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Beacon News: Inside Scientology

The Beacon takes a look at the controversial religion with strong Florida presence

By Evelyn Ticona
Features Editor

From behind a podium next to a big wooden cross, the mission holder begins the service saying, “Welcome to the Church of Scientology.”

After greeting the attendees, Marilyn Cocco, mission holder and executive director of the Church of Scientology of West Palm Beach and benefactor of the Scientology Ideal Organization, reads the creed of the Church. She then reads the sermon of the day written by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology.

Scientologists display an eight-cornered cross, representing what they call the eight parts of the dynamic principle of existence: self, creativity, group survival, species, life forms, physical universe, spiritual dynamic and infinity.

“The cross predates Christianity by thousands of years,” Cocco said. “It has always represented some kind of spiritual symbol.”

Hubbard believed that humans should enhance their spirituality by acquiring mental, spiritual and bodily freedom through knowledge. Dianetics, scientologists believe, is the modern science of mental health that can help cure people from pain and heal themselves.

“Scientology is an exact science; you have to be trained to deliver it. If not, it’s not effective,” said Donna Noboa, basic courses supervisor and treasury secretary. “It’s a process of learning about yourself and life self-realization.”

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