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Cults and World Religions

Scientology



Dianetics

 

It is despicable and utterly beneath contempt to tell a man he must repent, that he is evil. 156
L. Ron Hubbard

Here comes another cooking recipe. Take gnosticism, convert it to a mind science type approach, like Christian Science, sprinkle with science fiction, and out pops – Scientology and Dianetics!

Or, at least, something close to that.

History

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986) was a world traveler and author, publishing several works before the second world war, including an extensive amount of science fiction. While working on one of his manuscripts he “discovered” “the common denominator of existence, outlining 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." 157

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" (Bridge, Los Angeles, 1950, 1978) was published and has sold over 17 million copies worldwide. In the fall of 1951, Hubbard formed the religious philosophy of Scientology, which is based on his discovery that man is most fundamentally a spiritual being -- the X-factor. 158 The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles on 1954 by persons other than Hubbard. Hubbard created the Founding Church of Scientology was founded in Washington, DC, in 1955.

The cult is one which thrives on the lonely, the weak, the confused, the mentally or emotionally unbalanced, and the ineffectual population of the country. The promises offered by dianetics is heady stuff for this insecure group of people. Hope and happiness are offered through Scientology.

Hubbard did his best to have his approach and the “devices” connected with dianetics declared to be of medical value but failed miserably in this. In 1963, the Federal Drug Administration seized the Scientology assets, resulting in a settlement that required labeling of dianetics products as “purely religious.”

In 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. The Church is also officially recognized in every province in Canada where it has an organization.

L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986, although no one would admit seeing Hubbard since March of 1980. 159 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 head. The group is one which teachings applied religious philosophy, a philosophy based upon a syncretism of religious concepts and man’s imagination.

Beliefs

A person is neither mind nor body, but a spiritual being - a soul. "Soul" is an ambiguous term, however. To avoid confusion with other religions, Hubbard turned to his science fiction and selected the word thetan from the Greek letter "theta" which has traditionally meant "thought" or "life". A Thetan is the essence of a person. One does not have a Thetan, one is a Thetan. The brain and the rest of the body are looked upon as a mechanism, a communication center for the Thetan. The mind is perceived as a collection of pictures.

Scientology recognizes Eight Dynamics. A "dynamic" is an urge, drive or impulse. Understanding these dynamics help a person gain insight and harmonize all their life activities. The first four dynamics were initially described in Dianetics; the remaining four were added with the creation of Scientology.

The entire approach is a bit like the reincarnation cycles of Eastern religions. The human mind is divided into two components: the analytical mind and the reactive mind.

The former resembles Freud&s concept of the conscious mind. It senses, remembers, reasons and recalls.

The reactive mind is somewhat similar to Freud&s unconscious. It records physically and psychologically disturbing events in this life and prior lives (perceived assaults in the womb, the birth process, assaults, injuries). These disturbances are recorded as engrams forming a psychic scar.

These engrams are considered "the single source of all man&s insanities, psychosomatic illnesses and neuroses." They are not sensed by the analytical mind directly but they keep an individual from reaching their full potential. You can see where the emotionally weak person will be attracted to this type of teaching.

The goal is to remove the engrams. There is a level of progression here, similar to the concept of the dynamics discussed above. One moves from preclear (PC) to clear; i.e. totally free of engrams. A person can progress beyond "clear" to becoming a OT or Operating Thetan. An OT is able to leave their body and mind becoming a spirit like being, being able to see, hear and feel without access to normal senses.

Great religious leaders like Buddha and Jesus Christ are regarded as being slightly above "clear".

Scientology and the Bible

The basic concepts of a biblical God, heaven, and hell are rejected. The goal is to become “clear” through a series of reincarnations.

Practices

Scientology "auditing" is a unique form of personal counseling intended to help an individual look at his own existence and improve their ability to confront what and where they are. It 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), a device believed to help locate areas of spiritual distress or travail by measuring the mental state or change of state of the person being audited. It does this by continuously measuring the electrical resistance of the person&s body. This is the device that Hubbard attempted to have declared a medical device.

The whole purpose of auditing and training is to graduate individuals to a higher state of spiritual existence or to cross "The Bridge to Total Freedom." In other words, the goal is to help travel through the eight dynamics.

Is not the use of the bridge metaphor of a bridge an interesting analogy? ReligiousTolerance.org on this particular point stated that the 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.”

Auditors become ministers, are ordained and wear clerical clothing. However, since Scientology is not an exclusive religion, members are welcomed to retain their church affiliation, if any.

L. Ron Hubbard left a legacy of over 100 non-fiction books and 91 booklets as well as over 6,000 hours of taped lectures. So far over 90 of his works have been translated into 31 different languages and are being distributed in over 120 countries.

Footnotes:
156. Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1965, 1977, 1985, 349, quoting from L. Ron Hubbard, Professional Auditor’s Bulletin, #31, a one page flyer.
157. http://www.religioustolerance.org
158. Hubbard best explains the differences in Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, The Church of Scientology of California Publications Organization, Los Angeles, (1973).
159. Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1965, 1977, 1985, 346.
160. The entire series of bulleted paragraphs are direct quotes from Hubbard as recorded by Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, 348, 349.

 

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November 14, 2018

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