I got answers from a number of Scientologists to answer the question of both how they came into Scientology, and why they decided to be Scientologists. Some of them grew up in a Scientology family, others did not.
If you have any questions for any of these individuals, as to what made them decide to be Scientologists, or how they feel about it now, fire away in the comments section and we can get those answered directly!
Can you explain both how and why you became involved with The Church of Scientology?
Cindy, California: I was introduced to Scientology through my aunt when I moved to Los Angeles from Kingston, Jamaica. At that time, I had just completed high school and had no plans for college or my future. She signed me up at a community college and also for two Scientology courses called the Key to Life and Life Orientation courses which are designed to help you get the basics to be successful in life. These courses were life-changing and brought me to whole new levels of personal achievement.
Tkeisha, Oregon: My parents are Scientologists, so it was something I grew up with. It wasn’t pushed on me though. Actually as a child I was very interested in religion and spirituality. My parent’s supported my interest and encouraged me to decide for myself what I believed. I went to a Christian church for a little while, had a Hindu shrine in my back yard and was fascinated by Buddhism. For a time I called myself a Christian-Hindu-Buddhist-Scientologist.
As I got older, I started to become more interested in Scientology and spent some time at one of the nearby Scientology churches, studying more about how to improve my communication with others. What I loved about Scientology is that you COULD be of another religion and still study Scientology. No one batted an eye at my interest in other religions, and I loved that.
I had probably done about 3-4 course in Scientology by the time I was 13. It was at that time when I began to notice more about the world around me and the pain and suffering, especially in the large city the church was located. I wanted to know how to best help other people. It seemed to me that all religions had in common the basic idea of helping other people. Scientology had that in spades, but it also had very easy to follow courses and steps on how to go about helping people right away. That’s why I decided to focus more on Scientology than on the other religions. Although I still have a great affinity and love for Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Stephanie, Texas: My parents both found out about Scientology and started doing Scientology services (reading books, taking classes and getting some personal counselling) when I was about 4 years old. Everything I saw as a result from this was positive. When my parents first found Scientology they were having marital trouble and were very likely headed for divorce. Scientology saved their marriage. From my view, it positively changed the way they interacted with each other, the way they handled us kids, how happy they were, and how purposeful they were. So, I had a very good impression of the subject from a very young age. They were good about communicating to my sister and I some of the basics they were learning about life, relationships and spirituality, and all of those points of Scientology made some good sense to me even as a kid, and just seemed to be quite useful and real. They never pushed us to do Scientology services as kids, but made them available to us if we were interested.
I always considered myself a Scientologist as a kid, but I started actually pursuing it on my own, in terms of actually doing services myself at about the age of 9. I started at that age with some simple courses here and there, like one on how to improve relationships and one on integrity. Then later, in my teens I did not only courses but also some counselling (called “auditing” in Scientology), and I went on from there.
There are a number of reasons I became involved in Scientology myself, and have then continued to practice it throughout my life. Some of the most important reasons are:
(1) Scientology is a very practical religion—that is, it is completely built around the idea that it is for actual use in our lives to improve our own abilities, happiness, and state of being, and to help improve the lives of those around us.
(2) It works. I have continually found that when I learn and then use Scientology in some area of my life, or to help others, that it does actually produce results. For real. That is huge for me. It has provided information that helps me understand myself and the people and the world around me, thus improving my ability to handle all of these things better. And it has provided me with tools and with things I can DO to actually help myself and others. I find that incredibly rewarding.
Diane, Florida: When I was 20 years old I was in college. Though I went to school with a scholarship in my second year I was failing and had fallen very ill. I am very religious and couldn’t understand what was happening. I had no idea what to do with my life. The day before I was going for surgery I was praying for God to either take me when I was in surgery or to please show me my purpose for being here. At that moment a woman came and showed me the book Dianetics and invited me to a lecture. Not listening or observing well, I had no intentions of attending but my mother was interested and dragged me to this lecture. I found the lecture extremely interesting and felt there was a lot of observable truth there. After I had surgery I read the book Dianetics and wrote the author. He wrote me back thanking me for my kind words about his research but then asked me, “How do you know it works?” He said I shouldn’t just accept things just because someone says so, I should see for myself if they are true. So I tried it and wrote him back that now I had tried it and I still felt it was workable and a good theory. L. Ron Hubbard continued to write me for the next eleven years. He never pushed me to anything and often didn’t mention more that his interests and activities or to ask about my well-being. He became a dear friend and mentored me through anything I personally asked for. He was always very kind and very funny. Years later I realized I did in fact find my purpose that day. I like helping others and I found a way to do that effectively.
