The Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D. C., is in a rather shabby row house. The living room has been converted into an office and bookstore, the double-size dining room into a lecture hall, and upstairs bedrooms into offices and classrooms. But despite this architectural nonconformity, to say nothing of its utter rejection of theological considerations, Scientology persists in calling itself a church. Moreover, it makes a special pitch to Christians by attempting to harmonize the teachings of founder L. Ron Hubbard with Scripture. Forty-four pages of the booklet Scientology and the Bible are set up in parallel columns with this objective. That often there is not the remotest correspondence between the Hubbard passages and the accompanying biblical quotations may be seen in the following examples:

Although all these examples are from the New Testament, numerous comparisons from the Old Testament are given as well, the vast majority of them from the Book of Proverbs.

Absent from Scientology practice are the basic constituents of the Christian religion: reverent faith, prayer, worship, reading of and preaching from the Christian Scriptures, observance of the sacraments as instituted and explained in the New Testament.

But if Scientology is not a bona fide religion, what is it? An organization of quack psychologists who are exploiting the emotionally and mentally distraught for financial gain? This appears to be the consensus of the critics. When Scientology was banned in the province of Victoria in Australia, a government report described it as “the world’s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.” The report ...

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