Thursday, June 28, 2007

What Scientologists Believe


The word "creed" means a set of religious beliefs. The beliefs of Scientologists are summarized in the Creed of the Church of Scientology.

(One uncommon word that is used in the creed is "inalienable", which means "that cannot be taken away." Also the word "man" is used with the definition "human being".)

I think any reasonable person would find it hard to disagree with the beliefs of Scientologists. Here are a few:

We of the Church believe:
That all men of whatever race, color, or creed were created with equal rights;
That doesn't sound too radical or unusual in these civilized times. Of course to racists and others of a like mind such ideas proabably seem dangerous, but you would think that in a modern democracy this idea should be quite acceptable. Here is another one:

That all men have inalienable rights to conceive, choose, assist or support their own organizations, churches and governments;
I think only a totalitarian would disagree with that. Here is a more spiritual belief:

That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows and his attainment
of brotherhood with the universe.
Rather altruistic sounding, but we believe it! And here is one more that only a nut could disagree with:

And we of the Church believe that the laws of God forbid man:
To destroy his own kind;
And one last example, a rather unusual belief for a religion you might think:

That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance;
So if you hear that a particular person or government agency doesn't like Scientology then you will know that they disagree with these beliefs and you will know them for what they truly are.
And if you hear someone pretending that these aren't the beliefs of Scientologists, you'll know that they are trying to find an excuse for attacking good people.

6 comments:

Rosie said...

Hello, Grahame, I hope you don't mind me writing to you.

I simply don't understand your argument here. DO you mean to say that if I believe in SOME of the things scientologists believe in, that that makes me a scientologist. Or do, you mean if I say I'm NOT a scientologist, that its impossible to believe some of the things in that creed.
A lot of people believe that all men were created equal, that people have the right to choose their own church, and they have inaliable rights to practise their religion.

However :
"That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows and his attainment
of brotherhood with the universe. Rather altruistic sounding, but we believe it!"

How does anyone's survival depend on this? And do you mean survival in this life or the afterlife.

I hope you can help me with these issues, Grahame

Grahame said...

Hey Rosie, Thanks for the questions. I'll do my best to answer.

When I wrote my article I was a little peeved about some falsehoods I'd seen concerning what Scientologists believed, so some of what I wrote was colored by that. The Creed of the Church is simply a list of what Scientologists believe. I was not attempting to make any other statement. You are free to believe or not believe what you want to. One important point is that you can be a Scientologist and a member of any other religion. Scientology is a religion of religious philosophy rather than of specific practice. Scientology is a practical religion containing methods to improve life. Because these methods are spiritually based there is no real conflict with other religions.

On your question about: "That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe." There is a lot in that one line. I will answer your question based on my own understanding.

I look at this line as referring to survival both as a spiritual being and as a spiritual being occupying a body.

"depends upon himself" - your survival depends on your own actions and decisions. Survival here isn't just "alive" or "dead". Starving people in the Sudan are alive but their survival is not at a very high level. So survival has a quality to it, it has degrees. If you are an honest and ethical person and you take actions and make decisions based on what you feel is right then that will help you to survive better. For example, if a person is drunk and he has to get home he has various choices: he can call a taxi, he can have a friend drive him or he can drive himself. If a drunk decides to drive himself home then he is endangering his own survival and that of others. If he is caught and thrown in jail, he is still alive, but his survival quality is lowered. If he has an accident and kills himself and others then his physical survival is over and his spiritual survival has been compromised because (and we assume here that a spiritual being survives the death of the body) he will feel bad about what he did. If you have a belief in an afterlife (heaven, hell, etc.) then you will probably consider that his afterlife won't be very good.

'and upon his fellows' - your survival depends on the people around you and the rest of humanity. Examples: You are walking along the street and a drunk driver knocks you over. If you have a problem in your life then you can ask friends for help.

"and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe" - we don't survive alone. Life is made up of many parts and we have to be in some degree of harmony with them in order to survive. For example: polluting the environment does not help our survival. Destroying rainforests reduces the filtering of the air and the adding of oxygen to the air done by the trees. A simple thing like creating an aesthetic building can make the day a bit brighter for the people who work in it, thus enhancing their survival.

I hope that answers your questions. If you have any more please fee free to ask.

Obi-Wan said...

Wow, Grahame I keep LOVING your explanations! You do it simply, terrifically great. Thanks for it.

Grahame said...

