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            Scientology New Age Religion or Bizarre Cult? .
             1 Many people have heard of the revolutionary new religious practice called Scientology. However, the majority of people who have heard of it, have little knowledge of the principles and practices behind the religion. In fact, there is a dark side behind Scientology, and much speculation that the religion is a brainwashing cult. Many people are opposed to the religion because of its secretiveness, its extreme methods of teaching and its alleged use of mind control. Scientology, founded in 1950 (Hubbard. What is. 3), is an applied religious philosophy (Hubbard. What is. 4), which is a branch of psychology (Fundamentals. 7). Developed by Lafayette Ron Hubbard, Scientology was created from discoveries resulting from Hubbard's research into the mind and life (Fundamentals. 11). Hubbard claimed that Scientology is for the betterment of man (Fundamentals. 117), and that Scientology can be used by an average person to bring better order to their life (Fundamentals. 8). Hubbard claimed that Scientology improves the health, intelligence, ability, behavior, skill and appearance of the average person (Fundamentals. 8). One of the most fundamental ideas in Scientology is the belief that the individual man is divisible into three parts (Hubbard. What is. 5-6): The Mind, the Body and the Thetan. Hubbard believed that the Thetan, or personality of a person, is separable from the rest of the mind at will, and without causing bodily death or mental derangement (Fundamentals. 5-6). Hubbard was born in Tilden, Nebraska in 1911 (Malko 29). It is known that Hubbard was raised on a Montana cattle ranch by his grandfather (Malko 30), however little else is known about the first thirty years of his life (Malko 29). Hubbard's past is best summed up by George Malko, Nothing is ever precise, 2. and we are never sure when and under what circumstances he did something or went someplace (Malko 29).

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