Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So what do we believe?

Having told you, in my last two posts, what Scientologists don't believe, I thought that it was now time to tell y'all what we do believe.

The Scientology home page says this:

The word Scientology literally means "the study of truth." It comes from the Latin word "scio" meaning "knowing in the fullest sense of the word" and the Greek word "logos" meaning "study of."

Scientology is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life. The Scientology religion comprises a body of knowledge extending 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 — and those capabilities can be realized. He is able to not only solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness, but also achieve new, higher states of awareness and ability.

In Scientology no one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith. That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true. An individual discovers for himself that Scientology works by personally applying its principles and observing or experiencing results.
(I emphasized that last bit.)

I think that's a pretty good start.  I'll continue with more tomorrow.

9 comments:

C.D said...

Hi,

I haven't asked any questions in awhile, and I have actually just quietly read your work. I have enjoyed your patient explanations, as well as your humor.

I just had one question this time, rather simple really,

I understand that the Church of Scientology, among other goals, has its main mission to "clear the planet" or rid the world of reactive minds thus bringing about a utopian world where the goals of Scientology are reality.

But to do courses, auditing, training etc. in the Chruch one must pay a great deal of money to advance.

Of course books are rather cheap, and the simpler the course the cheaper the donation, but to ascend in such a manner to become "clear" or "OT" either a great deal of money is required or one can work for the church and recieve a discount.

So, with that prologue,

How does the Church of Scientology expect to clear every person on Earth with such donation prequisites?

Most middle class Americans, with such considerations as rising gas prices, rising food prices, mortgage rates, house forclosures, and economic instability, are unwilling to pay such donation rates, and middle class americans by world standards, are rather wealthy indeed.

So how then, does the Chruch plan on clearing the impoversihed villages of Africa?

Or the war torn Eastern European states?

Or the dictatorships and drug ridden towns in South America?

Or the simple aborigines of Australia?

Or the starving in India, where cannibalism practice rates have risen as high as 2% of the population over the years?

Don't get me wrong, I understand fully that all religious organizations, rely on the support of their parishoners for their well being. Many Chruches require tithing for membership, such as the LDS church.

But given the goal of a "clear planet", how does the Church expect to reach, disseminate to, and clear war torn, impoverished, starving regions of the world?

Or even, just the majority of the world, such as in South America, Africa, and parts of Aisa, where people, matter of factly, live simply, with almost no money?

If many Americans will not pay such donation rates, how does the Church plan on acquiring such extensive donations from such poverty stricken or even just simple populations, which make up the majority of the world?

Best,

C.D

SomethingNice said...

This is about the 99% of Scientology some outsiders choose to ignore.

I'm curious if any of the following observations/opinions agree with your experience.

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People participate in Scientology for two main reasons:

- To improve their own life (personally and spiritually)
- To help other people

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The main "belief" (or experience) of Scientologists is simply that the study and application of Scientology improves life. (This is actually built on their experience, rather than belief.)

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While a lot of benefit can be gained straight from the books, more complete benefits require training and support staff. Scientology Churches exist to provide that training and support.

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Scientology members are of three general categories:

- Members of a religious community who manage the international Church and help other Scientologists (helping people to help people).
- Staff members who work in local Churches, providing services to their parishioners and the surrounding community.
- Parishioners who live average lives, get training and other services at their local Church, and also help the people around them, whatever their religious beliefs. (This is the largest group of Scientologists).

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The Church is completely non-profit. All donations for classes and services:

- Cover the operating costs of the organization
- Provide resources for the services provided by the Church and its members
- Pay for the Church staff's needs

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A Scientology Church Organization has three main parts:

I. A Church
II. A School for Life Improvement
III. A Center for Unique, Personal, Spiritual Services

(IV. There are also non-religious applications of Scientology.)

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I.) Church:

- Churches provide free Sunday Services and other free and low-cost services to help people.

- As each Church gains more financial stability and training of its own staff and parishioners, it can provide more and more free community services.

- The Church is also where Scientology parishioners gather, coordinate and learn how to provide help to friends, family and people in the local community (and all around the world).

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II.) Life-Improvement School:

Scientology materials are mainly contained in four encyclopedias of information about Understanding Life and Helping People:

-1- The Basics of the Mind, The Spirit and Life, covering the foundation of Scientology (18 "Basic" books, plus some reference books)

-2- Technical articles on how to learn any subject, improve life and ability and help other people do the same (Collected into 18 red "Technical" books)

-3- Administrative articles on how to organize any activity to better accomplish beneficial goals (Collected into 12 green books)

-4- Around 3,000 Lectures, covering additional material on all of the above subjects. (Transcripts of these lectures are also being collected into 100 blue "Research and Discovery" books.)


Scientologists
A. - Study courses built from those books and lectures, making sure to understand the information (not necessarily "believe" it, just understand it)
B. - Compare what they're learning to their own experience and observation, and
C. - Apply the material and see for themself whether it can help them and/or they can help someone else.

