Scientology is not a religion: evidences from its unprecedented publication efforts

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 Scientology is not a religion: "scholar-styled" essay proving it

The same in French? Here

Text revised and augmented in march, 2002, the most important modifications being here. Modifications done in green characters

 

(see also;: part 2: a text by Jeff Jacobsen, and the essay from Dr Kent about the scientology "religiosity")

 

Beforehand

Scientology seeks since decades to get a religious certificate of respectability. If it was able to conquer it partly in USA by getting a tax exemption from the IRS, this recognition is highly controverted almost everywhere in the world, but in Sweden where it has recently applied - on an administrive level only -, in Australia and in India., as well as in South Africa after Apartheid.

Many essays, official experts and experts documents, often published by governmental commissions, exposed the reasons why scientology was not to be considered as religion.

The following tries, from an original viewpoint, to answer the question : " Does Scientology deserves to be characterized as a religion ? ".


(Another question could be asked : is scientology a cult, in the original definition of that word , which asks some sort of reverence to God or gods, or some sort of sacred practices toward a sacred person. The answer here is no, as no reverence is done to any god or sainterhaps L. Ron Hubbard, who himself never went so far as to call himself a saint or a god. In its modern meaning, scientology is clearly a cult, by popular or media use of the word).

Scientology origins

Dianetics is the only origin of scientology ; this being recognized by everybody, inside or outside scientology.

Its techniques are so much parallel and similar to dianetics techniques, that it is conceptually impossible to discern any technical or purpose’s differences, unless knowing the qualifyings attributed by the cult itself. It is really impossible why some parts could be scientological rather than dianetical, as they adresse to the same human problems.

An exemple should be enough : the Purification Rundown is supposed to correct problems of toxins, drugs etc, accumulated in the body. It does not contain any auditing, sort of mental process. It uses only sauna sessions, sport, and vitamins, and it is a scientology process, while the first drug rundown, originally a dianetics process supposedly aimed at mind effects of past drug taking, is placed after scientology " grades ". Later, some other scientology processes will be done on the patient, leading him to a new sort of dianetics, the New Era Dianetics for Ots, a bunch of secret processes delivered to patient… in scientology.

The mixing betwen both does not allow to define what is supposed to be spiritual, therefore scientological [by scientology allegations] or dianetical. Even in a same session of counselling, dianetic processes, like " R3R " follow scientology processes like " rudiments ".

************

Dianetics became scientology, and applied soon after to get a religious recognition in USA. That was in 1954.

One can think without much risk to be wrong that the real cause was to go after tax exemptions, US regimen being very profitable for tax-exempt associations, religious or charitable.

Hubbard, the scientology founder, declared the movement – but witnesses have attested that there has been many discussions about it, Hubbard being opposed to that characterization of its works. Himself never wore any religious title*, never wore a clerical dress or a cross.

        *Instead, he was hungry of sometimes military styled, or secular titles, rather than religious, calling himself the Commodore, or the Founder, LRH etc.

The exemption status shall be removed 4 years later in 1958, then given back under extraordinary circumstances, in full violation of US Supreme Court or other US Courts precedent rulings. The very surprizing secret agreement between the IRS and Scientology has been known years later, in 1998, by a Press indiscretion.

Text available on <http://www.antisectes.net/irs_final.htm>

Meanwhile, the group has taken extraordinary publication as well as other measures, those efforts being without precedent in any other movement, either religious or cultic, to get the desired recognition of either " charity " or " religion ", depending the laws of the country in which the status was asked.

It is this considerable effort that we shall try to expose, as no other religion had had in the past any need to prove a religious or spiritual appartenance : most past groups " emanated " their religiousness or spirituality, while the scientology commercialism and its evident pseudo-psychological aspects are the most visible in its writings, to the point of occulting every possible religious sides.


Scientology efforts on Publications as well as some details affecting " image "

Ceremonies of the Founding Church

The cult starts its work on religious publications by its Ceremonies of the Founding Church booklet, as soon as 1959, therefore, just after having been stripped of its desired tax exemption in USA. This small 80 pages brochure cost perhaps one dollar to edit, and allows to install a front of sacraments, including even a christening, despite the affirmed anti-religiousness of Hubbard.

