Scientology

General Information

Scientology is a religious movement based on the teachings of the American writer and visionary L Ron Hubbard (1911 - 86). Hubbard won prominence with his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950), in which he outlined a form of therapy (Dianetics) for curing emotional and psychosomatic illnesses and enhancing life. Subjects were trained by auditors (therapists) to increase the power of the analytical (conscious) mind and subdue the influence of "engrams" (painful impressions of past experiences) that confuse the "reactive," or unconscious, mind. Hubbard's work took on a religious dimension with the publication of Science of Survival (1951), which explained the religious philosophy of Scientology. The Church of Scientology, founded in 1954, has an estimated 8 million members in more than 70 countries.

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It teaches that human beings are immortal spirits called thetans and practices a ritual known as auditing, the purpose of which is to free the thetan from past painful experiences, making possible increased spiritual awareness and abilities. A device called an E - meter is used to guide individuals during auditing and help them to locate precise areas of spiritual difficulty. The church has been the subject of much controversy. Its headquarters is in Los Angeles.

Bibliography:
H Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation (1987); J A Winter, Dianetics: A Doctor's Report (1987).


Scientology

Additional Information

In general, BELIEVE tries to avoid repeating information that seems to have minimal documentation, but there is an interesting anecdote that exists. Allegedly, L. Ron Hubbard, a former therapist, and Arthur C. Clarke, the noted author, were friends, and Hubbard bet Clarke that he could start a new religion. The anecdote concludes with him creating Scientology as a result. Again, we have not found specific evidence either supporting or denying that story.

There seem to be two main versions of this story. One is that the alleged conversation occurred in private, at Mr. Clarke's home, with no actual witnesses, and that one or both later commented to friends about it. The other is that the alleged conversation was supposed to have occurred at a Conference of science fiction writers.

Regarding the first, there is obviously no way to confirm or deny that such a conversation actually took place. Regarding the second, a County Court Case in Munich, Germany heard a Complaint (in October 1982, around 30 years after the alleged fact) against adversaries of Scientology regarding publicizing a story regarding the Conference version. Two Affidavits (Kyle and Klein) are in the Court files regarding their statements that they were present at that Conference and that no such conversation had occurred. It is immensely difficult to "prove a negative", and it is hard to see how attendees at such a Conference could provide absolute proof that the two gentlemen did not have a brief conversation somewhere where the two witnesses were not by their sides! In any case, there are apparently official documents in a County Court in Munich, Germany (9 0 19 087/82) where the two claim that the alleged conversation had never occurred. As an impartial observer, I note that this Court action was not done in the United States and not earlier than 30 years after the fact and in a relatively minor Court.

It still seems unclear to us whether there was any such conversation, in private somewhere, although it now seems better established that there was probably no public conversation. Whatever the reality was, there is now a fairly large group of believers in Scientology!


The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 1997.

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