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Portal:Scientology

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Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by Speculative Fiction author L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.

Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counselling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects. Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations. Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt organization in the United States and some other countries, and the Church of Scientology emphasizes this as proof that it is a bona fide religion. In other countries, notably France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Scientology does not have comparable religious status.

A large number of organizations overseeing the application of Scientology have been established, the most notable of these being the Church of Scientology. Scientology sponsors a variety of social service programs. These include the Narconon anti-drug program, the Criminon prison rehabilitation program, the Study Tech education methodology, a volunteer organization, a business management method, and a set of moral guidelines expressed in a booklet called The Way to Happiness.

The Church of Scientology is one of the most controversial new religious movements to have arisen in the 20th century. It has often been described as a cult that financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services. The Church of Scientology has consistently used litigation against such critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its foes has been condemned as harassment. Further controversy has focused on Scientology's belief that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth. Former members say that some of Hubbard's writings on this remote extraterrestrial past, included in confidential Upper Levels, are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology. Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished. Notable Scientologists include many well known people such as Tom Cruise, Greta Van Susteren, Chick Corea, John Travolta, Priscilla Presley and Kirstie Alley.

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Andreas Heldal-Lund, founder
Operation Clambake, also referred to by its Web address, Xenu.net, is a website launched in 1996 that publishes mostly critical information about the Church of Scientology. It is owned and maintained by Andreas Heldal-Lund, who has stated that he supports the rights of all people to practice Scientology or any religion, though Operation Clambake has also referred to Scientology as: "a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion." The site includes articles, exposés, and primary source documents. The site has been ranked as high as the third spot in Google searches for the term "Scientology". After the site hosted Scientology documents pertaining to Xenu and OT III, the Church of Scientology attempted to get this material removed through use of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). After receiving a DMCA takedown notice, Google removed many Xenu.net pages from its indexes. This inspired Google to contribute to the Chilling Effects archive, informing others about material missing from Google indexes due to DMCA takedown notices and other legal threats.

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The M/V Freewinds.
Credit: Echo29

The M/V Freewinds is a cruise ship operated by the Church of Scientology. Its home port is Curaçao, and it frequents the Netherlands Antilles and the Caribbean. The vessel was built in 1968 by Wärtsilä in Turku, Finland, at the former Crichton-Vulcan shipyard to Ice Class 1A, as one of a series of four RORO car ferries. It was purchased by Majestic Cruise Lines, a Church of Scientology corporation, in 1986 and subsequently was renamed the Freewinds in its home port of Curaçao.

In the news

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

Chick Corea in Normandie, France, in 1992
Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea (born June 12, 1941) is a multiple Grammy Award winning American jazz pianist/keyboardist and composer. Corea started his professional career in the '60s playing with trumpeter Blue Mitchell and Latin greats such as Herbie Mann, Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria. One of the earliest recordings of his playing is with Blue Mitchell's quintet on The Thing To Do. Corea is arguably best known for his work during the 1970s in the genre of jazz fusion, although his contributions to straight-ahead jazz have been tremendous. He participated in the birth of the electric fusion movement as a member of Miles Davis' band in the 1960s, and in the 1970s formed Return to Forever. He continued to pursue other collaborations and explore various musical styles throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Among jazz pianists, Corea is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential since Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner (along with modern contemporaries Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett). His piano performance showed a similarity to Hancock; yet he maintained a distinctly individual voice. He is also known for promoting Scientology, and mentions L. Ron Hubbard as a continual source of inspiration in all of his later albums.

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L. Ron Hubbard (at left)

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The trade secrets that they're trying to protect, all that science fiction space opera stuff at the end of the road, it's already on the hard load--hard drives of millions of people. In other words, the cat's out of the bag. So anybody that cares to investigate this organization are just a few keystrokes away from finding the truth-- and it's out there.
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