Some times later, he’ll even imitate the christians, adding some " bishops " and naming a " pope *" for scientology.

        *The scientology unique pope was John Mc Master, an UK citizen who was fired very soon after being named, then left its " church " and died miserably, alcoholic, in 1999.

Each organization must have at least one staff wearing these suits in any scientology organization. This rule shall not be much obeyed in most organizations.

The cult demands also that scientology groups take religious names, such as Church of Scientology Washington ; the names of the commercial franchises are transformed into missions, while the worldwide direction for those franchises becomes Scientology Mission Office Worldwide, instead of Franchise office worldwide. But the contracts between this office and newly rechristened franchises remain the same.

      Hymn of Asia

Later, in 1974, Hubbard produces and publishes an " Eastern poem ", called Hymn of Asia, 1078 lines for 250 pages, which is but an attempt to make swallow a buddhist origin for scientology. See for more complete critic my book " La Secte ")

This book is luxurious. Hubbard writes there that he could be the reincarnation of no less than the Buddha, using the Meytreyya legend, which was written 5 centuries after the Buddha’s death. (Buddah died at 80, saying he was entering the Nivaña, not that he’ll reappear later under any form). Strangely, that book has almost diappeared from scientology lists. Perhaps is it quite annoying, as Hubbard says in the first pages that he does not come as a church or sect guy, but as a teacher…while allegating he could be the reincarnation of Buddha. The main part of the text can be asked for researches, by mail only, to gonnet@antisectes.net.

      * the books are sold by lists sent in large quantities to the group’s members.
Interesting changes about that specific book. It was first published under Hubbard orders in 1974. But since it contains very embarrassing declarations about the religious aspect of scientology, as well as some parts about Hubbard pretending to be Buddha's reincarnation, the cult has cancelled this paper publication and made it on a CD Rom (most probably under image format, with some music, so as not to be copied or quoted). Such a change is really exceptional - we think it is the first time ever.
 

The " Volunteer Minister’s Handbook ", later redone and increased as the " Manual of Scientology "

Scientology published the The Volunteer Minister's Handbook in 1976.

It is only a 650 pages compilation of various scientology technical or administrative bulletins, taken from packs or other books already published, which will be later considered as " sacred scriptures " - a name used since 1981 by the new scientology management to assist its religious pretenses. These managers choose doubtful names for their managing entities : Religious Technology Center, and Church of Spiritual Technology, both evidently targeting a double and rather incompatible image, scientific + religious. Neither one or the other can be supported by intensive studies. Hubbard has also been quite as much incompatibly calling its ecclesiastic group of members of the informal " confraternity " leading scientology, choosing a Sea Organization, one term coming from his military past, the other being administrative.

In this Volunteer Minister’s Handbook, one finds courses with a checksheet, similar to those used into the cult.

That works was not given away to journalists or other important persons for the religious image, as scientologists will practice for some others. But the presentation pursues the same aims.

Not only this adds to the long list of Hubbard’s works, though compiled only from past publications already present in many other issues sometimes, but the title and crosses, images of " pastors " wearing the scientology cross and suit, plus the religious vocabulary, help to insist on the religiousness.

That one could be supposed religious,as it is composed from what was to become (but 10 years later) of sacred scriptures.

Alas, the content demonstrates mostly that it’s an appearance : one can find here " techniques " supposed to teach how to cure physical pain (touch assist) ; how to handle a dangerous environment ; how to study (pedagogy) ; how to learn investigations techniques (police and administration, intelligence services) ; how to learn to rehabilitate druggies ; plus courses of public relations ; surveys…and " targets ", (that is, his form of management by targets). Some other parts have a more moralist look, if not a religious one, such as Ministerial qualifications and Ceremonies (but that’s ten pages only10 pages, while the investigations take 57 pages).

Even the " ministerial course " is a lie, since to become a minister in scientology, an applicant should have to take a lot of other prepaid courses into scientology organizations before being accepted as such.

