Scientology Founded in 1954, the Term Paper

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Church of Scientology

The Church of Scientology has established over seven hundred centers in sixty-five countries (Urban). The church functions as a guide, offering a variety of courses designed to inform the individual about Scientology, personal counseling called auditing, designed to get rid of unwanted emotions, habits, and psychosomatic illnesses, and purification rundown, a procedure to free one's self from the harmful effects of drugs and toxins ("Scientology: Inside a Church of Scientology").

Controversy over the Church of Scientology

While the church is well-known for its high-profile celebrity patrons such as Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, and John Travolta, it has also been attacked by government agencies, anti-cult groups, and the media as a swindling business and a brainwashing cult. L. Ron Hubbard has been described as the man who solved the riddle of the human mind by the Church of Scientology, a mental case by the FBI and hopelessly insane by his former wife. Since the 1950s the church has come into a series of conflicts with the U.S. Government, including the FDA, and the IRS as well as the previously mentioned FBI, regarding its status as a religious organization and an assortment of alleged crimes (Urban).

In response Scientologists argue the religion is a legitimate movement that has been misrepresented, maligned, and persecuted by media witch-hunters in a McCarthy style fashion. The Church claims this constant pounding by media, government and anti-cult groups has created a hostile environment for the church and undermines the very idea of religious freedom (Urban). Scientology surfaces some of the most important legal, political, and ethical questions about the study of religion in the modern world.

Conclusion

The many discrepancies between Hubbard's legend and his life have overshadowed the fact that he genuinely was a fascinating man. The conflict between Scientologists and anti-scientologists over Hubbard's biography has created two camps:he is either the most important person who ever lived or the world's greatest con man. Hubbard did little to resolve the controversy, constantly inflating his actual accomplishments in a manner that was easy for his critics to puncture. However to label him a pure fraud is to ignore the complex, charming, delusional, and visionary features of his character that made him so compelling to the many thousands who follow him and the millions who read his work. One would also have to ignore his life's labor in creating the intricately detailed epistemology that has influenced so many (Wright).

Works Cited

Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Los Angeles, CA: Bridge Publications Inc., 2007. Print.

"History of Scientology." Religion Facts, 20 January 2013. Web. 30 March 2013.

"Scientology: Inside a Church of Scientology." Scientology.org, YouTube, 30 June 2008. Web. 30 March 2013.

Urban, Hugh B. The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011. Print.…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Los Angeles, CA: Bridge Publications Inc., 2007. Print.

"History of Scientology." Religion Facts, 20 January 2013. Web. 30 March 2013.

"Scientology: Inside a Church of Scientology." Scientology.org, YouTube, 30 June 2008. Web. 30 March 2013.

Urban, Hugh B. The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011. Print.

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