Jon Atack: Why I call Scientology a cult and not a church - 2014-03-22
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and on Saturdays he's helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
Jon continues to examine some of the most basic assumptions about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. And this week, Jon takes the grand view. Take it away, maestro...
JON: I have long objected to the Scientology cult being called "the church" by both adherents and opponents. As I understand it, the term "church" originally meant a Christian organization. Despite his statements to the contrary, it was actually L. Ron Hubbard who registered the first "church" of Scientology, in Camden, New Jersey, in December 1953. I have copies of the registrations of this and two other "churches," the Church of Spiritual Engineering and the Church of American Science, which sheds light on the choice of the term "church." This definition was given by Hubbard in a 1954 lecture (5410C04) and is repeated in Modern Management Technology Defined: