What is Scientology

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Scientology

Symbol

The main symbol of the Scientology® religion is composed of:

  • The letter “S” which represents Scientology.
  • An upper triangle whose sides represent three closely interrelated factors: knowledge, responsibility and control.
  • A lower triangle which represents affinity, reality and communication.

Another Scientology symbol is the eight-pointed cross. The eight points represent the Eight Dynamics of Existence, described below. The cross also represents the transition from materialism to spirituality and the crossing of that barrier.


Overview

The Scientology religion deals with the human spirit and its relationship to the universe and its Creator. It teaches that its fundamental laws of life, when applied, help people achieve a happier and more fulfilling existence as surely as an apple falls to the ground when dropped.

Scientology teaches numerous workable methods:

  • To deal with life situations
  • To help people create strong interpersonal relationships, raise bright and able children and have happy and lasting marriages.

It also contains techniques to tackle the most serious societal problems of our age – illiteracy, drugs, crime and immorality. Scientology is something one does, it is not just a system of beliefs that one is asked to hold.

The keynote of the Scientology religion is that it deals with the human spirit and its salvation and rehabilitation. It teaches that an individual is a spirit: not a body, not a brain, not a fortuitous random conglomeration of genes and chemicals. It is this single recognition of the nature of an individual that forms the foundation of the Scientology religion. Throughout the ages, man has traditionally viewed himself as a spiritual being. It has only been within the last century that the materialistic idea that man is merely another animal similar to a monkey or rat has taken hold. Scientology teaches that this idea is patently false, unworkable, and acts as a barrier to a personal understanding of life. An individual little suspects how much untapped potential he or she has to create his or her own life.

Scientology directly addresses an individual’s spiritual nature with answers to the age old questions of Who am I? What do I consist of? Where do I come from? Where am I going? This spiritual enlightenment leads to personal understanding of oneself and others.


Current status

There are now 4,200 Scientology groups, missions and churches in 156 countries around the world servicing some 10 million individuals. There are also over 1,000 social betterment groups that the Church supports, which utilize their founder L. Ron Hubbard’s technologies in the fields of education, moral rejuvenation, drug and criminal rehabilitation.

The Church has expanded more in the last five years than in the preceding fifty. During 2005, new Scientology groups, missions and churches have opened at the rate of three per day. Scientology is the fastest growing religion in the world.


History

The Scientology religion was developed by American author and humanitarian “Lafayette Ron Hubbard. It came from his lifelong passion to assist man to a higher plane of civilization and existence. Mr. Hubbard was not only a writer, one of the leading lights of the Golden Age of Science Fiction in the mid-1900s, but a full Renaissance man who was a recognized explorer with membership in the prestigious Explorer’s Club, a captain of corvettes during World War II, and fully versed in 21 different professions.

Born in Tilden, NE on 1911-MAR-13, L. Ron Hubbard traveled extensively during his youth. He covered some quarter of a million miles by the time he was twenty years of age, including several trips to the Orient; directed two expeditions to the Caribbean, one of which was the first mineralogical survey of Puerto Rico.

It was during his travels in Asia where he viewed so much misery and want that he asked himself “why all this?” and “to what depths can man fall,” and “what is he anyway?” He found that there was not much known about the true nature of man and became fascinated with this line of research which he made his life’s work.

In 1938, in the unpublished manuscript “Excalibur,” he delineated his first major discovery. He found that the common denominator of existence is “survival” and outlined the theory that “life is composed of two things: the material universe and an X-factor…that can evidently organize and mobilize the material universe.

His first major work on the subject was published on 1950-MAY-09 and called “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.” Dianetics is a methodology which is designed to help alleviate such ailments as unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses (illnesses caused or aggravated by mental stress). Dianetics is defined as what the soul is doing to the body. It is a mental therapy and led to the broader study of Scientology.

The initial press run of Dianetics was only 6,000 copies. Mr. Hubbard had planned to head an expedition to Greece after it was published. However, Dianetics sales exploded and the book reached the New York Times best seller list and stayed there month after month. Today Dianetics has sold over 21 million copies and is the best selling self-help book of all time.

It became obvious to Mr. Hubbard after observing many, many people using Dianetics and seeing the results that there was something more to man than just his mind and body. In the fall of 1951, he concluded that an individual was neither his body nor his mind, but an immortal spiritual being. With this discovery, L. Ron Hubbard moved firmly into the field traditionally belonging to religion – the realm of the human soul.

Scientology has a wide scope. Besides a score of books, there are today more than 15,000 pages of technical writing and more than 3,000 taped lectures that comprise its scriptures. These works represent a lifetime of research by L. Ron Hubbard to discover a workable means to set people free spiritually.

Mr. Hubbard has been recognized as the world’s most translated author by the Guinness Book of World Records. His work now exists in 65 different languages.

In October 1993, the Internal Revenue Service of the United States granted full religious recognition and tax exemption to all Scientology churches, missions and social betterment groups in that country. Every Scientology church in Canada is recognized as a religion in the province in which it is located.

L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986. Unlike many emerging religions, the movement survived the transition to new leadership. Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center, is now the ecclesiastical head of the religion.

The Religious Technology Center is the senior Church body entrusted by Mr. Hubbard with maintaining the purity and orthodoxy of the Scientology religion as well as ensuring that the technologies of Dianetics and Scientology remain in good hands. The Religious Technology Center does not manage Scientology churches. This is done by the Church of Scientology International (CSI), the senior ecclesiastical management body of the religion. CSI broadly plans and coordinates Scientology expansion by providing programs to individual organizations and groups and then helping them with their implementation.

