Is Scientology A Religion Or A Cult?


Since it was established by Science Fiction
writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1954, Scientology has  reportedly amassed over 10 million members
worldwide. Scientology might affirm itself as a religion but some scholars argue that
it should instead be classified as a new religious movement, while other critics suggest that
it would be more accurate to call it a commercial enterprise or a cult. So which is it? Well, the answer is not exactly straightforward.
Despite its numerous followers, which include high-profile celebrities, scientology has
only recently been recognized as a formal religion by certain countries. Elsewhere it’s
another story. In the US, Scientology is officially acknowledged
as a tax-exempt religious organization in 1993. Alongside the US, Scientology is accepted
as a religion in countries like Italy, South Africa and Australia. But several European
nations have denied its religious status, with Germany being the most outspoken over
the issue. In late 2007, members of the German government
attempted to ban Scientology, but the case was abandoned a year later as there were no
legal grounds for pursuing it. Germany’s argument that the faith is not a religion
but a commercial enterprise, is the same argument  that has been levied against Scientology
by other critics. The practice of Auditing is central to Scientology,
but is also controversial. According to Scientologists, it is a process that allows members to find
and handle areas of anxiety to further their spiritual potential through paid training
programs. But reports suggest, that attaining this goal can take hundreds of thousands of
dollars.   Auditing, alongside large donations, has reportedly
made Scientology worth over one billion dollars. Over the last few decades, the head of Scientology
has invested the church’s wealth into extensive outreach and public relation campaigns, which
are often backed by Hollywood celebrities. These PR campaigns aim to recruit new members
which could help to cement their status as a religion and gain more influence worldwide. So how powerful is Scientology right now?
Well, according to a former Church official, the Scientology’s power within the media
is waning, especially as several celebrity members have left the faith and published
tell-all stories. Other critics think that the church is shying away from using famous
members to endorse Scientology because it’s opted to use a more subtle approach. Like
the recent ad that was aired during a national pro-football event, which had many viewers
guessing what the ad was about until the last few seconds. Scientologists also wield subtle power through
offshoot organizations and corporate entities which offer financial, executive and even
social services, like drug rehabilitation. However, these companies have been heavily
criticized for offering services which are actually a covert front for enlisting new
members to Scientology. So why go to such great lengths to recruit
followers? Well, reports suggest that the Church doesn’t have as many members as it
claims. Despite claiming to be one of the fastest growing religions worldwide, a 2008
survey reportedly showed that the US only has 25,000 members. which suggests that Scientology
may not be as strong in number as it claims to be. You’re probably wondering what it takes
to be officially recognized as a religion by the government, right? Well, we made a
video about it! Click here to watch, and make sure to subscribe so you get every brand new
TestTube video, right in your feed!




Comments
  1. Scientology is not a religion it's inner high ranking member don't believe its own dogma. It's not a company.

    Cult, sure. But more importantly, it's a scam! A very long standing surviving scam that's protected by armies of lawyers.

    Not only do they demand hundreds of thousands of dollars from their members, they separate members from their friends and families to make them more vulnerable, and then leave them out to dry when they have wrung every dollar from them.

    What ever you might think of X religion, at least they actually believe their own stuff. And don't explicitly just exist to wring money from people then discard them. I can't emphasize enough how horrible this organization is.

  2. Well, it is technically a religion only because the IRS recognized it as such in granting it tax exemption. However, in practice it functions as a commercial enterprise, charging high prices for its auditing–it is a money grubbing cult.

  3. (Church of) Scientology is arguably a commercial enterprise, a cult, and a new religious movement all at the same time. However, I don't see how this would disqualify it from also being a religion. They hold religious beliefs, they have a system of faith, and they're organized. Thus, it's an organized religion.

  4. Whoo Germany!Never thought I'd actually get to be proud of my country like right now.Sadly we didnt manage toi completly bann that scam.

  5. I rather join I would join Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption except that John Oliver shut it down. Now I have to look elsewhere for a tax deduction.

  6. Scientology is a cult made from a genius who fooled retards into giving him money because of an alien god who drops thermobaric weapons into volcanos

  7. The same biased black propaganda you hear again and again from the mainstream media who are scared to death of anyone attempting to free us slaves. And totally inaccurate… for example only 25,000 Scientologists in America?? Come on… So ridiculous! I know I won't trust any of your "news" in the future

  8. Fail, I see her eyes wandering to the side to read the words. At least memorize the words and look into the camera so it looks legit.

