The Rise and Fall of the Church of Scientology

I may write a book at some point on this very topic but for now this will be a synopsis. I ask that any reader reading this do their own research to confirm or dispute any of the information given here.

First let me say that there are two tracks running parallel to each. One is the track of the subject itself and other is its organizational  track. I’ll be writing about its organizational track here.

Many journalists, critics who in many cases are one in the same and even Scientologists who are ignorant of the Church of Scientology say that Hubbard founded the original Church of Scientology which would eventually become the “Mother Church”. This is false.

The fact is that the Church of Scientology was founded by J Burton Farber a Glendale Chiropractor who became a Scientologist and filed the Incorporation papers for the Church of Scientology of California in 1954.

It is true that the year before this Hubbard filed incorporation papers in the State of New Jersey for Church of Scientology but it never became a physical Church.

The only Scientology organization that was in operation at that time prior to Faber’s actual  Church was physically established near 6th Street and Alvarado in Los Angeles was the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International which was situated in Phoenix Arizona on North 8th Street which was originally incorporated in Pennsylvania but moved its headquarters to the more sunny clime of the Valley of the Sun in 1952.

Back then there was still a raging debate whether to call Scientology a Religion or a Science  and obviously the pro religion faction won.

Then in 1955 the Founding Church of Washington D.C. was established. This Church founded other Churches mainly in the US and the British Commonwealth.

From there in 1959 Ron purchased the country estate of Saint Hill Manor just outside of East Grinstead in Sussex county, England where he established Scientology’s World Wide Headquarters. By that time there were over a dozen Scientology Organizations that spanned the globe. A number that would more than treble by the end of the sixties.

This number did not include Franchises and Field Groups that now numbered in the hundreds.

The organization would nearly treble again in size by the late seventies and there didn’t seem any way of stopping of stopping the Scientology juggernaut but eventually it did.

The Fall

All one has to do is pick up the original edition of What is Scientology published in 1978 by Pubs or Publications Org US and compare it to the later edition published by Bridge Publications in 1991 to see that there hasn’t really been that much expansion between the two publications. Despite what Scientology’s PR flacks say.

Far from it. In many cases Scientology is experiencing a contraction as if caught in the event horizon of a black hole.

Surveys also indicate that the number of people who say they are Scientologists has also declined in the last two decades. Though surveys like polls can be deceptive since people may not say they are affiliated with Scientology for fear of being ostracized by friends and associates who are fed a constant diet of bad press and media about the subject.

Even so all one has to do is walk into one of these so called “Ideal Orgs” to see how empty they really are.

Or if one for reasons of there own would like to avoid these empty edifices then all they’d have to do is pick up a copy of say the Auditor Magazine published by Saint Hill or its American Counterpart ASHO and look at the completions. That is those completing a major Scientology service as has been done a few years back. Specifically for the area of Auditor training.

What was the reason for this fall?

This will be explored in future articles so stay tuned.



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