Western Religions: Scientology (Part 2)

Authority

a.   L. Ron Hubbard

The organization’s website says, “IS IT ALL BASED ON ONE MAN’S WORK? Although Dianetics and Scientology were founded by L. Ron Hubbard, and all of the scriptures are solely compromised of his writings and recorded lectures, he nevertheless wrote: ‘Acknowledgment is made to fifty thousand years of thinking man without whose speculations and observations the creation and construction of Dianetics would not have been possible.  Credit in particular is due to: Anaxagoras, Thomas Paine, Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, Socrates, Rene Descartes, Plato, James Clark Maxwell, Euclid, Charcot, Lucretius, Herbert Spencer, Roger Bacon, Sigmund Freud, Isaac Newton, Van Leevenhoek, Cmdr. Thompson (MC) USN, Voltaire, William A. White, Will Durant, Count Alfred Korzybski and my instructors in atomic and molecular phenomenon at George Washington University and Princeton” (Scientology.org/faq).

b.  C.S.I.    Again the website says, “HOW ARE CHURCHES OF SCIENTOLOGY ADMINISTERED?  Each individual Church of Scientology is separately incorporated and governed by its own board of directors… Church of Scientology International (CSI) the mother Church of the Scientology religion, is headquartered in Los Angeles.  CSI oversees the ecclesiastical activities of all Scientology churches, organizations and groups throughout the world and see that individual churches receive guidance in their ministries.  CSI also provides the broad planning and direction needed to support the church’s international growth” (Scientology.org).

Credibility

There are accuracy problems found in L. Ron Hubbard’s writings.  One example is that he wrote of the Piltdown man, “Man’s first real manhood is found in the Piltdown, a creature not an ape, yet not entirely a man” (Scientology: A History of Man by L. Ron Hubbard, p. 25).  The problem with this is that the Piltdown Man is now known to be a hoax (Piltdown Man Hoax, 100 Years Ago by Sarah Pruitt, Dec. 18, 2012, history.com; Study Reveals Culprit Behind Piltdown Man, One of Science’s Most Famous Hoaxes by Michael Price, Aug. 9. 2016, sciencemag.org; Solving the Piltdown Man Scientific Fraud by Isabelle De Groote, Aug. 10, 2016, scientificamerican.com). 

Beliefs

1. God.  “Unlike religions with Judeo-Christian origins, the Church of Scientology has no set dogma concerning God that it imposes on its members… Scientology seeks to bring one to a new level of spiritual awareness where one can reach his own conclusions concerning the nature of God and what lies beyond this present lifetime” (Does Scientology Have a Concept of God?, scientologynews.org). 

2.  Jesus Christ.  At times, Scientology presents Moses, Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad as wisdom-bearers (What is Scientology’s view of Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, the Buddha and Other Religious Figures of the Past? Scientologynews.org).  However, at other times, he presents a different message.  Walter Martin quotes him saying, “You will find the cross as a symbol all over the universe and the Christ LEGEND as an implant in preclears a million years ago” (Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults, p. 348, quoting L. Ron Hubbard, Professional Auditor’s Bulletin #31).  Again, Walter Martin quotes him say, “Neither Lord Buddha nor Jesus Christ were OTs [operating Thetans, the highest Scientology level] according to the evidence they were just a shade above clear” (ibid, quoting L. Ron Hubbard, Certainly Magazine, Vol. 5, no. 10).  His books do not present Jesus as the Savior.

3.  Man.  “Fundamental to Scientology is the view of man as a spiritual being.  In Scientology is the spiritual being is called the thetan.  The term is taken from the Greek letter theta for ‘thought’ or ‘life’ or ‘the spirit.’  It is used to avoid confusion with previous concepts of the soul.  The thetan is immortal and has lived – and will continue to live through countless lifetimes (WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CORE TENATS OF SCIENTOLOGY? Scientology.org/faq).  “Man is an immortal spiritual being.  His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.  His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized” (WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY, scientology.org).