That book disappeared, then came back under another title and presentation, more ornated, luxurious, titled The Scientology Handbook, costing more than 100 $, with 700 photos. I can’t affirm that this one includes the same form of scientology boasts and lies than the largest of that series, What is Scientology ?, as I’ve no copy.

The manual of scientology has been once again modified after the World Trade Center Events. It seems to be used as one of a main incitations to enter into the cult.

      The Way to Happiness

That small booklet on bad paper discloses a different style, though its use is similar to the others.

Indeed, the cult qualifies The way to happiness as non-religious, non-scientological. It asks its members to distribute it freely (though mostly, it asks the members to buy it by quantities to do so).

The content is nevertheless a litany of moralist rules* to get a happy living, and references to religions or beliefs are many. The tricky thing comes though, as this small moral " unreligious " book is completed, behind the cult’s walls, by a major course and a major auditing service, called The way to happiness rundown, based on that booklet, and " religiously " delivered.

      *[ Some of the rules of that moral code are nevertheless regularly and continually violated inside the cult by scientologists, by instance, to honour one’s parents is never done by many scientologists who have been forced to disconnect from their family, parents, children, aunts or whatever near friends worriedn about the cult]
Note: after the World Trade Center massacre, the cult tied to obtain millions of dollars so as to print and distribute millions of copies of this booklet to N-Yorkers. But the price was fixed with a profit ratio of 3 to 1. Then it tried to ask money to its members so as to translate it into Farsi, the Afghanistan language...

What is Scientology ?

Main image-oriented publication effort from the group, the famous What is Scientology, english, first version, was done around 1980-81.

The next versions (1993 for the french one) are on glazed paper, large size, 6 lbs, 860 pages. It is translated into 4 languages at least, and sold around 150 $ to the scientology public clients. A pocket version appeared in 1998 on US non-scientologists bookshelves, without doing a success.

But What is scientology does inlcude only 5 % of the founder’s sacred scriptures

The religiousness demonstration is mainly assisted by frames, figures, statistics, lists of organizations, and various attempts to instill the necessary quasi-subliminal –though quite visible- message : Scientlogy is a religion ! It’s a religion ! it’s a religion ! – the words and its various derivations are used innumerably.

The semantic analysis would prove the central pivot and its main religious or moralizing satellites.

The most surprizing for a searcher, remains that the cult has mostly choosen, to illustrate the 5% of sacred scriptures, the most esoteric passages from Hubbard’s writings ; esoteric is not enough : abstruse is better.

The Axioms and Logics and the Pre-logics are mostly impossible to comprehend for average people without the help of many other scientology documents and a solid assistance from scientologists knowing the song. The other books were far easier to understand, if one had also the 2 scientology dictionaries, since the scientologese is also very present , apart of the Way to Happiness, written in lay language.

        Comparative note : Doing any comparison between those axioms and more recognized religious texts such as the Bible or Koran will show that, between others, God is totally absent, and that no version of the world’s or universe’s history, even allegoric, can be deduced, unless going to painfully lengths to get one. Further , the verbalisation does not fit to " enlightened "  texts, but is more alike scientific ones.
        Here, the axioms are mostly mere hypothesis, often without basis, or hubbardian non axiomatic though sometimes philosophical definitions of simple words.
        Examples : (39) [cap. In original] AXIOM 32. ANYTHING WHICH IS NOT DIRECTLY OBSERVED TENDS TO PERSIST - AXIOM 39. LIFE POSES PROBLEMS FOR ITS OWN SOLUTION. – as well as : AXIOM 26. REALITY IS THE AGREED-UPON APPARENCY OF EXISTENCE. The last one is a redefinition of reality by Hubbard [reality needing no agreement to be ; but Hubbard had a very precise purpose to do so, as his definition of reality leads to the very core of one of the most attractive theories of scientology , the " ARC " or understanding.
      That perversion shall be treated apart in a philosophical text.

