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This is a timeline of Scientology, particularly its foundation and development by author L. Ron Hubbard.


  • L. Ron Hubbard authors a manuscript called "Excalibur" which contains ideas that were later incorporated into Scientology.[1]






  • L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics — The Modern Science of Mental Health is published.[3]


  • Early Dianetics supporter, Joseph Winter M.D., breaks with Hubbard, convinced "that it is dangerous for laymen to try to audit each other".[4]


  • February: After learning that the Hubbard Dianetic Foundation of Wichita, Kansas would be liable for the debts of the defunct Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation of Elizabeth, New Jersey, the board of directors, led by Don Purcell, voted to file for voluntary bankruptcy over Hubbard's objections. Hubbard forms a rival Hubbard College, also in Wichita, and disputes control of the copyrights of the Dianetics materials.[5]


  • May: Hubbard publicly announces the formal establishment of the philosophy of Scientology and the formation of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, demonstrates the E-meter, and moves to Phoenix, Arizona.[6]


  • July: Scientology: A History of Man published.[citation needed]


  • Church of Scientology, Church of American Science and Church of Spiritual Engineering incorporated in Elizabeth, New Jersey by L. Ron Hubbard. Co-signatories were Henrietta Hubbard, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., John Galusha, Verna Greenough and Barabra Bryan. Named as trustees of the Church of Scientology were L. Ron Hubbard, Mary Sue Hubbard (not present), and John Galusha.[citation needed]


  • The Internal Revenue Service grants a tax exemption to the Church of Scientology of California (CSC).[citation needed]



  • The church is recognized as a tax-exempt religious organization in the United States.[8]


  • Hubbard moved to England and bought Saint Hill Mansion in Sussex, from which he would direct international operations and expansion until 1967.[citation needed]




  • The Church of Scientology was banned in several Australian states, starting with Victoria.[10] The ban was based on the Anderson Report, which found that the auditing process involved "command" hypnosis, in which the hypnotist assumes "positive authoritative control" over the patient."[11]



  • The IRS strips the Church of Scientology in California, Scientology's headquarters, of its tax-exempt status, asserting that its activities are commercial and operated for the benefit of Mr. Hubbard, rather than charitable or religious reasons.[8]
  • OT III is made available to Scientologists. This level of Operating Thetan contains the story of Xenu, which becomes a source of enormous controversy for Scientology from the 1990s onward.[citation needed]
  • The Sea Organization (or Sea Org) officially established.[12]
  • 27 December: The first Advanced Organization, offering the advanced levels of Scientology to the public, was established aboard the Royal Scotman, the flagship of the Sea Organization. (This ship was later renamed the Apollo.)[citation needed]


  • The U.S. court of appeals recognizes Scientology as a bona fide religion, marking the high point of the case of Scientology vs. the FDA.[13]



  • 22 February: Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles founded.[citation needed]


  • The FDA is ordered to return the materials and E-meters seized during the 1963 raid.[13]


  • Scientology is recognized as a non-profit organization in South Africa, despite the 1972 report of a formal government Commission of Inquiry that recommended otherwise.[14]


  • Various locations of the Church of Scientology are raided by the FBI.[15]


  • As a result of FBI raids, eleven senior people in the church's Guardian's Office were convicted of obstructing justice, burglary of government offices, and theft of documents and government property. (See Operation Snow White)[15]
  • December: An estimated 3,000 gather at Clearwater City Hall to protest the church coming to Clearwater. Across the street, Scientologists stage a counter rally, dressed as clowns and wearing animal costumes.[citation needed]


Center in New York City



  • Clearwater's government holds hearings to explore allegations that the church is a cult.[citation needed]


  • The High Court of Australia overturns the Scientology ban, declaring that "The applicant has easily discharged the onus of showing that it is religious. The conclusion that it is a religious institution entitled to the tax exemption is irresistible."[17]