Hailley, Oregon: My parents were Scientologists. On the beaches of Oahu, my dad was handed a flier that read, “Do you want to be happy?” and on the flier it had information about the whereabouts of the local Scientology Church. He and my mom walked to the Church to begin their first service towards their initial goal of being happy. This was in the early 1970s and they are dedicated members to this day.
I grew up under the guidance of these opinion leaders who used Scientology principles in their everyday interaction with people, which included their children (my brother and I). However, I had at first balked at listening to my parents’ suggestions and advice, seeing as I was now a young adult, and as such wanted to “find my own way.”
But then, re-discovering my religion was just something that was inevitable when I hit college. Every spot of trouble I ran into – whether it be school, relationships with friends, etc., was solved with a piece of Scientology. Somehow I found myself gravitating towards my local Church to find my own answers. Try as I might, I could not deny that these solutions I found in Scientology worked and so made a believer out of me. Thus, I considered myself a Scientologist.
Leah, New York: Initially, I was born into Scientology. Both of my parents were involved before I was born. At some point, I decided to do Scientology for myself. For me, it answered the deep questions I had about life, even as a young child. Like why are we here and what happens to us when we die and so forth. Deep thoughts for a 10 year old! What can I say, I was a weird kid lol! And over the years, I have found that the stuff I’ve learned in Scientology works. Not because someone said so, but because it just did. I see the tools I’ve learned help me.in all facets of my life. And that’s it.
Alexa, Canada: I used to be a Christian, but I felt I wasn’t discovering the full truth through my studies in that religion. So I went searching for more answers and a long my journey I discovered that I wanted to become the most “me” possible and that I didn’t want to have the ideas and opinions of others in my head and affecting my “me-ness” any longer.
I ended up talking to my dad about this and he told me I should try Scientology because Scientology encompasses all religious views and has a broad spectrum of understanding. He had heard about Scientology through my uncle who has done advanced courses in the religion. He always admired how peaceful my uncle’s presence was and thus had a high regard for what Scientology could do for a person. My dad drove me 45 minutes to our nearest Church of Scientology and helped me get signed up for my first life improvement course, “The Ups and Downs of Life Course“.
I felt like all the scattered thoughts in my head had been organized into a book when I looked at all the Life Improvement courses. Then someone showed me the Bridge and what being Clear meant. I couldn’t believe it was possible to get rid of that part of your mind that isn’t truly you. I actually told the guy to “shut up” and “your lying there is no way that exists.” Shortly after I started my the Purification Rundown and recently finished the Survival Rundown. Scientology changed my life forever and I never want to look back. It has helped me realize who I truly am.
Jamie, California: My parents were both Scientologists, so I grew up hearing some of the terms and seeing the technology in use. For example, when injured we used assist technology, an explanation of which can be found here.
When I was seven my family moved from rural New Mexico to Los Angeles, and I had a very hard time adjusting. I would cry for hours non-stop and refused to go to school. My parents took me to a Scientology church for counselling. I remember how amazed I was by the changes in myself. Even at that age it was clear to me that these people actually had a technology to effectively address spiritual and emotional issues.
I did my first course, the Children’s Communication Course, when I was eight. My mother did the course with me. I remember vividly how much I enjoyed the drills and I noticed a huge improvement in my social skills.
Sarah, Michigan: I was a teenager, struggling to find my place in the world. Scientology made sense to me from my first encounter with it. At the suggestion of a friend, I read from the Scientology Ethics book.
My friend helped me apply the step by step formulas for resolving the conditions in life, to my own life. For the first time, I wasn’t lost anymore. & 22 years later, I’ve never felt lost since. True story!
Tad, Oregon: I made a fairly detailed answer of that question of how I got into Scientology on my Scientology Parent site. But I can sum up here for you.
