Scientology is one of the truly new religions of the Western world. The primary text that underlies the Church of Scientology is “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” which was written and published by L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) in 1950. Hubbard, a science fiction writer, claimed that Dianetics was a breakthrough technology that could offer self-respect, happiness and spiritual freedom. By 1955, Hubbard had already incorporated Scientology into a church, and was boasting several thousand adherents in the United States, England, and South Africa.
Because Scientology has no explicit doctrine of God, and did not start out specifically as a “faith”, it has been challenged in many countries as to whether it is a religion at all, or merely an expensive (and possibly dangerous) therapy. Scientology has been banned over the years in a number of countries, most notably Germany, which has been waging an ongoing war with Scientologist lawyers over issues as diverse as the boycott of John Travolta’s movie “Battlefield Earth”, to components of Windows ME (“Diskeeper” utility) that was written by Scientologist programmers. In most countries, through a barrage of lawsuits, Scientology has been very successful in achieving distinction as a “religion” and the tax-exempt status and civil protection that usually accompanies that designation.
WORLDVIEW OF SCIENTOLOGY
Despite the fact that Scientology has no explicit theology, it does have very elaborate and detailed beliefs on the beginning of the human race. Some of it is so bizarre that only the highest-level members (OT III and higher) are privy to it. In begins with the story of a tyrannical ruler named Xenu, who sought to alleviate his 76 world-confederation of overpopulation around 75 billion years ago. Using subterfuge, he was able to capture and paralyze billions of individuals, which he stacked up around volcanoes on this planet (then called Teegeeack), and sought to annihilate them by means of hydrogen bombs. When the material element of these beings was destroyed, the immortal “thetan”, or “soul” of the aliens were captured and forced to exist in a sort of “virtual reality” universe, being implanted with false images of the cosmos (including false images of the existence of God and the devil), in order to keep them from simply reincarnating. (click here to see image of this story from the OTIII manuscript in Hubbard’s handwriting)
Eventually, Xenu was other thrown and imprisoned in a mountain on a distant planet. The hapless thetans now irreparably confused and without any objective frame of reference for reality, begin infesting by thousands whatever life form is present on this planet. Many have to wait in queue for millions of years for their next incarnation into a “G.E.” or “genetic entity”. The thetans find that their incarnations are complicated by the presence of the thousands of “body thetans” clustered on each G.E, as well as the negative experiences or “engrams” from the “G.E.s” that they inhabit. Scientology claims that we thetans need to be cleansed of these confused “body thetans”, the false images implanted by Xenu, as well as the negative experiences associated with our G.E.
One of the more infamous examples that L.Ron Hubbard utilized to describe the negative effects on our behavior from our G.E. was our incarnation in primordial clams or mollusks, hundreds of millions of years ago. Hubbard insisted that the experiences of that clam, such as whether it swallowed too much seawater when a wave broke over it, had a direct effect on our subconscious and associated behaviors today. Our alleged incarnation in such a clam, as well as all the innumerable incarnations after that, are said to leave an imprint or “engram” on our being which is the cause of mental disorder, anxiety, and otherwise unhealthy behaviors we engage in. Scientology promises to progressively remove those engrams, thereby restoring mental health, and making us “clear” of all the accumulated subconscious memories that are hindering our lives.
The means by which Scientology claims to be able to remove these “engrams” is by what they call “Auditing”. The Auditor asks questions of the subject (called the “PC” or “PreClear” in the lower levels) and watches for the fluctuations of the needle on the e-meter, which is a crude galvanometer. Significant motion indicates to the Auditor that they are touching upon a subject that is charged with negative engrams. The way to remove the engrams is by “running” or reliving that particular event. Since it is presumed by the auditor that most of these engrams originated in past lives, or in the events outlined by Hubbard (ie. The primordial clam, or being captured in one of Xenu’s elaborate traps), the PreClear is not going to be affirmed as progressing in Scientology until they start verbalizing their recollections to this end. It is not hard to see, based on the fact that a PreClear, after being audited for hour after hour would become hyper-suggestible, that they may suddenly begin recounting elaborate stories from previous lives.
Unfortunately for the initiate, getting rid of the engrams and going “Clear” is not the end to auditing, or progress in the Scientology hierarchy of knowledge. As more individuals were going “clear” Hubbard was hard at work creating additional and more expensive therapies that were required to progress. The OT (Operating Thetan) levels cost thousands of dollars each, and are more of the same process of getting rid of Body Thetans. Much of the highest OT courses are shrouded in mystery, since the Church of Scientology sues anyone who divulges, prints or publishes any of the content in any media (including the Internet). The previous mentioned information on Xenu, for example (part of the OT III level) could be published only at the expense of thousands of hours in court. Publicly, however, many Scientologists still deny the content, since they a