The first Church of Scientology was formed by Scientologists in Los Angeles, California, in 1954. Scientology continued to experience rapid growth through the last decades of the 20th century, but did so amid intense controversy.
Schisms and Sects
In its relatively short existence, Scientology has experienced a small number of schisms but none that has survived for long.
Missions and Expansion
In the 1960s, Scientology began to spread across Europe but encountered significant resistance from the cult awareness movement and conservative governments.
Exploration and Conquest
While the Church of Scientology had to fight many legal battles in its formative years and its parishioners encountered systematic official acts of religious discrimination in some countries, today it operates around the world.
Scientology emerged in the middle of the 20th century, and from its beginning had to deal with the realities of a pluralistic religious culture, the globalization of information, and intense controversy. Today there are more than 8,500 Scientology organizations, Missions, and affiliated groups in 165 countries.