  • The Church of Scientology acquires yacht "La Boheme" after its yacht broker, Bud Fields, is murdered by Yvonne Mott. After purchase, the COS renames "La Boheme" to "Freewinds".[citation needed]


  • David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of the Author Services Inc., becomes head.[citation needed]



  • After the completion of a 4-year long program to reissue the books and courses of Dianetics and Scientology, a general amnesty is declared for members.[citation needed]



  • December: The Internal Revenue Service of the United States grants full religious recognition and tax exemption to all Scientology Churches, missions and social betterment groups in that country.[8][21]




  • The Church launches the Golden Age of Tech program to improve the training of its practitioners.
  • The Church of Scientology of Paris is closed due to non-payment of taxes (the French government actually refuses the money). A new church reopens immediately.[citation needed]
  • December: The public learns that Clearwater police are investigating the 1995 death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, who had been in the care of the church in Clearwater for 17 days.[citation needed]


  • February: A wrongful-death lawsuit is filed in the McPherson case.[citation needed]
  • The Church of Scientology, operating as the Greek Center of Applied Philosophy, is ordered closed in Greece. Decision upheld in 1998.[24]


  • Sonny Bono, a practicing Scientologist, pushes for the passage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extends the copyright protection of all copyrighted works (including Scientology teachings) an extra 20 years.[citation needed]
  • November: After reviewing the McPherson case for 11 months, State Attorney Bernie McCabe charges the Church of Scientology with two felonies: practicing medicine without a license and abuse of a disabled adult. Also, the church begins building its massive Flag Building, launching a $160-million construction campaign downtown.[citation needed]


  • The UK Charities Commission denies the Church of Scientology's application for charitable status, ruling that it is not a religion and that there is no established "public benefit arising out of the practice of Scientology".[25][26][27] The Church does not appeal the decision.[26]
  • November: The government of Sweden declares that the Church of Scientology is a charitable, non-profit organization with a religious purpose.[8] A year later, the Church's ministers are granted the right to perform marriages, completing official recognition as a church in Sweden.[8]



  • March: The Italian Supreme Court upholds Scientology's religious status in Italy while reaffirming that Narconon is a non-tax-exempt for-profit business.[28]
  • Scientology ministers are granted the right to perform marriages in South Africa.[29]
  • June: McCabe drops the criminal case against the church, noting that the medical examiner's change of opinion about the cause of McPherson's death undercuts the prosecution's effort to prove the criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt.[30]


  • The government of New Zealand issues an official decree fully recognizing the Church of Scientology of New Zealand as an exempt religious and charitable organization.[8][31]
  • The Austrian tax office concludes that the work of the Church of Scientology in Vienna is for the public benefit rather than anyone’s personal profit, and grants that church tax-exempt status as a charitable religious organization.[8][32]
  • July: A Paris judge rules that a 13-year-old case against the Church of Scientology alleging fraud and illegal practice of medicine cannot go to trial, due to lack of progress in the investigation.[33] The judge rules that the statute of limitations has expired.[33]


  • March: The National Ministry of the Interior for Taiwan recognizes the Church of Scientology of Taiwan as a charitable religious institution, officially adding it to the rolls of the country's recognized religions.[8]


  • May: The church and the estate of Lisa McPherson reach a private settlement.[34]
  • David Miscavige announces the Golden Age of Knowledge, a Church program intended to make all Scientology materials available. It starts with the release of 18 congresses.[citation needed]


  • The U.S. Department of State's 2005 Report on International Religious Freedom announces that the Church of Scientology has been registered as a religious group by the Kyrgyzstan State Commission on Religious Affairs.[35]


  • Scientology applies for status as a religious confessional community in Austria, but later withdraws its application.[36]


