WHAT DOES THE WORD ‘SCIENTOLOGY’ MEAN?
The word Scientology, conceived by L. Ron Hubbard, comes from the Latin scio which means “know” or “distinguish,” and from the Greek word logos which means “reason itself” or “inward thought.” Thus it means the study of wisdom or knowledge. It means knowing how to know. Scientology, however, is defined as the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life.
WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY ABOUT?
Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and of one’s relationship with self, family, groups, mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being, or infinity.
Scientology addresses the spirit — not simply the body or mind — and believes that man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.
Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these are:
* 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.
Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to believe anything on faith. An individual discovers for himself that Scientology works by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results.
The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for the individual.
WHAT IS DIANETICS?
L. Ron Hubbard discovered the single source of stress, worry, self-doubt and psychosomatic illness — the reactive mind. In his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health he described the reactive mind in detail and laid out a simple, practical, easily taught technology to overcome it and reach the state of Clear. Dianetics (which means “through soul”) is that technology.
WHAT IS THE MIND?
The mind is basically a communication and control system between the thetan — the spiritual being that is the person himself — and his environment. It is composed of mental image pictures which are recordings of past experiences.
The individual uses his mind to pose and solve problems related to survival and to direct his efforts according to these solutions.
WHAT IS THE REACTIVE MIND?
The reactive mind is the portion of a person’s mind which works on a totally stimulus-response basis, which is not under his volitional control, and which exerts force and the power of command over his awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and actions.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCIENTOLOGY AND DIANETICS?
Dianetics comes from the Greek dia meaning “through” and nous, “soul.” It is further defined as “what the soul is doing to the body.”
Dianetics uncovers the source of unwanted sensations and emotions, accidents, injuries and psychosomatic illnesses, and sets forth effective handlings for these conditions. Further research into the spiritual aspects of Dianetics led to the discovery of Scientology.
Scientology, on the other hand, is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, to universes and to other life. Through the practice of Scientology one can increase his spiritual awareness and ability and realize his own immortality.
Dianetics and Scientology both utilize the E-Meter and basic rules of auditing.
WHAT IS THE BEST BOOK FOR A BEGINNING SCIENTOLOGIST TO READ?
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which has been repeatedly on bestseller lists, is the book recommended for beginners who are interested in the mind and how it works. This book has been a bestseller for nearly fifty years.
In 1977, Publishers Weekly called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health “perhaps the best-selling non-Christian book of all time in the West.” In 1988, Publishers Weekly awarded Dianetics its prestigious “Century Award” for appearing for more than 100 weeks on its bestseller list.
For those more interested in starting with a broad summary of L. Ron Hubbard’s research and findings about man as a spiritual being and basic principles of life, the first recommended book is Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought.
WHAT TRAINING SHOULD A PERSON TAKE FIRST?
The first action a person should take in his Scientology training is to read a book, such as Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health or Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought in order to learn the basic principles of Scientology. These books can be studied at home through what is called an “Extension Course,” where lessons are completed and mailed in to the church. A staff member informs the student by return mail of any parts of the book he may have misunderstood.
One can also obtain the video How to Use Dianetics, which gives the basics of Dianetics auditing in visual form, enabling one to start auditing at home immediately. This video is a companion to the book Dianetics and gives the basics of Book One auditing in visual form so one can start auditing immediately. It places within one’s reach the miracle results of Dianetics and gets one moving forward on the way to Clear.
The individual should next visit a church and meet with staff there for assistance and guidance in deciding which service he should participate in next, based on his own personal spiritual needs. There are many services available including the Personal Efficiency Course which teaches how to improve any condition in life through the fundamentals of Scientology, including the conditions of existence, the eight dynamics and the ARC triangle, as well as Scientology auditing which individuals learn and then apply.
There are also Life Improvement Courses on such subjects as marriage, children, work, relationships with others and personal integrity. As one progresses spiritually as a result of studying these Scientology materials, he becomes more effective and in control of his own life. There is also the Hubbard Dianetics Seminar which utilizes Dianetics auditing techniques based on Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, providing as much Dianetics auditing to a person as he wants and giving him the experience of applying Dianetics to another. There is also the Success Through Communication Course which teaches the basic communication skills one needs to improve his life.
HOW DID SCIENTOLOGY START?
L. Ron Hubbard began his studies of the mind and spirit in 1923, resulting in a manuscript entitled “Excalibur” in 1938. It was in this unpublished work that the word “Scientology” first appeared to describe what Mr. Hubbard termed “the study of knowing how to know.” He decided against publishing the book, saying, “Excalibur did not contain any therapy of any kind but was simply a discussion of the composition of life.” And he added, “I decided to go further.”
