Skip to comments.An Ex-Fanatic Speaks Out (The Forbidden Side of Scientology)
Posted on 01/12/2005 5:10:10 PM PST by Murray Luther
The Forbidden Side of Scientology By the Reverend Murray Luther, Jan 13, 2005
An Ex-Fanatic Speaks Out
This is the first entry in a series of reports and commentary on the ever controversial Church of Scientology. I've been a member for roughly thirty years, and as of this writing I still remain in good standing. I've received hundreds of hours of Scientology counseling, and have attained some of the highest spiritual levels that it offers. I've also done significant amounts of training in the delivery of Scientology counseling, as well as courses in the administration of Church management policies. I've been a Church staff member, and have done many hours of volunteer work as a Scientology activist. On top of all that, I'm also an ordained minister. I speak from a wealth of experience.
Murray Luther isn't my real name. For the time being, I've chosen to publish my reports anonymously because Scientologists are forbidden to make public statements regarding Scientology without prior approval from the Church's PR and Legal departments. And saying anything critical about Scientology, the Church, or its founder L. Ron Hubbard only compounds the crime. Because I've chosen to speak candidly about my Church experiences and opinions, I'm committing an offense of the most heinous sort.
In the event that the Church discovers who Murray Luther really is, I'll be expelled from the group and Scientologists will be forbidden to communicate with me in any way. The Church's quaint policy of shunning its dissidents is an outdated and backwards practice that has no place in modern society. Although my excommunication is perhaps inevitable, I'd prefer to initiate my own "coming out" at a time of my own choosing.
For the most part, Scientologists are decent and well meaning people with a sincere desire to help others. But too many times I've seen over-zealous Church staff and management take undue advantage of their own good people. I've come across too many instances of abuse and incompetence that now compel me to speak out. I can no longer sit silently, uninvolved and watch innocent people get hurt.
Although I'm well acquainted with the militant approach of eager Scientologists trying to forward their religion, I believed that in the end, goodness was ultimately served. Not too long ago, I started to have some second thoughts about this. I began to wonder about the human cost, if the ends were actually justifying the means. Even the most noble of causes loses its virtue if you find that your sense of right and wrong has been compromised.
There was a time when I believed Scientology was a benevolent religion dedicated to the good of mankind. While this may in part still be true, in recent years I've had to adjust my view. What I once considered enthusiastic dedication to a worthy spiritual purpose, has taken on the specter of religious extremism. I started to wonder if perhaps the Church of Scientology had stepped over the line.
Dedicated Scientologists are intensely motivated to make extraordinary sacrifices of their time and money-often at the expense of other aspects of their lives. While that alone is hardly a crime, I think it's worth noting that extreme self-sacrifice is a common trait found among many fanatical groups. When Scientologists become zealots, they end up compromising their personal values in favor of what they believe is a greater good: devoting their lives according to the dictates of the Church of Scientology. Consequently, dedicated Scientologists come to view their religion as senior to everything including life itself.
The Scientology zealot serves as an illustrative example of the basic mindset of the religious fanatic, a true believer who's prone towards unusual and excessive behavior. And let's not forget that Scientologists are hardly alone in this single minded zeal towards their religion. Religious extremism is a worldwide phenomenon that both history and current events have shown to be troublesome and at times even destructive.
I avoid calling myself a Scientologist these days. Although there are certain Scientology principles that I still embrace, the thought of being a Church member has become distasteful to me. Frankly, it's gotten embarrassing. Scientologists seem unaware of their own fanaticism and how it adversely affects the public at large. In recent years I've grown weary of discussing Scientology with the general public because it so often involved having to explain and downplay all the anecdotal stories of mistreated people.
I found myself less and less willing to use PR spin to clean up other people's messes. I won't do it anymore. The ends no longer justify the means. Rather than continue to explain away these messes, I've decided to evaluate and discuss them instead. In subsequent reports I'll provide candid analysis of the Scientology movement, past and present, as well as my opinions regarding the Scientology movement.
