Scientology is usually described as a self-help or personal development movement, but David Barrett wonders if it could also be viewed as an esoteric, Hermetic or even Gnostic movement.
In a talk ranging from psychology to science fiction to superman (with just a hint of magic) he also asks: what do L Ron Hubbard, Madame Blavatsky and GI Gurdjieff have in common?
How about L Ron Hubbard, George King of the Aetherius Society and Gerald Gardner, founder of Wicca? And just how many members does the Church of Scientology really have?
Dr David V Barrett is the author of many books on unusual beliefs including The New Believers, A Brief History of Secret Societies and his latest, A Brief Guide to Secret Religions.