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Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2015


Donald A. Westbrook
Pages 111-155
DOI: 10.5840/asrr2015577

Saint Hill and the Development of Systematic Theology in the Church of Scientology (1959–1967)

This article surveys major developments in the history and especially theology of the Church of Scientology from 1959 to 1967. During this period, Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986) transitioned the international ecclesiastical headquarters from Washington, D.C. to London and then East Grinstead, where in 1959 he purchased Saint Hill Manor. Although he traveled extensively during this period, “Saint Hill”—as it is internally known—became his main base of operations and as a result the center of the Scientology world. There, Hubbard developed and codified several features of what may be assembled and viewed as a nascent systematic theology. These primarily concern anthropology, education, sin, and evil in ways that influenced the orthopraxy of Scientology into the early history of the Sea Organization (founded in 1967) and continue to be lived realities for Scientologists to present day.