Apostate Memoirs and the Study of Scientology in the Twenty-First Century
Keywords:Scientology, ex-member, memoirs, L. Ron Hubbard
The Church of Scientology (CoS) under L. Ron Hubbard (1911- 1986) pursued an aggressive strategy of shutting down critics and protecting its reputation. This policy, known as ‘Fair Game’, resulted in limited scholarly engagement with Scientology, in part due to difficulties in accessing reliable sources. From 2008 onward highprofile defectors published memoirs of their lives in CoS, multiplying source materials available to scholars. This article argues that these texts, which have been sidelined because of the hostility that the authors express towards CoS, are valid when carefully integrated into the fabric of available material on Scientology, which includes scholarly assessments, journalistic accounts, and a range of primary sources, of varying provenances.
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