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According to the official website of the Church of Scientology the word ‘Scientology’ literally means “the study of truth.” It claims that “Scientology is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life. The religion comprises a body of knowledge extending from certain fundamental truths.”

At the same time it says that “In Scientology no one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith. That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true.”

Critics have labeled Scientology as everything from a dangerous cult run by amateur psychologists to a scam exploiting money from its members, writes Herón Márquez.

“We don’t expect mainstream religions to lie, to exploit people, to engage in illegal activity,” said David Touretzky, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “Scientology is not a true religion, because it does all of these things.”

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