Scientology, Human Rights and Apologist Academics

marburg2003 | Scientology and the European Human Rights Debate: A Reply to Leisa Goodman, J. Gordon Melton, and the European Rehabilitation Project Force Study |Stephen A Kent | Marburg Journal of Religion Volume 8, No. 1 (September 2003)

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The link above leads to an academic paper by Stephen A Kent, who is a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta in Canada.  He has extensively studied Scientology, and a number of other ‘high control’ groups.  The Church of Scientology has mounted a number of extra-legal operations against Kent, with the apparent object of damaging his reputation in order to undermine the credibility of these findings.

Kent accused Scientology of human rights abuses in an earlier paper, Brainwashing in Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force (which should be read first, as this paper defends the conclusions he came to there).

Kent addresses attacks from a small group of academics, and the “independent scholar” J Gordon Melton. Their view of the regime of forced labour,  sleep deprivation, and restricted diet imposed upon members of the ‘Rehabilitation Project Force’ (RPF) is that it is an example or religious devotion no different that that expected from a monastic order, and they have attacked Kent on this basis. Continue reading