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Portal:Scientology

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Scientology is a body of religious beliefs and practices launched in May 1952 by American author L. Ron Hubbard (1911–86). Hubbard initially developed a program of ideas called Dianetics, which was distributed through the Dianetics Foundation. The foundation soon entered bankruptcy, and Hubbard lost the rights to his seminal publication Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health in 1952. He then recharacterized the subject as a religion and renamed it Scientology, retaining the terminology, doctrines, the E-meter, and the practice of auditing. Within a year, he regained the rights to Dianetics and retained both subjects under the umbrella of the Church of Scientology.

Hubbard describes the etymology of the word Scientology as coming from the Latin word "scio", meaning know or distinguish, and the Greek word “logos”, meaning “the word or outward form by which the inward thought is expressed and made known”. Hubbard writes, “thus, Scientology means knowing about knowing, or science of knowledge”.

Hubbard's groups have encountered considerable opposition and controversy. In January 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners brought proceedings against Dianetics Foundation on the charge of teaching medicine without a license. Hubbard's followers engaged in a program of criminal infiltration of the U.S. government.

Hubbard-inspired organizations and their classification are often a point of contention. Germany classifies Scientology groups as an "anti-constitutional sect". In France, they have been classified as a dangerous cult by some parliamentary reports.

Selected article

Executive Producer, David Mirkin
"The Joy of Sect" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the FOX network in the United States on February 8, 1998. In the episode, a cult called the "Movementarians" takes over Springfield, and Homer and the rest of the Simpson family become members. Homer and Bart are initially introduced to a pair of young Movementarian recruiters in an airport. Homer becomes brainwashed, and moves his family into the cult compound. David Mirkin had the initial idea for the episode, Steve O'Donnell was the lead writer, and Steven Dean Moore directed. The writers drew on many groups to develop the Movementarians, but were principally influenced by Scientology, Heaven's Gate, the Unification Church and Peoples Temple. The episode was later analyzed from religious, philosophical and psychological perspectives, and books compared the Movementarians to many of the same groups that the writers had drawn influences from. The show contains many references to popular culture, including the title reference to The Joy of Sex and a gag involving Rover from the television program The Prisoner.

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Photo of Scientology anti-psychiatry demonstration in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Credit: Legolam

Scientology and psychiatry have come into conflict with each other since the foundation of Scientology in 1952. Scientology is publicly, and often vehemently, opposed to both psychiatry and psychology. It offers itself as an alternative to psychiatry, which Scientologists believe to be a barbaric and corrupt profession.

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Scientology items from Wikinews
  • October 19: Exclusive: 'The Scientology Reformation' author examines Tom Cruise and David Miscavige
  • September 10: ABC News yanks 20/20 investigation of Tom Cruise and Scientology
  • February 2: Scientology guilty of fraud rules French appeal court
  • December 2: Australian woman claims Church of Scientology imprisoned her for twelve years

Selected biography

Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Campbell Cartwright (born October 25, 1957) is an American film and television actress, comedienne and voice artist. Noted for her long-running role as Bart Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, she also voices other characters for the show, including Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, Kearney and Database. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Cartwright moved to Hollywood in 1978 and trained as a voice actress alongside Daws Butler. Her first professional role was voicing Gloria in the animated series Richie Rich, which she followed up with a starring role in the television movie Marian Rose White and her first feature film in Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1983. Cartwright continued to audition for voice-over and live-action roles, and in 1987, she decided to audition for a role in a series of animated shorts about a dysfunctional family on The Tracey Ullman Show. Cartwright intended to audition for the role of Lisa Simpson, the eldest daughter; however, when she arrived at the audition, she found the role of her brother Bart to be much more interesting. Matt Groening, creator of the shorts, allowed her to audition for Bart, and gave her the job on the spot after hearing her read. For her work as Bart, Cartwright would receive a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992 and an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in the Field of Animation in 1995.

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What was most incredible about being with him [L. Ron Hubbard] was that he made you feel that you were important..He didn't in any way promote himself or his own self-importance. He was very, very loving and had the widest range of knowledge and experience that you could possibly imagine -- he'd studied everything.
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