  9. As a Scientologist for over 15 years, I can only laugh at the ignorance of Seeker Daily. At the same time I found this video more biased against Scientology whereas they go gaga over Rockfellers and Rothschild and what not. But at the end of the day, what matters is that Scientology is winning, expanding everyday with new churches, missions and groups all around the world :)One important thing to remember is not everyone is born in Scientology, people like me came to Scientology because it works. Secondly, I am not a rich person, however, I am very willing to donate whatever I have to Scientology.

  10. The only country with less then 50 Scientology members? The Netherlands, we just don't take these people serious!

  11. I live in Clearwater Fl. Most of what is known to be our downtown area is owned by the Scientologist! The city government is always crying that downtown needs to be revitalized. In my opinion the Scientologist have ruined our downtown! I think it an infestation that needs to be gone! Most people come to Clearwater for the beach,. We have one of the best beaches in the country and you have to drive through "Scientology Central" to get there.

  12. The thing is that the creator actually admitted it that he made it all up to make money. It's unbelievable how so many people fell for it

  13. I'd say it's a business. They expect money from their followers in every turn. So – it's a Commecial enterprise and therefore should be taxed.

  14. Cults are only a problem when ppl are doing blood sacrifices and forcing you to do/be someone else. Lets not get hung up on definitions when what we are truly scared of is beyond basic definition. A religion makes blood sacrifices of humans ? thats a cult I have a problem with. Hindus wanna sing a song in a building down the road from me? I DO NOT HAVE AN ISSUE WITH THAT.

    If you think Christianity is a cult, your a front line repeater of nonsense who is not critically thinking. I admit many christians fail to think critically, but thats not all of us.

  15. Everyone in the comment section is having a a pointless religious flame war while I'm just waiting for Tom Cruz to come out of the closet…

  16. Couldn't get a minute in. You say "Scientology gained is tax exempt status in 1993," but don't address the tactics they used to gain this status.

  17. Everyone is asking about the difference between a religion and a cult. The difference isn't in the definition, but in the stigma behind the word. For instance when someone says cult most people think of an exclusive organization that have weird ulterior motives and initiative practices. On the other hand when I say religon most people would think of an organized, open to all, group serving a god( or gods) with the consern of their spiritual welfare in mind. I hope this is helpful!

  18. in Germany Scientology is not a Commerical Enterprise it is "verfassungsfeindlich" in english enemy of the constitution

  19. Honestly all religions are cults. I mean if you look at the history of the word cult and it's origin from the world Cultus which was used to define any system of beliefs you have your answer.

  20. There are types of ranks of beliefs

    Rank one. Only you believe it because your crazy

    Rank two. A small group of people known as a cult and they are very young in their beliefs

    Rank three last rank.religion about half or more billion people belive it something and is at least a thousamd years old.

  21. Scientology no basis on religion science fiction c u l t only known to tear families apart not the basis of the Bible no God in them personal gain only Jim Jones David koresh Shirley Manson Heaven's Gate everybody wants to believe more than your own mortality Book of Revelations talks about false prophets I don't go to church every Sunday is a sad knowing that it's not very long time Bible is a history book if you knew the Bible is very interesting history hate love don't follow lost people make up your own mind the Bible just a sheep to the slaughter have an independent mind not to be a follower of lost Shepherds

  22. Charateristics of a CULT:
    The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
    ‪ Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
    ‪ Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
    ‪ The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry�or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
    ‪ The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar�or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
    ‪ The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
    ‪ The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
    ‪ The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
    ‪ The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
    ‪ Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
    ‪ The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
    ‪ The group is preoccupied with making money.
    ‪ Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
    ‪ Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
    ‪ The most loyal members (the �true believers�) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group.

  23. they don't posses any benevolent traits that religion can be a good example of ,they are intrinsically malevolent. i'd put scientology into the same cult category as koreshians, the peoples temple, heavens gate. its a cult run by dangerous,predatory, selfish maniacs to exploit the good nature of people.

  24. It is very clearly a very dangerous cult. Onky weak minded people fall for this kind of shameful stupidity.

  25. How often does god Xenu visit Earth to collect his share of the takings?
    Does take any of the trained up operating thetans back to his own planet?

  26. "invested its money in extensive PR campaigns" Well, yes, but they've also dumped lots of it into secretive "space ports" and campaigns to blackmail members who threaten to leave.

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