        From a religious interpretation of humanity or universe’s story, evident from most religious texts, one has jumped here to axioms and logics, under a pseudo-scientific twisted formulation of rules that could lead the existence. Remember that axioms are extremely rare in sciences, while the great guy has written more than 200, many being much repetitive.

Some codes showing nothing specifically religious, though looking sometimes as the ten Commands [ ? translation] will complete the little 5% of sacred quotes. Those codes are not religious, like : The Code of an Excellent Administrator.

I’ll not try here to criticize or check every points, lies, exxagerations and misdirections, historical approximations, figures without sources, scientific wrong allegations or quotes, hasty conclusions or deductions, or lying advertisements herein. Years and access to the secret databases [called INCOMM system inside] of scientology would be needed .

      One example : the figure on page X french version of " millions of members " can reasonably estimated as somewhere near 40000 active members, and some 15000 new or mostly inactive members. In other books or lectures, they allegate a 8 millions. But these few thousands should’nt be underestimated – no less than a " small " group like the one from Uganda’s tragedy : their financial means are enormous, and their policy is to destroy enemies, to ruin them utterly, to dispose of them without sorrow. (Hubbard)

Scientology, Theology and Practice of a contemporary Religion

Last step of the tremendous publishing efforts, costing millions, taken by scientologists to get their service company managed by a multinational company to appear as a religion, their luxurious book Scientology, Theology and Practice of a contemporary religion.

The 330 pages of that full sized iron struck clothed book contain lesser sacred scriptures than the others, despite its overtly religious title, no mention of any text that could really be judged as such. Again, we’ll find here a Credo, which is but an imitation of the universal declaration of Human Rights, with some more religious/spiritual insistance, like " We, of the Church [cap used each time it appears... but not we, scientologists] believe that the study of the mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion or condoned in non-religious fields ".

      Note : this passage indicates the intent of taking over all the medicine, psychiatry, psychology and pharmacology areas, as scientology pretends that most illnesses or accidents, whether physical or not, are mentally caused, while the we of the Church… demonstrates that no other church is to be tolerated. Many other indirect proofs of this exist all along Hubbard’s scriptures. Another great evidence is shown by the fact that all along the book, scientology deserves a capital letter while great religions have rarely such an honour. The other controverted cults linked to scientology receive also a capital letter….

      The remaining 320 pages + include :

1. Positioning, either by pictures or texts, the positioning being that branch of advertizing showing beautiful cars, soap, shampoings, perfumes or such aside of pretty girls and boys. The message is quite clear there too : scientology = the religion A photo* of a large scientology event deserves a mention.

* On french version pages 236-237, a shot taken shows after a very attentive glance, a lot of people cloned by computer. Hundreds of people are multiplied there.

2. " Evidences " acquired from benevolent spirits – or from people uunable to make a complete critic of scientology, because they have not received the whole lot of documents showing the other sides. Those experts are

Bryan Wilson (UK), pages 111 - 145; (fr. version)
Frank K. Flinn (US), pages 147 - 161
Regis Dericquebourg (France), pages 149 - 175
M. Daroll Bryant (Canada) pages 177 - 191
Alejandro Frigerio (Argentine), 193 - 211
Urbano Alonso Galan (Italie), 213 - 223
Fumio Sawada (Japon), from 225 - 233

3. Not unlike of What is scientology ? or the other books, a list of scientology organizations is given. The count gives 376 names into 48 countries, while the first page of the book announced 3000 groups in more than 100 countries.

      Those 376 names being often organizations grouped under a same or very near location in a city, make some 300 locations. Possibly the 2700 unanamed ones are commercial companies owned by individual scientologists, linked through the scientologist WISE network. If christians would do the same, they could announce millions of " christians groups ".
      The 200 times exxageration of the membership can be read here : 8 millions members.

This work is of a far lesser pompous style than the What is Scientology ?

Disappeared, the ridicule pictures showing Hubbard giving courses to supposed scientists, or the images with Hubbard, Christ, Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and some other great men on a same image. Place is given to laudator texts emanating from the experts above.

One could observe with some interest that most experts essays includes a long digression about what could be a religion, with very different answers, always more or less fit to scientology, and always criticable.

