CNN reports that the interior ministers of Germany's 16 states are working to ban Scientology from the country because they consider it to be incompatible with the constitution and it "threatens the democratic peaceful order." Scientology's response focuses on court decisions by Spain and the European Court of Human Rights in favor of Scientology's assertion that it is a religion.
Anyone who has studied religion knows that Scientology has had a controversial history, and this recent story does nothing to change that fact. It does interest me, however, because I recently received an email from Scientology, announcing that they were about to send a set of L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology's founder) basic writings and lectures to me, to other academics and to research libraries. The shipment arrived just a few days ago-- four boxes containing 18 books and somewhere between 100 - 200 audio lectures by Hubbard, with titles such as The Thetan as an Energy Unit. I don't know when I'll have time to explore these materials, but at some point I'll read/listen to some of them. What I am curious about, however, is just how widespread this effort is. If you received a similar shipment, send me an email or leave a comment.
I am not interested in discussing the merits of Scientology; I frankly have better things to do than moderate a discussion on its merits and problems. But if you received a similar correspondence from Scientology, I'd like to compare notes with you.