Scientology

I started watching the show Leah Remini: It’s All Relative and she talks hear and there about leaving Scientology. It got me thinking. Does anyone have any books that are easy to read about Scientology that is good for someone who knows a little? Perhaps videos and or threads here.

I know the religion itself is very hush hush yet I wonder if anyone ever wrote an insiders view book or blog.

I still wish Katie Holmes would truly come back to the Catholic Faith and Suri baptized. I find it fascinating that Katie and Tom who were both very strong Catholics fell hook line and sinker for Scientology. I used to admire Katie growing up because she was a Catholic like myself. I could relate to her

What, specifically, are you interested in learning about? Is it their belief system, their religious structure, or their typical behavior?

I guess more than just what is printed on the website. I don’t know how to explain it. More of an insiders view.

There are many groups and websites devoted to exposing the problems with Scientology, but I would have to do a web search to find them. What I do know from personal experience is that they are tenacious, like a pit-bull that won’t let go once it bites. When I was a teenager, I was at Hollywood Boulevard and Scientologists were handing out the Hubbard book Dianetics. I had heard of it, so I took a copy (never read it though), but they asked for my name and address. Being young and foolish, I gave my first name and my parent’s address. That was over 30 years ago, and my mom still gets glossy pamphlets and literature about once a month addressed to me from Scientology. This must be part of their success. They never give up!

Here is a link with some information: cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Secrets/

They have a strange theology. Thetans (spirit beings that make up everything) willed the universe into being. It was this act of creation that caused some Thetans to forget how to be gods. 75 million years ago an evil space alien named Xenu sent a bunch of bad Thetans to a volcano in Hawaii from across the universe. The spirits escaped and directed evolution. They also are responsible for good behavior and bad behavior. The bad ones are Body Thetans, and sort of possess us all.

A member joins and has to work their way up a ladder of Operating Thetan levels, their goal is to get to be a Clear Operation Thetan and thus become like gods themselves. They have to pay in order to reach the next level, each level costing more than the one below.

Members are expected to get audited, think confession without a confessional seal and where the church uses your secrets against you to manipulate your behavior. As an organization the Church of Scientology uses manipulation and types of thought control to further their agendas. They also use litigation against those who publicly out them or leave them.

Scientology is very secretive, and that makes it very difficult to summarize their beliefs. Although some things are available from the writings of their founder, L. Ron Hubbard, some things are only available through websites that a meant to expose Scientology.

Although I don’t doubt that some of the things on these websites are true, I use the same criteria that I use when looking at any source: is it reliable? Some of these websites reference writings or events occasionally, but for much of it we’re not sure of what Scientologists actually believe.

We could Lear a lot from that! Our church lets people walk out the door and never asks them why.

People have free will. They must choose to be part of the Church. Scientology uses mental deception and tactics akin to brainwashing along with blackmail to keep people inside their doors and keep their practices as secret as possible.

Wow! That is something else.

I’m not a scientologist but I have been through a sort of scientoloy self help introductory course, it’s what they give people who have some sort of initial interest.

I don’t know about the specifics of their religious belief in terms of events like the ones parodied in south park, but I think they believe that peoples personalities are largely effected by trauma and the auditing system is a means to process trauma, They try to get you to access your painful memories in order to re-experience them and regain the sort of energy trapped in shutting them away, the more trauma you process, the closer you are to life itself, and the purest experience of life itself is their conception of god.

I know they get into the news for some strange things, but a lot of their ideas on what causes peoples motivations and their idea of how to move towards god or truth is pretty much synonymous with a lot of other religions. A lot of the ideas are just basic spirituality, and they also focus a lot of being healthy physically like making sure not to take certain drugs and they drink filtered water etc.

Also I got like 2 phone calls a few months apart after my meeting and I still get mail but they weren’t really that intrusive… I think a lot of whats said/reported on them is hyperbole.

They have no concept of a single creator God. Everyone has a chance to become gods. So to say that their therapy brings you closer to God, or even to claim that is their aim is dishonest.

