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What is Faith? Scientology

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In our ongoing series What is Faith?, we are exploring different religious traditions from around the world. Today we look at Scientology and joining us is Bob Adams a spokesperson from the Church of Scientology. Scientology literally means the study of truth and knowledge. As a religion it grew out of the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard was born to a US Naval officer in Tilden, Nebraska in 1911. He spent his earliest formative years in the plains states where he became enchanted with the Native American tribes, particularly the Blackfoot Tribe. After finishing school he traveled throughout Asia and continued to be interested in belief and faith systems. Eventually trained as a scientist, L. Ron Hubbard began a career as a science fiction author. Through this work, he formulated a philosophy that he further developed into a set of practices known as Dianetics. These practices and beliefs deal with the relationship between the spirit, mind, and body. He originally presented his ideas as an alternative to conventional psychotherapy. However, in 1953 he began to characterize these beliefs as an actual religion, which was received by numerous communities, especially the medical establishment, with a great deal of criticism. Scientology has battled for a place within the established definition of religion and in doing so has been at the forefront of litigation here in the U.S. and abroad. Today we will explore the beliefs and controversies surrounding this highly misunderstood faith tradition.

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