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Much of Scientology applies common sense solutions to life’s perplexities. If a church should be judged according to its good works, then Scientology receives high marks for its addiction ...
Much of Scientology applies common sense solutions to life’s perplexities. If a church should be judged according to its good works, then Scientology receives high marks for its addiction treatment, literacy, and civil rights programs. But there is more, including mysticism, mythology, some secrecy, and a healthy dose of what might be termed eccentricity. Some observers wonder how a church that promotes mental and emotional well being, which it does, can itself at times appear to be paranoid or dysfunctional? Dr. Melton explores these questions and the major aspects of the church’s hierarchical structure and theology, showing, among other things, that the study of religion is seldom dull.
As the twenty-first century opens, the Church of Scientology1 has emerged as one major focus of the ongoing controversy on new religions and their role in the rise of religious pluralism in the west. The teachings of founder L. Ron Hubbard enjoyed some immediate success with the public following their initial appearance in 1950, but one could have hardly predicted Scientology’s meteoric rise or its history of public conflict from its modest beginning. The controversy over Scientology has extended at times to almost every aspect of the church and its founder, and while those issues have been largely resolved in North America, the very status of Scientology as a religion continues to be seriously questioned in some quarters and has been the subject of multiple court cases. True, it has been recognized as a religion in many countries of the world, including the United States; but opposition continues in some quarters. In the modest space allowed, this essay cannot cover every point at issue, but does attempt to provide (1) an overview of the life of L. Ron Hubbard anchored by the generally agreed upon facts; (2) an introduction to the church’s beliefs, practices, and organization; and (3) a summary of the major points of the controversy.
|1.||Birth of a religion||1|
|The Disruption of War|
|Encountering the Powers That Be|
|The 1960s and Beyond|
|The Church of Scientology International|
|2.||What Is Dianetics/Scientology?||25|
|From Dianetics to Scientology|
|Ethics and Justice|
|3.||The Organization of Scientology||39|
|The Structure of the Church|
|Social Betterment Programs|
|Association for Better Living and Education|
|The Way to Happiness Foundation|
|Social Reform Programs|
|Citizens Commission on Human Rights|
|National Commission on Law Enforcement and Social Justice|
|World Institute of Scientology Enterprises|
|4.||But Is It a Religion?||53|
Posted December 11, 2006
Although i question the authors sources the book is a simple one that tells basically what Scientology is from a netural non-scientologist's point of view. But in the ultimate, if one wishes to learn about Scientology, one should just pick up L. Ron Hubbards work 'Dianetics, the modern science of menal health', 'Scientology, the fundementals of thought', or just take a tour of your local church of mission. Their website can tell you where they are located.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2005
One has to wonder if mr. melton is really an independent scholar or a comprimised public relations man. His writing style is excellent, but his refusal to examine what is undeniable public record is puzzling.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 14, 2005
The author of this book is not a Scientologist, but is in fact a Christian religious scholar. This is a look at the Scientology religion, from an objective viewpoint. It's not a large book - I read it in a day at the library. I found it contains accurate information. If you're interested in the Scientology religion, this book will give you some more information about what the religion is.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.