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Free Zone

The Free Zone is the name used to describe the various individuals and groups who have broken away from Scientology, but who continue to practice its beliefs and techniques in an environment free from the control of the "official" Church of Scientology.

In spite of the controversy surrounding the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, members of the Free Zone believe that the auditing process and other techniques used in dianetics and scientology offer genuine benefits.

The Church of Scientology has taken steps to suppress the Free Zone and shut it down when possible. It has used copyright law to attack the various factions of the Free Zone. Because of this, the organizations that comprise the Free Zone have avoided the use of officially trademarked Scientology words, including the word "Scientology" itself.

One basis for the notion that anyone has the right to freely practise according to the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, whether sanctioned by the Church of Scientology or not, is Hubbard's statement:

"Dianetics is not in any way covered by legislation anywhere, for no law can prevent one man sitting down and telling another man his troubles, and if anyone wants a monopoly on dianetics, be assured that he wants it for reasons which have to do not with dianetics but with profit." - L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950)

The Church of Scientology views "rogue" Scientologsts with even more disdain than it does those who dismiss Hubbard's teachings outright. It refers to them as "squirrels" -- a Scientology term which may be compared to "heretic", referring to persons who alter Scientology "tech" or practice it in a nonstandard fashion.

Controversy over the origins of the word "Scientology" has given the Free Zone a way to contest Scientology's trademarks. The Free Zone has publicized a German book published in 1934 entitled Scientologie by Dr. A. Nordenholz (as opposed to Hubbard's Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, published in 1953), which they use as the basis of their challenge to Scientology's trademark claims. Because the book Scientologie was not written by Hubbard, they argue, then the Church of Scientology is exerting unfair control over its practice, and it is attempting to enforce a monopoly. So far, legal efforts to challenge Scientology have failed due to the fearsome tactics used by Scientology's lawyers (see Scientology and the Legal System for more details).

The Usenet newsgroup is used by members of the Free Zone to discuss their practices.

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