Scientology Church revamps web site after protests

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Sydney, March 20 : The Church of Scientology has revamped its official web site, and posted several videos explaining its beliefs and practices as well as its contribution to human rights and drug awareness campaigns, following worldwide protests by internet users.

The video clips have been posted on the revamped web site with a view to making netizens understand Scientology beliefs and jargon such as "thetan" and "the eight dynamics".

The overhaul occurs after Anonymous, a collection of internet users who post to message boards but do not reveal their identities, declared "war" against the cult religion in January, after the Church sought to have film clips of Tom Cruise speaking at a function removed from the internet.

"It has been attacked, venerated, questioned and praised... Everyone seems to have an opinion on it... It is talked about in the media, TV and the worldwide web," news.com.au quoted an introduction clip on the new website as saying.

"Whatever you may or may not have heard concerning Scientology, we present the following as a brief overview of our beliefs, who we are, what we do and the many humanitarian programs sponsored by our Church," the video clip added.

The new web site also carries Scientology's take on "mental illness camps" and psychiatry.

According to it, the church claims that teenagers' dependence on prescription drug Ritalin is causing widespread problems across the world.

One video, titled 'The truth about drugs', says: "Global drug use has led to what can inarguably be described as a world awash in blood and human misery."

Cyrus Brooks, a spokesman for the Church of Scientology in Australia, said that the church's Drug Free Ambassadors program had distributed 70,000 anti-drug booklets in Sydney and that L Ron Hubbard's moral guide The Way To Happiness had helped promote community tolerance after the Cronulla riots.

"The Church of Scientology sponsors many social campaigns with the help of Scientologists which will likely be familiar to the public. Many are secular and fully charitable in themselves," he said.

He revealed that the church's community programs were funded in part by donations, but did not say whether the members of the church had to pay a fee to learn about tools promoted on the site.

ANI

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