The Church of Scientology (CoS) is quite small in the UK with in my opinion under 2,000 active members. The 2001 UK Census recorded 1,839 people who identified themselves as being Scientologists. As of 2007 the CoS claimed 120,000 UK members.
There are 8 CoS Orgs (branches) in the UK, and the UK has one of the five Advanced Service Orgs of the CoS at East Grinstead. There are also several smaller Missions. Narconon, a CoS group that claims to cure drug addiction, has a facility at Worthing.
Ron's Orgs, a seperate scientology organisation, has one UK Org.
Yes. The extremists, the fundamentalists, they control the Church. The Church of Scientology is a nasty totalitarian cult, highly intolerant of internal dissent and external criticism.
"Psychosomatic illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, rheumatism, heart trouble, and on and on for a total of 70 percent of man’s ills—and women’s too—are the reaction of the body against a painful mental image picture."
You got that? Read it again please. It comes from this page, with © 2000-2004 Church of Scientology International at the bottom.
As for Mental illnesses...
Type 'Scientology' into an Internet Search Engine and you will come up with hundreds of Web Sites, some belonging to the Church of Scientology, others plainly hostile to it. What has this small cult done to arouse the wrath of the nerds? Sure it might be a bit weird and has John Travolta and Tom Cruise as members, but it isn't dangerous - is it?
Several years ago a Newsgroup, alt.religion.scientology (ARS) was being used to discuss the cult and provide help and support for ex-members. When the CoS learnt about ARS they tried various strategems to get rid of it, some legitimate others not. In doing so they attracted the attention of people who had never heard of the CoS before, but did know bullying and harassment when they saw it. And ARS began to grow...
Now it so happened that the CoS had a lot of secret teachings. Fed up with attacks on them, ex-scientologists began posting some of these secrets to ARS and putting them on Web Pages. And the CoS began to sue them - for copyright infringement. The CoS doesn't allow most of its members to know all the beliefs of their Church, let alone outsiders.
The CoS claims to have good reasons for keeping its secrets, but as the reasons are part of the 'secret scriptures' they can't tell members what they are!
Eventually as allegations of abuse and criminality inside the CoS began to emerge the media started to take an interest. Once they'd got over the psychological barrier of dealing with a 'Church' with 'ministers' that were bare-faced liars they got really interested. Some were even prepared to defend expensive libel suits.
TV and newspaper exposés of the CoS have appeared in several countries, and the CoS seems likely to remain in the public eye. The CoS reaction has become increasingly bizarre, hiring private detectives to investigate journalists, making nasty allegations against individual critics and claiming that its enemies are part of a world-wide conspiracy to destroy the Church backed by evil psychiatrists and international drug companies.
In February 2008 Anonymous, a previously little known Internet community, came onto the streets with a wordwide protest against the CoS. These continue monthly.
Interviewer: L. Ron Hubbard says, 'We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts. Over and over we prove this. We have this technical fact: Those who oppose us have crimes to hide.' Do you believe that?
CoS spokesperson: Sure.
I: People who oppose you are undoubtedly criminals?
CoS: I believe that, yeah.
-- 'Dateline', NBC, 16 June 1998
One CoS member takes this belief further:
Kirstie Alley (Hollywood star): You know the best way to fight somebody is to just expose their crimes. If somebody's attacking me, I'm not going to, like, pop them in the nose. If somebody's attacking me, I'm just gonna expose their crimes. That's good enough.
-- '20/20', ABC, 20 Dec 1998
My own position? I think Hubbard was a conartist and a fraud, Scientology is a genuine religion and the Church of Scientology is a totalitarian, manipulative cult. I am not, as are some critics, convinced that the Church is unreformable or that the beliefs are total nonsense.
What is Scientology?
Volunteer Ministers in Action!
The ARS Central Committee Demographics Department
Here are some Realvideo files. If you don't have Realplayer, you can get it from http://www.real.com/ Ignore the '14 day free trial', read the small print at the bottom of the page. It's free.
One world wide activity of those opposed to the CoS is picketing its High Street shops. On L Ron Hubbard's birthday in March 1999 picketers visited CoS UK headquarters at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead. Returning from Saint Hill to the town centre we were surprised to find that the CoS bookshop had closed at lunchtime - and to make this an 'acceptable truth' they'd taped a sign to the shutters saying 'Closed all Day'!
Our banner reads 'Scientology says you're full of dead SPACE ALIENS'. Also visible are the 'Xemu and the Markabs' amplifier and Duke the dog with an inflatable alien. No I'm not in sight - I'm standing in the middle of the road taking the picture.
Duke the Dog's UK Tour has past UK picket photos and reports, and I have a picket photo album. In 2008 we handed the baton over to Anonymous, see below, after a final year in which we were on TV for ten seconds!
Note: the organisations concerned with cults in general are deeply divided into 'critical' and 'informational' camps. The first three links below are in the former group, INFORM in the latter.
In Spring 1988 the CoS launched a campaign encouraging its members to have their own personal Web Pages. The pages were created from a CD by filling in blanks ("I love Scientology because..."), and users had to install a 'net nanny' program that censored access to Web Sites like this!
The project was abandoned around January 2003, having peaked at around 16,000 participants.
The Apologetics Index keeps track of academics who naively or otherwise support cults such as the Church of Scientology.
Surely if there were lots of TV programmes exposing the CoS it would collapse?
Scientology - Through the Door explores the thoughts of people who have participated in the Church of Scientology - their reasons for joining, for staying, their thoughts while a member, and their reasons for leaving the organization - by using a standard set of questions. There are over 100 contributions. If you think they are all 'crazy culties', this should change your mind.
The Secret Library of Scientology has webbed versions of hard-to-find books, some of them driven underground by litigation and harassment by the CoS.
In 1982 Hubbard went into seclusion and the CoS was taken over by his young protege David Miscavige. At the 1982 US Mission Holders' Conference in San Francisco he demolished the successful Mission franchising system and took absolute control, which he retains to this day.
Another ongoing statistical project is Kristi Wachter's The Truth about Scientology, which looks at course completions announced in CoS magazines.
Some pages here refer to the appearance of CoS Volunteer Ministers at disaster locations. Taking advantage of the distressed was called the Casualty Contact by Hubbard.
Narconon is a drug treatment and rehabilitation enterprise that uses Hubbardtech. Or is it just a recruiting and money-making scam for the CoS?
The Lisa McPherson Memorial Page. Ms McPherson died under distressing circumstances at the CoS training facility in Clearwater, Florida. Pickets are held world-wide on the anniversary of her death.
L Ron Hubbard was a junior officer in the US Navy in WWII, and of course a war hero.
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