The fertile mind of Phillip Bennett Wearne: The curious career of an an Early Scientology Apostate

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    Phillip Bennett Wearne exited the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI) in March 1963. Over the subsequent seven years before his death in March 1970, Wearne waged a one-man crusade against Scientology in Australia and abroad. His campaign led to an official government inquiry and anti-Scientology legislation in three Australian jurisdictions. This article examines the extensive documentation surrounding Wearne's exit from Scientology and subsequent campaign utilising insights from the socialogical study of contested-exits and apostasy from New Religions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference - Scientology in a scholarly perspective, 24-25th January
    EditorsChris Vonck
    Place of PublicationBelgium
    PublisherFaculty for Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventScientology in a scholarly perspective - Faculty of Comparative Studies of Religions (FVG) – Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium
    Duration: 24 Jan 201425 Jan 2014 (Conference call for papers)

    Publication series

    NameActa Comparanda
    PublisherFaculty for Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism
    ISSN (Print)0779-9853


    ConferenceScientology in a scholarly perspective
    OtherCompared with other New Religious Movements, Scientology was largely ignored by religious studies scholars for decades. Following the groundbreaking work of Roy Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom (1976), and Harriet Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation (1987), one had to wait more than two decades for the next academic volumes on the Church to appear, Scientology (2009), edited by James R. Lewis, and The Church of Scientology (2011), by Hugh B. Urban. There are now positive signs that more and more researchers are involved in researching issues raised by various aspects of Scientology.

    The Observatory thus feels it is time to hold a major international conference to bring this new scholarship to light. We seek to bring together researchers working on Scientology in the fields of theology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, literature, film et cetera, whether established academicians, doctoral students or masters students. This will be the first academic conference devoted exclusively to Scientology.
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