10 Things You Should Know About Scientology
Featured Contributor Linda Wieland shares the top 10 facts everyone should know about Scientology.
This is a tremendously exciting time to be a Scientologist. We are a young, vibrant, dynamic and modern religion, as well as the only major belief to have emerged from the 20th century and into the 21st.
We cherish the opportunity to share the specifics of our faith while hopefully at the same time jettisoning a few misconceptions.
Scientology comes from the Latin Scio ("Knowing") and Greek logos ("Study Of").
At its core, Scientology is literally the study of knowledge.
The religion is embodied by knowing oneself as well as one’s family and friends, the world, life, the universe, the spirit, and God. It is the study of truth, drawing on 50,000 years of wisdom, mathematics, and nuclear physics to reach its profound conclusions.
Scientology is a new kind of religion: Not just something you believe in but something you do, not merely posing questions but supplying answers. It provides practical solutions to real life problems: Relationships, work, parenting, creativity, self-respect, motivation, inspiration, and spirituality—helping people to understand each other as well as themselves.
It’s represented by more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and groups across 184 nations, welcoming millions of new visitors to our sites each year.
The worldwide community that comprises Scientology spans 193 languages, employment in 3,200 professions, and 2.8 million community volunteer hours annually.
Scientology is a movement with grassroots groups starting up every 24 hours and new Churches and Missions opening on every continent, today growing faster than at any time in its history.
Watch the video, “What is Scientology?”
L. Ron Hubbard founded the Scientology religion.
He was a beloved friend and mentor and a singular visionary whose creation continues to change the world for the better.
Smithsonian magazine last year recognized Mr. Hubbard as one of the 10 most influential religious figures in American history and one of the 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time.
Mr. Hubbard was a genius, a Renaissance Man, and a professional in fields from writing and music to botany to photography. He earned his wings as a pioneering barnstormer at the dawn of American aviation and was a master mariner, licensed to captain vessels on any ocean as well as a United States Naval officer who commanded corvettes during World War II.
In his celebrated 1965 essay “My Philosophy,” Mr. Hubbard offers, “The first principle of my own philosophy is that wisdom is meant for anyone who wishes to reach for it. It is the servant of the commoner and king alike and should never be regarded with awe… The second principle of my own philosophy is that it must be capable of being applied…The third principle is that any philosophic knowledge is only valuable if it is true or if it works…I like to help others and count it as my greatest pleasure in life to see a person free himself of the shadows which darken his days.
The essay continues, “My only moments of sadness are those which come when bigoted men tell others all is bad and there is no route anywhere, no hope anywhere, nothing but sadness and sameness and desolation and that every effort to help others is false. I know this is not true.
“So my own philosophy is that one should share what wisdom he has, one should help others to help themselves and one should keep going despite heavy weather, for there is always a calm ahead. One should also ignore catcalls from the selfish intellectual who cries, ‘Don’t expose the mystery. Keep it all for ourselves. The people cannot understand.’
“But as I have never seen wisdom do any good kept to oneself, and as I like to see others happy, and as I find the vast majority of the people can and do understand, I will keep on writing and working and teaching so long as I exist.”
In keeping with this philosophy, Mr. Hubbard recorded and made available the full chronicle of his research and discoveries through more than 5,000 writings and 3,000 recorded lectures.
Watch a brief biographical video profile of L. Ron Hubbard
In Scientology, the concept of God is expressed as the Eighth Dynamic—the vision of an infinite existence. This is also identified as the Supreme Being. As the Eighth Dynamic, the Scientology concept of God rests at the very apex of universal survival.
As L. Ron Hubbard wrote in Science of Survival:
“No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being. It is an empirical observation that men without a strong and lasting faith in a Supreme Being are less capable, less ethical and less valuable to themselves and society….A man without an abiding faith is, by observation alone, more of a thing than a man.”
However, unlike religions with Judeo-Christian origins, the Church of Scientology has no established dogma surrounding God that it imposes on its members. As with all of its tenets, Scientology does not ask individuals to accept anything on faith alone. Rather, as one’s level of spiritual awareness increases through participation in Scientology auditing and training, one attains his own certainty of every dynamic. Accordingly, only when the Seventh Dynamic (spiritual) is reached in its entirety will one discover and come to a full understanding of the Eighth Dynamic (infinity) and one’s relationship to the Supreme Being.
Watch the video, The Eight Dynamics
This is a basic concept of Scientology as expressed in the landmark essay “Personal Integrity,” in which L. Ron Hubbard observes, “What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that, you have lost everything. What is personal integrity? Personal Integrity is knowing what you know. What you know is what you know and to have the courage to know and say what you have observed. And that is integrity and there is no other integrity.”
