The Scientology religion ESTABLISHED IN THE 50'S
is an expanding new religion, founded by American SCI FI WRITER
and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. The word Scientology means the "study of knowledge or truth" and addresses the rehabilitation and salvation of the human spirit.
According to a Scientology website:
"Today its more than 6,000 churches, missions, related organizations, groups and activities span the globe and minister the religion to more than eight million people in 159 countries in over 66 languages."
Additionally, Churches of Scientology support more than a thousand social betterment groups, which utilize L. Ron Hubbard's methods in the fields of education, drug and criminal rehabilitation, and moral rejuvenation.
The total number of Scientologists in the world is extremely difficult to estimate, for a variety of reasons. Estimates range from 100 thousand to 10 million.
The Church has expanded more in the last five years than in the preceding fifty. In the last year alone, new Scientology groups, missions and churches have opened at the rate of three per day.
What Scientologists Believe
Belief in Deity
Scientology considers the belief in a God or gods as something personal and therefore offers no specific dogma. The nature of the Supreme Being is revealed personally through each individual as s/he becomes more conscious and spiritually aware. There exists a life energy or force (Theta) beyond and within all.
There are no particular human incarnations of God, as the universal life force (Theta) is inherent in all. All humans are immortal spiritual beings (thetans) capable of realizing a nearly godlike state through Scientology practices.
• Origin of Universe and Life
All is manifestation of the universal spirit, which is all that actually exists.
• After Death
Rebirths continue until one consciously confronts all pre-birth, current-life, and previous-life traumas and realizes one's true nature as a "thetan," immortal spirit--transcending matter, energy, space, and time. Achieving this state enables the spirit to escape the cycle of birth and death--to operate independently of the physical universe and become one with God.
• Why Evil?
Painful experiences and harmful acts in one's prebirth, current, and past lives become imprinted in the reactive mind and lead to irrational behavior. Departures from rational thought and untrue ideas ("aberrations") can result in wrongdoing.
Salvation is achieved through the practices and techniques of Scientology, the ultimate goal of which is to realize one's true nature as an immortal spirit, a thetan. The path to salvation, or enlightenment, includes achieving states of increasingly greater mental awareness--Pre-Clear, Clear, and ultimately Operating Thetan. An Operating Thetan is a spirit who can control matter, energy, space, time, thought, and life. Practitioners ("Auditors") are regarded as ministers and counselors who assist others to achieve self-enlightenment. Auditors help others to identify their prebirth, current, and past-life disturbances, which are obstacles to happiness and spiritual enlightenment.
• Undeserved Suffering
Suffering occurs as part of the spirit's entrapment here in the physical universe. Only when the individual is aware of his spiritual nature can he identify his barriers within the universe and overcome them, rising out of a lower state and into a higher state of happiness and freedom.
• Contemporary Issues
Based on the belief that you cannot free yourself spiritually without working to free others, Scientology has founded and supports many organizations for social betterment, particularly in the areas of drug abuse, crime, psychiatric abuse, government abuse of law, human rights, religious freedom, education, and morality. Scientology strongly favors the use of their methodology for spiritual/mental healing over the use of conventional treatment.