This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
By Paul David Schofield
The author began training as a Scientology Minister in 1980 and was ordained in 1986. He was awarded the title of Professor of Scientology in 1989 after completing the many prerequisite courses for this certificate. He completed 80 courses in Scientology or in its drug rehab organization, Narconon, between 1979 and 2008. He is currently listed as a Scientology Minister by the Australian Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department.
Scientology is a system based on the writings and recorded lectures of L. Ron Hubbard. Scientologists believe that Hubbard’s words are basically the running records of his research into the mind and the human condition. For them, these words are all scientific, provable fact and are the laws of the universe and life, plus Hubbard’s researched remedies for all nonoptimum conditions that may exist in any area of life. They believe Hubbard is the first and only person to apply scientific methods to life and fully research and test a method for bettering the condition of anybody. Scientology is, to a Scientologist, a perfect system that is applicable to all of life.
The fundamental belief of Scientology is that each individual is an immortal spiritual being. To put this into perspective, each individual has been around for more years than there are atoms in this universe. There is belief in universes before this one, but little is specified about these. It is up to the individual to discover these for themselves during their “auditing” or scientology-based counselling sessions. Further it is believed that each person was once far larger than this universe and capable of creating their own universe and doing literally anything they wished – unlimited spiritual power, equivalent to (or even greater than) God. Time to a Scientologist has been far from kind, slowly eroding these powers to the point of where we are now here on this planet subject to all the problems of this society and these bodies we inhabit. The belief is that this happened through accumulated moments of pain and unconsciousness, referred to as “engrams” by Hubbard. According to his theory, whenever a being is rendered unconscious and pain is present, the person goes on mentally recording the moment-tomoment memories but on an unconscious level. Later, when these memories may be triggered by things in the current environment that are similar to the past point of unconsciousness, an automatic response on the part of this “unconscious mind” or “reactive mind” takes over the functions and thought processes of the being. These instinctive responses of the reactive mind make the person say, do and perceive things that are not rational but are straight out of this former period of unconsciousness. A Scientologist believes that finding and “erasing” all of these past moments will result in a
“Clear” - someone with no psychosomatics ills, psychoses, neuroses, compulsions, obsessions or anything other than a perfect mind with perfect recall and total control of all thinking processes.
The Path to Super Powers
Scientologists believe that Hubbard discovered the way to making Clears and that he left a technology, scientifically tested and proven, to turn anyone into a Clear should they so desire. There is also the belief in states above the level of Clear called “Operating Thetan” or OT, with “thetan” being the Scientology word for spirit or soul. Scientologists believe that Hubbard mapped out an exact path to attainment of these states and that map is a series of levels represented as a bridge from the level of spiritual awareness of the ordinary person all the way to total spiritual freedom. This is called “The Bridge to Total Freedom” or, more usually, “The Bridge.” Scientologist believe that nothing is as important as “The Bridge” and that anything done to protect “The Bridge” is justified as it is Mankind’s only hope of ever getting out of the degraded state it is currently in. A Scientologist believes that all life in this universe is on this “dwindling spiral” of existence and will just keep getting worse unless Scientology is used to “rehabilitate” our native spiritual powers. Scientologists believe that Hubbard himself has left this earth to pursue his research of the “Upper Levels” as he could no longer do his research while he had a body. Hubbard is considered to be “Source” of Scientology and is venerated accordingly, with many photos of him and even his own personal office in every Church building. Hubbard is considered to be always right because everything he wrote is the result of careful research. A part of the “upper levels of The Bridge” is OT Level 3, the one used often to mock Scientology’s beliefs. This is the story parodied in a “South Park” episode, mentioned in detail during an episode of “Boston Legal,” and featured in various other TV shows and in print and other media around the globe. Most Scientologists will not believe it, as they have not gotten up The Bridge to that point and so do not know of its existence. They do believe that, if they were exposed to it, they would sicken and die from reading about OT Level 3 (OT III) before they were “properly prepared” for it by doing all the prerequisite lower levels. Those who have done OT III believe it would be a crime of great magnitude to discuss it with anyone who hasn’t achieved that level; and even discussion of it amongst “OTs” is strictly limited to only those involved in delivering this material to Scientologists. Every Scientologist who has done this and other “OT Levels” have signed strict confidentiality agreements to never divulge the contents nor talk idly about it even to those who’ve also done it – a penalty of having to pay very large sums of money for any breach of this agreement is always part of these confidentiality agreements.
