QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
I’m interested in Scientology* services. What should I do?
To begin, you can do a free introductory service (refer to the section: Services). Then you can read some books which will give you invaluable information that you can apply to your daily life.
Why is Scientology called a religion?
Scientology meets all three criteria generally used by religious scholars around the world to determine religiosity:
(1) a belief in some Ultimate Reality, such as the Supreme or eternal truth that transcends the here and now of the secular world;
(2) religious practices directed toward understanding, attaining or communing with this Ultimate Reality; and
(3) a community of believers who join together in pursuing this Ultimate Reality.
Scientology’s beliefs in an Ultimate Reality that transcends the material world include its concepts of the thetan, the spiritual world (the seventh dynamic) and the Supreme Being (the eighth dynamic). The second element can be found in Scientology’s life-rite ceremonies such as naming, marriage and funeral services, but predominantly in the religious services of auditing and training, through which Scientologists increase their spiritual awareness of themselves and attain an understanding of the spiritual world and, ultimately, their relationship with the Supreme Being. As to the third element, a very vital community of believers can be found at any Church of Scientology at almost any time of the day.
Scientology is thus a religion in the most traditional sense of the term. Scientology helps man become more aware of God, more aware of his own spiritual nature and that of those around him. Scientology scripture recognizes that there is an entire dynamic (urge or motivation in life) devoted to the Supreme Being (the eighth dynamic), and another dynamic that deals solely with one’s urge toward existence as a spirit (the seventh dynamic). Acknowledgment of these aspects of life is a traditional characteristic of religions.
Scientology holds in common with all great religions the dream of peace on Earth and salvation for man. What is new about Scientology is that it offers a precise path for bringing about spiritual improvement in the here and now and a way to accomplish it with absolute certainty.
What does Scientology accomplish?
Scientology stresses the application and workability of its principles and techniques. When properly practiced, Scientology enables one to develop in all aspects of life, both spiritual and temporal. It addresses the individual and brings about greater happiness, self-confidence and ability by increasing a person’s awareness and effectiveness in life. It differs from other religious philosophies in that it supplies the means through which a person can increase his ability to effectively resolve the problems and situations he and others face in life.
A fundamental premise of Scientology is that man is basically good and can improve conditions in his life. However, Scientology cannot promise to do anything by itself. Only the individual can bring about his own improvement by applying the teachings of Scientology to himself and those around him.
How does the Church view relationships between a Scientologist and family members who are not Scientologists?
The Church encourages and helps its members to have excellent family relationships, whether or not their relatives are Scientologists. In fact, relationships between a Scientologist and the rest of his family routinely improve after he begins practicing Scientology because he has acquired the means to increase communication and address and resolve any problems that might have existed.
The Church goes to great lengths to reconcile family differences should a problem arise. For example, Scientology Chaplains will assist family members to come together and work to discover the real cause of their disagreements. Friends and family of Scientologists are always welcome to visit the Church, to meet other Scientologists and to have any questions they may have about Scientology answered. Regardless of whether the other family members choose to become Scientologists or not, Scientologists take deep pride in their record of resolving family problems and conflicts.
Will Scientology put one in control of his mind?
Yes. As man is a spiritual being, quite separate from his mind and his body, Scientology will help him achieve a far better command over his mind, just as it helps him to control in an intelligent way all aspects of his life.
Does Scientology believe one can exist outside of the body?
Before entering Scientology many people experience the feeling of looking down on one’s body, but they do not understand what is happening. Once they have achieved greater spiritual awareness through Scientology auditing and training they find that this experience becomes nothing out of the ordinary. Scientology believes that man is not his body, his mind or his brain. He, a spiritual force, energizes the physical body.
Scientology proved, for the first time, that man was a spiritual being, not an animal.
Does Scientology believe in reincarnation or past lives?
Reincarnation is a definite system and is not part of Scientology. It is a fact that unless one begins to handle aberrations built up in past lives, he doesn’t progress.
The common definition of reincarnation has been altered from its original meaning. The word has come to mean “to be born again in different life forms” whereas its actual definition is “to be born again into the flesh or into another body.” Scientology ascribes to this latter, original definition of reincarnation.