  • In the next major step of the Golden Age of Knowledge program, 18 revised books and 11 lecture series are released.[citation needed]
  • April: the European Court of Human Rights rules against Russia for repeatedly refusing to consider the Moscow Church of Scientology's application for the status of a legally valid religious association. The court finds that the reasons given to deny re-registration of the church by the justice department and endorsed by the Moscow courts have no legal basis.[37][38]
  • A Belgian state prosecutor recommends that a case should be brought against 12 physical persons associated with Scientology and two legal entities – the Belgian Church of Scientology and Scientology's Office of Human Rights – on counts of extortion, fraud, organized crime, obstruction of medical practice, illegal medical practice, invasion of privacy, conspiracy and commercial infractions like abusive contractual clauses.[39][40][41] The proposal is referred to an administrative court who is to decide at a later date whether charges will be brought.[39][41]
  • 31 October: Scientology is formally recognized as a religion in Spain[42][43]
  • November: Scientology is officially recognized as a religion in Portugal.[44]
  • 3 December: South Africa grants the Church tax exemption and issues a certificate recognizing it as a "Public Benefit Organisation".[45]
  • 7 December: German federal and state interior ministers formally express the view that the Scientology organization continues to pursue anti-constitutional goals and ask Germany's domestic intelligence agencies to collect and evaluate the necessary information that would be required for a possible judicial inquiry aimed at banning the organization.[46][47] The move is criticized by politicians from all parts of the political spectrum, with legal experts expressing concern that an attempt to ban the organization would most likely fail in the courts.[46][48] This view is echoed by the German intelligence agencies, who warn that a ban would be doomed to fail.[49]


  • Internet-based group Anonymous launches Project Chanology, a worldwide protest against the Church of Scientology, which drew about 7,000 people in more than 93 cities on February 10, 2008.[50]
  • November: Germany drops its attempt to ban Scientology, after finding insufficient evidence of illegal or unconstitutional activity.[51] However, monitoring of Scientology's activities by the German intelligence services continues.[51]
  • November 23: Mario Majorski, a 48 year old man formerly associated with Scientology, is gunned down by security guards as he wielded two Samurai swords at the Celebrity Center in Hollywood. Police declared that the security guard "had every reason to fear for his life and the lives of hundreds of others gathered on the property."[52]


  • Scientologists convicted of fraud in France on October 27, 2009.[53]


