Scientology teaches that Xenu (pronounced pronounced /ˈziːnuː/ (ZEE-noo)) was the dictator of a galactic confederacy of 76 planets, who was captured and imprisoned on Earth 75 million years ago after bringing billions of his people to Earth, placing them around volcanoes and killing them by using hydrogen bombs. Scientologists believe he is still being kept there these days. Xenu is very important to the beliefs of Scientology because the story of Xenu explains the believed origin of what are known as body thetans from humans. Body thetans are believed to be the essence of Xenu's people that gather around humans and cause them spiritual harm. It is the purpose of auditing within Scientology to remove these thetans from the Scientologist.
- Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (June 24, 1990). "Defining the Theology: The religion abounds in galactic tales". Los Angeles Times. p. 11A. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
- Hargrove, Mary (Tribune Managing Editor/Projects) (March 10, 1992). "Church battles critics - Mental treatment clashes with regulators, psychiatrists". Tulsa World. World Publishing Co. p. 1A.