Scientology does not consider itself a cult. The organization takes the position that it is a legitimate religion that is also backed up by scientific fact. Many critics have labeled the organization as a cult, however, citing certain practices that are similar to those of cults.
Scientology has a "disconnection" policy that encourages members to sever ties with family members and friends who are critical of the organization. This is similar to typical behavior of cults. The way in which founder L. Ron Hubbard is regarded by the religion also bears similarities to the worship of cult leaders. As of 2014, some countries formally regard the organization as a cult, including Chile and Israel.