The “going further” resulted in Dianetics, a subject which was, in fact, introduced into the much broader field of Scientology to provide some kind of “therapy” that could be easily utilized by the man in the street. Thus, in 1947, he wrote a manuscript detailing some of these discoveries.
It was not published at that time, but circulated among friends, who copied it and passed it on to others. (This manuscript was ultimately formally published in 1951 as Dianetics: The Original Thesis and later republished as The Dynamics of Life.) As copies of the manuscript circulated, Mr. Hubbard began to receive a flood of letters requesting further information and more applications of his new subject. He soon found himself spending all his time answering letters and decided to write a comprehensive text on the subject.
He first published an article on the subject. “Terra Incognita: The Mind,” appeared in the Winter-Spring 1950 issue of the Explorers Club Journal. This was followed by the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, published in May 1950. It became a nationwide bestseller almost overnight. By late summer, people across the country were not only reading the book, but were also organizing their own groups for the purpose of applying Dianetics techniques. The book has remained a bestseller ever since, becoming number one on the New York Times bestseller list almost four decades after its initial publication. It continues to appear on bestseller lists around the world.
In the course of thousands of hours of Dianetics counseling on tens of thousands of individuals all over the country, it soon became apparent that many people audited on these procedures were coming into contact with incidents that seemed to occur in previous lives. Although certain officials in the Dianetics organizations attempted to suppress research into this phenomenon, L. Ron Hubbard refused to allow this. In his subsequent investigation, during which he asked himself the question of “Who was looking at these mental image pictures?” (a question raised in 1950 in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health as a vital matter to resolve), Mr. Hubbard believed that it had to be something other than the mind itself. He came to the conclusion that it was man’s spiritual self that was doing so. Eventually, Mr. Hubbard confirmed that he was dealing with an individual who was a spirit inhabiting a body and using a mind, and that man had a fundamentally spiritual nature. It was this discovery, in the fall of 1951, that completed the circle for Mr. Hubbard and brought him back to the broader subject of Scientology and what Dianetics had been addressing all along — the spirit. It was then that he publicly announced Scientology. As he put it, “I found out what was looking at the pictures. And described it. And found out that you could do things with it from a very practical standpoint that nobody had ever done before and found myself suddenly in the field of religion . . .”
In 1954 the first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles by a group of Scientologists, and within a few years churches were formed across the country and around the world.
In the years that followed, L. Ron Hubbard completed his research into the spiritual nature of man. Today, all his writings on the subject are available to anyone who wishes to study Scientology. Although Mr. Hubbard departed his body in 1986, he is still with us in spirit and the legacy of his work continues to help people around the world realize their true spiritual nature.
DOES ONE HAVE TO BELIEVE IN SCIENTOLOGY?
No. One is not expected to “believe” in Scientology. One is only expected to study and apply Scientology religious principles and practices and see for himself if Scientology works for him.
To quote L. Ron Hubbard, “Anything that isn’t true for you when you study it carefully isn’t true.”
WHAT DOES A SCIENTOLOGY CHURCH OR MISSION ACTUALLY DO?
The main activities of Scientology churches and missions are ministering to their parishioners and providing them the religious services of their faith — Scientology auditing and training, Sunday services, weddings, funerals and christenings as well as other such chaplain services.
HOW ARE CHURCHES OF SCIENTOLOGY SUPPORTED FINANCIALLY?
By their members, just like every other church.
Some churches have a system of tithes, others require their members to pay for pew rentals, religious ceremonies and services. In the Church of Scientology, parishioners make donations for auditing or training they wish to receive. These contributions by Scientologists are the primary source of financial support for the Church and fund all the religious and social betterment activities the Church engages in. Scientologists are not required to tithe or make other donations.
Scientology does not have hundreds of years of accumulated wealth and property like other religions — it must make its way in the world according to the economics of today’s society. When one considers the cost of ministering even one hour of auditing, requiring extensively trained specialists, and the overhead costs of maintaining church premises, the necessity of donations becomes clear.
The Church selected the donation system as its primary method of funding because it is the most equitable method. Those who use the facilities of the church should be the ones who contribute most to its maintenance. Of course, no donation is expected from members who are at the church to participate in services other than auditing and training — listening to tape plays of L. Ron Hubbard’s lectures, reading scriptural works in the church library, meeting with fellow parishioners, receiving counseling from the Chaplain or attending Sunday services, sermons, weddings, christenings and funerals.
Scientologists’ donations keep the Church alive and functioning, fund its widespread social reform programs, make Scientology known to people who may otherwise never have the opportunity to avail themselves of it, and help create a safe and pleasant environment for everyone.