      On can formulate here an hypothesis about the term religion. Definition means to give a limit or limits to something. But religions deal mostly to sacred things, infinite, etc ; therefore a great difficulty to get any agreement on a definition…
      But we are dealing here into a social problem, not a more general one. It’s of no use to establish an infinite notion of what could be or not to be religious : we are in societies where manpower and rules have applied limits to anything easily perceivable. Which allows to decide what could be religious is contained in societal laws.

Each of those experts tries then to give his guarantee to scientology religiousness. Alas, some of them must not have read more than 0,2 % of Hubbard’s texts, or even, of their own " religion "**.

*about scientific characterization, read: http://www.antisectes.net/lit-jacobsen.htm#popper
**As for M. Fumio Sawada, Shinto Yui Itsu –he would be its eight Secrets Owner – text supposed to be correctly translated from japanese, which says that " at his death’s hour, Gautama Siddharta the Buddah had foretelled that a buddah should come to finish his job ". But such legend, from another competent source (Raphaël Liogier), dates from 5 centuries after Buddah’s death, and does not include a reincarnation of the Buddah.

treatises-of-scientology-religiosity
(this scientology shot appears on Impact issue 69)

I’ll not deny myself all religious aspects to scientology, neither the evident fact that religion trespasses often into the philosophy area, where Hubbard wrote lots ; these facts would allow in the absolute, that scientology could claim its religiousness ; but it would be probably more significant to take back the societal or social way of reasoning, unless accepting to come back into old times where religion was together the judiciary and the executive powers. But we could then be forced into new religious wars, as any of those cults pretends to be the one having the Truth. The entire Truth, if their gurus are not claiming to be The supergod.

Don’t forget here the Scientology founder Hubbard’s appeals to war.


But, with the enemy active in legislatures and the press, we haven't much choice but to fight, said Hubbard in an OSA Network #7, republished in 1987 from an LRH OODs " Order of the Day " item of 12 November : 1968. That was but a small exemple, but in " The responsability of Leaders " long digression on power (OEC vols 0 and 7, technical bulletins vol 12), Hubbard demonstrates lyrically its real intentions and war games : killing the enemies, and using any power he could get from below as his own.

For the Theology and Practices of a contemporary Religion's experts, scientology is directly qualified as a religion. Readers wanting to get their texts in french, for researches only, can ask it, by mail only.

No expertise having any controversial opinions has been published in that book or in any others from the same source : scientology can’t stand any critic. Therefore, the book proves nothing, from a scholar viewpoint, as many other scholars or ex-members of the group have written down lots of texts demonstrating the secular and commercial sides of scientology. This text is but another, from a different viewpoint, probably undeveloped till now.

And finally, as a masterpiece to scientology pseudo-religious efforts of publication, the largest book of the cult: "Background, Ministery, Ceremonies & Sermons of the scientology religion".

A rapid analyze of this document 1035 pages thick, published in 16 languages between 1999 and 2000, the largest book ever published by the cult. The book exists in two versions, either leather bound, or simili. Dimension of the work: 10 x 14 x 2 inches, 4 kilog.

First evidence, it fits entirely to a FORMAL reaction to the critics done by the official UK Charity Commission in 1999, when the Charity Commission UK refused the non-profit status to scientology, basing mostly its decision to the fact that scientology delivers "religious" services against payments, but these services were estimated by the Commission as being only aimed to individual purposes, rather than toward the benefit of the society. The cult has immediately reacted to the rebuttal from the Charity Commission by this publication Background, Ministery, Ceremonies & Sermons of the scientology religion ; it is compiled, for about 30 % of its content, and made out-of-the-blue, for the 70 % remaining: (which is violating the internal rules of the cult, since nothing should be changed to Hubbard's texts without his own approval.)

Analyzing its content

Like for the other "religio-advertisings" one finds here the texts "The Factors, the Credo", the Personal Integrity"; nothing new; then we have "ceremonies" or sacraments, same as into the "Ceremonies of the Founding Church", see above. More surprizing, we'll find a text under Hubbard signature, but without any reference of its provenance or date: these references are mandatory according the cult's rules. The text is titled "Influence of religion in the society".

