Scientology

Jackie and Carly

Introduction

Scientology is a belief system that is based on the idea that humans are supreme beings called thetans that are just trapped in their bodies. People who join have to graduate through many levels where more and more information is revealed to them as they progress. All of the levels build up to the ideal state of mind for scientologists called “clear.” People have to go through years of audits and counseling where they basically brainwash them.
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History

This body of beliefs and practices was created in 1954 by Ron Hubbard. Hubbard first published works about dianetics, which uses a psychotherapy technique in which an auditor assists a subject in conscious recall of traumatic events in the individual’s past. This “therapy” turned into a religion. The purpose of dianetics was to free individuals of past traumas by systematic exposure and removal of painful memories, which is called clearing. Dianetics is not a religion, just a practice, which is what differentiates it from scientology. This can be considered desocialization because they are giving up their values and beliefs and offering them up for the cult. All the other members of this group are considered the reference group.



In 1951, the Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation was investigated and it was found that that they were teaching medicine without a license, so the Foundation went bankrupt. After this, Hubbard published a new set of teachings called Scientology: a religious philosophy. He turned his dianetic practices into the religion of scientology so he could get tax benefits. Scientology does not preach or impose a particular idea of God on Scientologists. Rather, people are expected to discover the truth through their own observations as their awareness advances.


The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954. In 1963, the US Food and Drug Administration raided Scientology offices and seized hundreds of Church’s Electro-psychotherapy meters as illegal medical devices. Now, the devices are required to carry a disclaimer saying they are for a religious artifact.

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Auditing

A person trained and qualified to better individuals through auditing is called an auditor. Auditing is assisted by use of a specially designed meter (E-Meter or Electro-psychometer) which they believe helps 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. Variations of resistance are shown on a ammeter which are then interpreted by the trained auditor.


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More Terms


Anticipatory socialization: People who join Scientology start out at a lower rank and gradually move up. This is an example of anticipatory socialization because people are preparing themselves for new attitudes and behaviors at the next level.


Life Cycle: Scientologists’ concept of the life cycle is very different. They believe that people’s souls called thetans have existed for a long time and have inhabited numerous bodies. They don’t believe that their bodies are important because the only thing that matters is their soul. They look forward to death because it means they can be free of their body they are trapped in and then eventually reborn into a new one. So they don’t believe in a traditional life cycle.


Isolation: Early on in the spiritual journey, scientologists are forced to completely abandon anyone in their life who doesn’t believe in Scientology. This includes family members, friends, and anyone in their life who doesn’t practice Scientology. People are not supposed to be in any type of close contact with anyone except other scientologists. They do this willingly because the higher-up scientology therapists tell them to, and they are brainwashed into thinking they have to and it will help them. This is an example of the Church of Scientology isolating its members.


Self-concept: Scientologists see themselves as supreme beings. They see their mind and soul as superior to everyone else. They think they are the only ones who know the “truth” about the world, therefore their self-concept is that they are way above everyone else.


Significant Others: People are required to cut off all communication with any significant others that don’t believe in Scientology. They are not allowed to talk to them or see them ever. This often causes members of Scientology to leave their families with no explanation which can cause major emotional consequences for the families and former friends of Scientologists.


Generalized Other: People who practice Scientology develop a generalized other as they graduate through the different levels in Scientology. They acquire new principles, beliefs and goals.

Symbols

The symbol of Scientology is the letter S, an upper triangle whose sides represent knowledge, responsibility, and control, and a lower triangle that represents affinity, reality, and communication.


A second symbol is an 8 pointed cross, for the 8 dynamics of Scientology. Self, creativity, group survival, species, life forms, physical universe, spiritual dynamic, and infinity.

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Cult or Religion?

The Church of Scientology has been accused of not allowing members to leave the church, or of endlessly harassing them in an attempt to force them back into the fold


They believe that Scientology is vital to themselves, mankind, and the universe and its success right now is more important than anything. Scientologists actively keep themselves and the public in the dark about any bad news by their own belief of how important Scientology is. Real problems that are caused by Scientologists are overlooked by members “for the greater good”. Every aspect of Scientology has some sort of fee associated with it. This is why Scientology's “pews” are filled only with the wealthy. It is also a very strict religion and very punitive against those who would try to leave behind its teachings and membership. Its “scriptures” are limited solely to the writings and teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. Former members have made allegations that the church has held people against their will and forced them to cut ties with their family.



Many people think the purpose of the Church of Scientology is to make money. In the psychotherapy of auditing, the mind weakens from going from a rational state to an irrational state as the delusions of the subconscious mind are brought to the surface and are assumed to be valid.


The goal that all Scientologists are working towards is achieving the state of clear. This happens when people no longer have their own reactive mind and are completely in control of their own thoughts. The average total cost to achieve the clear level is $128,000. After someone becomes clear, they can move on to the “operating thetan” level of Scientology. This is where people can freely and easily operate outside the body via exteriorization. So basically they believe that Scientologists past the clear level can control objects and other people with their mind.


"A thetan who is completely rehabilitated and can do everything a thetan should do, such as move [matter, energy, space, and time (MEST)] and control others from a distance, or create his own universe; a person who is able to create his own universe or, living in the MEST universe is able to create illusions perceivable by others at will, to handle MEST universe objects without mechanical means and to have and feel no need of bodies or even the MEST universe to keep himself and his friends interested in existence" - L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of Scientology

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