The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbarb (1911-1986) in Arizona USA.
The Church places importance on eradication of engrams — memory traces of bad experiences in this and in previous lives. After everything has been dredged up, involving years of expensive payments, the person becomes a "clear".
The Church has other levels of progress and fees scaled accordingly.
The highest achievement seems to be to become an "Operating Thetan". Such a creature enjoys astral travel, has a photographic memory, directs thunder and lightning like the Greek Gods, has no emotional problems, and can choose his own next reincarnation.
It can all start by responding to an ad, viewing free films and doing free personality and IQ tests!
Reader’s Digest (June 1980) calls Scientology "a frightening cult". In 1965 a Victorian Government Board of Inquiry gathered 9,000 pages of evidence and stated: "Hubbarb is a fraud..."
Dr Christopher Evans in Cults of Unreason (1973) gives Scientology’s early history.
(Investigator 34, 1994 January)
Lisa Marie Presley, only child of Elvis Presley inherited a $200 million estate when she turned 25 in February.
As a teenager Lisa dropped out of highschool and took to drugs including marijuana and cocaine.
She was three months pregnant when she married Danny Keough, musician and Scientologist, in 1988 and joined his religion.
Progress in Scientology is via study courses which can go on for decades and cost $tens-of-thousands.
The courses allegedly neutralize your "engrams" — painful experiences in previous lives — which cause sickness and disease in this life.
Scientology has numerous critics. L. Ron Hubbard Jr. — the son of the founder of Scientology — was a joint author of a book (L. Ron Rubbard Messiah or Madman? 1987) where he portrayed his father as "womanizer’, "liar’ and "madman".
Many critics have been taken to court although the cult usually loses. In the mid-‘60s the founder wrote: "If you oppose Scientology we promptly look you up — and will find and expose your crimes."
Lisa Presley still takes her religion seriously and now has the resources to advance through all the courses and counter all her engrams and their effects.
The founder, L. Ron Hubbard, does not himself seem to have made much progress however. The Los Angeles Times (1990 June 24) cites court testimony that he threw "fits", and erupted "like a volcano, spewing obscenities and insults."