Scientology is a religion many people simply don’t understand. The internet is rife with articles and media about us. Much of it is speculation and rooted in fear and misunderstanding. Our religion preaches peace, understanding, and good living. We believe in God, and in doing good in this world. We have churches around the world filled with people who are working on bettering themselves for the good of humanity. Every year, more people come to us seeking help.
So, why do people continue to ask, “are Scientology numbers going down”? As a religion, Scientology has been experiencing record growth opening new churches around the world. It continues to offer community services for those in need and celebrates its successes in helping others.
In 2018, Scientology launched our very own television channel (The Scientology Network), which has won multiple awards. We also added six new churches around the world, including Utah, Australia, and Germany. We opened new drug treatment facilities and assisted governments in Ukraine and Ghana. That is some of the good stuff we’re doing out in the world. But many people don’t really understand who we are and what we’re trying to do. Who are we, anyway?
- Our assets and property holdings around the world have more than doubled
- We have over 11,000 churches, missions, and groups in 167 countries.
- The number of people taking the trainings and counseling has risen exponentially.
Publications have always been a large part of our practice, and our establishment of publishing houses in Los Angeles and Copenhagen allows us to make sure our message can be received by anyone who wants it. In fact, 92 million books and lectures on Scientology and Dianetics have been distributed over the last ten years.
With our new film studio, we’ve been able to develop and release nearly 800 films. We’ve also made over 14,000 videos and have sold over 8 million DVDs. All our books, films, videos, and DVDs have been translated multiple times so our message can reach our global members.
In 2004, our current leader, David Miscavige, began an undertaking to make sure that all our churches worldwide were ideal churches. What does that mean? We want to make sure that our churches meet the needs of our parishioners and the communities they’re set in. We want to make sure everyone feels welcome in our parishes. We make sure there are extensive libraries, seminar rooms, and chapels. We’re happy to say that the first of these churches are already open in London, New York, and Rome, just to name a few.
We’ve also developed many different social campaigns to help people in our church communities to thrive. Long an advocate of a drug-free life, we’ve developed the largest non-government sponsored anti-drug campaign in the world. It is estimated that our Drug-Free World has prevented over 500,000 children and youth from drug use. We also develop and disseminate publications (which do not include any information about Scientology) advocating a drug-free life to other drug-free organizations around the world.
We strongly believe in world peace and each person’s basic rights. We’ve been hard at work making sure that everyone knows about the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We’re one of the largest non-governmental supporters of these rights. We’ve made sure over 90 nations around the world have received:
- Booklets and public service announcements that educate people on the Universal Declaration.
- Study guides, activities books, and classroom kits that give teachers and human rights activists tools to help educate people about their basic rights.
- A video that goes with the other educations works that teachers and activists can use to get the word out.
Finally, our Scientology Volunteer Ministers are out in the world providing emergency relief in times of trauma and devastation. Our practical relief tools, used by Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, have been used at over 128 worst-case disaster sites in the last 30 years. We’ve seen our volunteer base rise from 6,000 people in 2001 to over 20,000 today.
What Do Scientologists Believe?
Even though our church was founded relatively recently when compared to other world religions, many of our beliefs mirror more traditional religions.
Just like other monotheistic traditions, we believe in God. However, instead of living in Heaven with angels, we believe God can be found at what we call the Eighth Dynamic. Dynamics are our way of learning to elevate ourselves beyond the basics of survival. The Eight Dynamics are:
- Self: basic survival as an individual
- Creativity: making things for the future, including families
- Group survival: learning to live as a group (friends, family, community, etc.)
- Species: wanting survival for all of humankind
- Life forms: desiring survival for all life forms, including plants and animals
- Physical universe: the urge of the universe itself to survive
- Spiritual dynamic: the desire to survive as a spiritual being
- Infinity: Embracing the “allness of all.”
We believe that, in order to truly know and understand God, we must make our way through the other seven Dynamics. Until we are able to understand life as a spiritual being, we will never truly be able to understand God.
