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For all those wanting to leave their sect, cult or religion.

Scientology

It is often claimed that Scientology was invented by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard as a bet, so see whether he could invent a new religion. It would seem that he succeeded, although Scientology stretches the definition of religion and blurrs the distinction between cult and commercial enterprise.

Scientology operates by offering personal fulfillment based on a spirituality derived from alein beings called Thetans. The achievement of higher levels of enlightenment regarding this innovative form of spirituality involves the payment of large sums of money.

Like other cults and religions, it relies on the psychological manipulation of its adherents, who perceive personal benefits and rewards. As an organisation, Scientology is very defensive about its reputation, and often resorts to legal harassment to silence its critics. Scientology behaves like other cults in exerting pressure on family members not to leave and banishing those who do.

Within the cult, those who are perceived as dissenters are labelled as "Suppressive Persons", and become the target of ostracism. Scientology has attempted to overcome its reputation as a cult by taking over the Cult Awareness Network, a group that previously sought to expose it as such.

A group called Anonymous holds regular worldwide anti-scientology protests where they wear masks so that Scientology agents cannot identify them and harass them or their families. For more information see www.xenu.net.

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