| Scientology |
(Cult, Religion, Front?)
|Founder||L. Ron Hubbard|
|Headquarters||California, United States|
|Religion/Sect known for its hardball tactics against critics.|
|The Cult of Scientology - Phillion|
Scientology is a set of beliefs and practices invented by American author L. Ron Hubbard, and an associated movement. The religion was the face of the largest FBI raid at that time when Operation Snow White was revealed.
It has been variously defined as a cult, a business or a new religious movement. Hubbard initially developed a set of ideas, which he represented as a form of therapy, called Dianetics. This he promoted through various publications, and through the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, which he established in 1950. The foundation soon entered bankruptcy, and Hubbard lost the rights to his book 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, 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
From soon after their formation, Hubbard's groups have generated considerable opposition and controversy, in some instances due to their illegal activities. In January 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners brought proceedings against the Dianetic Research Foundation on the charge of teaching medicine without a license. During the 1970s Hubbard's followers engaged in a program of criminal infiltration of the U.S. government, resulting in several executives of the organization being convicted and imprisoned for multiple offenses by a U.S. Federal Court. In 1992, a court in Canada convicted the Scientology organization in Toronto of spying on law enforcement and government agencies, and criminal breach of trust, later upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Church of Scientology was convicted of fraud by a French court in 2009, a decision upheld by the supreme Court of Cassation in 2013.
The Church of Scientology has been described by government inquiries, international parliamentary bodies, scholars, law lords, and numerous superior court judgements as both a dangerous cult and a manipulative profit-making business. Germany classifies Scientology groups as an "anti-constitutional sect", while in France the government classify the group as a dangerous cult. A 1995 parliamentary report lists Scientology groups as cults, and in its 2006 report MIVILUDES similarly classified Scientology organizations as a dangerous cult
The term Fair Game is used to describe policies and practices carried out by the Church of Scientology towards people and groups it perceives as its enemies. Founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, established the policy in the 1950s, in response to criticism both from within and outside his organization. Individuals or groups who are "Fair Game" are judged to be a threat to the Church and, according to the policy, can be punished and harassed using any and all means possible. In 1968, Hubbard officially canceled use of the term "Fair Game" because of negative public relations it caused, although the Church's aggressive response to criticism continued.
Operation Snow White
Applying the principles of Fair Game, Hubbard and his followers targeted many individuals as well as government officials and agencies, including Operation Snow White, a raid of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other United States government agencies during the 1970s. They also conducted private investigations, character assassination and legal action against the Church's critics in the media. The policy remains in effect and has been defended by the Church of Scientology as a core religious practice.
Starting in the 1980s, for their major branch in Los Angeles, California, the Scientology organization largely switched from using church members in harassment campaigns to hiring private investigators, including former and current Los Angeles police officers. The reason seemed to be that this gave the church a layer of protection in case embarrassing tactics were used and made public.
|How Scientology Got 5,000 Secret Agents in the Government - Half as Interesting.|
A 2001 survey estimated that 55,000 people in the United States claimed to be Scientologists. Worldwide estimates of Scientology's core practicing membership ranges between 100,000 and 200,000, mostly in the U.S., Europe, South Africa and Australia. The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey found that the number of American Scientologists had dropped to 25,000. A 2008 Trinity College survey concluded there were only 25,000 American Scientologists. Scientology is also declining in the United Kingdom. In 2011, high-level defector Jeff Hawkins estimated there were 40,000 Scientologists worldwide.
The highest ranking people in the Scientology hierarchy are the members of the Sea Organization, or Sea Org. The organization includes some 5,000 of Scientology's most dedicated adherents, who work for low pay, and sign a billion-year contract.
Operation Snow White Cover Up
The Church called the whole operation since 1990 a "set up" and just stealing some "printed files", and said that all 5,000 members were purged from the church.
FBI & DEA
Several agencies reviewed their hiring process. The FBI revealed through a FOIA request that the DEA suspected some of their agents were double agents for the Church and reviewed their hiring process upon receiving a tip. Academic research revealed the FBI had dozens of agents in the church, placing questions who scammed who.
Tom Cruise was reported to have put pressure on District of Columbia Court of Appeals employee Scooter Libby, the same that later became high ranking member in the State Department and right hand man as US Chief of Staff of Dick Cheney to drop some charges. Why Penelope Cruz was present is not fully clear
Like the CIA, Wikiscanner revealed the Church tried to purge records of Wikipedia. The CIApossible involvement is not clear, but some outlets report the CIA was waging a war in their early days against the Church as the Church had an usual amount of info on the Agency. Hubbard was a staunch supporter of South Africa's Apartheid regime, and became a prominent target of the agency. Scientology appears to have some CIA officers as double agents as they consistenly were able to leak info that caused outlets such as the Washington Post to report on MK Ultra operations, including one where they revealed the CIA early on urged to conudct MK Ultra programs to delete the memory of Church members, including one operation where "the CIA may have conducted open-air tests of whooping cough bacteria in Florida in the mid-1950s, when state medical records show a whooping cough outbreak killed 12 persons, according to a Church of Scientology analysis of agency records. CIA officer Miles Copeland argued in 2019 the Church was controlled by the CIA (after Hubbard offered his services to the FBI in the 1950s, and, "continues to be an ongoing continuous agreement".
FBI Files - https://vault.fbi.gov/church-of-scientology
An event carried out
|Operation Snow White||US|
|Religious cult breaks into 100s of international government buildings to remove their own names, is not banned.|
- http://cosmedia.freewinds.be/media/articles/es231006.html%7Caccess-date=March 3, 2013
- https://www.latimes.com/local/la-scientology062990x-story.html#page=1 On the Offensive Against an Array of Suspected Foes], Los Angeles Times, Joel Sappell, Robert W. Welkes, page A1, June 29, 1990. "Church spokesmen maintain that Hubbard rescinded the policy three years after it was written . . . . . But various judges and juries have concluded that while the actual labelling of persons as 'fair game' was abandoned, the harassment continued unabated."
- https://web.archive.org/web/20130514163850/http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/business/10scientology.html%7Carchive-date=May 14, 2013
- Cowan, Douglas E.; Bromley, David G. (2006). "The Church of Scientology". In Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, W. Michael (eds.) (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America. 5. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 180