Church of Scientology: What Is It?
The Church of Scientology International was founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954. Based principally on his book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950), Hubbard created a “religious” institution to promote his unique psychological theories. Organizations associated with Scientology include Applied Scholastics, Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Concerned Businessmen of America, Hubbard Dianetics Centers, Narconon/Criminon, Religious Technology Center, Sterling Management Systems, and The Way to Happiness Foundation. Publishing ventures include New Era Publications, Bridge Publications, Inc., and Freedom magazine.
The Church of Scientology sprouted from the creative genius of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. Born in 1911, he spent much of his childhood on his grandfather’s Montana ranch while his parents served abroad in the U.S. Navy. During the 1920’s, Hubbard started to visit his parents in Asia, where he was introduced to Taoism, Buddhism, and other eastern philosophies.
Hubbard later developed a career as a science fiction writer and claimed to have explored the world. He allegedly received near fatal wounds in World War II, and developed his unique theories of science and philosophy while healing. These “discoveries” were later revealed to the public in his book, Dianetics.
In 1954, Hubbard formed the Church of Scientology to promote his ideas and techniques as a religious movement. His books and “church” spread worldwide, while Hubbard became a secretive recluse. He died in 1986, after spending most of his last years traveling around quietly on his yacht.
Church of Scientology: What Does It Teach?
The Church of Scientology teaches that mankind is immortal and divine. Man is composed of three dimensions: soul (“thetan”), mind (an accumulation of all experiences in multiple lives), and body (the temporary and physical dimension).
God is a vague concept. Scientology defines the Supreme Being with terms such as “infinity” and the "allness of all."
“Engrams” are the unconscious mental images that we record in our “reactive mind” that have negative effects on our present and future lives. They are learned from our past lives, prenatal experience, and early childhood, and prevent us from realizing our divine nature and experiencing a happy and fulfilled life. Engrams can only be removed from our mind through dianetic counseling. This process of counseling is called "auditing," and involves an "E-meter" (Electropsychometer), a device invented by Hubbard that helps a client discover and remove engrams from the unconscious mind. The goal of auditing is to travel from “preclear” to "clear," where a person is expunged of all engrams and their negative effects on the mind and body.
Since people experience many thetan reincarnations over thousands of years, auditing usually requires the clearing of engrams from past lives. The ultimate goal of auditing is to completely liberate the thetan from “MEST” and attain total spiritual awareness and oneness with infinity. MEST is an acronym derived from matter, energy, space, and time, which composes the physical universe and hold the thetan captive. The “doctrine” of Scientology has been compiled by the Church of Scientology International in the book, What is Scientology? (1978). Dianetic auditing sessions may cost as much as $1,000 per hour.
Church of Scientology: Who Cares?
The Church of Scientology has been called a "thriving cult of greed and power...a ruthless global scam..." (Time magazine, May 1991). It has also been declared a "dangerous cult...a racket disguised as a religion..." (Reader's Digest, October 1991).
Scientology always seems find its way into the popular media. If it’s not a multi-million-dollar lawsuit, it’s a famous personality making a controversial statement. All we know is that Hubbard was an absolute genius. He was a fantastic speaker and prolific writer who sold millions of books and made millions of dollars by creating and marketing his own religion. In 1949, L. Ron Hubbard was quoted as saying, "If a man wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." Well, it seems that Mr. Hubbard proved himself right.
Church of Scientology-how does it compare to Christianity?