Today in Scientology, many people have certainty that they have lived lives prior to their current one. These are referred to as past lives, not as reincarnation.
Past lives is not a dogma in Scientology, but generally Scientologists, during their auditing, experience a past life and then know for themselves that they have lived before.
To believe one had a physical or other existence prior to the identity of the current body is not a new concept — but it is an exciting one.
In Scientology, you are given the tools to handle upsets and aberrations from past lives that adversely affect you in present time, thus freeing you to live a much happier life.
What benefits can one get from the Scientology religion?
Scientology resolves the problems of man by addressing the spiritual travails which hold those difficulties in place. As these barriers begin to fall away, one gains the ability to communicate in relationships, whether with family members and spouses, friends or even mere acquaintances. He becomes free of stress and finds new enjoyment in life. Yet more importantly, a Scientologist gains an understanding of himself spiritually, discovers his true potentials and recovers the certainty of his own immortality as a spiritual being.
Is Scientology a secret society?
Not at all. One may go into a Scientology church at any time. Scientology scripture and other literature are readily available to anyone. There is no demand for one to withdraw from society when he begins Scientology; on the contrary, Scientologists are widely known for becoming very involved in life around them as they are eager to take responsibility for improving conditions.
Is Scientology like hypnotism, meditation, psychotherapy or other mental therapies?
There is no resemblance. In fact, it was as a result of L. Ron Hubbard’s investigation of hypnotism and many other mental practices that he saw the need for practical answers to man’s problems. In his book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, he wrote that he had found hypnotism and psychotherapy to be dangerous and impractical. Nearly all other methods of alleged mental science are based on principles that are quite the opposite of those used in Scientology. They treat man as a “thing” to be conditioned, not as a spiritual being who can find answers to life’s problems and who can improve enormously.
Is Scientology a cult?
No. It is a religion in the fullest sense of the word.
“Cult” is usually meant in a disparaging sense to imply a secret or closed group with limited membership and mysterious beliefs. Religious scholars point out that the term has become almost meaningless, since its modern use reflects a growing prejudice against all religions. For example, a government report in Belgium labeled the Hasidic Jews and even the YWCA as “cults.” The French Parliament included Baptists on their list.
Religions that grow and endure do so to the degree that they assist people in their spiritual lives. To fulfill this role, the scripture of Scientology is fully codified, broadly published and available to anyone, and its churches and missions are always open to the public.
Scientology is unique in that it does not require or tell anyone to “believe” anything. Rather, Scientology believes every individual should think for himself. In Scientology, what is true for the individual is only what he has observed personally and knows is true for him. Scientology is not authoritarian, but offers a technology one can use and then decide whether it works for him.
Do Scientologists believe that L. Ron Hubbard was like Jesus Christ?
No. L. Ron Hubbard personally stated he was a man as others are men. He was a much-loved friend and teacher and continues to be respected and loved.
Do Scientologists use medical doctors?
Yes. Churches of Scientology always encourage their staff and parishioners to see medical doctors to handle the physical aspect of any illness or injury. Once a Scientologist with a physical condition receives the needed medical treatment he can resume his auditing and so handle any spiritual trauma connected with the physical condition. Many medical doctors are also Scientologists.
Does Scientology engage in brainwashing or mind control?
No. In fact, what we do is exactly the opposite. We free people and enable them to think for themselves.
Millions of Church members from literally all walks of life have attested to the positive benefits received from Scientology services. A common theme to their personal success stories is that they are now more in control of their lives than they ever have been.
Factually, Mr. Hubbard was one of the first to discover and expose actual mind control and brainwashing experimentation conducted by United States military and intelligence agencies during and after World War II. Not only did he uncover blatantly destructive experimentation, he also discovered that the technology he developed, Dianetics, could undo the effects of an insidious form of hypnotism called pain-drug-hypnosis and free a person from its grip.
Years after Mr. Hubbard learned about these government-sponsored psychiatric mind control experiments, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act detailed the extent to which these techniques were being used. Over the years, churches of Scientology have exposed numerous instances of brainwashing or mind control practices, such as those involved in so-called “deprogramming”. Such practices are diametrically opposed to the aims of Scientology, which are to free man and return to him his ability to control his own life.