Where do you get this idea, in the only scientology pamphlet/booklet I read, it says the highest level of an individual by their own system is someone whose in accordance with “the infinite principle” This sounds like the idea of a person being in congruence with god, not being a god themselves.

Perhaps the pamphlet said that. But like all cults, Scientology presents a false face to those it is trying to recruit. They would like you to see their beliefs as reasonable and somewhat familiar so that you will not afraid to join.

Scientology, like all cults, does not reveal its true beliefs and teachings to outsiders. It is only after you become a paying member and demonstrate a bit of loyalty that you are introduced to the “deeper truths” of the faith, which often directly contradict what you were told before you joined.

This is why cult religions have such a low convert retention rate. The converts with any ability to think critically leave once they realize that the recruiters and the leaders have been lying to them.

I know, I’ve been there.

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

Scientology has no concept of “God” as a deity. Yes, the “8th Dynamic” is sometimes portrayed as analogous to “God”, however “God” plays absolutely no role in Scientology. There is no worship, no prayer. There is no “God” that gives commandments or tells us how to live in accordance with His will (Scientologists are actually proud of this), unless of course you count L. Ron Hubbard as their god, since functionally, he is. It all is about “you”.

No, it isn’t hyperbole, it’s all true. You only did a “self help introductory course”, so you had an extremely limited experience with them. I have posted before on this forum that I participated in Scientology for around 5-6 months. I did a number of things (the Personal Efficiency Course, Success Through Communication Course, Basic Study Manual course, Dianetics Seminar, Life Repair auditing, and the Hubbard Qualified Scientologist course). I attended a number of Scientology events, and was being recruited by them to join staff. After awhile I just walked away.

Scientology is a typical cult (I don’t use that word lightly. While some may view other religious groups, such as Mormonism as cults (I view that one specifically as having “cult-like” aspects, but not necessarily a cult), Scientology is actually a cult). It all seems somewhat plausible at first, and that’s how they get you. After awhile, they start to drive up the commitment. They want you to come in more days, for more hours. They want you to spend more money (this is really what got me to walk away, as interesting, even helpful, as the beginning stuff seemed). They want you to buy all these books and lectures that you absolutely must have (I was pressured for over an hour to buy the “Basics” books and lectures, for like $5000 (HA!)). They want you to attend events, events where you’ll be asked to donate even more money. Then they want you to join staff and work for them for pennies (which shouldn’t matter, since you’re saving the planet!). This isn’t all made up stuff by disgruntled ex-members, it’s what I actually experienced, and therefore know that they aren’t just making it up. Scientology literally wants all your time and money.

Because you only did an introductory seminar, it’s no wonder they only called you twice in a few months. When I left, they called me every day, multiple times a day. They sent multiple letters, emails, texts, Facebook messages, etc. Luckily they never showed up at the house, but I’m sure others with more extensive experiences have had that happen.

I could go on and on about my experience and how Scientology isn’t just this benign science/religion of the mind that just wants to help people, from my own personal experience, over a period of months.

Also, the events in the South Park episode, about Xenu, aliens 75 trillion years ago, and the body thetans, really are what they believe (as revealed on the OT III level). And you don’t have to get there to even realize the weirdness. Go to your library and find the book “Scientology: A History of Man”. It’s hilarious. But again, they expect you to go through all of this in a stepwise manner, so you’re fully indoctrinated before you get to the weird stuff.

For a book, I highly recommend:

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

and

Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion

There are plenty of documentaries you can watch on Youtube about Scientology. Check out:

Scientology and Me-BBC Panorama


The Secrets of Scientology-BBC Panorama

Everything I had heard it was 75 million years ago. Which predates the volcanose that the evil thetans were put in. However, if that has changed to 75 trillion years ago then it predates the entirety of the universe and is an even more absurd date.

There is an interesting aspect of created religions that I have noticed in my time, and that is their attempts to justify their theology using science, but science of the time. Perhaps I may post a thread to expand on that at a later date.

Thanks everyone! I will check out the suggestions!:thumbsup:

Hmmm, just like Mormonism. You have to be an active, tithe-paying member for at least a year before you get to take out your temple endowment (I was certainly weirded out by the endowment).

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.