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Ethics and Community

Scientology has charged that psychiatry as a field has become permeated with criminality and has repeatedly aligned itself with governments who have used it as a tool for political suppression. Scientology also denounced psychiatry during the cult wars of the 1980s as supplying the main theoreticians of the now discarded idea of cultic brainwashing.

Finally, the Church of Scientology has seen itself, in some cases quite rightly, as the target of enemies dedicated to destroy it. In the 1960s, that belief led to efforts to clean files in various government agencies of false material critical of the church. Circulated overseas, such information had become an added obstacle to the international spread of the movement. Besides the efforts of the now defunct Guardian's Office, the church founded the National Commission on Law Enforcement and Social Justice (NCLE) in 1974. This organization has worked in parallel with the church to open government files and has had some success in forcing governments to open their files to public scrutiny (France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, and Belgium). It also has published and widely disseminated a booklet informing the public on using the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to relevant United States government files.

 


Study Questions:
     1.     Is Scientology's vision for society more about the individual, or society as a whole? Explain.
     2.     What is ABLE? What work does it do within the community?
     3.     Who was William Benitez? What did he develop?
     4.     Why is Scientology against psychiatry?

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