My mother and father became Scientologists a few years before I was born. The bits of Scientology terminology & philosophy thrown around in daily life had my interest, and on my own volition at around age 9 I began taking courses at my closest Church – which was, unfortunately for me, a good 2-hour drive from my house in Maine. At the time, I had seen my parents taking courses at the church, and in many cases, gaining something valuable from it. I naturally asked if I could take a course too, and enrolled onto a course communication course. At the end of that communication course, I honestly felt I had learned something – I had figured out how to communicate better, I figured out that I could get my point across clearly, I understood why people didn’t like being interrupted, and that it was enjoyable for both parties when you’d acknowledge when you understood what they said. I continued my studies after that, picking up things – sometimes tidbits, sometimes much more significant than tidbits, which made it easier to live in the world, and helped explain the things I saw around me. I also gained a firm footing in morality – that there is a moral code that is good to live by, because it makes all human interactions smoother. I continued in my studies after that, and still call myself a Scientologist.
Ros, Oregon: 1966. I was 21. A boyfriend showed me some pamphlets about Scientology. I told him I thought it was a scam and agreed to go to an intro lecture to prove it was a scam. Within the first half hour I was exposed to so much truth, had so many basic questions about life answered that I became a Scientologist at once. And have been ever since.
Megan, California: My family became interested in Scientology when I was 10. I had been being raised as a Christian all that time (Methodist, then Presbyterian). I gradually became more aware of the principles of Scientology as time went on, and when I was a teenager I decided there was no turning back for me. There were some things I’d learned about man being a spirit (not a body) and something we call “tone levels” which describes one’s emotional state and how it changes through time and even daily. They are such rudimentary concepts in Scientology but they made so much sense to me, and I wanted to know more. I decided to take more courses in the Church about something I was interested in (determining my life’s path, very appropriate for a 17-year-old). I loved it because it gave me actual tools that needed to be precisely applied to get a result – not a bunch of thoughts and ideas and some might work and some might not. No, these all worked to help me move forward. Now as a parent I use basic Scientology concepts with my twin boys all the time (things like taking their attention and putting it outward rather than on what they’re upset about, or paying attention to what they’re doing right instead of wrong – both Scientology ideas!) and I can see how they respond well to it.
Tina, California: In 1983 I was a single Mom with a great career – but I really was looking for answers regarding interpersonal relationships and as a young adult I knew there was more to the riddles in life than was I was seeing. I sincerely wanted to understand how is it that some people could be great but others could be downright evil – why and how?
Then I saw an ad for the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and got the book a few days later – finally answers to my questions! Then later, all the riddles were no longer riddles – I fully understand my fellow man now and this has changed my outlook and my life forever. Despite the good or the bad that we all witness in life, I live without confusions in life. I can solve any problem presented by life, and life is so much more enjoyable — and best of all I can truly help others. I have a beautiful, happy, productive family and friends, and no matter what happens in life or where I may live or work, I know I can create a good life and survive well.
Emily, Oregon: I was born into a Scientology family, and always remember feeling like it was a good thing that seemed to make myself, my family members and others genuinely happy in life.
However, it was only when I encountered a pretty significant life difficulty when I was 17 that I realized I really needed to choose for myself what tools I would use to overcome it. That’s when I really choose to be a Scientologist for myself, after I carefully considered some key facts: whatever I read in Scientology made sense to me — it felt familiar, like it was something I knew deep down but had forgotten, and more importantly, it worked to bring about the exact, wonderful changes that I desired. Since then, it has continued to exceed all my expectations, and I continue to get the answers I need and want to make the changes I need and want in my life. I cannot imagine living without the tools I have been given–they change the game so thoroughly that I feel I can actually play it.
Megan, Oregon: My parents were non religious growing up. Luckily they didn’t mind my curiosity and we’re open to me exploring different religions. Growing up I attended services at many different churches – Christian, Catholic, Mormon, etc. In my teens my oldest sister had introduced me to Scientology. At the time I wasn’t making the best choices in life. I had been drinking and stealing and was quite unhappy in general. My sister took me to the church where I began my first course about ethics. Everything about what I had learned made so much sense to me! It only got better from there!
Fast forward 15+ years later and I have a successful career, I have been with my significant other for over 6 years and I am happier now than I have ever been. I attribute all of that to the amazing tools I have gained from Scientology.
