Upcoming book - Free Zone Scientology: Contesting the Boundaries of a New Religion

Discussion in 'Independent Scientology' started by COS and NOI News, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. Upcoming book - Free Zone Scientology: Contesting the Boundaries of a New Religion.


    By: Aled Thomas

    Published: 03-06-2021

    Format: Hardback
    RRP: £85.00
    Save £8.50 (10%)

    Format: EPUB/MOBI eBook (Watermarked)
    RRP: £76.50

    Format: PDF eBook (Watermarked)
    RRP: £76.50.


    Regarding the author, Aled Thomas.

    Religious Studies Project: Aled Thomas

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *


    Aled J. Ll. Thomas is a PhD candidate at the Open University, UK. His thesis focuses upon the auditing process of Scientology, the transition it has made from psychiatric therapy to religious praxis, and its nuanced nature in contemporary Scientologies. He holds an MA in the Study of Religions: Religious Experience at the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David, during which he researched non-Scientologist perceptions and media representations of L. Ron Hubbard’s auditing technology, in addition to presentations of Western and Eastern religious experiences in popular culture. Aled has delivered papers on his research at several conferences in the UK and Belgium, including ‘”The End of the World is at Hand!” Religious Experience and Mental Illness in The Adventures of Tintin’ and ‘Scientology Beyond the Church: The Practice of Auditing in the Free Zone’.

    Current projects include a forthcoming chapter, ‘Scientology Inside Out: Religious Belonging in the Free Zone’ (with Stephen E. Gregg), for ‘The Insider/Outsider Debate: New Perspectives in the Study of Religion’ (edited by George D. Chryssides and Stephen E. Gregg).

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * *
  2. Incredulicide Member

  3. John P. Member

    It is interesting that at this late date even a junior religious studies scholar looking for an entry into the "big time" of his field would decide to study the Free Zone. How many people went to the most recent Free Zone Global Convention? Maybe 30? Maybe? I know that there may be a couple Free Zone defenders out there who will argue that things are going great (I've had a couple 4-5 years ago try to convince me), but I just can't find any evidence that they're getting "straight up and vertical" expansion recently. The whole freak show with small-time crook Justin Craig trying to convince people he's "Ron 2.0" certainly hasn't helped.

    Can you really make an impact on the world of religious studies if you're studying a "new religion" that's fast disappearing and that was maybe 2% at best (400-500) of the membership of the original cult it split off of (which is probably no more than about 20,000 today)? You might as well study the Muggletonians, a cult that existed in England for a surprisingly long time (1650 to the 1970s) but never had a membership of more than a couple hundred. If they were even known to their neighbors, it was as mildly eccentric pains in the ass. Net impact on the world of 300+ years of Muggletonianism: zero.

    It's probably also the case that the "arrival rate" of new Free Zoners is dropping, as the people that are leaving main Scientology these days are so disillusioned and broken that they want no part of any of it. And the "churn rate" of that declining number of people who show up is probably pretty high, since I suspect a lot of people see it as a way station out of Scientology, trying to keep the good, but they eventually figure out the truth: even the best parts aren't really worth much.

    Odd that the publisher's web site doesn't have a blurb about the book. I'm wondering if this because this guy is just publishing his thesis, which is sometimes done for really good scholarship, but that is not likely for this. I'm not sure who is going to drop £76.50 on this waste of paper.
  4. Incredulicide Member

    I wonder if that was the inspiration for the term Muggle referring to a non-magic person in the Harry Potter universe?
  5. Aardwolf Member

    I think the word Muggle is actually an Old English term for an idiot or a fool.

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