A vital part of Scientology is the E-Meter – short for electropsychometer. This device basically shows changes in resistance in somebody as movements of a needle on a dial. Officially, it is a “religious artifact used to measure the state of electrical characteristics of the ‘static field’ surrounding the body.” To a Scientologist, it is a vital and infallible scientific
tool that helps a Scientologist locate and eliminate physical and mental problems from their life with Scientology counselling. The E-meter is also believed to be able to tell if someone has told the truth or not and is used on Scientology staff to determine if they should be investigated further for crimes against Scientology - this often happens during periods of poor organization performance or when an actual crime, such as a theft, has occurred within the organization.
Why Gods “die”
So how then can a being with such superpowers be brought down to such a level of “effect” such as the average person in this current society, burdened with assorted physical ills and mental and emotional problems? Scientologists believe that this happened through evil beings (psychiatrists, psychologists etc. or their equivalent in past civilizations) that specialized in spiritually and mentally crippling other beings that were more powerful than they were. Scientologists believe this was accomplished by making beings believe that they had done bad things to others and so felt remorse and decided to lessen their own powers to compensate for their inability to control evil impulses in themselves. Scientologists believe that this was routinely carried out in the “between-lives area” – after a person dies, per Scientology doctrine, they are free to go and inhabit another body. But beings are often trapped during this time by evil beings (psychiatrists) and battered with overwhelming amounts of electricity and given “false purposes” that “cripple” the spiritual being’s ability to live up to their full potential. Scientologists believe that psychiatrists etc. are guilty of currently committing crimes against society in the form of their treatment of mental illnesses. Thus, Scientologists have the goal of total elimination of psychiatry, psychology and any form of psychotherapy other than Scientology’s own brand, as it is the only one “proven” to release a person from their spiritual chains. All anything else than Scientology does in the eyes of a Scientologist is further degrade the person.
Scientology and charity
Scientologists believe that the only way bad things can happen to you, is for you to do something bad yourself to others - you “pulled it in” is the term they use often to describe that. Accidents, an illness, a deformity, an upset with another are all the result of something bad one has done oneself. Therefore, sympathy for a victim is misplaced in the eyes of a Scientologist as the victim has surely caused their own problems. Charity is not something that a Scientologist believes is either needed or effective. Making the victim somehow more able with Scientology is the only way that a person can be truly helped. A Scientologist believes that to be a victim of anything is the most degrading thing that can happen - a Scientologist is always “cause” over his/her surroundings and those around them. Scientologists also believe that helping the able rather than those who are unable – the latter are referred to as “downstats” (short for having down statistics) - is the way to fix up the ills
of the planet. Welfare programs simply encourage idle people to not work and penalize those who do. Every Scientologist is expected to run their lives by statistics, and is expected to constantly increase them each week. Staff members face penalties if their “stats are down” and may only be granted privileges like time off if their “stats are up.” This belief is central to all Scientology administration and a great deal of attention is placed on statistics in Scientology organizations. Additionally, for those who are progressing up the levels of “The Bridge,” increasing levels of contribution are expected as they are becoming more able and are thus more able to help forward the progress of Scientology. Thus the levels of Scientology’s Bridge cost more the higher one climbs. Scientologists believe that this is fair as they presume that a person becomes more able to “make things go right” the higher up The Bridge they go. Moreover, those on the higher levels need to be more responsible for the fate of this planet as irresponsibility was part of the original “sins” of beings that caused the dwindling spiral of life in the first place.
A core belief of Scientology doctrine is that there are two types of people – good people and evil people. There are shades of grey but, according to Scientology beliefs, a person can be either primarily evil or good, primarily constructive or destructive. Hubbard set statistics for this, saying that 20% of all people are evil or destructive and 2½% are the truly evil ones – “suppressive people” or “SPs.” The other 17½% are Potential Trouble Sources or “PTSes” and “roller-coaster” (go up and down emotionally and physically) due to their association with SPs. This is the cause of all accidents and illnesses suffered by people – being “suppressed” by an “SP” or someone who reminds you of one. These suppressive people are the same people who are responsible for all the world’s ills, and who are constantly trying to destroy anything that will help others. Hubbard listed 12 characteristics for an SP and all Scientologists are expected to know these by heart, as well as their counterparts that characterize a social person. Per Hubbard, this is the most important piece of “Technology” that Scientology presents to the world. Scientologists believe that SPs are responsible for all attacks on Scientology, as no sane, constructive person would contemplate attacking “Mankind’s Only Hope for Salvation” unless they were misled by someone with evil intentions. Scientologists believe that SPs, especially a psychiatric/pharmaceutical/media conspiratorial cartel, are responsible for any and all of the “bad press” Scientology gets. Scientologists also believe that the only reason someone who has been in Scientology would leave Scientology is because of the crimes the person has committed against Scientology. The belief is that the only reason someone would leave a good group and begins criticizing it is because one has done bad things to that group and so now feels the need to justify these bad actions by pointing out the faults, real or imagined, of the group. Thus, those who speak out about alleged abuses from their time in Scientology are immediately dismissed by Scientologists as simply trying to hide their own crimes against Scientology.