Rebecca, Alaska: I was raised Christian (Nazarene, Baptist). I went to bible study, memorized my verses, got baptized, annointed, prayed and still had the question: “What now?” At 18, I was pregnant, on drugs and in an abusive relationship.
I had picked up a Dianetics book that year but didn’t read much of it. Later we moved to a different city and I saw an ad in the paper. “What’s preventing you from having the relationship you want? Call 1-800 FOR TRUTH”. Called the number and then scheduled a personality test. I took the Dianetics Seminar as my first course but what really did it for me were the Q&A I had with the auditor at the Mission at the time. He answered ALL my questions. Showed me all the references and even went over the Hubbard article on Clean Hands Make a Happy Life. It gave me the answers to “What now?” and I have never looked back, and now I get to help others daily with that selfsame body of knowledge at our Scientology Mission in Alaska!
Christine, Florida: I was always searching for the truth. My mom is a Scientologist and my dad a Catholic. We were raised predominately Catholic. I loved learning about Jesus and the Bible, but there were always nagging things that didn’t make sense to me. As I got older I continued my Bible studies and also studied Buddhism. After college and studying abroad my mom invited me to come and study Scientology through the Basics. This was exactly what I was looking for. What I was reading made sense and filled in the gaps I was missing from my previous religious studies. I read all the books in a matter of months, did introductory auditing, the Purification Rundown and on from there. I love that Scientology is such a personal spiritual journey, while also being a mission to help man kind. It’s just perfect!
John, California: I was 17 years old. Basically I was a very typical teen, smoked pot, drank alcohol whenever I could, got into lots of trouble but nothing criminal. I had lots of friends and I was very normal on the outside. BUT, on the inside I was looking for answers. Nothing seemed to make sense to me, from religion, to other people’s behavior in life, to war, relationships and why people, myself included, seemed so unhappy and behaved irrationally. Well, I was looking. I looked to the bible and actually read most of it. Very intriguing and I guess you can say “nice”. I liked it but it really didn’t have the answers and practical solutions to life and “me” that I was looking for. I looked through my mom’s Psychology books she studied in University. All I found there was confusing complexities about people that made no sense to me. It didn’t seem useful one bit and definitely no answers. Psychiatry? Well, I had a friend who was on Ritalin at the time. He would always describe what the doctor told him about his “condition” of ADD. That made absolutely NO SENSE. And to top it off my friend was acting very strange and started acting that way as soon as he was put on Ritalin. So that was definitely out of the question for me. So I kept my search on for answers. Practical, real answers and not what seemed to me to be more confusions. The Bible at that point was the least confusing but again, no real world or useful information that I could use that would solve my problems and answer my questions.
So one night I saw an infomercial on Dianetics, this was a beautiful summer night in 1995. Literally within 3 minutes I knew I had found the answers I was looking for. As I watched, these riddles of the mind were unraveling before my eyes and it made TOTAL SENSE. I called the bookstore the next day to see if they had a copy of Dianetics and the lady at Barnes and Nobles said “Gee those sell pretty fast but we do have a couple and I’ll save you one”. I went the very next day, bought my copy and read the entire book. Very long story made as short as possible, I have never looked back. Dianetics and Scientology in short saved me from a meager and unhappy life to one of success, happiness and joy from my beautiful family to my success in business. There is not one thing or area of my life it hasn’t helped, to be honest. I could write on and on and give lots and lots of specifics but I guess that would be more like a book.
Jessica, Ontario, Canada: Honestly, Scientology has all of the tools to solving life’s most difficult problems.
My whole life I was in search of something that could help me become a better person that was happy, confident and competent. I didn’t really know what Scientology was at first but after doing a course on how to improve my relationships with others I quickly learned that Scientology had the answers to life’s many problems. I am now a more happier, healthier, ethical, stable and competent person because of the tools that I have learned from Scientology. I am in a better state now than I ever imagined possible for myself. Scientology doesn’t just tell you information about your problems, it gives you information on how to solve them.
Brittany, Florida: I was introduced to Scientology by my family, and I started using the different techniques discovered by L. Ron Hubbard to help people around me. Every time I tried something, it worked, and every time I helped someone or myself with some piece of something learned from Scientology things got better. The more I used it the better things got.