It's not unusual for the Church of Scientology to attack their critics with accusations of slander, fraud, and various other ungodly deeds. Scientologists like to use words like "religious discrimination," when speaking about their critics. The Church is quick to label their opponents as "anti-religious extremists," and members of "hate groups." Because I now publicly oppose their rigid orthodoxy, I suspect that I might get similar treatment. Such is the price of dissent in Scientology. Such is the arrogance of its Church.
Murray Luther is the pen name of a Scientologist who's been in good standing with the Church for over twenty-five years. © Copyright Murray Luther 2005. All rights reserved.
Scientology is a dangerous cult. I advise anyone involved with it to get out now.
My brother and sister were conned by Scientology about 20 years ago, when they were young and foolish, and especially attractive to Scientology recruiters - vulnerable.
These days they're like you, still in admiration of some of the concepts of Hubbard's philosophy, but disgusted with the Church of Scientology itself.
Like all religions, in and of itself Scientology is no worse than say Islam or Buddism with regard to the efficacy and insight in it's teachings. It's only when you add the PEOPLE required to call it a religion that it strays over the line to corruption, fanaticism, and criminality.
I have to admit being seriously amused though - more so than by any other 'religion' when I was told about 'body thetans' and 'n-grams'. Guess I'm in serious need of an 'audit', eh?
When have the Scientologists gone around slamming airliners into buildings? They may be a touch odd, but I haven't noticed them becoming homicidal.....
Wow. I bet there is a bit of a stir at &cientology HQ tonight.
This just sounds like a typical burnout letter. At the worst of times, I could have written the same thing about the Marines or Ernst & Young. Im sure many could do a global search and replace on this article with the names of their least favorite church or political group that they experienced.
You should read up a bit, if you can find anything on it - Scientologists are experts in media suppression.
The COS has drugged people, kidnapped them, robbed them, beaten them, killed them, ruined them, slandered/libeled them, and set them up.
Not mass murderers (that I know of, although one could argue that The Sea Org came close), but a bit more than 'odd'.
I don't trust the fanatics at all. MUCH less than, say, a devout Christian or Jew. They are WEIRD folks with weird beliefs, at least at the higher levels.
L. Ron was a master story teller..
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." - Barry Goldwater
If you believe you are serving the truth is it fanatical to give it all you've got?
I await the rest of your confessions. So far nothing said that everyone didn't know.
I live in an area without a Scientology presence and I had thought they had faded away into their own paranoid fantasies.
I have devised a short list of traits that most cults have in common:
1) CULT OF PERSONALITY: A particular person or leader is either directly worshipped (living or dead) or is otherwise granted dispensation from having to obey the same moral laws as the congregation at large.
2) ISOLATION OF CONGREGATION: Forbidding contact with outsiders, usually with dire consequences. This is different from a monastery, in which you do have some contact with outsiders.
3) CONFISCATION OF ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY AND MONEY: As opposed to voluntarily submitting it, as is done in churches, synagogues, etc. Monks often give up all they own but it is voluntary.
4) GENERAL ENFORCEMENT OF RULES BEHAVIOR VIA INTIMIDATION OR WORSE: No questioning of the cult's authority, as opposed to the Judeo-Christian tradition in which, with some exceptions in some sects, questions are encouraged.
Scientology fits all 4.
Why do I suspect there will be a book forthcoming?
Just what I thought about it. Sour grapes syndrome. Someone's not getting their ego stroked in L. Ron Land.
Yes, if 'all you've got' includes criminality.
Hey, if it's better than Battlefield Earth, or exposes what really happened to Lisa McPherson, I'm all for it!
Scientology - a religion founded on a simple bet.
"When have the Scientologists gone around slamming airliners into buildings? They may be a touch odd, but I haven't noticed them becoming homicidal....."
They do have their own navy, though (or at least they DID). L. Ron was pretty much persona non grata in most civilized countries (in our own for tax evasion), and spent his last days on the high seas with his fleet.
"They have rules that I don't like." "Some people in authority have let it go to their heads." "People in my church don't like it when our problems are aired in the general community."
