I got an interesting writing prompt from an online discussion today that I wanted to explore in detail. The question is not just “How did you become involved in Scientology“, which is one that I’ve already had a good 25+ of my friends answer extensively. The question is more “Why are you still involved in Scientology?”
They key point here is not just what got my family and I to initially decide that Scientology was for us, but after decades of opportunities to decide and re-evaluate life, why still?
That said, here’s my list:
Scientology is My Own
For me, the first relevant point is that not everyone is the same person with the same life, the same needs, the same problems and the same goals. Therefore, the fact that Scientology is MEANT to be studied, evaluated, and employed by the individual as they best see fit is essential to why it’s such a good long-term fit for me.
Specifically, I’d like to bring up this quote from a chapter entitled “How to Study Scientology” in the book Scientology: A New Slant on Life:
“He should make up his mind about each thing that is taught – the procedure, techniques, mechanics and theory. He should ask himself these questions: Does this piece of data exist? Is it true? Does it work? Will it produce the best possible results in the shortest time? There is a way to answer these questions to his own satisfaction: find them himself. These are fundamentals and every student should undertake to discover them himself, thus raising Scientology above an authoritarian category.”– L. Ron Hubbard, “How to Study Scientology” from the book Scientology: A New Slant on Life
This is key to the rest of the items on this list, and differentiates Scientology from many other schools of thought in that the interpretation of how this religious philosophy applies to my life is NOT forced down my throat. Whether or not something applies in a given scenario, whether or not I agree with something is UP TO ME. If “brainwashing” was real, Scientology would be the polar opposite of it – as one isn’t meant to unconditionally accept anything in Scientology. You’re meant to work it out for yourself.
If I were to try to sum up in one phrase why it is that I love Scientology so much, it’s the opportunity for continual self-improvement. Give me a sec to explain what I mean by that. But first, get a load of this guy:
This was me in 1994, just after graduating high school, mountain biking with the family up near Mt. Rainier. At the time, I had only heard the word “Internet” but didn’t know what it was, and was on my way to study Mechanical Engineering in college. What was important to me at that time was learning what I needed to know to start a career. I actually wanted to get married, but that wasn’t 100% my problem yet. What was a problem was studying technical subjects, which I sometimes struggled with. Sorting out WHERE I WAS GOING in a career was also a problem, as I hadn’t really settled on that.
Shortly afterward in Scientology, I did a course of study which vastly enhanced my ability to pick up new subjects, and then also helped massively-orient my life’s goals and purposes & set me on track. Within a matter of a month or so after that course of study, I ended up starting what has turned into an enjoyable and fulfilling life-long career in Internet systems.
But fast-forward to this, to the 2009 birth of my daughter. As any parent can tell you, this is a point in life that can define you or break you, and brings an entirely separate set of problems, goals and circumstances to life. I found myself in a life where juggling the urge to be the best parent I possibly could be would come into contact with wearing the hat of an engineer, the hat of a husband, and also a volunteer for my Church (something I’d come to love & cherish). How do I wear so many hats at once, and succeed at all of them?
That’s another area where I have found Scientology to be of invaluable help to constantly and reliably turn to for guidance and improvement. This website itself has been a catalog of much of that journey, from courses my wife & I have done to communicate better as spouses, to the Survival Rundown which helped in so many ways to attack life in the present, to the whole journey to the State of Clear which was fabulous in more ways than I can sum up in a paragraph.
It just keeps going too.
My oldest is now at boarding school (the same fabulous school I went to, and goodness I could go on and on about how she’s flourishing there), my kids are on teams and developing their many interests, and my wife and I have new business ventures, new skills to develop and new games to play. It never stops! So, again, Scientology is a huge part in how we tackle this changing set of variables together and with aplomb.
Practical Tools to Use Every Day
The other aspect to Scientology which really endears it to me is the sheer number of practical tools that my wife and I employ every single day to make life better.
These are things like the Administrative Scale – a tool that my wife and I have used over and over again to set and achieve goals for the family, and align our purposes and missions in life.
There are a number of tools in Scientology called “Assists” which are absolute magic when it comes to kids, and are used to help people recover more quickly from illnesses & injuries – and we use them constantly.
Another set of tools that we use constantly are known as Conditions formulas. At any point in time, any activity in life is either doing just fine, is doing screamingly well, is doing somewhat poorly, dangerously bad, or MUCH WORSE. These simple formulas we use all the time to take any activity we’re focusing on, and making it better.
These tools are numerous and extremely useful.
And further, a number of them have free online courses so that anyone can pick them up and use them.
Scientologists are Amazing and Inspiring Friends
So, I could go on and on about this (last time I counted, I’ve written over 200,000 words on this site alone on the subject) but the last subject I want to touch on is how much I love my Scientologist friends. They are, by and large, an inspiration.
I have so many friends in Scientology whom I love and respect. There are too many to count really, and as you can imagine now that I’ve been running this site for 12+ years I’ve made a LOT of friends from around the world in many different walks of life. The culture of volunteerism runs HARD in the Scientology community, and there are such a huge number of vibrant, wonderful, driven individuals that I couldn’t possibly name them all.
But just as an example of some of them, there’s my friend Kirstie (pictured above) who is a serial disaster response badass and after more than 20 individual disasters where she’s worked on the ground, she’s presently on site in Hatay, Turkey helping folks put their lives back together.
Then there’s my friend Stephanie and her family – who has lived through her daughter’s cancer treatment with the most remarkable poise, her kids are amazing, and she’s further devoted her life to counseling others. Her husband is the real-life most-interesting-man-in-the-world with just the most professional approach to his myriad hobbies as well as his career and his life as a parent.
There’s my friend Aaron who’s built, with his wife, and extremely successful e-commerce business on multiple platforms. But he’s spent SO MUCH of his time not just making his company successful, but trying in nearly every avenue he can to make others successful in their ventures as well.
I could just go on and on with my amazing physical therapist, the ultra-caring and wonderful Scientologists who ran our dental practice, my sister who is in the Sea Org in Clearwater, Florida, and my dad who’s a staff member in Washington DC. There are just so many successful people in my life who live to help others, and getting to be inspired by them is a big part of why I love this group.
Scientology is something you do. It’s not a belief or a title or a building. I’ve found it continually, again and again, to be a group that I love being around and a set of tools that make my life more fulfilling.