Scientology takes hold in India

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Post Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:49 am

Scientology takes hold in India

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/india/100606/church-of-scientology-india-religion

In India, where the most popular psychology books include such titles as “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and “Who Moved My Cheese,” there's a new self-help guru in town: Scientology.

Founded in 1954 by United States science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, the Church of Scientology is the religion of Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Isaac Hayes, claiming a worldwide membership of 12 million.

Ironically, however, in a country overcrowded with religions and beliefs, Scientology has taken a different approach: it's being taught as a business tool. With 19 "technologies," each focusing on a different area of life, Scientology courses give advice on business, disaster management, communication, the art of selling, even marriage and family. Scientologists, while not offering a direct explanation of what exactly these technologies entail, claim to have the best how-to manuals you'll ever need.

Branches are called "Churches of Scientology" in the West, but in India the words church and mission are curiously missing. "I don't think Scientology has anything to do with religion," said 25-year-old Meenu Raina who remains true to her Hindu faith. A graduate in environmental sciences, Raina has taken seven of the 19 courses, as she looks for a job in Pune. "Scientology has made me a better person, and while most of us know the rules to a good living, the courses have helped me want to implement those rules in my life."............
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
--Gandhi
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Post Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:25 am

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/06/scientology-or-a-secular-version-of-it-sweeps-through-india.html

Scientology, the kooky (and expensive!) religion made famous by such celebrity adherents as Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and John Travolta, has caught hold in India, where it has acquired more than 5,000 members, according to Global Post. According to Scientology’s creepy official website, the religion’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard traveled, to India when he was 19 and concluded that Eastern belief systems did little to ease the suffering of Asia’s people, inspiring him to dedicate the rest of his life to creating a lucrative religion out of whole cloth exploring the questions of existence.

But unlike full-fledged “Operating Thetans,” who can spend about $100,000 a year on “auditing,” or private counseling sessions, only to find out at level three of seven that their bodies contain the remnants of alien souls that must be exorcised by further, even more costly auditing, Indian practitioners view Scientology through a more secular lens. They approach the sect’s tenets as useful self-help and business tools. “I don’t think Scientology has anything to do with religion,” 25-year-old Indian Scientologist Meenu Raina told the Web site. The Scientology agenda in India consists of 19 “technologies,” or courses, that offer advice on business, disaster management, communication, and the art of selling. Pamphlets pertaining to the various technologies have been translated into several Indian languages and are allegedly “selling like hotcakes.” Xenu would be proud.
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
--Gandhi

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