The Controversy Surrounding the Church of Scientology

Topics: Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology Pages: 4 (1203 words) Published: December 14, 2012
REL 205 – Religion and the Modern World
Assignment #5

What was/is the controversy surrounding the Church of Scientology in the past twenty or more years?

The Church of Scientology is no stranger to controversy and has been surrounded by them since its beginnings when it was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, in 1952. Hubbard was a successful science fiction writer and philosopher. In 1950, he wrote the self-help book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which many would say was the beginning of Scientology. The practice of Dianetics is the basis and forerunner of the Scientology religion. The official Dianetics website,, explains the practice as the following: The word Dianetics comes from the Greek dia, meaning "through" and nous, meaning "soul", and is defined as "what the soul is doing to the body.”

Dianetics is a methodology which can help alleviate unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses (illnesses caused or aggravated by mental stress). It is most accurately described as what the soul is doing to the body through the mind.

The word Scientology comes from the Latin scio which means “knowing, in the fullest meaning of the word” and the Greek word logos which mean “study of”. It technically means the study of knowledge or truth. The religion believes human beings are spiritual beings equipped to understand, save and even rehabilitate themselves and “knowing how to know” is how to do this. The goal of Scientology is to successfully live in the eight dynamics: Self, Creativity, Group Survival, Species, Life Forms, Life on the Planet, Spiritual, and Infinity/God.

The Church of Scientology has been the center of many attacks from government agencies, anti-cult groups, media, and even ex-members. Most of the controversy stems from secrecy and complexity of its teachings making it one of the most least understood religions. The major controversies that surround the Church of Scientology regard...
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