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Scientology

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Cults By Rev. Paul Seiler

Scientology

11.1 INTRODUCTION

In the cults that we have dealt with up to this point, they all claim to be Christian, even though they depart from orthodox Christian belief. The Scientology cult makes no claim to be Christian. Its founder was a science-fiction writer, who decided to broaden his horizons and so he started a cult. Today Scientology has a worldwide membership. According to their own claim, in just over 40 years from the establishment of the first Church of Scientology, their religion now spans the globe. Today, they have more than 3,000 churches, missions and related organisations located around the world. They have a membership of 8 million people in 120 countries and in 31 languages. (Internet June 98)

11.2 THE ORIGIN OF SCIENTOLOGY

Scientology was founded by Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, who was born at Tilden, Nebraska, U.S.A, on the 13th of March 1911. According to his official biography, his father was an American naval commander. In his early years he lived with his grandfather in Montana, where he claims to have had his first encounter with Souix Indians. At least this is what his official biography claims.

"L. Ron Hubbard found the life of a young rancher very enjoyable. Long days were spent riding, breaking broncos, hunting coyote and taking his first steps as an explorer. For it was in Montana that he had his first encounter with the Blackfoot Indians. He became a blood brother of the Blackfoot.... When he was ten years old, he rejoined his family." (Internet June 98)

Such events may have existed in his imagination but they have no basis in reality. The truth is that young Ron Hubbard lived with his parents in a small apartment on Rodney Street in Helena, and he attended the local kindergarten. His grandparents and his lively maternal aunts lived nearby. When he was six years old, his father enlisted in the Navy after the start of World War I. For the next few years, Ron and his mother followed Harry to a series of port cities where he was stationed.

According to his official biography he became a great traveller, actually travelling to the far East. This is what his biography says,

"The following years, from 1925 to 1929, saw the young Mr. Hubbard, between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, as a budding and enthusiastic world traveller and adventurer. His father was sent to the Far East and, having the financial support of his wealthy grandfather, L. Ron Hubbard spent these years journeying through Asia."

"He was up and down the China coast several times in his teens from Ching Wong Tow to Hong Kong and inland to Peking and Manchuria.

"In China he met an old magician whose ancestors had served in the court of Kublai Khan and a Hindu who could hypnotise cats. In the high hills of Tibet he lived with bandits who accepted him because of his honest interest in them and their way of life.

"In the remote reaches of western Manchuria he made friends with the ruling warlords by demonstrating his horsemanship. On an island in the South Pacific, the fearless boy calmed the natives by exploring a cave that was supposed to be haunted and showing them that the rumbling sound from within was nothing more sinister than an underground river. Deep in the jungles of Polynesia he discovered an ancient burial ground steeped in the tradition of heroic warriors and kings...."

How true are such claims? The truth is that at the age of thirteen, the Hubbards had moved to Bremerton, Washington, where young Ron was an eighth grader at Union High School. Hubbard enjoyed activities such as hiking and camping at the nearby Boy Scout camp ground.

Scientologist frequently claim that their founder, Ron Hubbard, was a man of academic distinction. However, the hard evidence suggests that this is an exaggerated claim. The facts are that Ron Hubbard failed his science course at George Washington University. He did eventually gain an honorary Ph.D degree from Sequoia University.193 During the war Ron Hubbard served in the United States navy. He served in the South Pacific and claimed to have been wounded in active service and to have been at death's door. However, when discharged from the navy but that by 1949 he had recovered sufficiently to have been pronounced physically fit. After his retirement from the navy he resumed his studies of philosophy and began to write his book, Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health. This was basically a do-it-yourself psychoanalysis manual. Within a year Hubbard set up dianetics foundations, institutions and organisations within several American states.194 At first he made no claim to establishing a new religion. However, he received a great deal of criticism from various medical authorities, so he decided to turn his dianetics into a religion. Hubbard claimed that he did not create Scientology, he considered that he merely discovered it. He claimed that it was the perfect fulfilment of what all the followers of other religions had been searching for through the centuries of religious history.195 What is most remarkable is that his book became a best seller, selling one hundred thousand copies within three months of publication.196 I guess it just goes to show how Satan is able to give much success to his children.

Hubbard's discovery proved very profitable for him. According to Time magazine article he boasted to have had $7,000,000 stashed away in a Swiss bank account. He received 10 percent of all fees collected by Scientology centres. Hubbard spent much of his time sailing the high seas in his yacht the "Sea Org", a 3,300 ton yacht, which carried about 200 crew.197 The cult was registered as, 'The Church of Scientology of California' on 19th May 1954, its stated aim, "To establish a religious fellowship and association for the research into the spirit and human soul and the use and dissemination of it's findings".

