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Letters: Scientology

The Guardian, 4 September 1996, Page 14

By James Fraser

I HAVE been in Scientology for 20 months and admit that I had concerns at first due to my lack of awareness. I have a history of mental problems and depression and have visited a number of psychologists with little improvement. Over the last 20 months, just by finding out a bit more about myself using Scientology technology, I have never been happier. I have bought services for several thousands of pounds, but what price is there on happiness?

Without Scientology I would be either dead now or on significant mental medication. Renewed confidence and increased happiness through Scientology technology has been the experience of thousands of people in Britain and millions around the world.

Scientologists are from all walks of life. I myself am a civil servant, and seek only self-improvement through self-awareness. I don't think that is particularly sinister.

Rosebery Street,
Swindon, Wilts SN1.

By Paul Thompson

IN the early 1980s I investigated modern cults for a minor science-fiction magazine. The Church of Scientology (Church that Ron built, August 29) allowed me to research with reasonable freedom.

I found many of the theories of L Ron Hubbard to be convincing. I found his followers to be friendly, intelligent and honest. Their attempts to recruit me were persistent but not invasive.

However, I found myself asking why, if Dianetics was so good, were its theories not more widely and more cheaply, if not freely, available? Why the secrecy, hierarchy and rigmarole attached to the Church of Scientology? And why, most importantly, the personality cult around its founder? I was forced to the conclusion, mainly based on the fantastic and improbable autobiographical detail made available by L Ron Hubbard, that the founder of Scientology himself was a mountebank, however sincere his followers, and that the organisation was largely a way of personal aggrandisement.

5 Isabella Place,
Scone PH2 TE.

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