The Church of Scientology fulfills every requirement to qualify as a cult; the group displays unquestioning obedience to its leader, skepticism and doubt are punished (Rehabilitation Project Force and the "Hole") and members who challenge church teachings are often branded dangerous ("Suppressive Person"), the leader dictates how adherents should think, feel and act (members are forbidden from going on the Internet or reading newspapers), members who are acting subserviently are forced to sever all ties with friends and family ("Disconnection"). Additionally, cults are all about power and control, not spirituality.
Scientology deliberately uses methods known to be false for recruiting and enlisting members and relies heavily on psychological abuse. Many members are secluded, the hierarchy is hidden, the true belief structure is withheld from believers, and the whole thing reeks of brainwashing for money. Scientology actively harms others, actively defies investigation, and actively ruins lives.
Yes, Scientology is a cult. Scientology patiently spends a lot of time and effort indoctrinating very wealthy clients. They require strict adherence to their ideology from the initiated, and have been rumored to rely on hypnosis. All of these techniques are similar to those used by cults to gain followers. The only difference is that Scientology cultivates well to do, upper class people.
If I follow the definition of religion, yes. A religion is defined as: A set of beliefs concerning the cause,a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
Looking at Scientology as a whole,Yes, no one man has the right to make the choices for another man. Who he can or can not see, or whom he must marry. We have all heard of Scientology, and following the belief's and views of L.Ron Hubbard he developed Dianetics, "the modern science of mental health". In my mind, that is not a religion. It is one man's belief that he has gotten others to see as reasonably believable, now it has taken root in american society. Translation: Somebody sitting at home had a sobriety moment, decided to share his views with the world, and ran with it. If those views work for you, great, but is it a religion by the above definition? No, so it stands to reason, it is a cult. It is one man's personal views or revelations.
I think that any religion or organization or whatever you want to call it that tries to force, coerce or brainwash people into holding certain views, values and beliefs is most definitely a cult. This organization makes millions of dollars a year preying on gullible people and shoving their own beliefs down people's throats. Very sad.
Scientology is a cult just like Heaven's Gate or The People's Temple was. L. Ron Hubbard is no different than Marshall Applewhite or Jim Jones were. I live near a Scientology building and those spineless losers always pass out Dianetics cards and other pointless bullshit. Scientology is an alien and UFO cult group and is nothing more than that. I've heard that they hold dissidents captive and are accused of multiple human rights abuses. L. Ron Hubbard only had one good trait about him and that was cunningly fooling millions of gullible and naive people to follow his "religion." The only people who call Scientology a "religion" would be Hubbard and his followers. If there was a place in the world called Cultville Hubbard, Applewhite and Jones would be the top nominees. It would be a tie for all three of them. The residents would be their followers. These people are no different than Jehovah's witnesses because they refuse blood transfusions, Mormons practice polygamy and don't drink tea and Amish people live like they're in the 19th century and think it's normal to be that way. Lame people following lame, illogical, unscientific and quite frankly dangerous and hilarious doctrines imposed by a dysfunctional failure for most of his adult life.
1. Scientology viciously retaliates if a member chooses to leave.
2. Members are forced to abandon and separate themselves from their family if the family member leaves or criticizes Scientology
3. You have to pay tons exceeding 1/4 of $1 million of money to move up .
4. You are abused and punished
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When I think of a cult I think of organizations like The People's Temple, and their charismatic leader Jim Jones. I do not think Scientology would harm its followers, nor do I believe that they would send their followers out into the world to actually harm others. Also, they do not cut themselves off from mainstream society, and they do not try to practice any more control over their members than do churches of mainstream religions. Albeit a bit different and not for me, Scientology cannot accurately be described as a cult. Besides, if brainwashing were the only definition of a cult, all religions would have to be labeled so.