I like your honest answers. It's indeed so difficult to discuss religion in civilized manner that I really hope you can answer me on some points.
1) I see lots of talk about "salvation of man" in scientology. Salvation from what?
2) Most religions believe that God revealed to some chosen man about his existence, his name, his plans etc. Apparently Hubbard never claimed that God revealed anything to him but he rather speaks of "discoveries". Is this right? Why your God does not reveal his religion to "prophets"?
3) If salvation comes only from becoming scientologists, what happened to people before scientology? If one can be saved without becoming scientologists, then why should one choose to become one?
4) Sometimes I see written that scientology is compatible with other religions. Is that right? If is right, how comes no monotheist religion believes in reincarnation? How can the Bible or Qu'ran pass over this crucial fact unless they are false and/or misleading?
Many thanks for your attention.
Those are really good questions. I'll do my best to give good answers.
1) I've seen the word "salvation" used now and then in Scientology but not often. The basic idea of salvation is "the saving of somebody or something from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure" (Encarta Dictionary). In the online Scientology Catechism, you will find this:
The Scientology religion offers practical tools one can use to better oneself and others. Some religions offer salvation in the hereafter, while Scientology offers certainty of eternal salvation now. (from the question: In what way does Scientology differ from other religions?)In this sense the "from what?" is relief from the troubles and sufferings of existence. In Scientology we have practical tools that a person can use to improve their life in the here and now. Part of this is that you can gain a personal reality on your spiritual immortality through Scientology Auditing. (I know that I have.)
So you can see that the definition of "salvation" we are using in Scientology is different to the Christian definition of salvation which is "deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ." Scientology is not offering that sort of salvation and is not in competition with it.
2) You are correct that L. Ron Hubbard has never claimed to be anything more than a man who was curious about what made humanity tick, investigated it and shared what he found. (See: The True Story of Scientology - the full article is split into short pages, so make sure you keep clicking the "next" button till you get to the end.)
Early on in his investigations he divided life up into eight areas so it could be better understood. The article The Dynamics describes these areas. At that time he decided that the eighth area, called the "God Dynamic" should be left up to the individual and that Scientology would not intrude into that area. So Scientology stops at the seventh area, called the "Spiritual Dynamic".
Personally, I think this was a good idea. There are so many different ideas about what God is or isn't and so many claims about what is the correct belief to have and what is heresy and there has been so much conflict over the centuries that I think it is best to stay out of that zone and leave it up to personal conviction.
The best description of Scientology's viewpoint on God is covered in this article: Scientology and God. From that page I think you will understand why no assertions have been made of divine revelation in the development of Scientology.
(BTW: that entire web site (Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion) is a great reference that will answer many, many questions not only about Scientology but also about how it relates to other religions.)
3) What we say in Scientology is that it is a workable route out of the sufferings and travails of life. We don't say it is the only possible route.
My own viewpoint is that I have found a workable route to personal spiritual improvement and so I'm following it. The results I've gotten so far have been phenomenal so I'm quite happy to continue to follow it. I definitely recommend it to others, and I think that with just a small investment of time anyone can see if it is going to be a workable route for them or not.
You ask: Why should one choose to become a Scientologist? My answer is "because it will help you to handle those things in your life that cause you upset and suffering then it will help you increase your abilities to levels you never thought possible and you can prove to yourself that it works with just a small investment of time and effort."
4) In Scientology there is no "conversion". A person can be a Scientologist and a member of any other religion. We don't insist they drop or renounce their other beliefs.
Beliefs in such things as past-lives are not dogma is Scientology. As an individual becomes more spiritually aware he or she gains personal reality on their present and past. No one insists that a person recalls a past life and if they do then no one insists that it is real. Whether the individual wants to accept it as fact or as a delusion is entirely up to them. All we care about is that their lives improve and they become more spiritually aware.
The tools we have in Scientology don't require belief in order to work.
Regarding the holy books of other religions. It is impossible to get everything about existence into one or two brief volumes. The Bible doesn't mention sub-atomic particles, yet they exist. The Qur'an doesn't mention other galaxies yet they exist. Neither of these omissions make those great works less than they are.
I hope I've answered your questions to your satisfaction, if not just ask me some more.