No, it’s not some kooky mind-control cult. Any one of the tens of thousands of practicing Scientologists in the United States will give you his or her own viewpoint about it. If they were all mind controlled, wouldn’t they give you the same story? It’s always different, from one person to another, how they got into it and why they stayed and what they are getting out of it. They may all want to obliterate psychiatry (what sane person doesn’t!) but other than that they are all pretty different. They may send their children to schools that use the study technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard – but there’s a perfectly good reason for that. These are usually very good schools where kids actually learn the basics and how to become responsible adults. I wish this technology had been available to me as a child, instead of the crude “speed reading” they tried to teach me — which only made me read slower and retain less of what I would read.
So what do Scientologists believe? Most of us believe that each person is an immortal spiritual being, and that people are basically good. Here’s a pretty good article from the official Scientology website about it: What Scientologists Believe.
(Note: This post originally had a link to a blog, but that blog has gone down. 2010-01-24)