In early April, World Religion News published the “10 Things You Should Know About Scientology,” with key points brought up about the modern religion. The Nashville Church of Scientology is sharing this as a public service – here are ten things to know about the Scientology religion.
First: Scientology comes from the Latin Scio ("Knowing") and Greek logos ("Study Of"). At its core, Scientology is literally the study of knowledge. The religion is embodied by knowing oneself as well as one’s family and friends, the world, life, the universe, the spirit, and God. It is the study of truth, drawing on 50,000 years of wisdom, mathematics, and nuclear physics to reach its profound conclusions. Scientology is a new kind of religion: Not just something you believe in but something you do, not merely posing questions but supplying answers. It provides practical solutions to real life problems: Relationships, work, parenting, creativity, self-respect, motivation, inspiration, and spirituality—helping people to understand each other as well as themselves.
Second: It’s represented by more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and groups across 184 nations, welcoming millions of new visitors to our sites each year. The worldwide community that comprises Scientology spans 193 languages, employment in 3,200 professions, and 2.8 million community volunteer hours annually. Scientology is a movement with grassroots groups starting up every 24 hours and new Churches and Missions opening on every continent, today growing faster than at any time in its history. In Nashville, the church has welcomed more members through its doors within the last five years than the twenty-five years prior. Hundreds in the Middle Tennessee region call this church home.
Third: L. Ron Hubbard founded the Scientology religion. He was a beloved friend and mentor and a singular visionary whose creation continues to change the world for the better. Smithsonian magazine last year recognized Mr. Hubbard as one of the 10 most influential religious figures in American history and one of the 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time. In his celebrated 1965 essay “My Philosophy,” Mr. Hubbard offers, “The first principle of my own philosophy is that wisdom is meant for anyone who wishes to reach for it.” In keeping with this philosophy, Mr. Hubbard recorded and made available the full chronicle of his research and discoveries through more than 5,000 writings and 3,000 recorded lectures.
Fourth: Scientology has a concept of God, which is expressed as the Eighth Dynamic—the vision of an infinite existence. This is also identified as the Supreme Being. As the Eighth Dynamic, the Scientology concept of God rests at the very apex of universal survival. Unlike religions with Judeo-Christian origins, the Church of Scientology has no established dogma surrounding God that it imposes on its members. As with all of its tenets, Scientology does not ask individuals to accept anything on faith alone. Rather, as one’s level of spiritual awareness increases through participation in Scientology auditing and training, one attains his own certainty of every dynamic. Accordingly, only when the Seventh Dynamic (spiritual) is reached in its entirety will one discover and come to a full understanding of the Eighth Dynamic (infinity) and one’s relationship to the Supreme Being.
Fifth: Scientology postulates that nothing in Scientology is true for you unless you have observed it and experienced it personally – i.e., nothing in Scientology should be accepted just because the church says so. This concept is expressed in the essay “Personal Integrity,” in which L. Ron Hubbard observes, “What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that, you have lost everything.” Scientologists apply this principle in studying Scientology. In learning Scientology, students are not expected to memorize and parrot answers. Rather, they are prompted to understand and utilize its concepts and techniques and to conclude if they ring true for them —try them out, make them their own, apply them to their own lives or use them to enlighten and assist others.
Sixth: Scientology deems that man is an immortal spiritual being. His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized. In his famous essay “The Golden Dawn,” L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “For countless ages a goal of religion has been the salvage of the human soul. Man has tried by many practices to find the pathway to salvation. Man can save his soul. Like the bright cool dawn after a night of prison and of thunder, Man can taste that freedom sought so long... You are a spirit. You are your own soul. You are not mortal. You can be free.”
Seventh: A fundamental tenet of Scientology is that mankind is basically good; that it is seeking to survive; and that man’s survival depends upon himself, upon his fellows, and upon his attainment of brotherhood with the universe. However, mankind’s experiences in the physical universe, through many lifetimes, have led him into evil. He has committed harmful acts or sins which further reduce man’s awareness and innate goodness as a spiritual being. Through Scientology, one confronts these acts, erases the ignorance which surrounds them, and comes to know and experience truth again. All religions seek answers. Freedom of the spirit is only to be found on the road to truth. Sin is composed, according to Scientology, of lies and hidden actions and is therefore lacking in truth.
Eighth: Scientology was founded on the principles of human rights. The Creed of the Church of Scientology states, “We of the Church believe that all men or whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.” Scientologists subscribe to the Code of a Scientologist and pledge “to decry and do all I can to abolish any and all abuses against life and mankind” and “to support true humanitarian endeavors in the fields of human rights.”
For more than 40 years, Scientologists have championed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In 1969, L. Ron Hubbard reprinted the UDHR in the Church’s Freedom Magazine and wrote: “The United Nations came up with the answer. An absence of human rights stained the hands of governments and threatened their rules. Very few governments have implemented any part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These governments have not grasped that their very survival depends utterly upon adopting such reforms and thus giving their peoples a cause, a civilization worth supporting, worth their patriotism.”
Ninth: Scientologists believe in helping others and taking responsibility for our communities and the world. Help is a primary concept and orientation of a Scientologist. In Nashville, Scientologists work to bring drug education to schools, they help organize events to promote human rights, and tutor neighborhood children.
Tenth: Scientology is a practical religion. In keeping with his philosophy, Mr. Hubbard made the basic principles of Scientology broadly available so people of any faith can gain a greater understanding of their place in the universe, and can benefit from the practical application of these principles. Moreover, the Church has made this training available to everyone through free online courses in 19 subjects that span improving relationships, salvaging marriages and resolving conflicts as well as helping those plagued by a drug or alcohol problem or balked by barriers to learning. These are available at the Scientology website. The Scientology Volunteer Ministers program brings this technology to every corner of the globe through on-site seminars and Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tours.