Scientologists deem that all of the suppressive people who oppose Scientology are physically and mentally ill, so they deserve anything bad that happens to them. They also believe that doing things to these “SPs” to crush them is totally justifiable as the SP is the one trying to keep Mankind “in the mud.” In the same way the average person would immediately step on a dangerous spider, a Scientologist would do whatever was needed to incapacitate an “SP” so that they can no longer further suppress humanity. Every Scientologist takes this duty willingly. Thus, Scientologists will not believe anything negative about Scientology that they read or see, but will believe anything that they are told by the official Church of Scientology spokespersons. They believe that only Scientologists can be trusted to tell the truth as they are the most ethical group on the planet and everybody else is a puppet of their “reactive mind.” Scientologists believe that only the systems of Scientology can deliver a sane, just society on Earth. All current systems in use on this planet are irrational and corrupt. Hubbard poured scorn on the justice system, the police forces, political systems of all types (although he did say that a benign dictatorship was the best possible method of government) and all other institutions in the current society. Therefore, Scientologists conclude that any nonScientological system is inherently flawed and not to be trusted at all. Scientologists refer to non-Scientologists as “wogs” and despise “wog justice,” “wog government,” “wog medicine,” etc.
Hubbard created his own justice system and wrote extensively about it. Scientologists believe this is far superior to anything else that mere “wogs” have. They are expected to use this system to sort out all matters of wrongdoings and never use the society laws, police, parliaments etc. except to get something beneficial to Scientology. Furthermore, they fully expect a time when Scientology successfully takes over the planet, and anything they individually may have done that was illegal under current laws will be fully vindicated if it was done for the greater good of Scientology. Underpinning this whole “justice” system is the “KR” (Knowledge Report). This is a report of anything and/or anyone that is “out-Ethics.” Hubbard defined “out-Ethics” as something not “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Anything detrimental to Scientology, Hubbard or senior management are obviously “out-Ethics” as these must by Scientology definition be “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Failure to allow your children to join the Sea Org (the ‘elite’ of Scientology staff who regularly work 90-hour weeks for food, lodging and usually around $30 a week allowance) rather than do higher education, or failure to contribute as much money as you possibly can are likewise not “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Scientologists are required to write Knowledge Reports on every “out-Ethics” situation they have knowledge of – even on their parents, spouses or children. These reports are all sent to the Ethics section for action and filing, with a copy supposedly going to the person being reported on.
Much of the “Confessional counselling” done in Scientology is classed as not covered by priest-penitent privilege. As such, the “minister” hearing this type of confessional is required by Scientology law to write KRs on the confessor, who is then to be sent to Ethics to “handle” whatever it is that they have done. This can be something as simple as masturbating or not giving all their money to Scientology when they “should” have. Hubbard created an “ethics gradient” of actions that go from simply seeing something “outEthics” happen, to possible expulsion from Scientology. He created several “courts” to deal with offences – the most severe of these being a “Committee of Evidence.” All of these “courts” are “fact-finding” bodies or persons, who review the “KRs,” interview the relevant persons and then decide on guilt or innocence on an offence-by-offence basis. “Findings and recommendations” are then drawn up and submitted to the “convening authority” (usually a senior executive who has drawn up the original order for the “court”), who then accepts or amends these as they see fit.
Perception of Crimes against Scientology
L. Ron Hubbard categorized all the “offences” that a Scientologist (or anybody else for that matter) could commit into just four categories – errors, misdemeanours, crimes and high crimes. He created such “High Crimes” as: “Unauthorized use of the materials of Dianetics and Scientology. “Public statements against Scientology or Scientologists in good standing but not to Committees of Evidence duly convened. “Proposing, advising or voting for legislation or ordinances, rules or laws directed toward the suppression of Scientology. “Testifying hostily before state or public inquiries into Scientology to suppress it. “Bringing civil suit against any Scientology organization or Scientologist, including the non-payment of bills or the failure to refund, without first calling the matter to the attention of the International Justice Chief and receiving a reply. “Failure to handle or disavow and disconnect from a person demonstrably guilty of suppressive acts. “Mutiny,” and “Delivering up the person of a Scientologist without justifiable defense or lawful protest to the demands of civil or criminal law. “Informing fellow staff members and others that one is leaving staff. “It is a High Crime to publicly depart Scientology. “Additionally, a crime, if severe and of magnitude, harmful to many and committed repeatedly, can be reclassed as a High Crime.”
