SCIENTOLOGY: Some Basic Concepts

Scientology is a religious movement founded in 1952 by L. Ron Hubbard, a US science fiction writer and author of a best-selling book, Dianetics: the modern science of mental health (1950), which launched a popular self-help movement out of which Scientology emerged. In 2001 it was estimated that there were 55,000 scientologists in the US and between 100 and 200,000 throughout the world. A survey in 2008 seemed to indicate a declining membership but this is extremely difficult to verify as the church is very secretive on such matters. The movement charges for its services and in 2012 was estimated to have assets of US$1.75 billion (US$1.5 billion of this in real estate around the world) and an income of $200 million per annum (US$125 million of this comes from selling auditing services to its members). Although small in numbers the church has had an enormous and controversial impact on world consciousness attracting the membership and advocacy of many wealthy celebrities such as actors John Travolta, and Tom Cruise.

Major Concepts: L.Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) was a prolific, mainly science-fiction writer with over 600 published works. He served in the US navy in WW II. In the 1930s and 40s he experimented with the occult, hypnotism, and unconventional religions. In 1950 he published his ground-breaking book, Dianetics, the basic postulate of Dianetics is that negative experiences called Engrams build up in the Reactive Mind in contrast to the Analytical Mind which serves as the rational basis of consciousness. The aim of Scientology is to Clear the Engrams from individuals and from the world leaving mankind Clear to fulfill our true potential.

The method by which this Clearing is achieved is mainly through Auditing by counseling and/or a machine which records electric currents running through the skin, the E-Meter, by which emotional trauma and past memories from this or previous lives can be identified. So, Scientologists believe in Reincarnation.

Besides being a self-improvement technique, Scientology later revealed further religious teachings. Man is essentially a Soul or Thetan entrapped in its own Engrams, but also caught in MEST – Matter, Energy, Space, and Time. Our Thetans have forgotten what they essentially are, and they must be liberated through further teachings offered at cost by the movement to become an Operating Thetan (OT) of which there are eight known levels. Trying to find our way in the world absorbs a lot of our energy and Scientology helps to resolve this situation allowing us to put our full energy into what we want to achieve.

In 1952 Hubbard said that this knowledge is a religion and he started charging for his services creating a wave of churches around the world. Central HQ were established in Washington DC but HQ are now in Riverside County in California where about 1000 members are resident. Scientology has ministers who perform some religious rites and sacraments, and who are also involved in social work. But most of their activities are centered on individual counseling for which payment is expected in an increasing scale according to the level of achievement.

Scientology is tightly organized from the top down, with a close inner-circle and many highly-committed adherents. Scientology has been the subject of considerable controversy with several disputes with US government agencies, including long-term litigation with the IRS over the right to tax exemption which they finally won. In 1986 Hubbard died and was succeeded by David Miscavige who encouraged celebrities to join the church. He has a strong hold over the church and has been accused of violence and autocracy by former members – but none of these accusations have been substantiated.

Beliefs:

Thetan: or soul is immortal and subject to reincarnation. We can achieve anything if we clear the pathway to this inner core of ourselves but most people do not realize this and are distracted by an accumulation of traumas and negative thoughts.

Supreme Being: they believe in such a being but members have to learn about this in their own way. Among the dynamics driving us toward this understanding are: the urge towards Infinity; the urge to protect animal life; the urge to exist in a peaceful community; the urge to exist as one mankind across all races.

Clearing: once you are cleared you are able to climb the ladder to more powerful positions: Pre-Clear – Clear – Operating Thetan (OT) the OT allows you to control the world around you including life, energy, matter, and your consciousness can leave your physical body. There are many levels of OT but it costs money to get there. Cheapest level is only the cost of a few basic books, but beyond this it could cost US$128,000 to reach Clear, an additional US$33,000 to reach Level 3, and an additional $130,000 to reach level 8. At Level 3, OT’s are introduced to a story of The Ancient History of Mankind: 75 million years ago an ancient being called Xenu was the Dictator of the Galactic Confederacy. Xenu brought humans to the Earth, dropping them into volcanoes killing them and releasing their Thetans into the environment. These Thetans are angry and upset causing us all still to be affected by these negative emotions. To overcome these emotions is how you reach OT level 3 but it is dangerous and a tough thing to do and it is rare that Scientologists reach this level.

Other concepts:

ARC: affinity, reality, communication, and, KRC: knowledge, responsibility, and control.

Psychiatry is considered to be evil and misleading. Psychoactive drug treatment is considered to be poisoning vast numbers of people.

The Church has many means to protect itself:  from PTCs (Potential Trouble Source), Suppressive Persons, and Disconnections (people who leave the church). The church has Ethics Officers to deal with such critics of the church’s activities. A comprehensive critical treatment of Scientology is in the book and video: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief – by Lawrence Wright (2013); and in the videos of Leah Rimini available on You Tube.  Literature advocating Scientology is available at any of their offices around the world and here in Melbourne, Australia, at 231-251 Mt Alexander Road, Ascot Vale. Tel: 9654.8655.

The symbol of Scientology, the Scientology Cross, represents the spirit “rising triumphantly, ultimately transcending the turmoil of the physical universe to achieve salvation.”

If you wish to correspond with the compiler please email: andrewrooke@hotmail.com