Eight academic papers and one podcast transcript about Scientology in Implicit Religion (2020)

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by COS and NOI News, Mar 11, 2021.

  1. Eight academic papers and one podcast transcript about Scientology in Implicit Religion, Vol. 23, No. 2 (2020).

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Table of Contents

    The Religious Studies Project: Podcast Transcription

    New Directions in the Study of Scientology - Transcript
    David G. Robertson , Carole M. Cusack , Stephen Gregg , Aled Thomas 89–101


    Handle with Care: Reflections on the Academic Study of Scientology
    Bernard Doherty 102–128


    Researching and Teaching Scientology: Perception and Performance of a New Religion
    Stephen E. Gregg 129–139

    Toward a Study of ‘Scientologies’
    Aled J. Ll. Thomas 140–147

    Apostate Memoirs and the Study of Scientology in the Twenty-First Century
    Carole M. Cusack 148–155

    Scientology Studies 2.0, Utopia or Opportunity?
    Massimo Introvigne 156–166

    Studying Scientology as an Anti-Democratic Institution: Suggestions and Cautions to Future Researchers
    Stephen A. Kent 167–174

    Academic study of Scientology: The Scientology perspective
    Eric Roux 175–181

    ‘Do not dare speak of Scientology in France!’
    Bernadette Rigal-Cellard 182–192

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *


  2. I want to add the following.

    The author of one of the papers, Eric Roux, is the President of the Union of the Churches of Scientology of France, Vice-President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights, and represents the Church of Scientology at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

    The author of another paper, Massimo Introvigne, founded the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) and is generally considered an apologist for Scientology.

    Aled J. Ll. Thomas appears to specialize in Independent Scientology and the Free Zone. In addition to the paper noted above, she authored the paper "Engaging with the Church of Scientology and the Free Zone in the Field" in the International Journal for the Study of New Religions, and the upcoming book "Free Zone Scientology: Contesting the Boundaries of a New Religion" to be published on 8/4/21.

    As reflected in my OP, other authors are more critical of Scientology and express concern about the difficulty studying the subject.

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  3. Incredulicide Member

    Keep an eye on it turning up at

    Details on a couple of the above:

    Studying Scientology as an Anti-Democratic Institution: Suggestions and Cautions to Future Researchers
    Stephen A. Kent
    Issued Date: 5 Mar 2021

    Addressing future researchers who may undertake research on Scientology, this commentary offers a number of cautions related to issues that they likely will encounter. Most of these issues stem from the organization’s anti-democratic, authoritarian nature and resultant policies, which include attempts to curtail any and all activities and research that its leaders conclude are out of alignment with members’ obligation to ‘keep Scientology working.’ Ethically and morally questionable activities within the cult (which is a term that I define) include its own judicial and penal systems, its systematic harassment of perceived critics, its data storage and protection issues, and its extensive but highly questionable manipulation of members – any study of which likely will elicit censoring reactions from leadership. So too will studies about probable membership shrinkage; its sizable body of financial constituents; and its lobbying efforts and network of lawyers, supportive academics, and expert witnesses. Although I encourage newer scholars to undertake Scientology studies, I urge them to prepare for interference attempts that almost certainly will come.
    DOI: 10.1558/imre.19161

    Cowan, Douglas E. 2009. ‘Researching Scientology: Perceptions, Premises, Promises, and Problematics.’ In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 53–79. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Hubbard, L. Ron. 1976. Modern Management Technology Defined. Copenhagen: New Era.
    ———. 1991. ‘Suppressive Acts Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists.’ Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letter December 23 1965 RB, Revised January 8, 1991). In The Organization Executive Course, by L. R. Hubbard, 873–889. HCO Division, Volume 1. Los Angeles: Bridge.
    Kent, Stephen A. 2017. ‘Scientology’s Harassment of Stephen A. Kent, September 1997 to November 2001.’ In A History of the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta, edited by Herbert C. Northcott, 61–88.
    Tobin, Thomas C. and Joe Childs. 2009. ‘The Truth Rundown, part 3—Ecclesiastical Justice.’ St. Petersburg Times. 23 June.

    Handle with Care: Reflections on the Academic Study of Scientology
    Bernard Doherty
    Issued Date: 5 Mar 2021

    The late 2018 publication of Donald Westbrook’s Among the Scientologists marks the culmination of a decade of increased scholarship on the Church of Scientology from a variety of scholarly perspectives. In conversation with the Religious Studies Project (RSP) panel on ‘New Directions in the Study of Scientology’ held at the British Association for the Study of Religion (BASR) in November 2018, this academic comment seeks to highlight some of the internal and external factors which work to make the study of Scientology a potential minefield for scholars of New Religions. In addition to this I offer four modest proposals for how those within the academy might work toward overcoming some of these challenges, in particular the polarization between different camps within the study of New Religions.

    DOI: 10.1558/imre.40237


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    Apostate Memoirs and the Study of Scientology in the Twenty-First Century Carole M. Cusack
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  4. Cross-posted to the ESMBR thread with credit:

    Thank you.

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