Scientology -- Is this a Religion?


  • Stephan A. Kent University of Alberta, Canada



Although some social scientists insist that Scientology is a religion, the more appropriate position to take is that the organization is a multi-faceted transnational corporation that has religion as only one of its many components. Other components include political aspirations, business ventures, cultural productions, pseudo-medical practices, pseudo-psychiatric claims, and (among its most devoted members who have joined the Sea Organization), an alternative family structure. Sea Organization's job demands appear to allow little time for quality child rearing. Most disturbing, however, about Sea Organization life is that members can be subject to extremely severe and intrusive punishments through security checks, internal hearings called "Committees of Evidence," and a forced labour and re-indoctrination program known as the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) and its harshest companion, the RPF's RPF. Taken together, these harsh and intrusive punishments likely violate a number of human rights clauses as outlined by two United Nations statements. This is a revised and corrected version of a shorter presentation given at the 27th Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag, June 20, 1997, Leipzig, Germany)

Author Biography

Stephan A. Kent, University of Alberta, Canada

Department of Sociology


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How to Cite

Kent, S. A. (2015). Scientology -- Is this a Religion?. Marburg Journal of Religion, 4(1).