The Church of Scientology explained
Published: Monday, May 14, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 14, 2012 19:05
1. Self: whose goal is to attain the highest level of survival for the longest time.
2. Creativity: that part of us that makes plans for the future
3. Group survival
4. Species survival
5. Life form survival
6. Physical universe
7. Spiritual survival
8. Existence as infinity
Scientology helps man achieve survival in all eight areas, therefore reaching full potential. Lyra explained that this eighth dynamic, existence as infinity, takes whatever form one wants it to. For this reason Scientology is practiced by Muslims, Hindus, and Christians alike, as the mind clearing techniques of Dianetics will bring the human thetan closer to any god it has chosen to worship. Scientology, however, holds to no dogma, or god of its own.
One of Scientology’s main components is purification, through a process called the “purif,” explained in another book by Hubbard. This process will free the body of toxins from drugs, medications, and food, which can be inhibitory to the body and mind. While again, the explanatory video was brimful of people whose lives had apparently been changed, some question this portion of Scientology, accusing Hubbard of being an addict himself, and therefore in no position to help others out of that predicament.
Accusatory rumors aside, the Church of Scientology is highly active all over the world, bringing relief aid and human rights activism to over one hundred nations. In fact the church claims over 200,000 volunteers, which they also say is on of the largest independent relief force in the world, which puts in over 5 million hours of service every year during disasters like 9/11 and the Asian tsunamis. These missions are funded entirely through donations.
United for Human Rights, another church program helps societies on every level to adopt the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights. Volunteers travel the globe’s major cities collecting signatures for things like mandatory human rights education.
A similar group, the Youth for Human Rights, even have a forum during the UN Human Rights Summit, where they give a presentation on progress and future goals.
While all of the above may sound good and inspiring, Scientology has a shady past that cannot be overlooked. Church leaders, including Hubbard, have been accused of violence toward members, the church has been convicted of fraud, and it goes to great lengths to hide these, and many other alleged crimes. Most disturbing are Operation Snow White (a mission to purge government agencies of any documentation that cast Hubbard or Scientology in a bad light, and the largest government infiltration in U.S. history), and Operation Freakout (a plan to have freelance journalist Paulette Cooper submitted to a mental hospital after her highly critical book on Scientology was published). A large organization going to such great lengths almost guarantees that there is a lot to hide.
Most widely controversial, however, is Scientology’s status as an actual religion. Although the IRS granted Scientology religious status in 1953, many attribute this action to the church’s extensive attacks on the tax organization, through investigations and law suits. Some countries, such as Canada and Germany still do not recognize Scientology as a religion.
Webster defines religion as “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith,” which, as far as simple definitions go, describes Scientology well enough. However, first impressions of the video tour do raise suspicions. Each video is vague and barely informative, giving less a description of Scientology, than an infomercial-worthy review, complete with the “if you would like to learn more, buy (insert R.L. Hubbard book title here).
Said books run around $100, and, while introductory classes are free, the farther someone advances the more classes cost, until they could be paying thousands. The church offers classes on everything from depression to time management to goal achievement, all of which seem less facilitating of a deep, eternal connection to a superior being, and more geared toward very expensive self help.
But if self help is what you are looking for than maybe Scientology is for you.