Religion: Scientology: Parry and Thrust

The Church of Scientology, founded 23 years ago by a science-fiction writer, does not believe in turning the other cheek. In a key church exercise called ''auditing," members are taught, for a handsome fee, to confront long-forgotten traumas—sometimes even from previous incarnations—and then to scourge these so-called "engrams" that have been troubling their subconscious.

The church is equally assertive toward outside critics. Scientologists have filed scores of lawsuits against skeptical journalists, dissident former members and Government agencies, which have long suspected the church of being a profit-making counseling outfit and no true religion at all.* These well-publicized tactics have helped Scientology grow...

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