THE BONA FIDES OF THE SCIENTOLOGY RELIGION
Dr. Kliever pointed out that, to Scientologists, the problems besetting the human race are ultimately spiritual rather than physical or mental. Scientology addresses those problems by freeing the individual from the spiritual debilities which have weighed down his existence.
Dr. J. Gordon Melton is the founder and director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, California and has been engaged in the study of new religions for more than three decades. The author of over twenty books, including the Encyclopedia of American Religions, he has written that the Church of Scientology is very much a religion in the fullest sense of the word.
According to Dr. Melton, the Church of Scientology does espouse a belief in and devotion to and worship of a Supreme Being as well as a belief in the immortality of the spirit and that man is a spiritual being.
Dr. Frank K. Flinn, adjunct professor in religious studies at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, has been studying emerging religions since 1962. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Dr. Flinn has conducted advanced religious studies and was a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Windsor of Ontario, Canada.
After conducting research into the Church of Scientology, Dr. Flinn wrote, I can state without hesitation that the Church of Scientology constitutes a bona fide religion. It possesses all the essential marks of religions known around the world: (1) a well-defined belief system, (2) which issues into religious practice (positive and negative norms for behavior, religious rites and ceremonies, acts and observances), and (3) which sustain a body of believers in an identifiable religious community, distinguishable from other religious communities.
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