On January 24th, 1986, Ron Hubbard died at his ranch in Creston of a cerebral haemorrhage. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea. On January 27th, his followers gathered at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles for a briefing by the new head of Scientology, Hubbard's protege, David Miscavige. Miscavige announced that Hubbard had gone on to "his next level of research," a level done in a state exterior to the body: Thus, at 2000 hours, Friday 24 January 1986, L. Ron Hubbard discarded the body he had used in this lifetime for seventy-four years, ten months and eleven days. The body he had used to facilitate his existence in this universe had ceased to be useful and in fact had become an impediment to the work he now must do outside its confines. The being we knew as L. Ron Hubbard still exists. Although you may feel grief, understand that he did not, and does not now. He has simply moved on to his next step. (Hubbard) in fact used this lifetime and body we knew to accomplish what no man has ever accomplished -- he unlocked the mysteries of life and gave us the tools so we could free ourselves and our fellow men.

11.3 SCIENTOLOGY AND THE BIBLE.

Ron Hubbard made no claim to base his beliefs on the Bible. Rather his beliefs are the product of his own imagination. An examination of his beliefs demonstrate that his teachings are in conflict with the teachings of Scripture. Scientology's basic premise is that man is basically good. This is clearly contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture, which teaches that man is a sinner. Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly taught that there is none good except God alone; and the apostle Paul, in the first three chapters of Romans, shows that all men are sinners without exception. Scientology is not interested in what the Bible says, its highest authority is not Jesus Christ, speaking to us through His word, but Ron Hubbard speaking in his book - Dianetics.

11.4 SCIENTOLOGY'S VIEW OF GOD.

For the Scientologist, God is irrelevant.198 Ron Hubbard recognised the existence of a Supreme Being, but it is evident from his writings that he did not believe in a personal God, who is holy and in control of all things. Scientology has no official doctrine of God, and each member is left to work out His own idea. A person can be a Scientologist without even believing in God and therefore, without possessing any sense of the need to worship Him, or to pray to Him, or to be in the right relationship with Him.

11.5 SCIENTOLOGY'S VIEW OF CHRIST.

Hubbard mentioned Christ several times in his writings, but only as one of the many sources of his views. For Ron Hubbard, Jesus is essentially no different from Budda, or Mohammed or any other of the founders of religion. In his view, Jesus was merely a great man and teacher. He certainly did not believe what John says at the commencement of his Gospel, that the Word was with God and was God.

11.6 SCIENTOLOGY'S VIEW OF MANKIND.

Ron Hubbard did not believe the Bible's claim that man is a sinner who needs to be forgiven. He claimed that man's primary problem was not sin, but engrams. He believed that these engrams fouled up a person's life, and they were responsible for causing people to do wrong things. Hubbard conceived of the brain as being like a computer which had been programmed the wrong way. Scientology teaches that each individual has two minds: the analytical mind, which is just like a computer; and the reactive mind, which is roughly equivalent to the unconscious mind. The analytical mind is that conscious part of the mind that remembers and reasons. The reactive mind produces engrams and it is these engrams that give us all the problems we have as human beings. Dianetics is the method of bringing these engrams from the reactive mind with a view to studying them and removing them. In effect engrams are just bad memories. According to Ron Hubbard, every perception observed in a lifetime is stored in the human memory bank. Actually some of these engrams are stored up from previous existences. These energy pictures are stored in the subconscious and they are the source of problems that we have in life. Thus the importance of dianetics, which eradicates these nasty engrams.

Another word commonly used by Ron Hubbard to describe mankind is the word thetan. What is a thetan? It is, in effect, an immortal spirit. According to Ron Hubbard, the thetan is man's spirit or essential being. Hubbard made the claim that it is possible to separate an individual's spirit from his body and mind. He claimed to be able to prove this scientifically. He said that although the thetan is normally resident in the skull, it is one of the goals of Scientology to get it to move outside of the skull, but to remain near the body. According to Hubbard the thetan is incapable of dying, it is, in fact, reincarnated over and over again. All living creatures have a thetan in them. Hubbard taught that this thetan joins its designated body just prior to birth, and departs at death to find another body to indwell. So then, according to the teachings of Scientology your present existence is not your only one, your thetan has been around for trillions of years, during that time it has inhabited many bodies, and not necessarily human. Scientologists regard the thetan as quite a remarkable thing, for it has the power to remould the body, by increasing its height or reducing its weight. It is also able to emit enough electricity to give someone a nasty shock, or even a fatal injury. The thetan is capable of moving material objects and of travelling at high speeds. It is not bound by atmosphere or temperature, and it cannot die, and it is constantly being reincarnated on earth or on some other planet.