Some examples of Crimes: “Noncompliance with urgent and vital orders resulting in public disrepute. “Placing Scientology or Scientologists at risk. “Being or becoming a potential trouble source without reporting it or taking action. “Withholding from local Scientology executives that he or she is a potential trouble source. “Organizing or allowing a gathering or meeting of staff members or field auditors or the public to protest the orders of a senior. “Inciting to insubordination. “Refusal to uphold discipline. “Overworking an executive by ignoring one’s duties. “Neglect or omission in safeguarding the copyrights, registered marks, trademarks, registered names of Scientology. “Case on post. (“case” is the Scientology term for the whole range of illnesses, irrational behaviours, fears, compulsions etc that they believe are all caused by one’s “reactive mind” – for a staff member to be visibly ill at the job is “case on post.”) “Noncooperation with enforcing Confessional technology. “Failure to keep a computer clean and in repair.” Contrast this last one with another Scientology “crime” – “Seducing a minor.” The underlying fundamental of all Scientology justice is the preservation of Scientology and its management structure.
Denial of Scientology services for varying lengths of time and the need to “make up the damage” in number of hours free labour are the usual penalties handed out by Scientology justice. Sometimes a person is ordered to Scientology counselling at their own expense as part of the penalties as well.
For a member of the Sea Organization there is the penultimate penalty for out-Ethics called the “Rehabilitation Project Force” or “RPF.” The ultimate penalty of the RPF being expulsion from Scientology and the Sea Org as a Suppressive Person. A person assigned to this program can eat only table scraps left from other “in-Ethics” Sea Org members, is assigned to hard physical labour all day, sleep is limited to a maximum of seven hours, all movement between menial labour jobs must be done at a run and everybody outside the RPF must be addressed as “sir.” An RPF member does not speak unless spoken to first. Additionally, anyone on the RPF must do a minimum of five hours of daily counselling, usually confessing their crimes in this and previous lifetimes or listening to another member of the RPF while they do so.
For the “very out-Ethics” who fail to reform on the RPF, there is the “RPF’s RPF” where food is what the RPF does not eat, sleep is a maximum of six hours a night and the person is under 24-hour guard.
Other Sea Org Restrictions
A Scientologist believes this system enables the Sea Org members to carry out their purpose as stated by Hubbard: “to get Ethics in on the planet.” A Sea Org member is supposed to be the most ethical of beings on the planet, and far more “on-purpose” and in-Ethics than the average Scientologist. They sign a one billion year contract to the Sea Org and fully expect to keep coming back lifetime after lifetime, until the whole universe is converted to Scientology. Sea Org members are forbidden to have children. This was ostensibly initiated in the mideighties as an economic measure to cut the costs of childcare from Sea Org budgets at the time. It has continued since then and any female Sea Org member who falls pregnant must leave the Sea Org should they wish to have the child. Leaving the Sea Org is, of course, outEthics – every Scientologist believes this. Scientologists believe that everybody is responsible for the condition they are in, even children. As the belief is held that everybody is an immortal spiritual being who had lived countless lifetimes before, it is presumed that children can be as responsible as adults and want to work to help those around them. Scientology’s founder, L Ron Hubbard, created a whole organization called the “Commodore’s Messenger Organization.” This was initially composed of children of crew on the ships of the Sea Organization. These children were the “embodiment” of Hubbard, and were to be saluted and called “sir” whenever they spoke as it was assumed that they were relaying direct orders from Hubbard. Some of these children were under ten years old yet were expected to be treated as adults. Scientologists believe that children can do the work of adults and really want to be working rather than playing.
Scientologists believe that they have all the answers to life’s questions – the contradiction is they BELIEVE they KNOW rather than actually know. There has been no actual independent scientific verification of any of Scientology’s “scientific claims.” Yet, Scientologists adhere to the theory that the “truths” of Scientology have been validated by Hubbard’s “research” and that all arguments to the contrary are either by “psychotics” (people in a constant war with humanity per Scientology’s definition of the term) or by those who are heavily influenced by such “psychotics.” Because Scientology is a “workable system,” no active member of the Church of Scientology would dare even discussing reform of its structure or beliefs. Anyone in a discussion with a Scientologist would be wise to remember that. Scientology is, to the Scientologist, a total way of life. There is always a Hubbard reference that the Scientologist should apply to every situation.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.