Unlike many other religious traditions (especially the more western religions like Christianity or Judaism), we don’t have any particular dogma about God. We don’t believe that you need to pray a specific way or learn certain rituals in order to make God happy. Everyone can have a relationship with God. As we make our way through our trainings and audits, we learn more about ourselves and our relationship with each of the Dynamics. Truths about God and spirituality are naturally revealed to us as we let go of the things holding us back.
As with nearly every other religion, we have our own beliefs around the creation of the universe. We believe that life force/spirit (we know it as thetan) created all matter, energy, space, and time (known as MEST for short). Thetan lives in all of us. Some people would call it a Soul, but for us, it is so much more than that. We believe that our Thetan, or Spiritual Body, remains intact after our body dies, and will come back to earth in a new body, continuing on.
L. Ron Hubbard said in Scientology, The Fundamentals of Thought, “It is certain that an individual experiences the effect of civilization, which he had a part in creating, in his next lifetime. In other words, the individual comes back. He has a responsibility for what goes on today since he will experience it tomorrow.”
Since we believe that we’ll all return in another human form after we die, we don’t have the concepts of heaven or hell. Instead, we are dedicated to making sure our world a better place, as it’s our home for eternity. Our problems today become greater problems in our next life.
We also believe that everyone is inherently good. We’re all just trying to survive in this life. Unfortunately, survival can sometimes bring out the worst in us. Through our many lives, we’ve done things we shouldn’t. We’ve hurt others (or ourselves), and consequently, committed sins, or “become aberrated” as we say. Thankfully, Scientology has techniques that can help us confront and release these old (or not-so-old) aberrations. Once we face our truths, we can begin to re-establish our relationship with God.
Our religion also preaches tolerance. Our founder, L. Ron Hubbard, thought a great deal of many of the world’s religious leaders. He felt they were wise and did much to help the world. In a lecture he gave called “The Hope of Man” in 1955, he said, “These great spiritual leaders have been hanged, reviled, misinterpreted, badly quoted, have not been at all comprehended, but nevertheless, they are the hands through which a torch has been handed forward through the centuries so that we could culminate with a greater ability for Man and some hope for his future . . .”
Who Is L. Ron Hubbard?
Our religion was founded in the 1950s by L. Ron Hubbard. He was born on March 13, 1911, in Tilden, Nebraska. A precocious child, he studied classics like Shakespeare and Greek literature at an early age. He became the nation’s youngest Eagle Scout at age 13 and met President Calvin Coolidge.
By age 19, he had traveled widely around the world. When he returned to the United States in 1929, he enrolled at George Washington University, where he studied math, engineering, and classes on molecular and cellular theory, which were very new at the time.
With all this information, he was still unsatisfied. He still had many unanswered questions about the mind and neither his college courses nor his travel experiences could answer them. So, he set out to research these questions himself.
He funded his research by writing pulp fiction and screenplays. He continued to travel widely, studying over 20 races and cultures in an attempt to find some kind of commonality where he could start to help humans be better. In 1938, he determined that survival was the key motivation in keeping all of us alive.
In 1940, he joined the US Navy as a lieutenant to fight in World War II. He was injured in the South Pacific but continued to serve through 1944 in both the North Pacific and Atlantic theaters. However, in 1945 he was too injured to continue serving and was hospitalized in California.
By this time, he had developed some of the early Dianetics techniques and began to help his fellow soldiers in the hospital with him. They began to rapidly improve, as did he. The medical professionals were confused by the rapid healing they saw in their patients.
He continued to test and refine his theories, and eventually published Dianetics: The Original Thesis. This paper was circulated widely among healthcare workers around the world. He continued to publish, and people responded quickly to the practice of Dianetics.
Throughout his life, L. Ron Hubbard continued to research and delve into the human mind. He published profusely throughout the rest of his life and even recorded videos to further help his followers. He passed in 1986, but he continues to inspire and help us with all the amazing work he left behind.
In the end, Scientology is a popular and growing religion that can be found all over the world. We are dedicated to helping our global communities find peace, happiness, and health through good living and introspection. Our goal is to help everyone live the best life they can.
If you are interested in learning about other Religions in the world, then check out this book on World’s Religions on Amazon.