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Scientology, the faith of the Church of Scientology International, is a new religious movement founded in 1954 by L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986). Spreading from the United States around the globe, it claimed membership in the millions worldwide in the early 21st century. Scientology has also attracted considerable controversy globally.

In 1950, L. Ron Hubbard, science fiction writer and explorer, published Dianetics, a bestselling book presenting the basic ideas underlying Scientology. Mental and behavioral problems are created by “engrams” implanted in the mind as a result of shock in this or previous lives. They can be released by a process called “auditing,” which enables the client to go “Clear.” Later developments, based on a Gnostic-type mythology, offer to free the “Clear” individual to become an Operating Thetan, ...

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