11.7 SCIENTOLOGY'S VIEW OF SALVATION.

One of the few dogmatic statements in Scientology's creed is the affirmation that man is basically good. Note the following creedal statements:

"And we the Church believe: That man is basically good. That he is seeking to survival That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows, and his attainment of brotherhood with the Universe. And we of the Church believe that the spirit can be saved and that the spirit alone may save or heal the body."199

"And we the Church believe: That the spirit can be saved and that the spirit alone may save or heal the body."200

As can be seen from these creedal statements, Scientology has no doctrine of sin. According to their teachings man is his own saviour. He does not need a Saviour to set him free from sin, he need dianetics to release him from the problem of engrams. The survival of his spirit depends not on God, but on himself and also upon his fellow humans. In practice what this means is that you need to pay the Church of Scientology to get rid of your engrams, if you want to get your life sorted out.

11.8 HOW SHOULD WE VIEW SCIENTOLOGY?

Ron Hubbard initially did not set out to set up a religious cult, however, it seems that he saw the advantages of proceeding in this direction after running into problems with the medical authorities. William Petersen about the development of Scientology:

"Within a year Hubbard set up dianetic foundations, institutions and organisations in several states. One by one, however, they fell by the wayside, the victim of bankruptcy proceedings, personality conflicts or disputes with physicians. Dr J. A Winter, for instance, who had earlier befriended Hubbard's dianetics, publicly criticised Hubbard's methods and said that dianetics was causing people to go psychotic. The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners charged Hubbard with operating an unlicensed medical school in that state. Hubbard had been allegedly giving out M.D. degrees; only he meant Master of Dianetics, not doctor of medicine. With such negative reaction from the scientific community, Hubbard decided to turn dianetics from a science to a religion, for after all, freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution. And so Scientology hatched full-grown from the egg of dianetics."201

It is clearly evident that the religious character of Scientology is a cover. It really is nothing more than a clever con. And certainly some government authorities have been reluctant to consider it a legitimate religion. Scientology was banned in Victoria, Australia, after an extensive inquiry into its beliefs and practices. Anyone practicing Scientology faced a fine of up to $500 or two years imprisonment. Similar restrictions were placed on Scientology in W.A and in New Zealand.202

The methodology of this cult is certainly open to question. Among one of the most common methods used by Scientologists to recruit people into their cult, is to offer a free personality test at one of the movement's centres. When a contact has undergone this test, attempts will be made to persuade him to undertake an Auditor's Course, where he will learn more about the human mind and how to handle it. The catch is that this test is not free, it costs money. Many people have sunk a lot of money into the Scientology with the desire to get rid of their problems. When the test is conducted the student is required to sit in front of an E-Meter, which is really no more than an unsophisticated lie detector. The auditor asks the student a series of questions. During this question and answer session the student, or as Scientologists would refer to him "the pre-clear", holds an electrode in each hand. The electrical impulses register by the E-Meter are said to indicate the engrams in his mind. As these engrams are brought to light the pre-clear achieves his grade of release and may then proceed to the next course.

11.9 WHY DO PEOPLE JOIN SCIENTOLOGY?

Scientology has a membership of millions, some have even estimated as that there could be some 15 million members of this cult in the world today. It has a large following in the U.S.A. and centres all over the world, and it is active here in Australia. In light of what we have seen concerning the questionable character of Scientology, the question naturally arises: Why do people get caught up with a cult like this? Perhaps some are attracted because the cult appears to be both religious and philosophical? No doubt some join because they are lonely; and Scientology offers them some form of social life. There are no doubt many and various reasons why people get caught up with this cult. The primary reason, however, that people get caught up with this cult is because they are deceived by Satan. For all the cults are Satanically inspired to lead people away from the truth. It is what Paul says in his second letter to the Corinthians:

The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

(2 Corinthians 4:4 )

11.10 CONCLUSION

The teachings of Scientology are clearly in conflict with the teachings of the Bible. As we have seen the deny they regard the existence of God as immaterial and certainly do not accept the God who has revealed Himself in Holy Scriptures. They deny the sinfulness of man and they deny the need of the Saviour, Jesus Christ. The tragedy is that there are millions of people deceived by this cult. You may come in contact with someone involved in this cult. I hope that this study may help you to understand what they believe.

193William Petersen Those Curious New Cults Keats Publishing Co', New Canaan, Connecticut, 1973, p.87

194ibid p.88

195Maurice Burrell op cit p.128

196William Petersen op cit p.88

197Maurice C Burrell The Challenge of the Cults op cit p.128

198William Petersen op cit p.95

199Maurice C Burrell op cit p.141

200ibid p.141

201William Petersen op cit pp. 88 & 89

202ibid p.89

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 10:38  

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