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Scientology is a movement based on a system of beliefs. These beliefs are based on written words by L. Ron Hubbard. A few other people have added, but almost all of it is his. He started it in 1954. Hubbard contributed until his death in 1986.
Different people understand the words Hubbard wrote differently. In some countries, there are Churches of Scientology. Some people are suspicious of the Church. They feel that it is a cult, and a business to make money. Scientology has been controversial since it began.
Scientology teaches that people are immortal spirits who have forgotten their true nature. Scientologists say that, through a system called auditing, they help people remember their true nature by re-experiencing painful events in their past and understanding them better.
There are many organizations that are linked to Scientology. For example, some help people stop using harmful drugs or to get back into society after they served a prison term.
Number of followers
The Church of Scientology says that 13-15 million people are a part of the Church. Critics disagree with that figure, however. They say the organization probably does not have more than 100,000 followers, mostly in the United States. They say that in 1960, there were probably 50,000 to 100,000 followers in the U.S. In the 1990s, a representative survey claimed there were only about 45,000 followers left. These figures seemed to have increased a bit, by 2004, where there were an estimated 55,000 followers.
The Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology was started by the American writer and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard in the year 1954. It is not as well known as Christianity or Islam, but it is newer. Scientologists believe their movement is growing. They claim it has thousands of churches, some of which are very small. The largest is in Clearwater, Florida.
Basic beliefs of Scientologists
- The word "Scientology" means "the study of knowledge."
- Man is made of a body, a mind, and a spirit. The spirit is the person himself. He uses his mind and body.
- The purpose of life is to survive.
- Harmful drugs should not be taken.
- Affinity, reality, and communication help us get along with others.
- The better you feel about yourself and life, the freer you are. This scale of emotion is called the Tone Scale.
- Auditing helps people look at thoughts and understand them better. This in turn helps them feel better.
- Auditing is very painful.
Aims of Scientology
L. Ron Hubbard wrote about the goals of Scientology, saying:
- "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, are the aims of Scientology."
This means the goals of Scientology are to create a civilization where:
In 1972, Hubbard told a group of Scientologists: "You are the people the planet obeys. You are the people who own the planet."
Scientologists say that the book Dianetics was the first self-help book ever written. It was written by L Ron Hubbard in the year 1950. Some key concepts in the book are:
- A person's mind remembers painful times. This helps a person to do bad things, and even get sick. Dianetics calls these kinds of memories "engrams".
- A person's mind also remembers everything else.
- Auditing is meant to help a person understand his engrams. Its goal is to become clear of them.
Another basic teaching of Scientology is that understanding comes from three things together:
- Affinity (being willing to be close to other people);
- Reality (an agreement on what is real); and
- Communication (the exchange of ideas).
Hubbard called this the "ARC Triangle." Scientologists use this in their everyday lives. It is based upon the idea that making one of these three things better makes the other two better.
The tone scale is a way to rate an emotion as bad, better, or good. The scale goes from -40 ("Total Failure") to +40 ("Serenity of Being"). Positions on the tone scale started from the idea that one way of feeling is better than a worse way of feeling. But Hubbard described many other things that go along with emotion, such as health, mating behavior, survival potential, and ability to deal with truth. The tone scale is frequently used by Scientologists to understand people. According to Scientology, the lower the individual is on the tone scale, the more complex his problems are.
Many well-known people are followers of Scientology. They include:
- Tom Cruise, actor
- John Travolta, actor
- Kirstie Alley, actress
- Anne Archer, actress
- Isaac Hayes, singer and actor
- Laura Prepon, actress
- Priscilla Presley, actress
- Kelly Preston, actress
- Hugh B. Urban (2006): Fair Game: Secrecy, Security, and the Church of Scientology in Cold War America. In: Journal of the American Academy of Religion 74 (2): 356–389, S. 356f.
- Neusner 2003, p. 227
- Kent, Stephen A "Scientology – Is this a Religion?" (1999). Retrieved 24 November 2008
- Cohen, David (23 October 2006). "Tom's aliens target City's 'planetary rulers'". Evening Standard.
- Virginia Linn: Scientology comes to town. In: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 24. Juli 2005. Online Edition
- Gerald Willms: Scientology: Kulturbeobachtungen jenseits der Devianz, transcript verlag, Bielefeld 2005, page 91 (German)
- Sydney E. Ahlstrom: A Religious History of the American People., Yale University Press, New Haven, CT 1972, S. 955.
- Seymour P. Lachman & Barry Alexander: One Nation Under God: Religion in Contemporary American Society., Harmony Books, New York, NY 1993, page 16.
- James R. Lewis: New Religion Adherents: An Overview of Anglophone Census and Survey Data. In: Marburg Journal of Religion (2004) 9 (1): 14. (Online edition)
- "French court fines Scientologists, allows operations". https://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091027/wl_nm/us_france_scientology_ruling;_ylt=A9G_RmYM7.ZKehMA3g4EtbAF. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- Official Website
- Operation Clambake - The Inner Secrets of Scientology, a website critical of Scientology