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Beliefs

The word “Scientology” means “the study of knowledge or truth.” The Scientology religion holds that man is basically good, not evil. It teaches that it is their experiences that cause people to commit evil deeds. It is not their basic nature to do so. People can also mistakenly solve their problems by thinking only of their own personal interests and overlook or ignore how their acts may affect others. This creates interpersonal strife and problems. The Scientology religion also holds that individuals advance to the degree they preserve their spiritual integrity and values, and remain honest and decent. Indeed, individuals deteriorate to the degree they abandon these qualities.

Some organized efforts to help humanity try to solve people’s problems for them. Scientology is different. The goal of Scientology applied religious philosophy is to bring the individual to a point where they are capable of sorting out the factors in their own life and solving their own problems.  Scientology believes that when an individual’s intelligence is raised, and learns how to better confront life, he can solve his own problems and so better his own life. Once he has accomplished this he naturally starts to reach out to help his family, friends and society.

According to Scientology, the individual is not a body but a spirit. The term soul, however, has developed so many other meanings that a new term was needed. The term chosen by Mr. Hubbard was “thetan” from the Greek letter theta, the traditional symbol of thought and life. A thetan is the person himself, not his body, his name, the physical universe or anything else. It is that which is aware of being aware; the identity which IS the individual.

One phenomenon of the spirit or thetan researched by Mr. Hubbard is called exteriorization. Although mentioned in other religious texts, exteriorization is the ability of the thetan to leave the body and exist independent of the flesh. Exteriorized, a person can see without the body’s eyes, hear without the body’s ears and feel without the body’s hands. Man previously had little understanding of this detachment from his mind and body. With the act of exteriorization attainable in Scientology a person gains the certainty he is himself, an immortal spiritual being, and not a body.

Some basic Scientology concepts that assist a person to understand life better are:

  • The Eight Dynamics of Existence: A “dynamic” is an urge, drive or impulse towards survival. Understanding these dynamics are believed to help a person gain insight and bring all aspects of his life into alignment. The first four dynamics were initially described by Mr. Hubbard in Dianetics. He expanded this to include four additional zones of existence the following year when he began research into the spiritual nature of man. These dynamic urges are best thought of as a series of concentric circles moving out from the first to the eighth:
    • The First Dynamic is the urge to survive as oneself.
    • The Second the urge to survive through family and sex.
    • The Third is the urge to survive in various groups such as a company or with a group of friends.
    • The Fourth is the urge to survive as mankind.
    • The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth are the urges to survive through other life forms such as animals, the physical universe, the spiritual universe and Infinity or Supreme Being respectively.

    Scientology teaches that simply delineating these dynamics clarifies and brings order into existence. One can observe these dynamics in one’s own life, note which ones need improvement and through the use of this Scientology principle bring these factors into greater harmony.

  • Affinity, Reality and Communication: A concept of considerable importance in the Scientology religion is the principle of affinity, reality and communication. These three factors are expressed as a triangle that is enormously important in interpersonal relations. Affinity is the degree of liking or affection or lack of it for someone or something. Reality is agreement on the solid things of life or mutually held between individuals. Communication is the interchange of ideas or objects between two or more people.

    The principle is when one corner of the triangle goes up, such as communication, the other two corners also go up. Conversely, when one corner goes down, the other corners also go down. So when one establishes good communication with someone else and they agree on some subject, affinity rises. Conversely, when there is a disagreement, affinity lowers and so does communication.

    These three factors – affinity, reality and communication – add up to understanding. When one really understands something, he is in good communication with it, has affinity for it and knows what it is all about.

    The ARC triangle has many uses in life. Using the principle that raising any corner of this triangle raises the other two one can improve his relationship with others.


Religious Practices

The main Scientology religious practice is spiritual counseling called “auditing.” It is a unique form of personal counseling intended to help an individual look at his own existence and improve his ability. Through viewing his own existence, an individual attempts to walk an exact route to higher states of awareness.

Auditing is a precise, thoroughly codified activity with exact procedures. A Scientology counselor is known as an “auditor“. Auditing is assisted by use of a specially designed meter (E-Meter or Electro-psychometer) which helps locate areas of spiritual distress or travail by measuring the mental state or change of state of the person being audited.

Auditing uses processes -– exact sets of questions asked or directions given by an auditor to help a person find out things about himself and improve his condition. There are many, many different auditing processes.

An equally important Scientology practice is education in Scientology principles. This is called Scientology training. The religion teaches that auditing lets one see how something happened, while training teaches one why. Knowledge about the laws of life are necessary to maintain the personal freedom gained through auditing. If a person truly understands life, he can handle it.

The whole purpose of auditing and training is to graduate individuals to a higher state of spiritual existence. The goal is to revive the individual as a spiritual being and free him from dependence on the material universe. The different auditing and training actions which bring about spiritual enhancement are delineated in a Scientology chart called “The Bridge to Total Freedom.” The metaphor of a bridge has long been used in religious tradition to denote the route across the chasm from where we are now, to a higher plateau of existence.


References used

External Hyperlink Disclaimer: The links that appear below are all external hyperlinks.  The appearance of external hyperlinks do not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense and the United States Department of the Navy of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy do not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD web site.
  1. Index of basic sites about Scientology applied religious philosophy, Dianetics spiritual healing technology and L. Ron Hubbard,” at: http://www.exactscientology.net/
  2. Sources of information on Scientology are at:

Scientology, Dianetics and The Bridge are trademarks and service marks owned by Religious Technology Center.

Essay copyright © 1997 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Author: B.A. Robinson and Al Buttnor

Reproduction by permission of the copyright holder, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, granted on
25 April 2007 to the USN Chaplain Corps.
www.religioustolerance.org

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1 Comment

  1. Michael said,

    An excellent site! Very clear,understandable and duplicable! I put it in my favourites!Michael

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