WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN
This book was written to help anyone who knows a little about Scientology and Dianetics and who wants to get some unbiased information which will enable them to make a better assessment of this controversial subject.
It is also intended to assist some of the many thousands of people who have at sometime taken an active interest in Dianetics or Scientology but found themselves unable to continue with it.
In many cases this will have been because of the mystifying things they found to be associated with the subject of Scientology or the way the Church operates. It may have been because they felt unable to proceed at their own speed and that the pressures exerted on them by officers of the Church caused them to give up the whole thing. It may just have been that press coverage and public opinion led them to feel that it would be a risky path for them to follow any further.
These reasons are very understandable and this book attempts to explain how they may have come about without attempting to belittle them. A third of a century has passed since Dianetics first appeared. We can now begin to make some assessment of the impact of the movement that grew out of it and which is said to be the fastest growing religion in the world.
Whether it deserves to be called a religion is an open question and the reasons why it so styles itself are to some extent dealt with in this book. It is worth mentioning at this stage however that our view of what constitutes a legitimate religion tends to revolve round the idea of a single supreme Divine Being. A large proportion of the world s population has religious beliefs in which there is no single God or in which the nature of the Supreme Being is not of paramount importance! Thus Scientology should not be disqualified as a religion just because it does not worship the Christian or Jewish God.
The other major difficulty that people have with Scientology is that it does not fit into established categories. In his book 'The Road to Total Freedom', Roy Wallis wrote in 1976 The boundaries between church, business science and to a lesser extent psychotherapy are relatively clearly drawn Scientology infringed these boundaries and behaved in ways
2 THE SAD TALE OF SCIENTOLOGY
characteristic of them all. Since it behaved as a business as well as a religion (and that of a singularly alien form), many argued that its religious claim must be purely 'a front', and Scientology 'a confidence trick'.' Nearly ten years on there has been no reduction in either the confusion or scepticism with which most people respond to the subject.
This book aims to give the factual background about how Scientology and Dianetics developed and how the Church has operated over the years. It is not written as an attack on, or defence of, the Church. It is hoped that a simple statement of the main available facts about the history and the organisation of the Church will enable readers to arrive at their own assessment of this body.
It is written in language that the author hopes is comprehensible to the non-Scientologist. Where specialised terms are used, a definition has been included. If however readers come across any word they do not understand they should get it defined in a suitable dictionary before proceeding any further.
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