In a simpler form, Scientologists:

- Study Knowledge about the Mind, the Spirit and Life, and
- Apply what they learn to help people (self and others)


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III.) Unique, Personal, Spiritual Services:

These services involve sorting through the parts of your life and the world around you with the help of someone who doesn't tell you what to think but leaves your conclusions up to you.

A lot of people in Scientology use these processes to help someone, who then helps them, and so on, back and forth, people helping each other.

As a person resolves more of the parts of their life and improves (or frees up) their abilities, they can become more aware of their own existence as a spiritual being, and of higher spiritual values as well. This is a large part of the spiritual nature of the Scientology religion.

Technical details about this are covered in the four encyclopedias above.

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IV.) Non-religious Applications:

There are also practical, day-to-day, non-religious applications of Scientology materials that can be used by anyone, regardless of other religious beliefs, to improve their life and help others too.

Luis said...

Hi Grahame.

I am glad to have found a pro Scientology set of opinions and perspectives.

From my viewpoint, personal growth, freedom, sanity, strength and greatness requires being able to examine honestly and objectively all viewpoints available pro and con and being able to recognize and admit to the one that is being perceived as having the most truth in it, even if painful, even if it makes one, or one's viewpoint, or one's group flawed.

While the Mantra "what is true for you..." is frequently used by Scientologists to point out the intention of the Church to encourage freedom to think, it, from my experience, is neither encouraged, nor applied nor nourished, but used to “impossibilitize” the existence of mass production of blinded followers because there exists this precept.

From the moment you read Keeping Scientology working, and from the statements I have seen of Ron Hubbard claiming to have THE only valid viewpoints and technology, THE only person able to be the source of spiritual-growth-producing” data, THE only “bridge to total freedom”; THE only person capable of decoding life….the nourishing of critical thinking and examination of information presented begins to be slowly stultified.

If Ron would have presented his viewpoints as HIS viewpoints and not THE viewpoints to be had, he would have been encouraging (by allowing the space) for evaluation of his precepts and, moreover, for development of the capacity for individuals to think for themselves, to be determining for themselves, even while in The Church, what is or is not true, what makes sense and what does not.

The most common statement I hear from Scientologists is "This is what Ron says..." and not "This is what I think". That is, to me, an indication of the loss of the ability to establish and be faithful to ones own viewpoints.

That is why, in my opinion, the perception exists, in some people, including myself, that in talking to a Scientologist, you are most likely to get canned responses, including "what is true for you....."

In my opinion, once you become a “Keeping Scientology Working Scientologist”, the conduct and intention, in any situation, becomes promoting the illusion that Scientology and Ron are flawless, pure, the greatest ever, and incapable of sinning.

These, of course, are my viewpoints.

Regards,

Luis

Grahame said...

Thanks somethingnice for such an extensive and informative comment.

SomethingNice said...

Thanks Grahame. I like to organize my notes as I'm studying.

There's _so_much_more_ to Scientology than is generally discussed.

I'm curious why you think some outsiders focus on (misinterpretations of) a few small, obscure portions of Scientology and ignore the other 99%.

Grahame said...

Thanks for your question, somethingnice. My answer is covered in this post Why Aliens?.

To summarize and add a little: I think it boils down to bigotry. It's similar to the question, "Why are there some people who hate anyone with a different skin color?" There is no logical reason, which makes it so hard to understand. It is just plain nuts but unfortunately it exists so we have to face it.

There are some (they are a minority in my opinion) who will hate others because of some difference (whether it be skin color or beliefs). They are people you can't reason with because their hatred is not based on reason. They will tell lies and make up alarming stories about the target of their hatred in an attempt to pull others into the black pit that they themselves inhabit.

You can find data on some of them here: Anti-Religious Extremists. You will note that many of them not only hate people of any religion, but also people of different races to themselves.

In a way I feel sorry for them because they have to live with themselves 24/7. Then again I sort of feel that they deserve it - they are creating their own personal hell.

Grahame said...

PintSizedCat says:

I have a bit of a problem with a contradiction that is displayed here in your post.

Scientology says: "Man is an immortal, spiritual being"

yet Scientology also says: "In Scientology no one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith. That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true."

This to me seems like a clear contradiction, seeing as the former is a belief and the latter states that you need no belief and that anything that is true is observable.

The latter part of that makes me also think that if you are also stating that things that are true are observable then you have scientific evidence of the spirit and immortality.

Can you please explain this in more depth as I am trying to approach Scientology from an unbiased viewpoint.


In Scientology a person is not expected to believe anything.

I was an atheist when I first came across Scientology. I didn't just blindly believe the idea that I was a spiritual being, but I got so many gains from my first course that I was willing to "suspend my disbelief" until I could check it out and get some personal reality on the spiritual being thing, which I eventually did.

So from my own personal experiences in Scientology (when undergoing the spiritual counseling) I have observed that I am an immortal spiritual being.

If the idea that one is an immortal, spiritual being is just too much for a person to take and he/she isn't willing to wait until they get some personal reality on it, then Scientology probably isn't for them.

Grahame said...

I answered the questions from CD here: Clearing the Planet Question

Grahame said...

I answered the comments and questions from Luis here: Is Scientology a Perfect System?