The controversy of the Church of Scientology and where it is now

Roisin Maguire

Scientology is most known for being the religion of the famous with the likes of Tom Cruise, Peaches Geldof, Jason Lee from the comedy “My Name is Earl” and Priscilla Presley (Elvis Presley’s ex-wife).

Scientology was invented by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 and according to The Church of Scientology’s official Irish website, it is “ a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the supreme being.”

L Ron Hubbard is a science fiction and fantasy writer therefore many people are skeptical over the making of the religion by this person.

Like Buddhism, the ultimate goal of Scientology is spiritual enlightenment and this can be done through certain fundamental truths, which are: “Man is an immortal spiritual being.

His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.”

Scientology is quite controversial as many celebrities who have left the religion have tried to expose it. One of those is Leah Remini who participated in a documentary to investigate the religion. Many celebrities have said that to progress to a higher level in scientology it has cost them thousands and that they were encouraged to sell all of their possessions to the religion and any savings in order to reach enlightenment. 

The documentary called “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” details her and other former members’ experiences with the religion. The first episode documented Amy Scobee’s experiences and how she had to cut ties with everyone she knew that wasn’t a member as they were seen as enemies of the church. 

Remini revealed that she worked with Tom Cruise as part of her job and was required to fill his life with other Scientologists to prevent him being exposed to anything but the religion. She also revealed that the main goal of the Church was to recruit celebrities as they can pay the most money into the religion. 

Louis Theroux is another person who created an exposé however Theroux was accused of using “morally bankrupt tactics” to drive a reaction from Scientology members, according to the film’s chief interviewee, Mark Rathbun. These tactics included “pranks” and “drive-bys” outside the Los Angeles headquarters. However, Theroux said that he wanted to break the mould of regular documentaries by being more confrontational. 

The religion is currently facing numerous lawsuits from ex-members including Remini. According to nbcnews.com, some of the allegations in one of the lawsuits “include libel, slander, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seek double or triple damages on claims the plaintiffs violated California labor and human trafficking laws.” 

The Church of Scientology will be out millions if these people win their cases however, with such high profile celebrities that are still affiliated with the religion, millions may not make a dent in what they are worth. 

Róisín Maguire

Image Credit: Wikimedia