The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and is perhaps best known for its celebrity members including Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kate Cebrano.

What Scientologists believe

Scientology does not emphasize particular beliefs about God or other traditional religious topics, yet it calls itself a "Church" and presents many of its teachings in spiritual and religious terms.

Scientology does not include an official belief about the afterlife. However, it reports that during auditing, a person often recalls memories of past lives and that Scientology ascribes to the idea of being born again into another body. In Scientology doctrine, Xenu is a galactic ruler who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of people to Earth, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. Their souls then clustered together and stuck to the bodies of the living. These events are known as "Incident II" or "The Wall of Fire," and the traumatic memories associated with them are known as the "R6 implant." The Xenu story prompted the use of the volcano as a Scientology symbol.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard detailed the story in Operating Thetan Level III in 1967, famously warning that R6 was "calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it."

Much controversy between the Church of Scientology and its critics has focused on Xenu. The Church avoids making mention of Xenu in public statements and has gone to considerable effort to maintain the story's confidentiality, including legal action on both copyright and trade secrecy grounds.

Critics claim that revealing the story is in the public interest, given the high prices charged for attaining the level of OT III.

Scientology teaches that there is no sin and no need to repent. They believe that salvation is freedom from reincarnation. They also believe that Hell is a myth. This teaching appeals to many because it removes the fear of being punished for the things we have done wrong.

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