  1. ^ Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring new religions. London: Cassell. pp. 281. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. 
  2. ^ Eisenberg, Ellen (June 1969). The Dangerous New Cult of Scientology. Parents Magazine. 
  3. ^ "Of Two Minds". TIME Magazine. 1950-07-24.,9171,812852,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  4. ^ "Departure in Dianetics". TIME Magazine. 1951-09-03.,9171,821638,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  5. ^ Miller, Russell Bare-faced messiah: The true story of L. Ron Hubbard, publisher M. Joseph (1987) ISBN 0-7181-2764-1
  6. ^ "Remember Venus?". TIME Magazine. 1952-12-22.,9171,889564,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  7. ^ Banville, Jule (2007-09-11). "The L. Ron Hubbard House: Get There Before Travolta". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Davis, Derek H. (2004). "The Church of Scientology: In Pursuit of Legal Recognition" (PDF). Zeitdiagnosen: Religion and Conformity. Münster, Germany: Lit Verlag. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  9. ^ United States of America v. Founding Church of Scientology, 333 F 1-63 (D.C. 1971).
  10. ^ Melton 2000, p. 14
  11. ^ Report of the Board of Enquiry into Scientology by Kevin Victor Anderson, Q.C. Published 1965 by the State of Victoria, Australia, p. 155
  12. ^ Hankins, Barry; Davis, Derek Russell (2003). New Religious Movements and Religious Liberty in America. Waco, Tex: Baylor University Press. pp. 46. ISBN 0-918954-92-4. 
  13. ^ a b Book: Cults By James R. Lewis, page 83
  14. ^ Scientology: A Religion in South Africa by David Chidester, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  15. ^ a b Welkos, Robert W.; Sappell, Joel (1990-06-24). "Burglaries and Lies Paved a Path to Prison". Los Angeles Times.,0,7034344.story. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ High Court of Australia CHURCH OF THE NEW FAITH v. COMMISSIONER OF PAY-ROLL TAX (VICT.) 1983 154 CLR 120
  18. ^ Reynolds, W. Richard (1991-04-23). "Scientology church on trial in Canada". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  19. ^ "L. Ron Hubbard, Church of Scientology founder, dies". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 1986-01-28. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  20. ^ Claridge, Thomas (1992-09-12). "Church of Scientology fined $250,000 for espionage". Globe and Mail. 
  21. ^ 1994 IRS letter to German government minister
  22. ^ Post, David (1996-04-01). "New World War". Reason Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  23. ^ Full text of Supreme Court of Canada decision at LexUMand CanLII
  24. ^ Morgan, Lucy (1999-03-29). "Abroad: Critics public and private keep pressure on Scientology". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2006-09-15. 
  25. ^ a b Harry Wallop: Scientology tax victory could cost Revenue millions, Daily Telegraph, 11 Aug. 2006
  26. ^ a b U.S. Department of State – 2007 Report on International Religious Freedom: United Kingdom
  27. ^ "Decision of the Charity Commissoners for England and Wales" (PDF). Charity Commission. 1999-11-17. Retrieved 2006-07-06.  (PDF)
  28. ^ Italian Supreme Court decision
  29. ^ "Scientology Marriage Officers Approved in South Africa". CESNUR. 2000-04-11. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  30. ^ Tobin, Thomas C. (2000-06-13). "State drops charges against Scientology". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  31. ^ "Scientology gets tax-exempt status". New Zealand Herald. 2002-12-27. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "the IRD said the church was a charitable organisation dedicated to the advancement of religion" 
  32. ^ U.S. Department of State – 2003 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Austria
  33. ^ a b Staff (31 July 2002), "FRANCE Statute of limitations nixes case against Church of Scientology", The Salt Lake Tribune, .
  34. ^ Farley, Robert (29 May 2004). "Scientologists settle death suit". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 07 April 2009. 
  35. ^ U.S. Department of State – 2005 Report on International Religious Freedom: Kyrgyzstan
  36. ^ U.S. Department of State – 2006 Report on International Religious Freedom: Austria
  37. ^ ECHR, Church of Scientology Moscow v. Russia, application no. 18147/02, 5 April 2007
  38. ^ IOL, April 5, 2007
  39. ^ a b - Church of Scientology Faces Criminal Charges in Belgium - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News
  40. ^ Scientology Faces Criminal Charges
  41. ^ a b Planchar, Roland (2007-09-04). "La Scientologie plus près de son procès". La Libre Belgique. Retrieved 2007-09-04.  (French)
  42. ^ "Spanish court rules Scientology can be listed as a religion". November 1, 2007. 
  43. ^ "La Audiencia Nacional reconoce a la Cienciología como iglesia". November 1, 2007.  (Spanish)
  44. ^ 2007 U.S. Department of State – 2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Portugal
  45. ^ SA Church of Scientology gets tax exemption
  46. ^ a b Scientology – Zweifel an Verbotsplänen, article in Tagesspiegel, 2007-12-8 (German)
  47. ^ Sammlung der zur Veröffentlichung freigegebenen Beschlüsse der 185. Sitzung der Ständigen Konferenz der Innenminister und -senatoren der Länder am 7. Dezember 2007 in Berlin (German)
  48. ^ Innenminister fordern Verbot von Scientology, article in Die Welt, 2007-12-8 (German)
  49. ^ "Lack of Evidence: Agencies Warn Scientology Ban Doomed to Fail". Der Spiegel. 2007-12-10.,1518,522348,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  50. ^ Carlos Moncada (2008-02-12). "Organizers Tout Scientology Protest, Plan Another". Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  51. ^ a b Germany drops attempt to ban Scientology (AP)
  52. ^ "Man shot at Scientology site had made threats". LA Times. 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  53. ^ Dorothee Moisan (2009-10-27). "Scientologists convicted of fraud in France". AFP. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 

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