Hey Jim Gatos you posted a comment/question that I decided not to allow on my blog. However, you followed up and repeated the question, so I'll assume you really are interested in an answer and that I misinterpreted your post as ill tempered when perhaps it wasn't.

You said: I honestly thought Scientologists thought that all other religions were simply "false ideas" ...

That is not correct. Scientologists respect other religions. The Scientologists I know are very respectful of other people's religious beliefs. In his article "Religious Influence in Society," L. Ron Hubbard wrote, "The truth of the matter is that at no time is religion more necessary as a civilizing force than in the presence of huge forces in the hands of man, who may have become very lacking in social abilities emphasized in religion." In many other places (the book Science of Survival, the Phoenix Lectures recordings, and more) he has stated time and again the importance of religion in both the creation and survival of our civilization.

Also, as you saw in the article, it is a basic belief of Scientologists, "That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance."

In your comment you implied that Scientologists think other religions are some sort of weird idea that was forced onto people. First of all, you've been reading too many anti-Scientology web sites. Those guys have pretty wild imaginations and will say anything to justify their bigoted viewpoints. For more data on these people I recommend this website: Religious Freedom Watch and for more on the stuff you were talking about in your comment try Scientology Myths.

Secondly, no we don't believe that. As Mr. Hubbard said in the article I mentioned earlier: "Religion is the first sense of community. Your sense of community occurs by reason of mutual experience with others. Where the religious sense of community and with it real trust and integrity can be destroyed then that society is like a sandcastle unable to defend itself against the inexorable sea." I think you can see from that quote how important he felt religion was.

Finally, if you really want to know what Scientology is then try: What is Scientology?

Jim Gatos said...

Grahame,

Well, I'm sorry if you assumed the posts were in anger, 'cause they weren't. Actually, I happened to discuss Scientology before in a limited sense with a Scientologist I have nothing but the utmost in respect for, personally and I conversed semi regularly with him, and believe me, it isn't about the religion. He even told me about a site named www.tipsforsuccess.org that I find very informative..

I appreciate your reply. Although I have read a lot on Scientology, I always try to read ALL points of view; I am familiar with the links you provided here and I actually have read through a good amount of them previously. Before I continue I would like to apologize if I wrote previously kind of "choppy"; I really write very fast at times and sometimes my manners suffer.

I will, of course admit that I have read some of the anti scientology sites, but I have also read in the same fashion about other reilgions and topics, however, I can tell you, I always go straight to the source and ask. At this point it really doesn't matter what my viewpoints are, however, since you were polite enough to assume I wasn't antagonistic, here are some thoughts I can share, and these thoughts do, directly, or indirectly, relate to your post.

1. The quote from L.Ron Hubbard,
"The truth of the matter is that at no time is religion more necessary as a civilizing force than in the presence of huge forces in the hands of man, who may have become very lacking in social abilities emphasized in religion."

Well, to me, (correct me if I'm wrong, please) it means that, for the greater good, religion is a means to control people. There can be positive, as well as negative controlling.

2. The statement; "In your comment you implied that Scientologists think other religions are some sort of weird idea that was forced onto people."... , of course that came from a site not favorable to Scientology. But then, you see, I go straight to the source. I never said the certain belief was ridiculous, because that wasn't the issue. If I were to say that certain belief was ridiculous, then I would have to say the same about other beliefs in other religions. I don't even want to go there. I wasn't questioning the specific belief; I was questioning what I perceived to be a conflict.

I sincerely want you to know I do respect Scientology even if I can't agree with everything in it. Then again, there are a lot of aspects of almost every religion I have read about that I can't swallow 100%. I have to say some of the stuff I read concerning scientology has indeed been very enlightening. I certainly hope YOU don't think I'm smallminded, because nowhere did I say anything negative about Scientology, but I can ask a question, I hope, even if my question is based on a statement written by a bigot or a bigoted site. At least I didn't ask the bigot, I decided to go straight to the source and I asked you. As far as I'm concerned, there is no right and wrong way to think. If I started thinking like that, I would be just as bad as the psychiatric profession that Scientology is so critical at. Just to let you know, in that subject, I do tend to agree, and I have read up on the subject and the position of Scientology on that. Do a Google search on John Odgren and you'll see what I mean. Then again, I'm not totally against psychology, and I can't say I'm an expert enough to say psychiatric drugs should be totally banned
Thanks
Jim

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks for your comment. I know what it can be like when you are in a rush, and especially when your communication is written, a well meant question can come across as antagonistic.

Thanks also for keeping an open mind.

Please comment on my site whenever you like.