He said nothing about trying to address problems from within; whether they have mechanisms for it or whether he tried to. If there's more from Luther Murray I guess we'll have to stay tuned.
The end no longer justifies the means because it has become personally embarrassing to him. Good grief.
Are you aware that L. Ron Hubbard is still alive?
Murray Luther. Sorry. That was not an intentional slight.
He lives in you and me.
They were very friendly and helpful while I was there the short time. They offer "audits" to help you get started on the right path. Each audit of course has a good price tag attached to it. One pays dearly to conform with the COS.
As I recall from collected news articles over the years...
L Ron Hubbard long ago was a writer of fiction, now a founder of religion.
Arafat was a heartless terrorist, died a leader of some sort married to a not pretty gold digger.
Ted Hayes was a ratty looking homeless man interviewed on the news complaining about what he and his fellow homeless people felt entitled to for free. Now he is a recognized and respected advocate of the homeless.
They accomplished these with the help of non thinking average people, although I think COS goes for the wealthy more than the average Joe on the street.
For anybody who is about to get into any other high-control religion, you have to watch out for these signs.
# Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
# No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
# No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
# Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
# There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
# Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
# There tend to be many records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader
# Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
# The group/leader(s) is always right. Either through outright admission or through unwritten rules, AKA (Our leader may be misdirected at times, but he's imperfect, however, if you speak against Their/His/her direction, you're turning your back on the group and you're evil.
# The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
Authoritarian: There is almost always a central, charismatic, living human leader who commands total loyalty and allegiance.
Oppositional: Their beliefs, practices and values are counter to those of the dominant culture.
Exclusivistic: They are the only group that possesses the "truth."
Legalistic: Rules and regulations abound governing spiritual matters and the details of everyday living.
Subjective: They emphasize the experiential, the feelings and the emotions. This is usually accompanied by an anti- intellectualism.
Persecution-conscious: The groups feel they are being singled out by mainstream Christians, the press, parents, and the government.
Sanction-oriented: They require conformity in practice and belief, and exercise sanctions against the wayward.
Esoteric: They promote a religion of secrecy and concealment. Truth is taught on two levels, inner truth and outer truth.
Also watch out for family members and friends that seem to shy away from you due to their new religion.
Egad, I feel like I'm rubbernecking a bloody train wreck :- |
"...attained some of the highest spiritual levels that it offers."
That phrase alone tells you more than any other part of the story.
Scientology "offers" (as in sells) spiritual levels. The more you make as a hollywierd actor or lawyer/judge .... the more "spiritual you may become .... your only limit is how much CASH you have to give.
I went in with my stubborn streak turned on just to be in the clear and safe from them if they closed in on me too much.
Read up here: http://www.clambake.org
Do tell. Have you ever met Tom Cruise and Nichole Kidman?
bump for later read
I'm a socioanthropologist. Scientology, like some other cults, is a pseudo religion. For the emotionally and therefore spiritually bereft of the feel good culture being shoved down our throats for 35 years, it used the classic elements necessary for any new religion: heavy emphasis on what amounts to simple understanding of the human ohyche, what makes us pack/herd animals get along and what makes us confrontational.
Hubbard did this as a weird experiment in Jungian psychology. As far as I was ever able to tell, he never meant it to be a real religion, he just wanted to compel readers and sell books. When he died, his wife preyed upon the gullible for profit. If you're creative enough and a good student of human psychology - you don't need a degree, just a good brain - you too and invent a cult of your own.
If you're really that openly critical and questioning of Scientology, study the methodology Hubbard used in mapping his books.
There are no secrets to it, only elements of the ritual methodology of established religions combined with the most popular buts and pieces of pop culture
A previous poster has it right: Muhammad successfully used Judaeism and Christianity and combined it with the STRICTEST, most secret aspects of ancient Semitic tribal culture to create Islam and did a giid job, even though half the time he was wasted on opium laced wine to ease the pain of wounds he'd received while killing off while tribes of his own people
Just as Hubbard did while combining the most fascinating aspects of all the major religions and combining them with the most Californian of pop cults. You're not a member of a real religion, you're a member of his widow's complexes.
