The following may be of interest for readers interested in what spinoffs of Scientology look like.
Those groups which broke off from the CoS and formed their own factions are generally referred to as the Free Zone. One problem with this is that “Free Zone” covers a lot of ground; some groups retain essentially the same set of doctrines as the Church of Scientology but practice them outside of its control. Others reject the more esoteric beliefs and use Dianetics and Scientology as a self-help method. Still others – such as the original Free Zone founded by Bill Robertson – took Hubbard’s work and added in large chunks of their own. In Robertson’s case this led to an unusual blend of conspiracy and Scientology – apparently Xenu, having escaped galactic jail, built up a following in the Marcab Confederacy and used it to found the Illuminati on earth.
On the other hand, there are a number of groups founded by former Scientologists which continue to make use of some Scientology practices and theories, most often combined with other traditions as part of the New Age, Self-Help and Large Group Awareness Training scenes. Perhaps the most prominent example of this type is Landmark Education, followed by Avatar – another spinoff regarded by many as a cult in its own right, founded by Harry Palmer.
Discussion of these groups online can be found on Usenet, in groups under the alt.clearing.* banner. The alt.clearing Charter states:
Contain subnewsgroups devoted to various different factions and disciplines of Clearing as originally defined by L. Ron Hubbard, and its later offshoots, evolvements and differentiations, including similar parallel developments not directly descended from the work of Hubbard.
Some groups include:
– alt.clearing.technology, a general “Clearing” group focused on the FreeZone.
– Avatar (critical site includes info on its links with Scientology)
– Idenics, an offshoot focused primarily on Dianetics as therapy.
– Dynamism, founded by former Scientologist Enid Vien
Note: Many of the newsgroups themselves are little more than spam receptacles. Those which are in use may be of interest; an inactive newsgroup should not, however, be taken to indicate the organisation itself is no longer in existence.
More in-depth articles are in the works – particularly on Avatar – for the next couple of weeks all being well.