Scientology is a strange religion with controversial beliefs. While no religion is 100% grounded in scientific fact, Scientology's beliefs are in a class of their own. The religion's fundamental creation myth is based on a fictional intergalactic race named Xenu. Xenu was once the ruler of the Galactic Confederacy, a group of planets that had existed for about 20 million years and were struggling to survive extreme overpopulation.
Scientology practices a system of auditing people's past experiences. This involves hooking up to a machine called an E-Meter. The Scientology auditor will ask questions about a person's life and ask them whether or not they have experienced anything disturbing in their past. Sometimes, the auditors will even pick up on things that aren't present in the person's life. The religion is notorious for their auditing process, which forces prospective members to answer personal questions.
Scientology is one of the most controversial religious movements of the modern age. It has been portrayed as a cult that fleeces its members with ridiculous fees. In addition to its religious beliefs, the movement has a long and shady history with the media. In fact, it has been accused of spying on celebrities, including Nicole Kidman.
A former Scientologist has been outspoken about her views on Scientology. She is now a prominent critic of the religion, which she joined in 1979. She recently ended a friendship with Jenny Craig spokesperson Leah Remini in 2013, saying that she was "ST" (separate and distinct), and declared that she would no longer be a part of the church. She announced her decision on Twitter.
One aspect of Scientology that has attracted attention from critics is its stance on violence. Members of the Church of Scientology may even take violence against members who are deemed dangerous. In addition to violent and illegal tactics, members of the cult are encouraged to attack detractors in a legal, emotional, and financial way. While this policy is no longer officially in use, it remains a core tenet of the religion.
Scientology members must pay thousands of dollars to purchase Hubbard's books. An entire set of these books costs more than $4,000, and the packages need to be updated several times. Scientologists must also purchase various audio CDs and attend Hubbard lectures. They must also pay membership fees and donate to the church's causes.
Another aspect of Scientology that has made headlines recently is the personality test. In a recent case, a 20-year-old woman named Kaja Ballo took a Scientology personality test. The results showed that she had a depressive personality, was overcritical, and had a lack of harmony. She then went on to commit suicide. In her suicide note, she apologized for being "bad" at everything. Kaja's mother, Inga Thorkildsen, has reportedly stated that Scientology had a role in her suicide.
The Church of Scientology has also made headlines for its celebrity members. Star Tom Cruise is a member of the Church of Scientology, and he regularly praises the group. However, many of his wives are rumored to be Scientologists. Tom Cruise reportedly allowed the Church of Scientology to audition his wife, and in an infamous interview with Oprah, he appeared manic and angry, implying that Scientology wanted to take his money.
Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1953. He was a science fiction writer and was born in Nebraska. His father was in the U.S. Navy, so the Hubbard family travelled the world. Hubbard was educated at the University of Washington, but dropped out before he graduated to become a science fiction writer.