The Facets of Scientology

Ron L. Hubbard’s book Dianetics has served as a guidepost for many followers of the religion of Scientology. Scientology is defined as the ‘study of truth’ as it is derived from the Latin word ‘scio’ meaning ‘knowing’ and the Greek word ‘logos’ meaning ‘study of.’ Scientology gained most mass appeal during the 1950s, with the publishing of the book ‘Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health’ and preceded by ‘Scientology: The History of Man’ in 1953.

The study of human nature, philosophy, mental and spiritual health, and relationships, is a part of every culture and nation. Scientology gained western appeal most prominently after World War II in the United States, as one perspective on understanding the human struggle of existence. Many dissidents of Scientology label the philosophy and religion as ‘science fiction.’ True believers use the religion’s concepts and paradigms to construct a life focused on a deep understanding of the spiritual and physical nature of the world and themselves. Scientology forces questions on basic belief systems, practices, and behaviors. Its primary focus is to gain followers and bring forward concepts on how the mind is controlled, what indicates happiness, and the possibility of relieving mental health conditions with corrective training and new understanding.

‘Dianetics’ most importantly focuses on human mental health; issues such as addictions, death, learning, and mind-controlling techniques are addressed. Emotional problems and painful experiences are interconnected, and are considered ‘aberrations’ of the mind whereby behaviors, outcomes, and choices become a direct result. The ‘Hidden Truth’ is only available to Scientologists who have had an adequate ‘clearing’ and can define their higher purpose. Followers of Scientology believe that many people’s past traumas and aberrations have been caused by brainwashing, and only a special ritual can be performed to regain full control. Scientology research is designed to understanding the OT, the Operating Thetan. This is the completely ‘free’ state that the human soul can evolve toward and grow freely in; it is defined as gaining complete control over thoughts, matter, energy, space, and time. The ‘OT Three’ level is approached only by Scientologists who are ready to learn about the ‘Wall of Fire.’ According to the doctrines, this the final stage about learning the secrets about the universe.

The term’ auditing’ is a process defined by Scientology as learning how to ‘clear’ the mind from its former control systems. The auditing process enables a practitioner to help lead and direct the ‘reactive mind,’ essentially attempting to identify triggers for unwanted behavior, as well as understanding thought processes at a deep level. ‘Engrams’ are a focal point of this process, as these are defined as the thought processes and systems that are considered ‘etched’ into the brain during a traumatic event. The goal is then to break down this engram and incorporate a new thought or behavior. This may seem similar to hypnotism, but Scientologists would argue that they instead focus on the use of an ‘E-meter’, which is an electronic-powered instrument designed to read electrical disturbances and gauge them for review.

Scientology is considered a religion; the complete philosophy and structure is organized around specific beliefs and principles, and follows guidelines in order to repair, create harmony, and encourage followers to further spread its understanding. It deplores traditional psychiatry and philosophy, instead focusing on its own design of ideas, thought processes, and research. Its founder, Ron L. Hubbard has distributed thousands of tapes, books, and media materials for interested parties since the 1950s. The Church of Scientology was first incorporated in Camden, New Jersey in 1953. Since then, special institutions such as the ‘Narconon’ drug treatment centers, ‘Criminon’ criminal rehabilitation programs, and specific moral campaigns such as “The Way to Happiness’ can be found across the nation. Ron Hubbard has also identified a business management program called Sterling Management Systems; these management techniques are a part of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprise and today it serves as a management seminar and consulting firm.

Scientology currently claims that it has 10 million members in 159 countries; Clearwater has been recognized as the America’s ‘Scientology Town.’ The town is considered a mecca for its followers, complete with lavish buildings of distinction and an organized community and hierarchy. Security cameras and other security devices are found throughout the area. The mission is ‘to help people,’ and the group claims to do so with a highly structured, organized, and doctrine-focused method. Many consider Scientology another western cult, and some have had painful and emotionally jarring incidents from the experience. Still, supporters of Scientology firmly believe in the religion’s doctrines and practices, and use them to live their daily lives and gain deep understanding of the world and human existence.

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