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published: 12/22/04
updated: 1/20/13

Scientology Beliefs



What does Scientology believe?

scientology sign

Scientology beliefs focus on psychological technologies that people can use to make their lives better, calling itself an "applied religious philosophy." It does not have formal doctrines and creeds like many other Western religions. As such, Scientology has very little to say about God, the afterlife or other religious ideas.

Just as Scientology is focused on humanity, so are its beliefs. Its applications emphasize the present life, as opposed to past lives like in many Eastern religions, or the next life, like in many Western religions.

Nevertheless, the Church of Scientology considers itself a religion because of its focus on the soul and spiritual awareness and does include some beliefs on other traditionally religious subjects.




God in Scientology

Scientology includes belief in God, but offers no details or doctrine about God. In his explorations, founder L. Ron Hubbard noted the prevalence and importance of belief in a Supreme Being to all peoples. God is, therefore, the Eighth Dynamic, which is also known as Infinity. Scientologists who progress to the Eighth Dynamic come to their own conclusions regarding the Supreme Being.

Human Nature and Thetan

Based on his personal research, Hubbard concluded that a human is made up of three parts: the body, the mind and the thetan.

  • The body includes the brain, which is not to be confused with the mind. The purpose of the brain is to carry messages; it is likened to a switchboard
  • The mind "consists essentially of pictures." [3] It is the accumulation of life experiences, memories, perceptions, decisions and conclusions
  • The thetan is the soul, which is the true essence of a human being. Hubbard felt that "soul" had come to have too many meanings, so coined the term thetan based on the Greek letter theta. According to the church: "A thetan is the person himself, not his body or his name or the physical universe, his mind or anything else. It is that which is aware of being aware; the identity which IS the individual. One does not have a thetan, something one keeps somewhere apart from oneself; he is a thetan. [4]

The thetan can exist entirely independent of the body and the mind. Scientology teaches that, through a process called exteriorization, a thetan can leave the body but still control the body. This experience results in a person's certainty that he is not identified with his body. A person who is able to practice exteriorization is called an Operating Thetan or OT. The official Scientology website states:

Man is a spiritual being endowed with abilities well beyond those which he normally envisages. He is not only able to solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness, but also to achieve new states of awareness he may never have dreamed possible. [5]

Afterlife

Scientology does not include an official belief about the afterlife. Yet, it reports that during auditing, a person often recalls memories of past lives and that Scientology ascribes to the idea of being born again into another body. [6]

Xenu

In Scientology doctrine, Xenu is a galactic ruler who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of people to Earth, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. Their souls then clustered together and stuck to the bodies of the living. These events are known as "Incident II" or "The Wall of Fire," and the traumatic memories associated with them are known as the "R6 implant." The Xenu story prompted the use of the volcano as a Scientology symbol.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard detailed the story in Operating Thetan Level III in 1967, famously warning that R6 was "calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it." Much controversy between the Church of Scientology and its critics has focused on Xenu. The Church avoids making mention of Xenu in public statements and has gone to considerable effort to maintain the story's confidentiality, including legal action on both copyright and trade secrecy grounds. Critics claim that revealing the story is in the public interest, given the high prices charged for attaining the level of OT III.


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References
  1. "FAQ." Scientology.org.
  2. "FAQ." Scientology.org.
  3. "A Description of Scientology." Scientology.org.
  4. "A Description of Scientology." Scientology.org.
  5. "A Description of Scientology." Scientology.org.
  6. "FAQ." Scientology.org.