The following question was posed by a college student doing a research paper on Scientology:
Also if it’s not too much to ask do you think you could tell me what you believe in as a Scientologist and how that might differ from another Scientologist?
The following are answers, from everyday Scientologists from around the world:
Shaina, Scientology auditor: For me, the main things I believe are that everyone is responsible for his own condition, and that with help, he can get himself to a better condition. In life, I had gotten myself into a pretty bad condition, but I recognize how I created the situation for myself, and through Scientology training and auditing, I have managed to get myself into a much better place and am now doing well. It can often be difficult to confront the thought instead of blaming others, but I’ve found that the only way I’ve been able to really do something about something non-ideal is to really look at what I did to cause it and how I can handle it differently.
I also believe that communication is key to the resolution of any problem. Every bad situation I’ve encountered or observed is something that was or could have been resolved with more communication, not less. Sometimes it requires a mediator or help in figuring out what and how to communicate, but it always resolves with the proper communication. This has been key for me in improving conditions in my life, and it’s something I always fall back on when things aren’t going well.
We are all, each one of us, unique people, and to me Scientology. So, let me take a very real but rather ridiculous example. I love the television program, Doctor Who. My wife hates it – absolutely hates it. There is a very small difference. Here is another that will strike to the heart. This last presidential election was incredibly contentious. There are a number of Scientologists who were very Democratic party oriented. I am a conservative business owner. We voted differently. And here’s another regarding child rearing. I don’t believe that if a child misbehaves, he/she needs to take a “time out.” To me that is ridiculous. Misbehave and not have to make up the misbehavior but instead go off and be alone? Nope. The child misbehaves, the child does something constructive to make up for what he/she did.
As each of us are unique individuals with upbringings uniquely our own, we will have differences in viewpoint. Scientology is not a school for creating conformist thought. It is an applied religious philosophy that if applied correctly, will bring about positive results that are beyond expectations.
Natalie, artist & mother: I would say that in regards to the religion itself and the basic principles, Scientologists are pretty much on the same page with what we believe. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t all individuals with our own viewpoints and priorities, etc. All of the Scientologists I know want to help others and do better in their own lives, but what is important to them and how they go about that is different from person to person.
Michelle, educator: I believe that I am a spiritual being. I occupy a mortal body. I believe that when this body dies, I will get another body and live another life. I believe we have lived many lives and are affected and limited by the experiences of that long past. I believe we have more potential and abilities than we allow ourselves to believe. I believe that through the Scientology counseling, you can identify those negative things from the past and no longer be the effect of them. I believe in a higher being. I believe that man is basically good.
As to what other Scientologists believe, I think most of us believe most of the things I named above, but because it isn’t true unless it is true for you, some people have more certainty on parts of these ideas, and others might still be trying to figure these things out and see if they are true for them. There is a lot to learn and we are each on our own journey.
Erin, mother: This is a difficult question to answer. It’s hard to just summarize what I believe and how that would differ from what someone else believes. I could give examples of how what I believe differs from what some other people believe, but I’m not sure that’s what you are looking for.
For example- I believe in a combination of creation (of some sorts- starting a very long time ago) and evolution. I think there are probably a lot of Scientologists who believe more strictly in evolution, and probably some who believe that things fall on the creation side more. I do believe in a higher power but I don’t believe in a God that intervenes. Again- I think there are Scientologists that believe totally in God and some that don’t believe there is any higher power. But if you have a specific question about what I believe and how others might believe, I’m more than happy to answer that.
Cristal, relief organization founder: I grew up in a Catholic environment but was raised in a Scientologist household, so my views on God are somewhat biblical. That differs from Scientologists who were raised/ were/are multi-denominational.
I have many Jewish Scientologist friends who observe holidays and follow a kosher diet, and know of Muslim Scientologists and Hindu Scientologists who do the same.
Kate, church staff: I think this is a great question. I believe in myself as an immortal, spiritual being. I also believe in God. But if you were to ask my dad this question, he would say he believes we are all immortal, however he doesn’t believe in God. One thing that is different about Scientology, and could also answer the earlier question, is that you can be a Scientologist and also be a Christian or a Muslim or a Buddhist, or Jewish or Hindu. I have several Jewish friends who are also Scientologists. I also have a friend who goes to Catholic mass every Sunday and she’s also a Scientologist. Scientology is more of a study and practice of basic principles to make your life more successful, and if your life success also depends on practicing another religion, that’s totally fine!
Tad, systems engineer: Let me see if I can sum up what I believe a succinctly as possible. I’ve written longer articles about what Scientology is to me, but let me see if I can sum up in a few bullet points, along with some reference material as appropriate that you may find enlightening.
- I believe that I’m a spiritual individual, and am not “my body”. I believe I have a body, but that concepts like love, fear, honor, friendship, and one’s own goals and purposes in life are positively not a part of the body or brain, but are something we create as individuals. This video on the parts of man illustrates this further.
- I believe that it is possible to know about the mind, the spirit, and life. Meaning, I do think that solutions to one’s problems as an individual, a family or group member, are not out of one’s hands, or can only be understood by the infinite, or “transcend the boundaries of human understanding” like old-time philosophers thought. I believe that no matter how hard one’s problems are in life, that something can be done about them, and Scientology contains intensely workable solutions for such.
- I believe that religious choice is an intensely personal thing, and that anyone, studying Scientology, should do so for themselves, should read actual Scientology books for themselves, and should make up their own mind about it. I think that Scientology (or any religious philosophy) cannot be forced on someone, because there is nothing at all more individual and personal than how one feels about himself. Nobody can tell you how you feel about yourself, because nobody else is you. Therefore, a personal, spiritual philosophy can never, ever be jammed down your throat. There is no replacement for quality time, by yourself, in front of a book.
Now, in terms of what I believe and how that might differ from another Scientologist: one thing that is part & parcel to Scientology that bears a similarity to other religions, is that we’ve all got a central agreement on “what Scientology is”. The source materials on Scientology are what L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his books, policies and recorded lectures. So, regardless of what we all think, use and feel personally about ourselves and our relationship to the church, at least we agree on what Scientology is.