Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.
Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these:
As coined by Hubbard, Scientology comes from the Latin ‘scio,’ which means "knowing, in the fullest meaning of the word" and the Greek word ‘logos,’ which means "study of". Scientology is further defined as "the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes, and other life."
It has often been described as a cult that brainwashes, financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services. In response, Scientologists have argued that theirs is a genuine religious movement that has been misrepresented, maligned and persecuted. The Church of Scientology has consistently used expensive lawsuits against its critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its foes has been condemned as harassment.
Before devising Dianetics, Hubbard was a writer of pulp fiction, predominantly science fiction. The publication of Dianetics in May 1950 is considered by Scientologists the seminal event of the century. Two of Hubbard's key supporters at the time were John W. Campbell Jr., the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, and Dr. Joseph A. Winter. Winter, hoping to have Dianetics accepted in the medical community, submitted papers outlining the principles and methodology of Dianetic therapy to the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1949, but these were rejected. (Ed. A writer of science fiction has his ideas rejected by real scientists. Something to keep in mind.)
Morris Fishbein, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association and well-known at the time as a debunker of quack medicine, dismissed Hubbard's book. An article in Newsweek stated that "the Dianetics concept is unscientific and unworthy of discussion or review". In January 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners instituted proceedings against the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation for teaching medicine without a license, which eventually led to that foundation's bankruptcy.
Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counseling known as auditing, developed by Hubbard to enable conscious recall of traumatic events in an individual's past. Hubbard variously defined Dianetics as a spiritual healing technology and an organized science of thought. The stated intent of Dianetics is to free individuals of the influence of past traumas by systematic exposure and removal of the “engrams” these events have left behind, in a process called clearing.
(Engram: A complete, detailed recording of every perception during a partial or full “unconsciousness.” During these times, the analytical mind shuts down and the reactive mind cuts in, in full or in part. An engram exists below the individual’s awareness level yet can be activated so as to enforce its content and can cause unwanted fears, emotions, pains and psychosomatic illnesses. In Dianetics the individual recounts an incident of “unconsciousness” from beginning to end until the engram is reduced, which means all the charge or pain is taken out of an incident, or erased, which means the incident has vanished forever. In either case, the individual is free of the aberrative (sic) effect of the incident and can experience enormous relief and a rise in emotional tone.)
Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations. Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in the United States, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain; the Church of Scientology emphasizes this as proof that it is a bona fide religion. (Ed. To comply with the First Amendment to the US Constitution the status of “religion” is not questioned by the IRS. Any group claiming to be a church is granted tax exempt status unless they violate that status by promoting a commercial product, a political issue, party or candidate.)
In other countries, notably Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, Scientology does not have comparable religious status although Churches are allowed.
Some practitioners of Dianetics reported experiences which they believed had occurred in past lives, or previous incarnations. In early 1951, reincarnation became a subject of intense debate within Dianetics. Campbell and Winter, who was still hopeful of winning support for Dianetics from the medical community, championed a resolution to ban the topic because it was embarrassing. But Hubbard decided to take the reports of past life events seriously and postulated the existence of the “thetan,” a concept similar to the soul. This was an important factor in the transition from secular Dianetics to the religion of Scientology.
Also in 1951, Hubbard introduced the electropsychometer (E-meter for short), a kind of galvanometer, as an auditing aid. Based on a design by Hubbard, the device is held by Scientologists to be a useful tool in detecting changes in a person's state of mind.
On their website, Scientology.org, they tell us Scientology is a religion that contains tools and methods to assist you in finding your own answers to life’s questions. One advocate states: “Whatever is true for you, is true for you.” Another said, “You use your own integrity and what you believe is what you believe.” A third said, “I think everybody has the right to decide for themselves and believe what makes sense and helps them through life.”
Anyone who studies the Bible knows that these are diabolically opposed to the will of God. This is the Devil telling us we don’t need God, we can sustain ourselves without Him. Man has always enjoyed free will and can disregard the teaching of God and go his own way. Often to his own detriment! However, we believe God knows what is best for us and offers us the opportunity to be obedient by doing things His way.
One of the wisest men to ever walk this earth, King Solomon, said, in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “ Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Most of the problems in the last 2000 years have occurred because men decided to do things his own way. For this reason alone we would avoid the teachings of the Scientology movement.
Like many of the so-called Christian groups on TV, Scientology is a well designed positive thinking seminar. Invented by a former science fiction writer, this slick, well organized program gives people confidence in themselves (What YOU believe is what helps YOU!) and molds them into positive, enthusiastic members.
By telling them they are immortal, that their capabilities are unlimited and their spiritual salvation depends on their own ideas many converts are convinced this program answers all their problems!
While legally a ‘religion’ this appears to be a ruse to hide their exchanging “personal readings” for cash. Rejected by the medical community as a fraud, reports of past life events remains popular among Scientologists. Also popular is the electropsychometer, a slick device to ostensibly detect changes in a person’s state of mind. Necessary when you need to know a person’s state of mind regarding their willingness to continue contributing to the organization.
Advocating a philosophy of deciding for yourself what is best, individuals are bolstered with powers they never knew they had – self direction to determine their future.
But Scientologist are definitely not directing anyone toward entry into God’s heaven. That was the job of the apostles and they were not involved in Scientology.
We stand with the apostles and accept the Holy Scripture’s call
for obedience and doing things God's way.
CONTACT AUTHOR: BRAD COOK