4.  Sin and salvation.  “Scientology further holds man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe” (WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY? Scientology.org/faq).  Salvation is understood differently, than it is in Christianity.  It seems to refer to freeing the thetan of engram (Scientologyreligion.org; World Religions and Cults; Scientology by David Chakranarayan, answeringgenesis.org). 

5.  Heaven and hell.  “The world that one makes today is the world one returns to tomorrow and one lives with the fruits of his labors or the results of his transgressions in lives to come” (DOES SCIENTOLOGY HAVE DOCTRINES CONCERNING HEAVEN AND HELL?, scientology.org).  Rebirth or reincarnation is a teaching of scientology. 

6.  Creed.  The church has its own creed.  It reads:

“WE OF THE CHURCH BELIEVE

That all men of whatever race, color, creed were created with equal rights.

That all men have inalienable rights to their own religions, practices and their performances.

That all men have inalienable rights to their own lives.

That all men have inalienable rights to their sanity.

That all men have inalienable rights to their own defense.

That all men have inalienable rights to conceive, choose, assist or support their own organizations, churches, governments.

That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.

That all men have inalienable rights to the creation of their own kind. 

That the souls of men have the rights of men.

That the study of the mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religious or condoned in nonreligious fields.

And that no agency less that God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly. 

AND WE OF THE CHURCH BELIEVE

That man is basically good.

That he is seeking to survive.

That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.

AND WE OF THE CHURCH BELIEVE THAT THE LAWS OF GOD FORBID MAN

To destroy his own kind.

To destroy the sanity of others.

To destroy or enslave another’s soul.

To destroy or reduce the survival of one’s companions or one’s group. 

AND WE OF THE CHURCH BELIEVE

That the spirit can be saved.

And that the spirit alone may save or heal the body.” 

Controversy

1.  Taxes.  “The mother church… was established by Mr. Hubbard in Los Angeles in 1954.  Three years later, it was recognized as tax exempt by the IRS.  But in 1967, the agency stripped the church of its tax exemption.  In its revocation letter, the agency said that Scientology’s activities were commercial and were being operated For the benefit of Mr. Hubbard, a view supported by the courts several times in the ensuing 25 years” (Scientology’s Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exemption by Douglass Frantz, March 9, 1997, nytimes.com).  “In the late 1960’s, as the IRS was investigating him from tax evasions Hubbard fled the U.S. for the high seas… By the mid 1970’s, Hubbard’s ships were not welcomed to dock in the Mediterranean, so he snuck back ashore in Florida as not to gain the attention of the IRS.  He lived in hiding the rest of his life” (The Chilling Story of How Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard Rose to Power by Jason Guerrasio, April 1, 2015, businessinsider.com).

2.  Operation Snow White

The church decided to infiltrate the federal government and disrupt investigations.  “One operation, called ‘Snow White’ involved everything from breaking into the IRS offices to bugging the federal government to even infiltrating government staff with Scientology plants who could report back to the church.  That’s what the church did, and it landed 11 people in jail, including Hubbard’s wife” (biographic.org).  “In 1979, as the result of FBI raids, 11 senior people in the church were convicted of obstruction of justice, burglary of government offices, and theft of documents and government property” (April 1, 2015, businessinsider.com).  Mary Sue Hubbard, was sentenced in federal court to four years in prison (Scientology Founder’s Wife Gets Prison Term by Al Kamen, January 8, 1983, washingtonpost.com).

3.  Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder are ex-Scientologists.  Both were members of the church for over 30 years.  Mike Rinder was a senior executive in the Church of Scientology International and the Sea Organization.  They hosted an A&E series by the above title.  It lasted 3 seasons, and 37 episodes.  Its aim was to expose abuse in the church.  It brought much negative attention to the church. 

Thoughts

Two passages come to mind.  Some people want “to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21).  They want something new.  Some people are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).

Dear Christians, let us remember this: We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10 cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17).   

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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