Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, an American author, in 1952. Hubbard defined it as coming from the Latin word, “scio” which translates to “know or distinguish”, and the Greek word “logos” meaning “the word”; hence, it is the science of knowledge. It is a religion which was officially recognized by the United States in 1993; it believes that humans have reactive minds which are often used when experiencing life’s struggles. However, the reactive mind muddles the analytic mind which needs to be reaffirmed through a process called “auditing”. Scientologists aim to achieve spiritual enlightenment or a state of “clear” which is being genuinely in touch with one’s reality.
Their central principles include “man is an immortal spiritual being”, “humans’ experiences extend well beyond a single lifetime”, and “men have unlimited capabilities (though some are not yet aware of it)”.
The Church of Scientology has been associated with several controversies such as its acceptability as a religion, opposition to psychology and psychiatry, strict secrecy of its texts and symbols, attack to their critics, and brainwashing techniques. There have also been reports of several of its members’ suspicious deaths and their advocacy to disconnect from family members.
Famous actors such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta have been avid supporters despite the rumors of it being very cult like.