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Is Scientology a religion

The actions of the Church of Scientology have brought a storm of criticism upon the organization. Scientologists frequently compare the criticism of Scientology to the persecution of members of the Jewish faith, but the many actions of the organization have been decidedly non-religious in nature.

However, there are people who believe in the power of Dianetics. These people, who categorize themselves as the Free Zone, have broken away from the fascist control of Scientology; instead, they are applying the "tech" of Hubbard's writings to their own beliefs, transforming it into a philosophy of their own. The "official" Church of Scientology is terrified of the Free Zone and its appeal, for they believe that if knowledge of the Free Zone were to spread through the ranks of the Church, many people would break away from Scientology and form their own individual factions of Scientology. These denominations would be independent of Scientology's control…and this means that the Church of Scientology would not receive any money from the Free Zone. This concept contrasts with Hubbard's official policy, so the Church of Scientology is doing everything it can to wipe out the Free Zone.

But as with its attempts to silence its critics, the Church of Scientology is failing. The Free Zone is expanding, and despite the best efforts of the "official" Church of Scientology to present itself as a religion, the Free Zone may well be the true source for the religion of Scientology.

You are encouraged to make your own decisions based on the facts. Make sure you listen to all sides of the issue, whether you are considering Scientology, the Free Zone, the critics, or anyone else.

Home Page of the Free Zone Association

For those people interested in the Free Zone, more information can be found on the newsgroup alt.clearing.technology. There is also a Free Zone mailing list, run by Homer Wilson Smith.
Personally, I'm still skeptical of the Free Zone's beliefs, as many of these people still believe in the infallibility of the "tech" of the "genius" and "humanitarian," L. Ron Hubbard. But as far as I'm concerned, the members of the Free Zone have every right to believe whatever they want to believe, so long as they cause no harm to others. Whether or not their belief in Dianetics is a good one, the members of the Free Zone should be allowed to practice their beliefs, write their own books, and make their case for a true religion. The Church of Scientology does not want this.

In addition to the Free Zone, other religious groups and individuals have examined the religious aspects of Scientology. Unfortunately, the results of these close studies of Hubbard's faith have shocked and appalled many people who wanted to see Scientology as a true religion. The revelations of Hubbard's beliefs made available on the Internet have cast a dark shadow over Scientology's claim that it is compatible with all other religious beliefs.

Xenu at Wikipedia

Scientology states that it is compatible with all religions, though a number of the "secret" doctrines and scriptures of L. Ron Hubbard contradict these statements. Of all the inner workings of Scientology, the most secret and the most volatile documents are the Xenu writings of OT III (Operating Thetan Level III), which detail the origins of human behavior according to Hubbard. The participants at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, have compiled an exhaustively researched examination of the Xenu writings, their meanings, and their importance to the religious aspects of Scientology – and its compatibility with other religious beliefs.

Scientology Comparative Theology Page

Perry Scott is a devout Christian who took introductory Scientology courses in the 1980s, but dropped out because he was disturbed by its teachings that he believed to be incompatible with Christianity, namely in the areas of "past lives (reincarnation)" and in what Perry terms its "salvation-for-money bent." After discovering alt.religion.scientology when a friend pointed the newsgroup out to him, Perry investigated the religious claims of Scientology and compared them to the beliefs of Christianity. The results of his investigation are displayed on this Web site.

Scientology and Christianity

Bradley Woodward, a resident of Western Australia, takes a close look at the writings of L. Ron Hubbard and his references to Christianity. Hubbard's opinions of the existence of Jesus Christ may offend the religious beliefs of some readers, so be aware of this when you look at this link. Mr. Krasel also includes excerpts from audio recordings of Hubbard himself. (Because this Web site is located in Germany, readers in the United States or countries outside of Europe may experience delays as this page is transferred halfway round the world.)

Watchman Fellowship: Research Materials on Scientology

The Watchman Fellowship is a Christian orgaization that attempts to bring its beliefs to people "lost in the darkness of the cults." They keep track of many organizations and beliefs that they consider "cults." While their beliefs may be too conservative for many open-minded readers, they do provide a useful source of information for people seeking to learn about Scientology and its divergence from Christianity. They also include excerpts from their publication, Watchman Expositor, that do a good job of explaining the war between Scientology and the Internet to newcomers from a religious point of view.

''Scientology -- Is This a Religion?''

Professor Stephen A. Kent of the University of Alberta gave a presentation on Scientology's religious claims to the 27th Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag, at Leipzig, Germany, in June of 1997. He has expanded that presentation and added a considerable amount of research, the result of which is this essay. Professor Kent's conclusion is a less than charitable one, as he states: "Although some social scientists insist that Scientology is a religion, the more appropriate position to take is that the organization is a multi-faceted transnational that has religion as only one of its many components."

The Pilot: Scientology Reformer's Home Page

One of the participants on the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup is an anonymous individual who uses the pseudonym of "The Pilot." This person claims to have been a Scientologist since 1965, and he (or she?) is still a member of the organization. "The Pilot" has written a lengthy, emotional plea for changes to be made within the ranks of the organization of Scientology. He believes that the Church of Scientology cannot survive if it continues its present course of action under its current management…but he also knows that if he reveals his true identity, he will be attacked by Scientology. Therefore, his plea for tolerance is hosted on the Web site of the Free Zone.