For starters, you might want to read the official Web pages of the "Church" of Scientology.
For an opposing view, you can check what little I have or look at the wealth of critical info on Ron Newman's Scientology page, or both.
If you did what I suggested, you might've noticed the Scientologists don't link to any critical pages, whereas the critics seem to always link to theirs. Apparently the Scientologists can't deal with any challenges to their beliefs and practices. In fact, they tried to remove the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology claiming that the name of the group infringes on their trademark "Scientology".
In 1998, the Scientologists lost two legal rounds in Finland: the Ministry of Education refused to register the Finnish Church of Scientology as a religious body, and two Scientologists in visible positions were found guilty of libelling a psychologist. Here is a short account of both cases. Undoubtedly, they will be appealed.
On May 19, 1996, an incredible deluge of pro-Scientology postings started in the newsgroup. Jon Noring wrote this account of the spam attack. It also contains a petition, which you can sign by e-mail if you agree with it.
They have also sued their former member Dennis Erlich, among others, for alleged copyright and trade secret (!) violations; this was because he exposed some creeds you're supposed to accept at late stages of the brainwashing process. Ex-scientologists and outsiders, like myself, tend to regard those claims as simply ridiculous. For instance, one is taught that we're all possessed by thousands of ghosts of space aliens mass murdered 75 million years ago.
Dennis' attorneys work for him pro bono. That is, their work is free, but he must cover the hard expenses, such as copying, phone bills, etc. Those costs are substantial, too. You can help by contributing to Dennis Erlich Defense Fund. Checks drawn in foreign currency on foreign banks are accepted as well. Send checks to
MORRISON & FOERSTER 345 California Street San Francisco, California 94104-2675 Telephone: (415) 677-7000 Facsimile: (415) 677-7522 Contact People: Carla Oakley and Katie WalshChecks should be made out to Morrison & Foerster and labelled "DENNIS ERLICH DEFENSE FUND". To verify this info, email firstname.lastname@example.org (Shari Steele).
Scientology made it to the CNN Headline News by raiding other ex-members homes, too, under the pretext of copyright and trade secret violations. You can send donations to the FACTNet Defense Fund to help these people. Make the check payable to F.A.C.T. Net, Inc. and label it "Defense Fund". Send it to
F.A.C.T. Net, Inc. 601 Sixteenth Street #C-217 Golden, CO 80401 USA
The "trade secrets" that Dennis Erlich and others are accused of revealing aren't exactly secret any more, as they've been entered into public court records. The documents have been posted on the Usenet as well, but they tend to get cancelled by someone who doesn't like the truth to get out.
There may be some truth to the Scientologists' allegations concerning the copyrights of these materials, but there's something called "fair use" of copyrighted documents. Here's an example by Dave Touretzky. I also made a Finnish summary of the OT levels I-III, according to the Fishman document. And Michael Robinson from Beijing, China, summarized the Fishman OT levels in English. Recently, I made a summary of a document called NOTs 1. The original version contained fair use quotes and paraphrases, the current one had all the direct quotations removed.
You can read public letters I've written about Scientology concerning, for instance, a glaring contradiction in their allegations against Erlich.
You might want to know about some underhanded tactics that representatives of the Co$ use in debate. Some of them are quite frequently used by people having nothing to do with the Co$, too, according to my observations.
Can you imagine a real religious organization would have you sign a legal contract concerning their services? Maybe they expect some complaining customers?
In the 1970's the Scientologists got a new enemy, Paulette Cooper, who wrote a critical book about them and continued to fight their evil organization in a courageous way, despite the extreme harassment she had to endure. Here are some things she has to say today.
Here's a medium-sized package (about 70Kb) of solid information by Jon Atack, an ex-member of the "church".