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Find out what you’re getting into
There’s an enormous difference between the Church of Scientology and the philosophy of Scientology.
Over the last 30 years, the Church of Scientology has been transformed into a cult — a corrupt “religious” group responsible for severe abuse, human rights violations galore, not to mention outright crime. The man at the top of the Church, David Miscavige, is a sociopath (a person with no conscience, no remorse and no guilt when he harms people). As one person described it, “There’s a wolf in the hen house” and he was exactly right.
Because of that, the Church has lost almost all of its membership over the last 30 years (since David Miscavige appointed himself as dictator). L. Ron Hubbard was just a man, imperfect but brilliant in many respects and while he was no angel, neither was he a sociopath. He died in 1986 but will always be admired by those he helped.
No one knows exactly how many people have left the Church since 1980, but it is probably above 99% of all Scientologists.
Surveys show that most people do not perceive Scientology as a religion. Scientology is arguably more a spiritual philosophy than it is a religion, however it legally qualifies as a religion because it deals with the human spirit, similar to Buddhism which is also legally considered a religion.
The goal of understanding
Hubbard spent a lifetime in the pursuit of understanding. One of his earliest discoveries was that understanding was composed of three elements — affinity, reality and communication. These three elements work in unison. If one element is increased, the other two increase also. The discovery has countless applications. For example, an upset between two people can often be solved by getting the two parties to sit down and get into communication with each other. Communication restores understanding.
There are many paths a person can take in life and all but one have disadvantages along with advantages. The only one that has no faintest liability associated with it is the pursuit of understanding. According to Hubbard and to many who have walked that path, nothing can enrich life more than understanding.
Much of the materials (books and lectures) are available for free on various websites. If you start at the beginning and just follow Hubbard’s path of discovery you cannot go wrong.
If Scientology philosophy is so beneficial, why does the Church act so crazy? Scientology is a technology. Used as intended it makes people more aware, more able to think for themselves. But any technology can be used in reverse. For example, a pump can be used to get water out of a basement. Or it can be used to fill up a basement.
The head of the Church, David Miscavige, is a master at using Scientology in reverse and he did just that to make Scientologists inside less aware and less able to think for themselves. Luckily Scientology contains within it the tools to repair its misuse.
Like-minded Scientologists have come together to expose the on-going criminality while also sharing Scientology with the world. “Independent Scientology” is a grassroots confederation of individuals who have left the Church. Their website is www.iScientology.org. Everything you can do inside the Church, you can now do outside without the liability of abuse. You can read Scientology books, listen to Hubbard's lectures, receive counseling (called auditing), and do Scientology courses — all without ever stepping foot into the Church of Scientology.
A discovery ahead of it’s time
Hubbard’s first big breakthrough was an understanding of the mind, what it is, how it works and how to improve it. He called it “Dianetics” from Greek dianoetikos “relating to thought.”
The book was released in 1950 and became a sensation. Instead of the mind being impossibly complex, the mind was revealed as rather simple — a continual running record of a person’s experiences in the form of “mental image pictures” — 3D images containing all perceptions, sight, sound, even a person’s own thoughts at the time.
Hubbard found every mind contained an area hidden from view which was the primary source of fears, illogical compulsions, hurtful emotions, and physical maladies that could not be explained medically. This hidden area contained recordings of all the times when the individual had been damaged physically or emotionally and was feeling severe pain and shock. Such recordings of damage remained as fresh and powerful as the day the original injury was received and were able to re-imprint damage upon the individual later in life. He had discovered a single source for a vast number of mental, emotional and physical problems. In other words, the tail could wag the dog; the recording of damage could re-create new damage later in life!
The mind recorded everything that happened, even the experience of being more or less unconscious during the injury. And the recording of being unconscious kept such recordings submerged just below the individual's awareness.
Hubbard called this hidden area within every person’s mind the “reactive mind” because it functioned reactively rather than analytically. A mental recording of a bystander saying, "Well, I'll be damned!" near an unconscious accident victim could recoil on that person later by making them act as though they were condemned. Innocent statements around damaged people could later react as random irresistible post-hypnotic suggestions.
