Religious scholar doubts Miscavige

Posted February 7th, 2011

James R. Lewis, the author of several papers on new religious movements including Scientology, has become highly doubtful of David Miscavige’s claim that the Scientology organization is the most rapidly-expanding religious movement on earth.  In a letter posted to the blog of former RTC Scientologist Geir Isene, Lewis outlines the data he analyzed.

The relatively recent defection of large numbers of long-time, high-level Scientologists – some of the organization’s most experienced administrators and others with expertise in delivering the highest levels of Scientology technology – bodes poorly for the future of the Church….

In 2011, there will be new national censuses in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, all of which will produce figures for total numbers of self-identified Scientologists. So by 2012, it will be relatively simple to contrast these numbers with prior census data. The figures derived from these comparisons will indicate whether membership in the Church of Scientology is growing or declining. Assuming the latter, these statistics should decisively refute David Miscavige’s claim that, under his leadership, CoS has become “the fastest growing religion in the world.”

[Read the full letter here]

James R. Lewis, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tromsø, has received criticism in the past for his staunch defence of new religious movements such as Scientology and Aum Shinrikyo.

Who Is David Miscavige?
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