S C I E N T O L O G Y

(Week of 7/29/18)

When someone suggested we do a list about Scientology, we thought, "what more is there than Tom Cruise, Going Clear and a little South Park revisiting?" A lot, it turns out. In this week’s list, we’ll go beyond those three watershed clips that brought Scientology into the public consciousness, and consider why people genuinely believe in the principles of the Sci-Fi-informed religion, what scandals persist within it today and how thin the line between religion, cult and self-help movement really is. And, of course, dig up that old Tom Cruise interview and South Park episode because goddamn, they’re good. Hope you enjoy.

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basic principles

Explore Scientology.org's explanation of itself, read founder L. Ron Hubbard's "Fundamentals" and check out this presentation comparing Scientology to Catholicism.

 

leadership

Read this Slate article about L. Ron Hubbard, sci-fi writer turned Scientology founder, and watch this Nightline interview with David Miscavige, who took over after his death.

 

power, pr and celebrity

Read about Scientology's real estate empire, explore their television channel, read this article about Elisabeth Moss's convictions in its teachings and revisit that iconic Tom Cruise interview with Matt Lauer.

 

BREAKING OUT OF SCIENTOLOGY

Look at how people started breaking out, read this article about the strange disappearance of Shelly Miscavige and remember when South Park caught hold of it all.

 

Religion, cult, self-help?

Read this article on the differences between a religion and a cult, then consider some other examples of modern movements.