The funny thing about understanding is that it brings a silver lining. Hubbard found that simply by examining the contents of the reactive mind and becoming familiar with them, the pain recorded in the pictures would be discharged, no longer capable of damaging the individual in any way.
Furthermore, he found that similar recordings on the same subject tended to group together in “chains” with the earliest incident being the key to discharge later incidents on the same chain.
That made Dianetics incredibly fast and effective. Here, for the price of a book, any two relatively strong individuals could have a do-it-yourself therapy that was superior to anything else on the market.
And that put Dianetics on a collision course with psychiatrists and psychologists who feared Dianetics could destroy their careers.
Actually, before the book Dianetics was even written, Hubbard attempted to give his findings and techniques to psychologists. His first release of the information, in a paper called “The Original Thesis” was ignored by the American Psychological Association (APA). So Hubbard simply gave his discoveries to the general public in a popular book — Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
Dianetics was never about handling the insane, so psychiatrists actually had nothing to fear from Dianetics. Nevertheless, the APA did attack the subject relentlessly for the next 30 years, wasting millions of dollars in a fruitless effort to stop wisdom. The attack stopped when the previous generation died out.
Rewriting the rules of counseling
To solve the problem of the reactive mind, Hubbard developed an entirely new form of dialog-based therapy and called it “auditing” from the root, audire which means “to hear.” A practitioner was called an “auditor.”
Whereas many past philosophies provided answers, Dianetics was unique in that it enabled the individual to find answers within himself or herself. Thus the practitioner's or "auditor’s" role was limited to guiding and listening. This was a dramatic departure from the psychological modality in which the psychologist grandly announced to the individual what was wrong with him. Evaluation was strictly forbidden in Dianetics auditing.
People were clamoring for professional training as auditors and so the first organizations were born.
Rediscovery of the human soul
In 1950 when people started to explore the hidden recesses of the minds, they ran straight into something that took everyone by surprise — their own past deaths. Hubbard found that if a person was allowed to treat the experience like any other, the person improved. And if the person was not allowed to examine those pictures, improvement did not take place.
Thus, against the yardstick of workability, past lives seemed to be quite valid. This was a another revolutionary idea far ahead of its time. Yet the evidence demonstrated a person not only had a spiritual component, the spiritual component was what the individual WAS. Still, this discovery was not new to everyone. Buddhists had known about it for thousands of years. Noah Webster, father of the first American dictionary defined soul in 1828 as, “The spiritual, rational and immortal substance in man, which distinguishes him from brutes; that part of man which enables him to think and reason, and which renders him a subject of moral government. The immortality of the soul is a fundamental article of the christian system.”
Many studies, works and authors had danced around the edges of the human soul but no one ever fully explored the subject.
Hubbard found the human soul, a spiritual being, WAS the person. One’s personality, likes and dislikes are all incorporated into the soul.
Whereas people commonly believed they HAD a soul, Hubbard found each person WAS a soul. The human body was merely a vessel and a possession.
And so by 1951 the age-old question had been answered: Are we human beings having a spiritual experience or spiritual beings having a human experience?
To keep the nomenclature free of past associations and incorrect definitions he started calling the human spirit by a new name, "thetan."
Validation of the theory
The conclusive discovery that the individual IS his own human soul closed the gap between science and religion.
The soul is what we see when we look into a lover’s eyes. The soul is immortal. It does NOT perish at death, but separates from the body and sooner or later begins life anew as a baby. As such, it is only normal that a person would bring with them skills, abilities and interests — which explain child prodigies like Mozart (who started composing at age five).
It also explains factors such as déjà vu — the strong sensation that an event or location currently being experienced has been experienced before in the past.
It also explains the deep connection we feel for “strangers” who we’ve apparently only just met. Friendship at first sight, love at first sight, even loathing at first sight — all find rational explanation when we delve into the past.
But the biggest validation was in the lives of thousands of people who were able to resolve the puzzles of their own existence by exploring the evidence in their mind. And as an added bonus, as people discovered the secrets of their past they also uncovered and restored past skills and abilities they didn't even know they had. People were able to do new things they had never done before like write, cook or play the piano.
