Journal Article

Managing to Recruit: Religious Conversion in the Workplace

Deana Hall

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 59, issue 4, pages 393-410
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3712124
Managing to Recruit: Religious Conversion in the Workplace

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New Religious Movements, like other social organizations, must generate economic strategies to ensure survival. The Church of Scientology has a long-established system of therapeutic counseling and self-improvement courses to offer potential recruits and existing members in exchange for monetary resources. A recent development in Scientology's resource mobilization efforts involves a series of associated companies offering L. Ron Hubbard's “management technology” to medical professionals in the form of practice management consulting. Consulting programs may lead to conversion into the religious organization and often involve the introduction of Scientology doctrine into the workplace. Utilizing content analysis of both primary and secondary documents, as well as personal interviews, this article explores the relationship between Scientobgy, its consulting companies, and medical professionals (n=59) who became involved in religious ideology through management consulting. Since resource mobilization theory does not offer adequate provisions to explain individual participation in specific social movements, the author utilizes Lofland and Stark's conversion model as a supplement.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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