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Religion Library: Scientology

Schisms and Sects

Written by: J. Gordon Melton

Horner enjoyed some success in the 1970s and 1980s, and several associated centers were opened under "clearing consultants" he had trained. Horner also led the California Association of Dianetic Auditors, a fellowship for the independent auditors not connected with the Church of Scientology. However, the church and foundation eventually declined, and by the late 1990s, only one center, located in Santa Monica, California, continued.

Horner's organization, though miniscule in comparison to the Church of Scientology, has been the most successful offshoot of Scientology to date.In the decades since Hubbard's death, a number of accomplished members, including a few who at one time worked directly with Hubbard, have left the church.A few left due to dissatisfaction with the church's current leadership rather than because of a rejection of church teaching.While several have attempted to form rival movements, their efforts have been frustrated by the church.The Church of Scientology argues that only within the church can the precise spiritual technology demanded by Hubbard be maintained and that any rival organizations could only distort Hubbard's teachings.The church maintains its control of the technology through the various copyrights and trademarks it owns, and it will go to court to protect them.The church's willingness to pursue aggressively anyone it perceives to be distorting Hubbard's teachings or infringing on its trademarks and copyrights has had a discouraging effect on any attempt to establish schismatic organizations.

Study Questions:
     1.    Why did Hubbard struggle to keep control over his initial followers?
     2.    What is Clear? Why is becoming Clear a goal of Scientologists?
     3.    Who is Jack Horner? How did his church evolve?
     4.    What reason have many members cited for their rationale of leaving Scientology? Why?


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