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History

Three reasons for this continued controversy are important to note: first, of all the post-war new religions, Scientology appears to have grown the fastest, confronted the largest number of people with its claims, gained the largest number of new adherents, and hence has affected the largest number of people concerned about its growth. Much of the attention given to Scientology seems to be similar to that given to Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a simple reaction to sudden success. Second, in growing, it has, like the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, developed an aggressive recruitment program, and, while not as large as either of these two older groups, has come to share their negative public image in many regards.

Finally, Scientology, as an esoteric faith, has at its core secrets that it wishes to disclose only to its members. In an open society that values the exchange of information and full disclosure, some feel that Scientology has not made the case for keeping their secrets from the general public, while at the same time, Scientology's critics hope that revealing those secrets will do fatal harm to the organization. In some ways, Scientology's esoteric world appears to be at odds with the same Internet that has been such a valuable tool for it.



Study Questions:
     1.     How does contemporary pluralism affect Scientology?
     2.     What is Scientology's theological perspective? Why was it developed?
     3.     Describe the relationship between Scientology and Christianity. Why are there similarities?
     4.     What are the new controversies associated with Scientology?

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