Anyone who pays any attention to the various controversies surrounding David Miscavige’s Church of Scientology knows that there is a lot of information available about this “religion” angle. It is obvious that the Church of Scientology was set up and is run like a business, and that the whole “religion” thing was tacked on as an afterthought, so the question is, “Why?”
Why does Scientology call itself a religion? And why is it important?
Why does Scientology only call itself “a religion” in a few, selected countries, but insists on calling itself a “self-improvement business”, a “philosophy”, a “community group” or something else equally non-religious, in the rest of the world?
When Hubbard implemented this “religion” angle he wrote:
Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors.
L. Ron Hubbard
Policy Letter 29 Oct. 1962, “Religion”
Get it? “Accountants and solicitors”. It was then, and is today, solely a business matter. What are the benefits? What are the liabilities? In the United States, there is considerable legal protection and there are vast tax benefits for being a religion. The liabilities are relatively small. Sure, that “religion angle” has caused problems, like Albuquerque where Scientology wanted to move into a business location which was deemed “inappropriate for a church”. Oh, Scientology sure wanted a variance then. They wanted to be treated like a business.
Thanks Bill, I’m pretty sure I get it now.