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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents


1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis, Introduction
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2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Bernard Doherty, Colonial Justice or a Kangaroo Court?: Public Controversy and the Church of Scientology in 1960s Australia
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Beginning in the late 1950s what was to become the Church of Scientology in Australia had become a topic of public concern. In response to a highly critical report issued by an official Board of Inquiry in the State of Victoria, held over the course of 1963-1964 under the auspices of Kevin Victor Anderson Q.C., state governments in Victoria (1965), Western Australia (1968) and South Australia (1969) passed legislation to restrict the activities of Scientologists. This legislation proved controversial and largely ineffective and was eventually repealed in all three state jurisdictions. This article provides a preliminary account of the circumstances that occasioned the original Board of Inquiry and the background and parliamentary debates surrounding each piece of legislation. Utilizing archival documents and public records this article examines how this controversial legislation passed into law and how Scientology initially responded to attempts to curtail its activities. The article concludes with a brief account of the circumstances surrounding the repeals of the legislation in Western Australia (1973), South Australia (1974) and finally in Victoria (1982).
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Don Jolly, Sexuality In Three Ex-Scientology Narratives
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Several recent and high-profile mainstream publications have foregrounded the matter of sexuality in their narration of life in Scientology. This paper, focusing on works by Lawrence Wright, Kate Bornstein and Jenna Miscavige-Hill, discusses the deployment of sexuality in their respective narratives, along with some brief speculation as to why this deployment in useful in the context of explaining engagement with Scientology to a non-specialist audience. Sexuality, I conclude, is widely accepted as a lever with sufficient power to explain the titanic personal realignment required of those who wish to either become Scientologists or to shed said identity in public view. As Foucault would have, modern constructions of personal truth rely on sexuality for their mystery and truthfulness – it is these two elements, I contend, that make the concept ideal fodder for popular ex-Scientologist biography.
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
James R. Lewis, Scientology vs. the Media
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The issue of Scientology and the media is in some ways an extension of the discussion of Scientology and controversy, and in other ways not. James R. Lewis’s “Scientology vs. the Media” surveys the larger question. In some ways, the Church of Scientology is but a case study of the larger media controversy surrounding new religions in general. From another perspective, Scientology’s Guardians Office was a uniquely vicious agency that, in the name of protecting the Church, ended up providing the basis for yet harsher criticisms. For many years, the Church of Scientology kept up a sustained attack against hostile outsiders. But it was with the emergence of the Internet that the Church of Scientology finally met its Waterloo.
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Guillaume Roucoux, Anti-cult (Out)Numbering: An Examination of Polls Commissioned by MIVILUDES from IPSOS (2010–2011)
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This article does a scientific and critical examination of three polls commissioned by the Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Fighting Cultic Drifts (MIVILUDES) to the national firm IPSOS, between 2010 and 2011. Since numbers are a frequently-used weapon from both sides of the “war against cults,” this article analyzes the “anti-cult arithmetic” through a particular case. First, it explores IPSOS’s methodology. Second, it wonders about MIVILUDES’s presupposed expectations and the relevance of its technical terminology towards the respondents. Third, it shows that most of the polls’ results invalidate the Mission’s urgent call to protect French citizens from cults. Additionally, still third, it points out the Mission expects to build its own existence upon the results by outnumbering them and by rephrasing the polls. Finally, this article offers a conceptualization of outnumbering, which is a frequent rhetorical tool regarding cults in general.
6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Shannon Trosper Schorey, Site Temporarily Unavailable: Revisiting the Role of Information in “Scientology v. the Internet”
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“Scientology v. the Internet” references the Church of Scientology’s ongoing struggle with Internet activists and users who attempt to access, disseminate, or modify copyrighted and trademarked church documents online. Since the mid 1990s the Church of Scientology has attempted to use copyright and trademarks to secure their sacred esoteric teachings, but Internet activists have argued that these policies transgress good “Netizen” etiquette and threaten the architecture of the digital platform as a space for the radical access and dissemination of information. This article seeks to revisit Scientology v. the Internet by highlighting the changing imagination of information within the Scientology tradition itself. While L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology maintain a Cold War era conceptualization of information as discrete data that is in need of control (because of the threat of entropy and misuse), recent calls from Independent Scientologists to “open source” the “tech” reflect greater cultural shifts that have begun to reimagine information as a process that carries along with it an emphasis on the values of open access, modification, and distribution. The tension between these two competing imaginations of information continues to fuel the Church of Scientology’s struggles online; while at the heart of “Open Source Scientology” lies a double movement of preservation and alteration that is intimately bound with narratives of authenticity.
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Donald A. Westbrook, Saint Hill and the Development of Systematic Theology in the Church of Scientology (1959–1967)
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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.
book reviews
8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Carole M. Cusack, Sufism in the Secret History of Persia. By Milad Milani
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9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
David G. Robertson, Wicca and the Christian Heritage: Ritual Sex and Magic. By Joanne Pearson
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10. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Liam Sutherland, Food, Sex and Strangers: Understanding Religion as Everyday Life. By Graham Harvey
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