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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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Dianetics is a set of ideas and practices regarding the relationship between the spirit, mind and body that were developed by author L. Ron Hubbard. According to Hubbard, mental and psychosomatic physical problems are caused by traumatic recordings called engrams that are stored in the reactive mind. The goal of Dianetics is to become rid (or "cleared") of this portion of one's mind. Once at this state of "Clear," according to Hubbard, an individual becomes able to function at his or her full potential. Dianetics is still employed and disseminated by the Church of Scientology, as reaching the state of "Clear" is a requirement to access Scientology's upper levels. Hubbard first introduced Dianetics to the public in April 1950, in an article published in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction. In his subsequent book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950), Hubbard presented Dianetics as a revolutionary and scientifically developed alternative to conventional psychotherapy and psychiatry, claiming that it could increase intelligence, eliminate unwanted emotions and alleviate a wide range of illnesses he believed to be psychosomatic.

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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.

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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

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Beck in concert
Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell, July 8, 1970) is a Grammy Award-winning American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, known by his simple stage name of Beck. With his pop collage of musical styles, oblique, ironic lyrics, and post-modern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being amongst the most idiosyncratic artists of 1990s alternative rock. Beck rose to underground popularity with his earliest works, which combined social criticism (as in "MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack" and "Deep Fried Love") with musical and lyrical experimentalism. He first came to wider public attention with his breakthrough single "Loser", a hit in 1994, which some described as a novelty song. However, Beck was not easily categorized into a single genre. Some likened his absurd, free-flowing lyrical style and the lo-fi folk songs of his early career to Bob Dylan, and his later eclecticism sparked comparisons to Prince. His 1996 album Odelay was awarded Album of the Year by Rolling Stone, and nominated for a Grammy.

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A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant
Almost all the information in the show is taken from their own literature..We thought that the best way to satirize the Church of Scientology was to let the Church speak for itself.
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