What is scientology? According to the official Scientology website at www.scientology.org, "Scientology is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life." However, is this the only purpose of the Church of Scientology? According to Merriem-Webster's dictionary religion is, "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith." To determine the true reasoning ¬¬¬behind the study of Scientology one must examine the basis of this religion. This ever growing religion has been accused by many to be a possible scam or dangerous cult however; through various analyses of its beliefs and practices one can determine its real nature. Scientology was founded on the theory of dianetics. This theory states that the human mind consists of the analytical mind and the reactive mind. This theory was developed by L. Ron Hubbard the creator of Scientology. Dianetics consists of various mental techniques used to free the mind of unwanted memories that may prevent members from reaching their potential. When Hubbard established this theory he was rejected by the American Psychological Association and decided to create his own religion. In the cult days of scientology, there was no authority figure and members were free to experiment with therapies and ideas as they pleased. However, upon Hubbard's return to the organization, he claimed himself a leader. His return caused great change as members no longer sought answers for themselves, but rather believed that all knowledge came from Hubbard. The key to Hubbard's success was his effective speech techniques. In one of many speeches he stated, "I'd like to tell you something of the story of Dianetics and Scientology the things I've never confided to anyone before."(A. Mooney p46) His careful usage of the words never' and confide' captivated his audience and convinced them to trust him. Hubbard's strategies of careful speaking and references to reliable texts allowed him to lead Scientology and establish his recognition. This reveals that many followers of Scientology may not be attracted by the beliefs of this religion but rather by deception and convincing speeches. Scientology consists of many central underlying beliefs. Members of the church typically enrol in various courses to acquire as much knowledge on these beliefs. The major idea of Scientology is that a person is an immortal spiritual being (or a thetan) that has a mind and a body. This thetan has lived many previous lives and will live past the death of its current body. (CSI, 2006) This belief combined with other ideas convinces members that through counselling they can reach a state of spiritual success and enhance their abilities in this lifetime.
A few common practices of Scientologists include the ARC triangle and the tone scale. The ARC triangle represents three components that make up a successful lifestyle: Affinity, reality, and communication. (CSI, 2006) This principle means that by enhancing any one of these components, the other components will also be enhanced. The belief that these components are entangled shows that Scientology seeks to develop its members into greater beings. The tone scale is an indicator that gives information on a member as a whole. It is believed that everything from a person's health to one's mating behaviour can be determined by their emotional status on a scale of -40 to 40. (CSI, 2006) This practice contradicts many of modern medicines findings and helps one understand why Scientology opposes psychiatry and psychology. It appears that members benefit from a discipline called auditing. This pricey therapy is believed to remove the obstacles to reaching human development and allows one to be in entire control of his or her life. Auditing uses a mechanical device known as an E-meter to locate areas of tension. The auditor asks a member a series of questions and reactions to these questions are registered by the...
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