By Tal Davis
Official Name: Church of Scientology International
Founder: L. Ron Hubbard, in 1954
Current Leaders: David Miscavige, (b. 1960); Heber C.
Headquarters: Los Angeles, Calif.; Clearwater, Fla. (Flag
Organizations Associated with Scientology:
Applied Scholastics, Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE)
Citizens Commission on Human Rights,
Concerned Businessmen's Association of America,
The Hubbard Dianetics Foundation International,
National Commission on Law Enforcement and Social Justice,
Religious Technology Center,
Sterling Management Systems,
The Way to Happiness Foundation,
World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE),
New Era Publications,
Bridge Publications, Inc.
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950) and other books
by L. Ron Hubbard;
What is Scientology? (1978) compiled by staff of the Church of
This Belief Bulletin highlights basic concepts of Scientology and gives
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was born in Nebraska in 1911. He spent most of his
childhood on his grandfather's Montana ranch while his parents served overseas
in the U.S. Navy. Hubbard later stated that visits with parents to Asia in the
1920s introduced him to eastern philosophies and religions.
As a young man, Hubbard developed a career as a science fiction writer and
claimed to have explored the world. He also claimed that he received near fatal
wounds in World War II. While recovering, he formulated his novel psychological
theories that were revealed in his 1950 book Dianetics: The Modern Science
of Mental Health.
In 1954, Hubbard incorporated the Church of Scientology to promote his ideas
using a religious facade. His books and church spread worldwide, but Hubbard
became a recluse. He spent most of his last years aboard his yacht being waited
on hand-and-foot. He died inauspiciously in 1986.
Commonly Used Scientology Terms
Analytical mind: The conscious, rational, and problem solving part
of one's mind. Auditing: Scientology's personal counseling using dianetic
techniques and utilizing an E- meter for reading engrams.
Auditing: Scientology's personal counseling using dianetic
techniques and utilizing an E-meter for reading engrams.
Auditor: Counselor who conducts auditing session.
Clear: State of person who has completed auditing. Person is
supposedly liberated from all engrams and their ill effects on the mind and
Dianetics: Method developed by L. Ron Hubbard for removing engrams
and their negative effects from the mind.
E-Meter (Electropsychometer): Instrument invented by L. Ron Hubbard
for utilization in auditing process.
Engram: Unconscious mental image recorded in the reactive mind that
has negative effects on a person's life.
MEST: Acronym coined from the initial letters of matter, energy,
space, and time which compose the physical universe and hold the thetan
Preclear: A person undergoing Dianetics auditing progressing toward
Reactive mind: The part of the mind not under a person's rational,
conscious control or awareness.
Thetan: The immortal human soul or spiritual being. It is the true,
timeless identity of the individual.
Beliefs and Practices
L. Ron Hubbard was a modern genius who discovered the answers to life's
questions and unraveled the secrets of our past, present, and future
existences. His writings and speeches are considered absolutely authoritative,
especially his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental
Biblical Response: Researchers not associated with the
Church of Scientology have documented inaccuracies in Hubbard's account of his
life. They allege he fabricated and exaggerated many of his personal claims.
His theories directly conflict with basic Christian teachings. Only the Bible
is the infallible basis for faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet.
People are immortal, divine beings. They are composed of three dimensions:
soul (thetan), mind (an accumulation of all past experiences in this and past
lives), and body (the mortal, temporary physical component).
Biblical Response: People are souls created in the
spiritual image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-30; 2:7). They are twofold in
nature, body, and spirit. The body is mortal and the spirit immortal. There is
no existence before earthly life.
The Church of Scientology International has no clear definition of the
nature or person of God. References to a Supreme Being are rare in Scientology
literature, calling it the "eight dynamic" or "infinity." The Supreme Being is
defined in vague, pantheistic terms as embracing the "allness of all."
Biblical Response: God is the eternal, infinite, personal
Creator of the universe (Gen. 1; Deut. 6:4). He is Spirit (Num. 23:19; John
4:24) and has existed from all eternity in a triune form: Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6).
Engrams are stored in one's "reactive mind" and learned from one's past lives,
prenatal experience, and early childhood. These prevent individuals from
realizing their innate divinity and experiencing a happy and fulfilled life
using their analytical minds.
Biblical Response: Humankind's problem is sin, an attitude
of rebellion or indifference toward God and His will, resulting in separation
from God, both in this life and forever (Mark 7:20-23; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 1 John
Scientology's Solution - Auditing
Engrams are removed from the mind only by an expensive process of dianetic
counseling. This process, called "auditing," involves the utilization of an
"E-meter" that supposedly indicates when a person has discovered an engram and
helps the client expunge it from his or her unconscious reactive mind in order
to achieve "Clear." A person who has attained Clear may need further auditing
to remove engrams held over from previous lives. Auditing sessions may cost as
much as $1,000 per hour.
Biblical Response: Jesus Christ is God's solution to the
sin problem. He was God Himself, in human form on earth (John 3:16; 14:6; 1
Tim. 2:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:18). He lived a sinless life, died as an atoning sacrifice
for sin, and rose from the dead. People thus receive salvation as a gift, both
as a present reality and future hope, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ
(John 14:1; Rom. 10:9-10; Gal. 2:15-16; Eph. 2:8-9).
The Ultimate Goal - Liberation from MEST
A person will experience many thetan reincarnations in many lives over
thousands of years. (Thus, auditing often must include clearing the client of
engrams from past lives.) Eventually, the thetan can liberate itself completely
from MEST and attain total spiritual awareness and become one with
Biblical Response: Born-again Christians will live forever
with God and Jesus in heaven (John 14:3-6; Rom. 6:23; 8:35-39; Rev. 20-22).
Jesus taught that the righteous will have eternal life, but the unsaved will
suffer eternal punishment in hell (Matt. 25:46). Reincarnation is nowhere
taught in the Bible. People live one earthly life and then face God's judgment
Witnessing to Scientologists
1. Have a clear understanding of your faith and the Bible.
2. Ask appropriate questions to determine the person's level of involvement in
Scientology and/or Dianetics. Many people involved do not understand its
philosophical, spiritual, and scientific problems, nor its incompatibility with
historic Christianity. In some cases, you may need to provide documentation to
show the Scientologist that L. Ron Hubbard was not what Scientologists believe
him to be and expose the controversial history of the Scientology movement.
(See Brent Corydon, L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman [Barracade
Books, 1994] and Russell Miller, Bare-Faced Messiah: A Biography of L. Ron
Hubbard [H. Holt & Co., 1988].)
3. Seek to establish a personal, friendly relationship with the
4. Establish the sole authority of the Bible. You may need to give the
Scientologist a marked Bible to highlight basic Christian doctrines.
5. Clearly define all terms of Scientology and historic Christianity.
6. Show the Scientologist how Christian doctrines are incompatible with
Scientology. Focus especially on contrasting ideas about God, sin, salvation,
and life after death.
7. Share your personal testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and the benefits you
derive from knowing Him as Savior and Lord.
8. Share the plan of salvation and sensitively seek to lead the person to faith