Monday, January 5, 2009

Where do Scientologists come from?

With the recent loss of John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s son, Scientologie is once again being looked at. I realized I know of Scientology all so well… but feel I am still uncertain about what it is exactly. Usually when it’s brought up in conversation people feel uneasy with the subject. It’s as if they believe a lawyer is going to jump into the room and scream, “Gotcha! We’re going to sue your ass now.” Or worse! Someone in a hooded robe will cart you away… never to been seen again!

I decided to do some fact checking about the basics. First I went directly to the church itself to see what they have to say. They state the following:

1) Scientology is a religion which recognizes that man is basically good and offers tools anyone can use to become happier and more able as a person and to improve conditions in life for himself and others, and to gain a profound understanding of the Supreme Being and his relationship to the Divine. Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology technology provides exact principles and a practical technology for improving spiritual awareness, self-confidence, intelligence and ability.

The word Scientology comes from the Latin word scio, meaning “know” and the Greek word logos, meaning “the word or outward form by which the inward thought is expressed and made known. ” Thus, Scientology means knowing about knowing.

Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these:

Man is an immortal spiritual being.

His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.

His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.

Scientology further holds man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself and his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.

The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for the individual.

2) Next I looked into what ABC news had to say (, The most interesting fact as relating to Travolta’s son would be this first portion:
“Scientologists are opposed to mind-altering drugs, psychiatry and psychiatric drugs. Narconon is Scientology's drug rehab program. Treatment includes an intensive program of running, massive doses of vitamins and very long sauna sessions designed to "run out" drugs and radiation from the body.” Some of the other facts the sight lists are:

“A definition of Scientology is hard to pin down. Basically, it's a system of beliefs, teachings and rituals originally established as a secular philosophy by L. Ron Hubbard. His 1950 book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, provided the core principles of what would later become Scientology.

A central belief of Scientology is that a person is a mortal, spiritual being (called a "thetan"), basically good, and has lived through many past lives. The Church believe that an intergalactic overlord called Xenu, who presided over 78 planets, over 78 million years ago, and brought the overpopulated masses from the other planets to”The Prison Planet” Earth (called TeeGeeAk) where he bombed them with Hydrogen bombs.

The ultimate goal of Scientology is "true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for the individual." Stored memories of Thetans' past lives can cause problems in the present.

Scientologists believe that the "reactive mind" (the portion that works on a totally stimulus-response basis, not under the control of the individual) commands one's awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and action. Through counseling called "auditing," Scientologists believe they can reduce and ultimately erase the power of the reactive mind, a source of irrationality, fears and nightmares. Before a person is audited they are considered "Pre-Clear."

Those that reach the higher teachings called OT (Operating Thetan) III, a state of being beyond the initial "Clear" state, within the Church of Scientology are said to learn about Xenu, the intergalactic ruler who implanted thetans, or alien spirits, in Earth's volcanoes 75 million years ago. But details of teachings at these higher levels are sketchy.”

3) The last place I had a look was from a not so favorable opinion at: The

“The Church of Scientology is a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion. Its purpose is to make money. It practices a variety of mind-control techniques on people lured into its midst to gain control over their money and their lives. Its aim is to take from them every penny that they have and can ever borrow and to also enslave them to further its wicked ends.

It was started in the 1950s by a science fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard in fulfilment to his declared aim to start a religion to make money. It is an offshoot to a method of psychotherapy he concocted from various sources which he named "Dianetics". Dianetics is a form of regression therapy. It was then further expanded to appear more like a religion in order to enjoy tax benefits. He called it "Scientology".

Scientology is a confused concoction of crackpot, dangerously applied psychotherapy, oversimplified, idiotic and inapplicable rules and ideas and science-fiction drivel that is presented to its members (at the "advanced" levels) as profound spiritual truth.”

I am still confused☹