Scientology has the characteristics of a religion. It has a theology, a set of exercises making it possible to reach the spiritual part in every human being, a “very bureaucratized” church structure, and religious rites. Several authors before us, even the most critical, have not doubted of its religious nature: Michel de Certeau, Roy Wallis, Bryan Wilson, Harriet Whitehead, Lonnie D. Kliever, Frank K. Flinn.
We find the following characteristics:
(1) It has techniques which are meant to make a path towards freedom as “a healthy spirit in a healthy body.” L. Ron Hubbard and Scientologists carry very far the rationalization of religious life and its instrumentalization. Most often it has been rightly compared to Buddhism. Some have described it as a “technological Buddhism.” Others have seen a resemblance with Methodism due to the systematic character of auditing (pastoral counseling).