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Although most references to Scientology are to the Church of Scientology, other groups also practice Scientology.

Most independent Scientologists are former members of the Church of Scientology, but there are new members as well.

In 1950, a founding member of Scientology, Joseph Augustus Winter, who wrote the introduction to the original edition of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, broke with Hubbard and set up a private Dianetics practice in New York. In 1951, he wrote A Doctor's Report on Dianetics, which analyzed Scientology's Dianetics program. While he found value in Dianetics, Winter believed that its techniques had the potential for danger when performed by people without medical training. He also disapproved of the lack of verifiable scientific evidence for some of Hubbard's claims.

In private practice, Hubbard retained portions of the Dianetics program, but substantially changed or rejected others. He agreed with Hubbard's concept of prenatal engrams, where traumatic memories can be formed and stored during the prenatal stage, but felt that auditing should be used only by psychiatrists during psychoanalysis. He had disdain for Hubbard's disregard for the scientific method, and Scientology's practice of training people to become an auditor without medical training. He also disagreed with Hubbard's claims of patients recalling deaths from previous reincarnations. His program was better received by the mental health community that was Hubbard's.

In 1965, a longtime member of the Church of Scientology, Jack Horner, left the Church over a dispute over its "ethics" program and developed Dianology. While part of the Church of Scientology, Horner was one of the original founders of the California Association of Dianetic Auditors. Other than Hubbard, Horner was the only person allowed to run Advanced Clinical Courses, the highest course in Scientology during the 1950s. He wrote Summary of Scientology, which was published by the Church of Scientology.

After leaving the Church of Scientology, he incorporated a new group, the Association of International Dianologists, and began lecturing on Dianology, which he later renamed Eductivism.

In the early 1980s, Captain Bill Robertson broke away and formed Ron's Org, an independent group that applies the technology and philosophy of L. Ron Hubbard, as originally developed and taught.

Robertson had been a long-time member of Sea Org, a fraternal religious order made up of Scientology's most dedicated members, in which Captain is the highest rank. His new organization was initially made up of former members of the Church of Scientology, but now includes a large number of people who were never members of the Scientology Church.

In 1982, the Free Zone was formed by top Scientologists who were in disagreement with the Church of Scientology's establishment of the Religious Technology Center. The founders of this new organization believed that the Church of Scientology had departed from Hubbard's original vision after his death.

Originally, Free Zone referred to a single organization, but it is often used today to apply to all Scientology groups outside of the Church of Scientology, although not all of the breakaway groups would agree with that designation, as Free Zone was not the first independent Scientologist group.

Formed by David Mayo in 1983, the Advanced Ability Center was headed by former Scientologists who left or were removed from their positions with the Church of Scientology when David Miscavige restructured the Church, establishing the Religious Technology Center. Later, the Advanced Ability Center became the Theta International Movement, also known as the Church of the New Civilization.

The Church of Scientology regards breakaway groups or individuals who practice Scientology or Dianetics outside of the Church as squirrels, which is a disparaging term that was used by Hubbard, the idea being that they are looking for nuts to process.

Topics related to organizations, groups, or individuals practicing Scientology or Dianetics outside of the Church of Scientology are the focus of topics in this category. This may include groups not mentioned here.



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