Disconnection is the severance of all ties between a Scientologist and a friend, colleague, or family member deemed to be antagonistic towards Scientology. The practice of disconnection is a form of shunning. Among Scientologists, disconnection is viewed as an important method of removing obstacles to one's spiritual growth. In some circumstances, disconnection has ended marriages and separated children from their parents. The Church of Scientology has repeatedly denied that such a policy exists, though as of February 2012 its website acknowledged the practice and described it as a human right. In the United States, the Church has tried to argue in court that disconnection is a constitutionally protected religious practice. However, this argument was rejected because the pressure put on individual Scientologists to disconnect means it is not voluntary.
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