One thing is for sure...people on welfare...will never be members of Scientology...they can't afford it and they aren't the type to be accepted in the exclusive club.
Hmm, I thought some have been homocidal.
BTW, L. Ron Hubbard's mentor was Alastair Crowley, the reknowned black witch homosexual pedophile Satanist.
bump for later
You could easily be describing the Communist Party. Is the COS any different? Not in my mind.
For the most part, Scientologists are oblivious to how they're perceived outside of their own little bubble world. Sort of like blue state liberals.
I have a very good friend whose parents were "into" Scientology for many years. They spent untold thousands of dollars, and finally kicked her out of the house when she was 16 because she would not follow the Scientology program, on the instruction of their Scientology superiors. She went through incredible hardship trying to support herself at that age.
The philosophy of Scientology, as understood and expressed by her parents to her (and still to this day) is the epitome of selfish hard heartedness. Any trouble she may have (such as a disabled child, and severe asthma) are her own fault, she "created" them. Her very wealthy parents offer her no financial, emotional or personal support whatsoever, and in fact still use her at every opportunity.
Scientology...that's like AmWay, right?
The same 10% could be said for many organizations, including the management consulting firm where I worked. But I understand. Scientology is much more unstable.
Ive been by the huge scientology building a few times when I lived in downtown LA. Interesting place! I also stumbled across a spot giving a scientology test one Friday night while in the Marines. I scored pretty high, but was told that their ministry could bring my score up. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to see whats going on. Theyre probably testing to see whos likely to respond to which sales approach to suck them in. Thats killing two birds with one stone, but not unique to Scientology.
I know who you are.
I agree that what I said about 10% of Scientology could be said of most management consulting firms; the difference between the former and the latter is the remaining 90%. Scientology's core beliefs are antithetical to traditional Jewish and Christian beliefs. To the extent one embraces traditional beliefs about God and the human soul and eternity, one would see Scientology as dangerous. A close friend of mine jettisoned Catholicism for Scientology. I am trying to get him to practice both (because I believe it's futile to try to get him to ditch Scientology right now.) My friend's career in Hollywood has been helped by Scientology, but I keep pestering him, "That's this life; what about the afterlife?" The problem is, Scientology teaches nonsense about the afterlife, so my friend sees no reason to remain Christian.
Science or New Age Cult?*
Scientology, officially known as The Church of Scientology, was founded in 1953 by L. Ron Hubbard (1912-1986), and popularized through his 1950 book, DIANETICS: The Modern Science of Mental Health (over ten million copies sold). Dianetics was originally intended to be Hubbard's psychotherapeutic answer to the techniques of modern psychiatry. (The word "Dianetics" means "through the soul," and promises to reveal "the single source of all man's insanities, psychosomatic illnesses, and neuroses.") In addition to Dianetics, Scientology produces scores of other publications. A short list includes Source, The Delphian, Advance!, and The Auditor.
The history of Scientology actually begins much earlier than 1953. Hubbard had become a well known science fiction writer in the 1930s. In fact, some of his ideas which are "common to Scientology first appeared in his 1938 manuscript titled Excalibur" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 345), more than a decade before its official founding. Wild claims have been made about Hubbard's earlier life by Scientology publications. For example, they have claimed that he "graduated in civil engineering from George Washington University as a nuclear physicist, although the university records show that he attended for two short years, during the second of which he was on academic probation, and failed physics. Hubbard's Ph.D. was said to be from a Sequoia University in California, although there is no proof of the existence of any accredited institution in California by that name that grants doctorates" (Podiatry Today, March 1990).