But then, I went away from Scientology for a while and stopped using it to help people thinking it couldn’t possibly be the only way to live my life. At that point, I struggled, my friends struggled, as I saw that no one had any tools to really improve their lives with. So, I realized that Scientology really is something which most people would never really know exists or maybe even be able to believe or comprehend since there are not very many truly helpful things to turn to out in the workaday world. I then knew how truly lucky I was to have found something that I could use every day to improve myself as a person, improve my life and improve others lives. I knew that with Scientology I could really truly be happy and even when life happened which it sometimes does I would always come out on top and I don’t think that’s a certainty that very many people can say that they have. So that is why I am a Scientologist and that is why I use Scientology every day, in everything that I do, to help make things just that much better, for everyone.
Sandy, Florida: My boyfriend in college started a course in Scientology, but he wouldn’t tell me about it and he made out that he didn’t want me to go to find out about it. So when he was not at home, I snuck his Self Analysis book by L. Ron Hubbard. I read a chart that plotted out different personalities on an emotional tone scale. When I found my own tone, I felt much better and that alone lifted my tone. That was enough for me to know that it was something I wanted to learn a lot more about.
Trish, Minnesota: I became a Scientologist when I had the results of my personality test read to me, and then discovered that there were solutions to improving it. I had a major need for change in my life. I was almost 40 at the time, and our two daughters where then 5 and 10. I wanted to be a better and happier person, as well as wife and for sure, mother.
Bernard, England: I had spent 15 years trying to handle the fact that I felt uncomfortable and “not there” in crowded places. I’d tried addressing this with almost every technique and practice I could find (except Psychiatry), but had not been able to resolve it. A chain of totally unrelated events ended with me being in a Scientology church, going over the results of a personality test with a church staff member results. With nothing to loose I paid 12 hours of Dianetics auditing and handled some heavily-charged incidents from childhood and a serious one from my birth, in which I had nearly died from an umbilical strangulation and oxygen starvation. This was done in 2 6-hour sessions. The problem was completely gone! I felt different, happier and relieved. I’ve now spent 18 years using Scientology to create a life with a level of happiness an satisfaction I never thought was possible. I have also gained knowledge to help others, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing another person experience the relief of handling a situation in there life that they had no solution for until you showed them a single piece of Scientology they could apply to the situation and they see it resolve.
Romina, Florida: After the loss of my mom to brain cancer, I started to question my profession as a social worker working with psychologists and psychiatrists. My aunt recommended for me to read The Problems of Work by L. Ron Hubbard. Shortly after this I resigned my job, and flew to California to get some Dianetics therapy and my life was never the same again. Having found Scientology saved my life. I have finally connected to my purpose. I am currently training at the Church of Scientology in Miami to become an auditor. I can’t wait to make my first Clear and truly make a change in peoples’ lives. And yeah… get rid of my own reactive mind as well! 🙂
Candice, California: It began with interest in what my best friend was doing at church every night. We have been best friends since age 11. I asked her why she’s there so much. I asked her – what is Scientology? She gave me the Scientology: Fundamentals of Thought video. I loved what I got from watching it, so I asked for more. She drove from San Francisco to Sacramento two hours to get me into my local church to meet with the staff there. At the time, I was making a feature-length documentary about a 19 year old homeless boy. I wanted answers. I wanted to know why homeless youth existed. Why the world was the way it was. I found my answers in Scientology. I then joined church staff in October of 2013 and that was the day I decided Yes! I am a Scientologist. I have never once looked back. It has changed my life in ways I never saw coming. I simply can’t stop smiling all the time! I love all people and understand them! It’s so freeing to be a Scientologist!!
Christina, New York: I wasn’t happy with my life, and after reading just a part of the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health I found a Scientology mission in my town and went in for the personality test. I was shocked about how much this guy who evalutated the test knew about me just from the answers in the test, but also curious. I did the Overcoming Ups & Downs in Life Course and my life changed 180 degrees. I was hooked, but the real clincher came after I did the Dianetics Seminar and then took my first person in session for Dianetics auditing, and changed her life — I still get goosebumps thinking about that. That’s what I wanted to do — the rest of my life. The happiness one achieves from helping others cannot compare to anything else in my universe. Why be uncertain or doubtful when one can be effective and after training that does not just apply to auditing, but to everything in life.