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(604 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner
1. Concept The term “parapsychology,” which M. Dessoir (1867–1947) suggested in 1889, takes as the object of psychology or its related disciplines certain phenomena that deviate from the normal life of the soul. Alternative terms such as “scientific occultism” or “metapsychology” have been proposed, but “parapsychology” ultimately came into common use (supported by H. Driesch). The subjects of parapsychology include occult phenomena and other supersensory experiences. Comparative studies of tradit…

Church of Scientology

(1,148 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner
1. Origins The term “scientology,” meaning “the science of science,” was used as early as 1934 for the title of a book by the philosopher A. Nordenholz. It is uncertain whether the American writer L. Ronald Hubbard (1911–86), the founder of Scientology, knew this work. In Scientology, which Hubbard viewed as a kind of superscience, he aimed to liberate the human spirit by his “religious philosophy” or “technology.” He did not at first organize a church. The starting point was the great success of his book Dianetics (1950), following which he founded a “church” in the mid-1950s: the St. Hill…