Scientology is a religion of sorts started by a man named L. Ron Hubbard. It was founded in 1952 as a sequel to his previous self-help procedure, known as Dianetics. Hubbard said that Scientology was a religion, and in 1953 started the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.
Scientology says that humans are actually immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. They use a method of rehabilitation called auditing, which is when practitioners try to re-experience traumatic or painful events in their past so that they may free themselves from the events' limiting effects. In exchange for "specified donations," one, only a member, may receive auditing courses or study materials. In Canada, France, Germany, and Great Britain, Scientology is not considered a legal religion and is actually considered a cult in some countries. In the United States, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, and Sweden, however, Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion; the Church claims that this is proof that they are a true, bona fide religion.
The Church of Scientology is one of the most... controversial... new religious movements to have arisen in the last century. Many have accused the Church of being a cult that brainwashed, abuses, and financially defrauds its members, charging ridiculous amounts for their service. Scientologists have, in response, rebuked the claims, saying that they have a genuine religion that is misrepresented and persecuted. The Church has been so aggressive in its argument, in fact, that their claims have been refuted as harassment. More controversy has arisen around Scientology's belief that people's souls, called by them "thetans," reincarnate and have lived on other planets before Earth. Some of the more detailed teachings are not revealed to members until they have donated thousands of dollars to the Church! Another odd belief of the Church is that psychiatry is destructive and abusive, and must...
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