Scientology is a religious movement based on the teachings of the American writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911-86). Hubbard won notoriety with his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950), in which he outlined a form of counseling (Dianetics) for curing emotional and psychosomatic illnesses and enhancing life. Subjects were trained by auditors (counselors) to increase the power of the analytical (conscious) mind and subdue the influence of "engrams" (painful impressions of past experiences) that confuse the "reactive," or unconscious, mind.
Hubbard's work took on a religious dimension with the publication of Science of Survival (1951), which explained the religious philosophy of Scientology. The Church of Scientology, founded in 1954, has a claimed 8 million members in more than 70 countries. It teaches that human beings are immortal spirits called thetans and practices a ritual known as auditing, the purpose of which is to free the thetan from past painful experiences, making possible increased spiritual awareness and abilities. A device called an E-meter is used to guide individuals during auditing and help them to locate precise areas of spiritual difficulty. The church has been the subject of much controversy. Its headquarters is in Los Angeles.
Whitehead, Harriet, Renunciation and Reformulation (1987)
Winter, J. A., Dianetics: A Doctor's Report (1987).