What is Scientology?

I see Hollywood types (Tom Cruise, John Travolta) proclaiming Scientology. So what is so great about that religion? What is it in a nutshell?




A big huge scam.

[quote=EricCKS]I see Hollywood types (Tom Cruise, John Travolta) proclaiming Scientology. So what is so great about that religion? What is it in a nutshell?



In a nutshell:

Very nutty. :tiphat:

Seriously: L Ron Hubbard was a SciFi writer in the 1940’s and perhaps a bit earlier. He began in the late 40’s to suggest he had found a ‘science of the mind’ which was far superior to psychology, psychiatry, etcetera. He published his ideas as "Dianetics’ in 1950 or thereabouts. What he proposed was that traumatic experiences, beginning in the womb, create a momentary state of unconsiousness and suggestibility which associated almost EVERYTHING connected even incidentally related to the trauma with the trauma itself. That random association of things associated with trauma was called an ‘engram’. The purpose of Dianetics is to ‘audit’ those engrams and cause a catharsis which ‘erases’ them.

So that, if while having lasagna one night when you were three, your five year-old brother threw a heavy pepper shaker at you and struck you on your head–you might unconsciously associate almost everything you could see, hear, smell, feel, and taste with the blow to your head. Your mother screaming at your brother, the lasagna, the pepper shaker, etcetera would all equate to being struck on the head. Years later you might have a strong aversion to lasagna and/or to pepper–even the smell of it might bring on headaches. Likewise, you might experience difficulty with your mother because every time she raises her voice it invokes the ‘engram’. You might also be estranged from your brother because his very presence evokes the ‘engram’. Until one is ‘audited’ (caused to discover via reverie, or recollection, the event), the engram will remain and will plague you for life. It should be noted that Scientology employs a machine–sort of a primitive polygraph device–called an e-meter. During reverie, one is asked to recall certain things; the e-meter will register a ‘spike’ if one comes accross a memory which is emotionally-laden. These are presummed to be memories which contain engrams. One is probed about those memories until every possible detail of the event is recollected and the memory holds no further emotional charge. A person who is free of all engrams is said to have achieved a state Hubbard called ‘Clear’.

From this quasi-scientific start, Hubbard rapidly went off the deep end. He borrowed liberally from various sources to suggest that people have engrams not only from our current existence but from past lives; he developed an entire religion around these Eastern ideas, which is why Scientology is classified as a religion and not as a medical or psychological practice. Hubbard never established scientifically that engrams exist or that his methods were effective in erasing them. Hubbard’s religion also became very exploitative–his organization charges exhorbitant prices for materials which can be purchased elsewhere for far less. (One can actually build an e-meter oneself, from plans available for free on-line, for less than $100.00. The same device, purchased from a Scientology church, would cost thousands). Hubbard’s organization also keeps dossiers on their membership. Since Scientology involves a form of ‘confession’, one can imagine that they have a lot of dirt on the average member which they freely use against people if they attempt to leave or try to expose Scientology. Many people have been seriously harmed by this cult and it is quite risky to get involved with it. The Church of Scientology has also had a practice of trying to silence it’s critics through the wanton use of slander and bogus lawsuits, designed to shame the critic into silence and/or break them financially.

Hope this helps!

Isn’t there a sci-fi component to the religion as well. He talks about some crazy alien names Xenu who uses psychic powers to enslave earhtling’s minds or something.


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