This Essay's author thinks this text is faked. Checking is in progress but may ask some months. It is indeed improbable that Hubbard could have been so directly writing in favour of religion, under any form, since he explains more than once that religion is an "implant" and a psychiatry invention. Moreover, the presence in that book of similar texts, but not having been signed by Hubbard, would reinforce this theory.

Interesting as well on a "religious" plan, the presence at the end of EVERY sermon of the book, an incitation to buy scientology services and a book prolonging the sermons... Sermons are therefore used to push sales, without any possible doubt. Here a quote in french to illustrate:

(Extrait du Premier sermon du chapitre douze)

"Du moins avons-nous fermé pour certains les mâchoires béantes de l'enfer. (Le ministre fait une pause, puis donne le message suivant :) Ron Hubbard nous a laissé un Pont qui nous mènera en toute sécurité par-dessus l'abysse et vers la liberté. Nous n'avons qu'à suivre le Pont. Pour voir exactement en quoi consiste ce pont, et pour connaître votre prochaine étape, lisez Qu'est-ce que la Scientologie? Vous y trouverez les réponses à toutes vos questions ainsi que le chemin exact pour vous faire traverser le Pont. Acceptez cette invitation. Puis, faites votre prochaine étape, ou la première.

After every such "sermons" ( a sermon can be also replaced by a lecture from L. Ron Hubbard), the "Minister" goes to a "group auditing process". Here lies perhaps the largest perversion of the hubbardian work. Indeed, if the process is entirely praticed by the 'minister', the effects of such very long processes (some can last more than 900 auditing commands) could be really hypnotic, moreover so since such "commands" can be repeated tens of times in a row.

We'll get a psychological study of those processes to check those effects. From Hubbardian known data about "processing", we could nevertheless estimate that the 530 pages of "group auditing" present in the book are in fact "reverse auditing" or "black dianetics", whose purpose is to take control of the individual - a classical purpose for any scientology reach toward general population.

Besides the probable hypnotic effects, the "sunday offices" such as established by the international management of the cult could be 3 to 4 hours long.

Here is what the book gives as a normal sunday service; it'll be the conclusion for this part of the essay about this last and largest book as an effort of the cult to establish a religious image (rather than a religious basis)

Introduction to the "service"
Reading the scientology credo
[5 minutes] ,

Personal Integrity reading [5 minutes]

Scientology prayer fro total Freedom [5minutes]

either a sermon from the works and theories of Hubbard (15 minutes or more if:

either one of the tapes of lectures of Hubbard (1 hour)

Group auditing session [more than 2 hours if done in its entirety like shown in the book]

Then an announcement of the next "events" organized by scientology [an event is in fact a hard sales spectacle]

Office are always concluded by a prayer [5 minutes]

      Other scientology publications

As I do not have the complete serie – around 600 volumes (most being republications and compilations of past issues), I had no access to some of them, minor ones, probably done to add some appearances of religiousness. Such could be Ron, the Philantropist (4 vol), Ron, the Humanist ; Ron, the Philosopher (3 vol) ; Ron, letters and newspapers, and Ron, the Auditor. The readers able to get them could analyse them from the criteria herein.

      French magazine Terra Incognita

This mag looks to be alone of its sort. It was issued in july 1997, announced as to be issued 4 times a year, but the issue 2 was never to be done : Terra Incognita was attacked the day of its parution by media, and retreated from bookshelves. It demonstrates, curiously enough, the secular, profane and promotional intents of the cult. How is it related to religiousness ?

Here, no longer a religious appeal ; the mag speaks of mind, mostly taken from old Hubbard texts. Scientology is absent, and the only religious reference is Kanzan Takada, supposed to be a Zen Buddhist ; and M. Sawada, presented as a religious Shinto chief. [the last can be found between the experts of Scientology, Theology…)

The luxurious brochure has no other intention than attract new customers into scientology, through its comemrcial 100% scientology owned and managed New Era Publications France, commercial company dealing with scientology material products. The content is about mind.

