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Analysis of Church of Scientology Website

Essay by   •  September 24, 2012  •  Case Study  •  1,162 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,032 Views

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Scientology is a modern, growing religious movement. It is known for its controversial beliefs and practices. Many critics of the movement describe it as a cult that defrauds its members and harasses its enemies. Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952. Among its philosophy is the belief that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. To rehabilitate them, a method of counseling called auditing is used. In this, practitioners relive past traumatic experiences to emotionally detach themselves from those experiences. One common feature of Scientology is the requirement of paying monetary donations to receive religious teachings and auditing courses. This is one of the most controversial aspects of Scientology. Scientology attempts to attract many people to expand its faith. It mainly panders to average people, promoting itself as a modern, unintimidating religion. The Church of Scientology, through its website, uses information about its founder, philosophy, and churches to appeal to its audience of common people who seek religion and people who are discontented with their current religion and encourage them to convert to its faith.

The Church of Scientology's website provides much information about its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. A picture of him is prominently displayed. In it, he looks very kind, trustworthy, and wise. The picture is in black and white, suggesting that he is from another era and making him reverential. The website states that Hubbard "became the first to scientifically isolate, measure, and describe the human spirit". His works on Scientology "comprise the largest cohesive statement on the human mind and spirit- more than 5000 writings and 3000 recorded lectures. A long list of awards and recognitions can also be found. The website is not shy to praise Hubbard and all the work he did. It builds a strong base of ethos around its founder. By doing this, it increases the credibility of Hubbard and Scientology. Credibility is instrumental in converting people to a faith because people are more likely to be influenced by people they trust. The website displays essays, articles, and books written by Hubbard, allowing people to be directly influenced by him. A timeline of his life is also provided. It covers, in detail, every facet of his life, from birth to death. The timeline vividly portrays Hubbard as a righteous human being who dedicated his life for the betterment of humankind. This is once again meant to establish ethos for Hubbard. The page ends with a sage like quote from L. Ron Hubbard, "We are extending to you the precious gift of freedom and immortality- factually, honestly." With this quote, the website completes the image of Scientology as a truly enlightening religion.

The main feature of the Church of Scientology's website is explaining its beliefs and practices. According to the website, "Scientology is a religion that offers a precise learning path" that leads to understanding of "self, family, groups, mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe, and the supreme being". It attempts to portray itself as a religion that is very deep and philosophical as well as being factual and logical. The website states that "Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to accept anything on faith alone" and that "one discovers for oneself that the principles of Scientology are true by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results. This statement is very important for the website's purpose of converting people to its religion. Many people who convert religions are disgruntled

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