The Church of Scientology: Religion Or Cult? Essay

1798 Words 8 Pages
The church of Scientology has been the subject of controversy since its inception. Its methods and beliefs have attracted the attention of scholars from around the world. The church has been under government investigation and has endured a countless amount of lawsuits (Reitman 14). It is also a hot topic by the media with several endorsements by some of the most recognized Hollywood celebrities. However, the main topic of debate regarding the Church of Scientology is its status as a religion. Some members claim that the church has helped them overcome their struggles and that they are happier people, while others condemn it as a dangerous cult (Sweeney). The church of Scientology is a religious group whose purpose is to retain their …show more content…
Nevertheless, many people would find Dianetics to be enlightening, feeling that it provided answers to difficult questions and solutions through “scientific techniques” (Reitman 65). Hubbard had opened the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey before the book was even published (58). After the success of the book, he would soon open up similar organizations on some of the major cities in the United States such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Honolulu.
Hubbard would promote the promise of spiritual enlightenment with the establishment of the Church of Scientology. By the end of 1950, the foundations were receiving very little income and were over $200,000 dollars in debt (63). The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners sued the Elizabeth Foundation for practicing medicine without a license (64). The Elizabeth Foundation would close its doors by the end of 1951, thus cancelling the proceedings. Don Purcell, a wealthy supporter of Dianetics, wished to open a foundation in Wichita Kansas. However, the court ruled that if he would open up the foundation in Wichita, it would be liable for the debt of the Elizabeth foundation. (67) He urged Hubbard to file for voluntary bankruptcy, but refused to do so. Still, at an emergency meeting in Wichita, the board of directors voted to go with the bankruptcy proceeding,…