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Scientology, A Coercive Psychological System

Article Index
Scientology, A Coercive Psychological System
Common Properties
Third Set of Criteria

Criteria for determining if a group is a dangerous and destructive cult

I have been associated with the subject matter of Scientology and its many organizations for twenty nine years. In this time, I have had extensive administrative and technical training and worked at various organizations in addition to doing some of its more advanced "Upper" levels. In this essay I have made liberal, and sometimes verbatim, use of the materials that FACTNET has developed in its research of coercive psychological systems.

This essay is limited to an analysis of Scientology as an coercive psychological system, its policies and procedures, and does NOT include independent groups or individuals using scientological materials, in whatever form, outside of the ORGANIZATION.

Anybody can unfairly accuse or attack an organization or group they disagree with or dislike by calling it a "cult" or saying that they are using coercive mind control or coercive psychological systems as you call it. FACTNET uses specific criteria to determine if a coercive psychological system has been used. It does not imply organizations or individuals are using coercive pyschological systems or are destructive or dangerous cults without careful research and determination that the evidence fits definite criteria.

The FIRST set of criteria comes from the description of "A technical overview of Psychological Coercion" derived from a report by Singer and Ofshe, Apr 1990. A summary of this report was presented to the U.S. Supreme Court as an educational Appendix on coercive psychological systems in the case of Wollersheim vs Church of Scientology 89-1367 and 89-1361. The Wollersheim case was being considered related to issues involving abuse in this area.

The SECOND set of criteria have to do with defining common elements of destructive and dangerous cults.