Scientologists apply this principle in studying Scientology. In learning Scientology, students are not expected to memorize and parrot answers. Rather, they are prompted to understand and utilize its concepts and techniques and to conclude if they ring true for them —try them out, make them their own, apply them to their own lives or use them to enlighten and assist others.
In his famous essay “The Golden Dawn,” L. Ron Hubbard wrote:
“For countless ages a goal of religion has been the salvage of the human soul. Man has tried by many practices to find the pathway to salvation. Man can save his soul. Like the bright cool dawn after a night of prison and of thunder, Man can taste that freedom sought so long.
“We are extending to you the precious gift of freedom and immortality — factually, honestly. You are a spirit. You are your own soul. You are not mortal. You can be free.”
Watch the video “The Three Parts of Man”
A fundamental tenet of Scientology is that mankind is basically good; that it is seeking to survive; and that man’s survival depends upon himself, upon his fellows, and upon his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.
However, mankind’s experiences in the physical universe, though many lifetimes, have led him into evil, where he has committed harmful acts or sins and caused him to grow aberrated (departing from rational thought or behavior). These harmful acts further reduce man’s awareness and innate goodness as a spiritual being.
Through Scientology, one confronts these acts, erases the ignorance and aberration which surrounds them, and comes to know and experience truth again.
All religions seek answers. Freedom of the spirit is only to be found on the road to truth. Sin is composed, according to Scientology, of lies and hidden actions and is therefore lacking in truth.
Watch a video on Integrity and Honesty
The Creed of the Church of Scientology states, “We of the Church believe that all men or whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.”
Scientologists subscribe to the Code of a Scientologist and pledge “to decry and do all I can to abolish any and all abuses against life and mankind” and “to support true humanitarian endeavors in the fields of human rights.”
Watch a video on the Creed of the Church of Scientology
The media is filled with stories of human rights violations—from domestic violence and school bullying to corruption and poverty and government-sanctioned discrimination. All the while, a majority of the world’s population does not even know what human rights are and that they are entitled to them.
Amnesty International reports human rights violations in some 160 countries—and not merely in developing countries. Some 18,000 individuals are trafficked into the United States each year, many of them forced into sexual and labor exploitation. An estimated 1.5 million primary school children are trafficked around the world annually. An additional 171 million, most under age 15, work in hazardous conditions.
For more than 40 years, Scientologists have championed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In 1969, L. Ron Hubbard reprinted the UDHR in the Church’s Freedom Magazine and wrote:
“The United Nations came up with the answer. An absence of human rights stained the hands of governments and threatened their rules. Very few governments have implemented any part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These governments have not grasped that their very survival depends utterly upon adopting such reforms and thus giving their peoples a cause, a civilization worth supporting, worth their patriotism.”
To learn more about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and our human rights educational initiative, watch the video The Story of Human Rights
L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “So the biggest right there is, is not the right to vote, is not the right to freedom of speech or press or religion or anything else. The biggest right there is in human rights is the right to help!”
Scientologists signal their agreement by devoting millions of hours to tutoring, criminal reform, drug education, drug rehabilitation, human rights education, mental health reform, mentoring, character education and disaster relief.
Working closely with government and civic and religious groups and NGOs, our Churches serve as a common meeting ground for community activities.
Watch the video “How We Help”
The Aims of Scientology are, “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.”
In keeping with his philosophy, Mr. Hubbard made the basic principles of Scientology broadly available so people of any faith can gain a greater understanding of their place in the universe, and can benefit from the practical application of these principles.
Moreover, the Church has made this training available to everyone through free online courses in 19 subjects that span improving relationships, salvaging marriages and resolving conflicts as well as helping those plagued by a drug or alcohol problem or balked by barriers to learning. These are available at the Scientology website.
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers program brings this technology to every corner of the globe through on-site seminars and Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tours.
David Miscavige is the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion. From his position as Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center (RTC), Mr. Miscavige bears the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the standard and pure application of L. Ron Hubbard’s technologies of Dianetics and Scientology and for keeping Scientology working.
In that capacity, Mr. Miscavige has redefined the term “religious leader” to fit the tasks necessary to direct a truly unique, contemporary religion—a religion born in the 20th century that has achieved an unprecedented level of expansion in the 21st. Scientology boasts some 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups across 167 nations.
Under Mr. Miscavige’s stewardship, Scientology-supported social betterment and humanitarian programs have touched the lives of literally billions of people. Mr. Hubbard’s religious works are more widely available than ever before, and the Church has achieved unprecedented growth both in physical size and in the reach of its ministry.
See the video on the Scientology website: Expansion.