The time track
That evidence was revealed as a non-stop running record of each person’s existence stretching back into time. Hubbard called it the time track. The techniques of Dianetics enabled a person to discover the story of their own existence, how they came to be, who they are, and even the role they had played in history. Nothing brings history alive like finding your own role in it.
Many people thirst for adventure. And it has been said nearly all of earth’s territories have been explored, from the north pole to the moon. Yet the greatest most rewarding frontier anyone could explore is their own time track stretching back into antiquity.
But when you add it all up, what does it mean in practical terms? It means there is far more hope than anyone dreamed of. Death does not signify an end, but a transition from one life to the next, and the possibility of seeing old friends and family members again. Like coats and cars, bodies don’t last forever. So we have to trade them in for a newer model from time to time. Would you recognize an old friend “wearing” a new body? Of course.
The human spirit is immortal. You have lived before and you will live again along with all your friends.
With the re-discovery of the human soul, Hubbard's research advanced beyond the limits of the human mind. He called this new subject Scientology, from scio-, “knowledge” and -logos “study of” and defined it as the science of life.
However, by 1952, the effort to destroy Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology had become a full-force hurricane. The plan was to bring the training of all practitioners of this new science under American Psychiatric Association (APA) control and then crush it. The APA wanted to direct auditor training and certification. To keep that from happening Scientology became a religion. Legally it qualified because it dealt with the human spirit. Spiritual matters had always been the province of religion.
But Scientology was not a religion in the western sense with Sunday school teachers and a pastor preaching to the flock. It was a religion in the way Buddhism is a religion — because it treats of the human spirit.
Hubbard spent the rest of his life (until 1986) pushing the envelop of his exploration into the rehabilitation of spiritual abilities.
Those abilities include “intentional thought” whereby the individual declares something will happen or not happen, and ensuing events follow suit.
In other words, the higher people go in Scientology, the more they are able to affect the world around them with thought. Such abilities make the going more effortless and fun.
The concept that thought can affect events in life is not new. What is new are the practical means to attain that higher plateau.
In his first book, Hubbard alluded to that higher plateau and announced his goal to build a bridge by which anyone with dedication and honest effort could cross.
Today, the exact unvarying sequence of auditing actions that can take anyone to higher states of awareness and ability is called "the Bridge.” It is extensive and requires years to travel the full route because it includes many steps involving both auditing actions (counseling) and training actions (courses). Each step plays an important part in spiritual growth and enables one to move further along. In fact, if an earlier step is left out, later steps may hang up because they depend on earlier steps being in place. The earlier steps are more involved with dismantling additives to the person that impair his function. While later steps are more about enhancing positive abilities. The route is fairly long and involved, but it works and it is something people never had before. Getting all the way across is a goal one can accomplish within their a single lifetime, thus breaking the "endless cycle of life and death" whereby one could never penetrate the mystery of what life is and what lies beyond.
Scientology training and auditing services naturally have value to people who have tried Scientology and found that it works. However after taking over as the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige began to raise prices into the stratosphere. Using Hubbard’s work as bait, he extracted millions from trusting Scientologists and continues to do so today. But thanks to relentless exposure by whistle blowers, his pool of victims has shrunk to a muddy hole.
The Church as it exists today bears little resemblance to the Church of Scientology under Hubbard’s direction.
Many people who left the Church are now delivering Scientology services in the field. They support themselves through their labor and set their own rates. But on the whole prices are a fraction of what the Church charges. And the quality is superior because Miscavige, a high-school drop out, could not resist tampering with Hubbard’s technology in ways that rendered those services non-functional at best and downright harmful at worst.
What you are getting into
By reading this site and others, you are not getting into anything. You are just reading. To actually get started, your first step would be to get the book, Self Analysis by L. Ron Hubbard. Read it and do the exercises right at home. This should keep you busy for weeks and all for the price of a single book. When you finish, get Handbook for Preclears (another book by Hubbard). Its exercises are more advanced. After that, you can continue by studying other books and lectures, or you can get professional help from one of the many professional auditors or delivery centers. Check the reviews here first.