What is Scientology?

I get asked this question quite a bit: “What is Scientology?” For many years I would reply with the response I learned in the Scientology catechism over 30 years ago, when I became a minister of the Church of Scientology of California. (And yes, we do have a catechism). I would say, “Scientology is an applied religious philosophy.” Unfortunately, most people don’t seem to understand that reply, probably because they don’t know what an applied philosophy would be…. They get the same confused look they get when you reel off a bunch of buzzwords. So I don’t use that particular response from the catechism.

Now I usually answer with this: “It’s my religion. And no, it’s not related to Christian Science. We believe that people are not their bodies, that we are immortal spirits living in a material world. We also believe that people are basically good.”

The hard question is, “What religion is Scientology most like?” My normal response is: “It’s closer to Buddhism than anything else. We seek enlightenment and higher states of being.”

If they ask anything along the line of, “Do you worship Christ?” I say “No, we’re not a Christian religion.”

If they ask, “Do you believe in God?” — I tell them, “Yes. There’s no Scientology dogma saying this is what to believe about God. I was raised a Baptist, and no one from Scientology has ever told me what to think about God or Jesus; no Scientologist has ever tried to tell me what to believe, period.”

We have a motto, “Think for yourself.” Maybe it’s oxymoronic to have a motto like that–a motto is for people thinking in herds. I don’t care. I try to think for myself anyway. If I cared what people think about my having a motto, I wouldn’t be thinking for myself, would I?

4 Responses to What is Scientology?

  1. john doe September 17, 2007 at 4:34 pm #

    Do you or some of the followers of this religion believe having relations with young children will make you immortal. This is a serious question. Im not some 14 kid saying this im 20 years old and would like to know. This is in no way a ruse. Thank you

  2. Owner September 18, 2007 at 12:30 am #

    Absolutely not. Sexual relations with children would be viewed as highly unethical conduct. We also don’t practice polygamy or group marriage, not only because they are illegal, but because they end up being immoral as well, upsetting to those involved in them.

    We’re not “trying” to gain immortality. It is my belief and that of most Scientologists that all of us (you too!) are already immortal — have been immortal all along — and that the problem is we don’t remember much about our pasts. Those memories can be regained; I know I’ve remembered a lot of things that happened to me in the distant past.

    But the important thing is not the past — it is what one does now and into future.

  3. Black September 20, 2007 at 10:29 pm #

    Nice blog! And good stuff about Scientology! Got some more? What are Scientologists doing?

  4. Owner September 21, 2007 at 10:49 am #

    In recent news, Scientologists are working their way through a re-release of our basic books. It’s big news to us, as the basic books contain the fundamentals of our religious writings. Over the last 50 years since they were written (and sometimes within the first edition!) alterations had crept into them, and other people’s opinions. A huge project was done to go back and find the original recordings and make sure they matched up word-for-word with what L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of our religion, intended. We all have learned over time that Scientology only works when it isn’t altered, which is why we have such a low opinion of those who alter it or pervert it, either still calling it Scientology or something else. In any event, it’s having a terrific effect on our congregations.

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