Gerry Armstrong, a devout Scientologist assigned by the Church to write an authorized biography of Hubbard, discovered other inconsistencies in Hubbard's history. Armstrong, who has now left Scientology, states: "Nor was Hubbard a World War II hero who miraculously cured himself of nearly fatal combat wounds, as he claimed. Hubbard never saw combat. After his discharge from the Navy in 1946, he was granted 40% disability pay for arthritis, bursitis and conjunctivitis. He continued to collect this pay long after he claimed to have discovered the secret of how to cure such ailments" (Another Gospel, Ruth Tucker, p. 301). Hubbard's reputation as an explorer, prolific science fiction writer, and parabotanist (he was one of the first to expound the idea of "communicating" with plants) enlarged to make him the worldwide spokesman for this fast-growing cult.
Biographers have also uncovered Hubbard's involvement with the Occult, which probably influenced his writings. Hubbard claimed to have had a near-death experience where he learned everything that ever puzzled the mind of man. The notorious Satanist, Aleister Crowley, was Hubbard's mentor and he lived with Crowley protégé John Parsons, engaging in sex magic at their black magic mansion hospice (Los Angeles Times, 24 June 1990, p. A1).
Despite the inconsistencies in his history, Hubbard would become one of the wealthiest and most well known leaders of a religious movement in only a few years. Scientology currently holds assets of nearly $500 million, including a 440-foot cruise ship used as a "seagoing religious retreat." Assets also include two publishing houses, a 2,845-acre California ranch used as a school for the children of church staffers, and more than 45 buildings on 500 acres in Riverside County, California. Other assets include reinforced vaults designed to preserve the church's teachings in case of earthquake or nuclear attack. (These teachings include 500,000 pages of Hubbard's writings, 6,500 reels of tape, and 42 films.)
Scientology's methodology and beliefs have also led some members into a long history of criminal and civil actions and convictions. Both the U.S. Federal and Canadian courts have found top Scientology officials and the church guilty of charges such as burglarizing, wiretapping, and conspiracy against government agencies (Time, 6 May 1991, p. 50). In 1980, for example, eleven of Scientology's top leaders, including Hubbard's wife, were jailed for bugging and burglarizing the U.S. Justice Department and other federal agencies in the 1970s.
Within the church, there have been widespread purges and defections. Some former members have filed lawsuits accusing the church of intimidating its critics, breaking up families, and using high-pressure sales techniques to separate large sums of money from its followers. In 1986, Scientology paid an estimated $5 million to settle more than 20 of the suits, without admitting wrongdoing. In exchange, the plaintiffs agreed never again to criticize Scientology or Hubbard and to have their lawsuits forever sealed from public view.
Hubbard formalized his theories into a religion in order to obtain tax-exempt status and freedom from governmental interference for some of his organizations. Scientology currently claims to have more than eight million members in more than 3,000 "churches, mission-related organizations, and groups" in more than 133 countries. (Source: 11/2001, Scientology official Internet web site.) Closer to the truth is that there are only about 50,000 active members.
The cult claims "Celebrity Centers" (a chain of clubhouses that offer expensive counseling and career guidance) in more than 100 cities in more than 15 countries. The cult appeals strongly to intellectuals and the "gifted," relying extensively on endorsements from celebrities and corporations that employ Dianetics. Various world locations for Scientology include Washington, D.C.; Clearwater, Florida (a Scientology Training Center); Sussex, England (where it operates a thirty-room mansion and a fifty-seven acre estate); and Los Angeles (claiming such movie stars and entertainers as John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Karen Black, Jennifer Aspen, Isaac Hayes, Priscilla Presley, Kristie Alley, and the late Sonny Bono -- Scientology's "representative" in the U.S. Congress).
