A, Word created by a german scientist in the 1920s meant to mean "how to know" or "knowing how to know" as an attempt at creating a theory of knowledge
B, Paranoid cult
founded by pulp-science fiction writer and Lafayett Ronald Hubbard who stole the word Scientology to describe the movement originaly named Dianetics after his (unfortunatly) bestselling book after he´d gotten into trouble with the many people he´d licensed the name "dianetics" to. What started as a (supposedly) self-help book based (supposedly) on scientific experimentation (but since L Ron never made any experiments it was most likely dreamt up from his somewhat warped and drug-influenced imagination, much like his war record which allthough claimed by Hubbard and the church to be outstanding most notably includes him ordering the bombardment of an iron deposit on the sea floor mistaking it for a submarine and him almost dragging Mexico into the WWII by using a mexican island for target practice) grew into a movement after people started sending L Ron money to be educated as auditors (the people performing one of the most essential (and possibly brain-washing) techniques of the cult to supposedly help people). L Ron later created scientology as a way of gaining more control over the training and for him most essentialy the money payed to the movement.
Among the history of scientology a few things stand out:
1, Hubbards many and always failing attempts to ingratiate himself with various governements which usually ended either with some form of prosecution or in a few cases with scientology being basicly kicked out of the country (as they were from Greece). The most prominent being the conflict with the US governement. Hubbards contact with it started with his rather failed serving in the navy which only earned him a couple of medals that where handed out to anybody who´d served in an arena of the war and a disability pension. After the war, during the fifties, Hubbard frecuently sent letters to the FBI. Among other things claiming that his ex-wife had tried to kill him. The FBI apperently thought of him as a nutter. Later the IRS started investigating his various enterprises which lead to him leaving the country.
The weirdest part of this conflict was the fact that several cult-members managed to infiltrate federal buildings and copying IRS-files being used against the cult. When this was discovered many cult-members were pu on trial and sent to jail, including Hubbars wife.
2, Hubbards overly inflated claims about himself that always seemed to grow larger with each telling which the "church" has never tried to correct.
3, Hubbards growing paranoia until his death in seclusion attended only by a few of his closest aides (of which most were booted out of the cult or punished by David Miscaviage, the current cult-leader) which manifested itself with his inventing at first Sea Org and then several other organisations within the cult supposedly in control (which ultimatly led to a power struggle between the organisations) then the Rehabilitation Project Force (an in-cult concentration camp aimed at punishing people who dared to think individually, in cult-lingo called "to put ethics" on someone which also stands for other kinds of punishments).
4, The cults persecution of outside critics (inside ones were either booted out or put in RPF). The cult is noted for it's extreme use of basicly frivolous lawsuits used to harass all critics, in one case it even succeded to put the Cult Awareness Network into bankruptcy and then bying the rights to its name and launching its own website under the name of the New Cult Awareness Network (which is noted for its extreme pro-cult policies and actions and is to be avoided). The cult has also managed to falsify charges against the author of a cult-critical book which almost sent her to jail. The author is/was Paulette Cooper and the book The Scandal of Scientology which was published in the 1970s.
5, The cults extreme fees needed to advance within the many levels of the cult and the tendency for these to increase both in size and in number.
6, The cults focus on recruting celebrities and these celebrities diverse success in recruting new members to the cult. The question remains open as to whether Tom Cruise is an asset or a liability to the cult.
7, The cults "war" on psychology. While the cult is activly fighting against all forms of psychotherapy (one wonders if this is a symptom of L Rons own fear that he was mentally ill) most psychologists seems blissfully unaware of this so-called war.
8, The cults manipulation and oppression of its own members, a sure sign of a destructive cult.
9, The cults extreme beliefs, derived from Hubbards equally outlandish books. Which includes:
That we all can remember everything from some time before conception (called: "The sperm dream").
That we can remember past lifes (including lifes lived on other planets)
That women try to abort most of their children several times during the pregnancy (each of which is remembered by the fetus)
That the fetus suffers and can remember when its mother was constipated
That the fetus remembers arguments verbatim and can later start to act accordingly(exemplified by a woman hearing her father raping her mother while she was in the womb and screaming "take that" leading to the woman later becoming a cleptomaniac)
That sex is degrading and was forced upon us by evil aliens (a statement Hubbard made late in life when one can suppose, his own equipment wasn´t in good working order)
10, The setting up and use of exterior supposedly independent organisations to attack critics of the cult and everyone the cult feels is their enemy. Organisations that go very far when trying to hide their connections to the cult. The cult has even tried infiltrating many organisations that have critisized the cult.
11, The fact that in lawsuits the cults arguments are often inflated and sometimes contradictory with themselves or with the fact that they are supposedly a church.
Many have called Scientology a schizoid cult and wondered whether this was a reflection of its founders mental health. A psychologist talking about the cult thought that L Ron Hubbard was more similar to a necrophile, similar to hitler.
For sources and even more nuttyness, check out these sites: operation clambake, factnet, the smoking gun(which has all of Hubbards letters to the FBI), wikipedia and youtube
and these online books:
The Scandal of Scientology, A Piece of Blue Sky, L Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, Scientology, The Now religion