealand issues an official decree fully recognizing the Church of Scientology of New Zealand as an exempt religious and charitable organization.
The Austrian tax office concludes that the work of the Church of Scientology in Vienna is for the public benefit rather than anyone's personal profit, and grants that church tax-exempt status as a charitable religious organization.
July: A Paris judge rules that a 13-year-old case against the Church of Scientology alleging fraud and illegal practice of medicine cannot go to trial, due to lack of progress in the investigation. The judge rules that the statute of limitations has expired.
March: The National Ministry of the Interior for Taiwan recognizes the Church of Scientology of Taiwan as a charitable religious institution, officially adding it to the rolls of the country's recognized religions.
The U.S. Department of State's 2005 Report on International Religious Freedom announces that the Church of Scientology has been registered as a religious group by the Kyrgyzstan State Commission on Religious Affairs.
In the next major step of the Golden Age of Knowledge program, 18 revised books and 11 lecture series are released.
April: the European Court of Human Rightsrules against Russia for repeatedly refusing to consider the Moscow Church of Scientology's application for the status of a legally valid religious association. The court finds that the reasons given to deny re-registration of the church by the justice department and endorsed by the Moscow courts have no legal basis.
A Belgian state prosecutor recommends that a case should be brought against 12 physical persons associated with Scientology and two legal entities – the Belgian Church of Scientology and Scientology's Office of Human Rights – on counts of extortion, fraud, organized crime, obstruction of medical practice, illegal medical practice, invasion of privacy, conspiracy and commercial infractions like abusive contractual clauses. The proposal is referred to an administrative court who is to decide at a later date whether charges will be brought.
October 31: Scientology is formally recognized as a religion in Spain
November: Scientology is officially recognized as a religion in Portugal.
December 3: South Africa grants the Church tax exemption and issues a certificate recognizing it as a "Public Benefit Organisation".
December 7: German federal and state interior ministers formally express the view that the Scientology organization continues to pursue anti-constitutional goals and ask Germany's domestic intelligence agencies to collect and evaluate the necessary information that would be required for a possible judicial inquiry aimed at banning the organization. The move is criticized by politicians from all parts of the political spectrum, with legal experts expressing concern that an attempt to ban the organization would most likely fail in the courts. This view is echoed by the German intelligence agencies, who warn that a ban would be doomed to fail.
Internet-based group Anonymous launches Project Chanology, a worldwide protest against the Church of Scientology, which drew about 7,000 people in more than 93 cities on February 10, 2008.
November: Germany drops its attempt to ban Scientology, after finding insufficient evidence of illegal or unconstitutional activity. However, monitoring of Scientology's activities by the German intelligence services continues.