There are numerous front organizations in the Church of Scientology used as vehicles for their objectives. Some of the more prominent would include Advanced Organization of Los Angeles, Religious Technology Center, and FLAG. Some of the more clandestine vehicles for recruitment and dissemination of Scientology are its affiliated agencies and business programs, most of which are part of W.I.S.E. (Worldwide Institute of Scientology Enterprises). There are groups like Sterling Management Systems; Steller Management; Singer Consultants; Uptrends; Owl Management; Applied Scholastics; Citizens Commission on Human Rights; Citizens Against Taxes; The Way to Happiness Foundation; Hollander Consultants; Irons, Marcus & Valko; and Uptrends (Podiatry Today, March 1990; Watchman Expositor, 1997). They also work through Concerned Businessmen of America, and through The Way to Happiness and Set a Good Example Contest, the latter two aimed at school children, and through Narconon (meaning "non-narcosis" or "no drugs"), an alleged drug rehab program consisting of 50 alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers in 21 countries, operating in 750 prisons under the name "Criminon" (Criminon, meaning "no crime," is a volunteer criminal rehabilitation program which utilizes technologies developed by Hubbard to help convicts recover pride and self-esteem). Narconon is a classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult.
Hubbard was a best-selling author for more than 50 years, with over 589 published works to his credit. His fiction sales total over 25 million copies, and his non-fiction works have sold more than 23 million. Many may have first come in contact with Scientology through a clean-cut young man or woman at the door offering a "free personality analysis." But the 200 questions posed are part of the recruiting program for the Church of Scientology, which is nothing but an applied religious philosophy offering "a clear, bright insight to help you blaze toward your mind's full potential."
In a nutshell, Scientology teaches that all humans descended from a race of uncreated, omnipotent gods called Thetans, who gave up their powers to enter the Material-Energy-Space-Time (MEST) world of Earth. [Hubbard's Dianetics and Scientology: Technical Dictionary explains, "The Thetan is immortal and is possessed of capabilities well in excess of those hitherto predicted for man. In the final analysis what is this thing called Thetan? It is simply you before you mocked yourself up and that is the handiest definition I know of" (p. 432). The Thetan is thus that part of each individual which is immortal and which has become contaminated or debased by the influences of MEST.] Gradually, they evolved upward by reincarnation to become humans who could not remember their deified state. Scientologists are encouraged to awaken their dormant Thetan potential by removing all mental blocks called engrams. By doing so, they can realize their true personhood, achieving total power and control over MEST. Scientology offers a psychotherapeutic process for breaking through the engrams "picked up from traumas in prior lives," to "realize" once again one's true identity as an "operating Thetan" (God) beyond the limitations of MEST.
Scientology, thereby, does nothing more than incorporate certain aspects of New Age pseudoscience, psychotherapy, and various occult practices into the ancient lie of promised godhood. Below are the highlights of what Scientology believes and practices concerning its source of authority, roots, tactics, sin and salvation, Christ, and spiritual practice:
1. Source of Authority. The official Scientology Internet web site says: "The writings and recorded spoken words of L. Ron Hubbard on the subject of Scientology collectively constitute the Scripture of the religion. He set forth the Scientology philosophy and technologies in more than 500,000 pages of writings, including dozens of books, and more than 2,000 tape-recorded lectures." Principally, Hubbard and his 1950 book, Dianetics, is the authority for Scientology. [The Church of Scientology's current Church president is Heber T. Jentzsch, but the real authority is David Miscavige.] Scientology has even found it necessary to publish a dictionary with 7,000 definitions for the use of over 3,000 Dianetic words. In 1951, Hubbard released his findings on the spirit of Man, which served as the foundation of the religion of Scientology, dealing with what Hubbard considered the fundamental truths concerning the essence of life, what came before, and the hereafter. This was later followed by another basic book, SCIENTOLOGY: The Fundamentals of Thought. Hubbard's own definition of Scientology is "Knowing how to know ... Know thyself ... and the truth shall set you free" -- an obvious twisting of the words of Jesus Christ in John 8:32 -- "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
2. Its Roots. Even though Hubbard himself declared Dianetics to be "the spiritual heir of Buddhism in the Western world," there is evidence of even darker roots. Hubbard was at one time closely linked with British Satanist and New Ager Aleister Crowley, and there are strong indications that the word Dianetics had its origins in the worship of the goddess Diana.
