Roy Wallis

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Roy Wallis, (1945-1990[1]) was a sociologist and Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the Queen's University Belfast. He is mostly known for his creation of the seven signs that differentiate a religious congregation from a sectarian church, which he created while researching the Church of Scientology. He introduced the distinction between world-affirming and world-rejecting new religious movements.[2]

After publishing his book The Road to Total Freedom, an in-depth analysis of the sociology of Scientology, he was harassed by the church both legally and personally.[3][4] Forged letters, apparently from Wallis, were sent to his colleagues implicating him in various scandalous activities.[5]


  • Roy Wallis (1976) The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology London: Heinemann. ISBN 0-435-82916-5. US edition published 1977 by Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-04200-0
  • Roy Wallis (1984) The Elementary Forms of the New Religious Life London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7100-9890-1


  1. Content Pages of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Social Science
  2. Bromley, David NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Society edited by William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor [1]
  3. Roy Wallis's The Road to Total Freedom, page 218-219
  4. Roy Wallis (1977) "The Moral Career of the Research Project" in Colin Bell and Howard Newby (Eds) Doing Sociological Research London: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 0-02-902350-5
  5. Stewart Lamont (1986) Religion Inc.: The Church of Scientology London: Harrap. ISBN 0-245-54334-1. page 87

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