Is Scientology a cult? Some say yes, some say no, but I’m only here to give some basics on the group. If you feel it is or isn’t a cult, I would like to hear your thoughts either way, please comment on the topic. Let’s talk about Scientology.
Who created Scientology?
In the 1950’s there was a science fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard, and his goal was to start a religion to make money. His religion is an offshoot of the method of psychotherapy he also created and wrote about called Dianetics. Dianetics is a form of regression therapy, but to make it look more like a religion and enjoy tax benefits, he called his new religion Scientology.
- The letter “S” which represents Scientology.
- An upper triangle whose sides represent three closely interrelated factors: knowledge, responsibility and control.
- A lower triangle which represents affinity, reality and communication.
In 1949 L. Ron Hubbard offered his findings, Terra Incognita: The Mind, to both the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Both rejected them and later attempted to discredit his work and reputation. In May 1950, his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was published and has since sold millions.
In 1951, Mr. Hubbard formed the religious philosophy of Scientology, and it is based on his discovery that man is a spiritual being. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954.
What does Scientology actually believe?
- Members believe that a person is neither mind nor body, but a soul, called a Thetan. A Thetan is the essence of a person, one does not have a Thetan, one is a Thetan.
- There are Eight Dynamics that they recognize. A dynamic is an urge, drive, or impulse. Being able to understand them helps a person gain insight of their life activities.
- The First Dynamic – The urge to survive as oneself.
- The Second Dynamic – The urge to survive through family and sex.
- The Third Dynamic – To survive in various groups such as a company or with friends.
- The Fourth Dynamic – To survive as mankind.
- The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Dynamics – To survive other life forms such as animals, the physical universe, the spiritual universe, and infinity, respectively.
- Progressing beyond “Clear” to an “OT” or Operating Thetan. An OT is able to leave their body and mind, they can see, hear and feel without access to normal senses.
- Religious figures such as Buddha or Jesus Christ are regarded as slightly above “Clear”
- They believe in reincarnation and pass through a number of lifetimes. Personal salvation in one lifetime is freedom from the cycle of birth and death.
- They believe that God exists but do not have a specific belief about that deity.
- To help sufficient numbers of people to become “Clear” so that a significant impact can be felt in areas of crime, mental illness, warfare, drug addiction, physical illnesses, etc.
- Members believe in “Auditing” a unique form of counseling intended to help a person look at their own existence and improve their ability to confront what and where they are.
- This activity is a precise, codified event, with exact procedures. They use a special device to help locate areas of spiritual distress my measuring the mental state or change of the person being audited.
- Auditors are members of the clergy and wear clerical clothing.
- Training in Scientology principles to graduate to a higher state of spiritual existence.
What is involved in Scientology Training and Auditing?
This part of Scientology is rather confusing so I’m going to try to make this as simple as possible.
First and foremost, training requires the purchase of all of L. Ron Hubbard’s twelve books, audio recordings, and attending the audits. Audits cost over $700 an hour.
Secondly the mandatory courses that are required to achieve success, normally cost $650 per course. The chart of courses is called “The Bridge to Total Freedom.” These courses start with “Basic Dianetics and Scientology Materials” which are designed for new followers.
The next course is called “Purification Rundown”. These courses are designed to release from addictions and harmful substances.
The third set of courses is “Objectives and Scientology Drug Rundown” designed to gain the ability to heal yourself from harmful effects of your addictions.
And then finally you will have “Arc Straightwire” where you acknowledge that your conditions won’t worsen.
After these courses you can start on Grade 0; this is where you can finally discuss any topic with your peers.
Grade I – Members gain the ability to find root causes of their problems and make them disappear.
Grade II – Members can relieve themselves from the negative influences in their lives.
Grade III – Where you can attain relief from unhappy influences from your past and progress towards the future.
Grade IV – Members gain the ability to go past suppressive conditions and achieve new goals.
After you complete threse classes there are more: The New Era Dianetics after the completion of this course members obtain the title of “Clear” which means a person no longer possesses a reactive mind.
The Clear courses expand on this further and members can go through two more series called “OT Preparations” and “OT Levels”, (prices go up to OT8 and beyond) OT refers to Operating Thetan. Operating Thetan is the highest title a Scientologist can acquire; Tom Cruise is an Operating Thetan Level VIII, John Travolta is an Operating Thetan Level V, Kirstie Alley is an Operating Thetan Level VII . This means they have finally gained the ability to handle things and exist without physical support or assistance.
After completing the “Bridge to Total Freedom” you can expect to have spent between $365,000 to $380,000 just on courses alone. Think about that, and ask yourself, why does a “church” require that much of a financial commitment?
When thinking of Scientology, we often think of some of the celebrities who are active members in their ranks such as: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Juliette Lewis, Kirstie Alley, and Jason Lee. Celebrities are given a higher social status in the Church and are considered suitable spokespersons for the organization. Scientology’s main aims is to utilize influential people to bring in more profits for the Church. Ultimately, it is a business before it is a religion.
In determining is Scientology is a cult, it is essential to know and to remember that there isn’t a clear distinction between a cult or an organized religion. Any religious organization can be deemed a cult if enough opinion and criticism is thrown on it.
Some common characteristics of cults include:
- A focus on the leader with and all-consuming and unquestioning commitment
- Use of guilt or mind-numbing techniques to help eliminate doubt
- Total control of the members in all things; thoughts, actions, and feelings
- The leader has claimed an exalted status for themselves
- Isolation from non-member, including friends and family
- Devotion of the majority of time and money to the group
- Encouraging to live and socialize only with members
The Church of Scientology keeps their document protected and all their documents have a copyright. They are not available to people unless they pay a high fee (see the courses above). The church scriptures are considered trade secrets and the church has shown in the past that they will vigorously pursue anyone who tries to expose or publish their documents.
The Church of Scientology is a cult-like religious organization that brainwashes its members and uses celebrity influencers to entice new members. The Church of Scientology has also forced its members to engage in costly auditing sessions, take expensive courses, and give up their basic freedoms for the sake of becoming “one’s true self.”
Stay Curious my Friends!