3. Its Tactics. Scientology attempts to give the appearance that it is both a science and a religion. Fifty hours of Scientology counseling can cost $2,350. Some former members say they invested up to $80,000, which may explain some claims that the organization's total take is over $3 million per day. ["Auditing" is by far Scientology's most expensive service. Auditing is purchased in 12 1/2-hour chunks, costing the Scientologist anywhere between $3,000 and $11,000 each, depending on where it is bought.] Members are usually well-scrubbed, respectable, middle-class types. Church "ministers" wear the conventional black priest-suit and white collar, and even sport crosses, though they point out it isn't representative of Christ's crucifix. When their teachings and tactics are questioned, Scientologists are not prone to turn the other cheek. Hubbard says, "you only get hurt when you duck." Scientology's alleged tactics of harassment, intimidation, and defamation of critics are well-known -- once an FBI raid on church quarters revealed a "hit list" of enemies. [The elite of Scientology's workers, at least 5,000 of them, belong to a zealous faction known as the Sea Organization and are given room, board, and a small weekly allowance. (Scientology web site: "Today, more than 5,000 members of this religious order occupy staff positions in upper level Scientology church organizations around the world.") They sign contracts to serve Scientology in this and future lifetimes -- for a billion years. Their motto is: "We come back." Dressed in mock navy uniforms adorned with ribbons, they bark orders with a clipped, military cadence. They hold ranks such as captain, lieutenant, and ensign. Officers, including women, are addressed as "Sir."]
4. Sin and Salvation. A major creed of L. Ron Hubbard states that "man is good," an immortal Thetan, able to create MEST. This tenet is consistent with the Dianetic belief that man is descended from the gods and may someday evolve to reclaim his Thetan potential. "Salvation" involves a process of working through levels of self-knowledge and knowledge of past lives (reincarnation) to awaken the pre-existent deity within and regain total godhood. As would be expected, the existence of an eternal heaven and hell is denied.
5. Christ. Christ is deemed merely a "cleared" individual (see #6 below), i.e., "just a man."
6. Spiritual Practice. Other doctrines and practices of Scientology include astral travel, regression to past lives, and the "urge toward existence as spirits." Through the use of a Scientology "E-meter" (something like a lie detector) in an "auditing" session, members undergo exercises and counseling to eliminate negative mental images from past lives and achieve a state of "clear." (Hubbard believed all illnesses were psychosomatic and could be cured by eliminating these past experiences from the brain.) Scientology promises members higher intelligence and greater business success through Scientology courses that cost thousands of dollars. "Upper-level" or "OT6" ("OT" stands for "Operating Thetan") teachings of Scientology are available only to members who graduate through preliminary Church of Scientology programs. Scientologists tell their members that if they get into Level 6 before going through the preliminary levels, they could "dematerialize or develop [fatal] illnesses." Scientology is creating a powerful group of brainwashed robots who believe they have found a solution for their own problems as well as a master plan for every person and nation in the world, now and forever.
7. Summary of Scientology Theology. In the beginning were the Thetans. These were to eventually create the MEST, which in actuality would not be the best thing they could have done. For when the Thetan, who inhabits the MEST, comes into conflict with other MEST, an engram is recorded in the reactive mind. This engram, whether it be remembered or not, due to unconsciousness which accompanies every engram, is stored in the reactive mind and causes the Thetan to believe false data [erroneous ideas]. It is the purpose of Scientology, through its auditing efforts, to rid the Thetan of all engrams so that in turn that Thetan, who now possesses a new educational perspective on reality, as a result of the auditing, may advance to a higher state of being or Clear. Once one reaches "Clear" (a 38-step process), there are 20 more steps before one reaches "OT," when one supposedly doesn't need a body to exist and is clear of all "engrams."
Oh, yeah? I sort of doubt that, Clarissa.
In St. Louis where it seems to be fairly many, my family has had to deal with several and each time it has been a disaster. They were the looniest people I have ever run across and will never conduct any business or get involved with any group where they a part.
Hmmm, any relation to Scientologist Jenna Elfman?
Of course you always have the freedom to learn about them first hand, join them if you feel it necessary and if you feel strong enough, that is.
We both just chose elfman as stage names. Maybe she was also a Boingo fan.