      Note : if, for non-scientologists, that secular attempt to get new customers looks contrary to the other attempts to obtain the desired religious image for scientology, that’s not inconsistent at all with the main purpose of the cult, which is to get money, and therefore, to have more customers : many of them could be rebuffed through any " religious " image.
      Religious appearrance become largely secondary, as scientologists trying to proselytize people are speaking of " dianetics ", not of " scientology "… while dianetics, whose image is not so bad as scientology’s, is supposed to be the secular part of scientology since the beginning. Religiousness is only aimed at judicial, official, tax and other religions powers.

One could estimate that scientology has partly succeeded to impose its religious denomination, as many media call it " church of scientology " in many cases.

CD of introduction, and film of introduction

Another battery of tools having with a double purpose exist: one is an introductory film (see what a spectator said about it here). This films speaks of "spirit, religion etc." all along, and tries to instill enough fear of what happens in the to-day world to get them paying scientology "miraculous techniques".

The other is strange too. It's a CD Rom being sent now to journalists, and other people having to deal with the cult. (the first time I heard of it was by the psychoanalyst Cyril Malka, assessor in a trial against scientology in Denmark in july 2001). Details later.


Conclusion

There is no doubt that no religion or religious group has ever tried any similar attempt to prove itself religious.

Without the confusion, and the formal or unformal contradictions inside the subjects of Sociology of religion and its predecessor, History of religions, no scientist would have ever estimated that scientology could be a religion. An illustrative hypothese : imagine Hubbard at the end of XIXth century : his works would have perhaps rejoined medicine and psychology, psychiatry etc, and been criticized or rejected. He could not have used laws like scientology does, to get any religious image. Some experts of the Theology… volume have expressed timidly these struglles about the religion definition inside their ranks. The same doubts about the definition of religion can be found in any large encyclopedia.

Regarding scientology theological qualification as a religion, some words : God is no topic in scientology, and no special reverence to anything like him is asked. No prayers either, in the common sense.The disdain of Hubbard regarding Christians, by instance, is more than evident there : There was no Christ on the Cross, he said in a secret Class VIII course lecture.

Without any doubt, and as expressed by a multitude of judges, expertises or large studies, scientology presents some few aspects of religiousness, but it is basically pseudo-psychological, pseudo-medical and pseudo-psychiatric [such as demonstrated in another study from Pr. Kent, Canada], while being profoundly commercial, secular and profane.

Those three disciplines, medicine, psychiatry and psychology, show indeed at least as many religious appearances than scientology, although none has ever seeked to get its classification inside the ranks of religions.

Moreover, their commercial aspects are much lesser affirmed than scientology ones. By instance, nowhere it is asked as one of the top purposes of medicine to make money, make more money, or to get others to make more money. In many countries, MDs are forbidden to have paying advertzings.

**************

Scientology is not a religion, and has never been one. It will never be able to become one, unless it could erase what constitutes its peculiarities, which would destroy all the theories composing its core practices and beliefs.


Roger Gonnet

Ex-director and founder of a regional scientology organization (Lyon)

Author of the "La Secte", Alban publisher.

(c) 2000


This text is from Jeff Jacobsen and has been added as a new proof of non-religiosity" of the scientology system.


PART II THE RELIGION/SCIENTIFIC DICHOTOMY


The Church of Scientology will no doubt attempt to fall back on its
religious status and claim that these are spiritual healings and are
thus exempt from FDA or any other secular medical rules and laws.
However, the church's own writings destroy this defense.
Hubbard wanted to impress people with a scientific background, and he
inflated his training and experiences by vast proportions. Despite the
fact that Hubbard only had 2 miserable years of college level courses
at George Washington University, the church's books make the following
claims:

"L. Ron Hubbard, one of America's first nuclear physicists, ..."
[inside jacket of All About Radiation].

"...L. Ron Hubbard was trained in mathematics, science and engineering
at George Washington University, in government at Princeton and has a
Doctor of Philosophy degree." [inside jacket of A History of Man]

"I was a Ph.D., Sequoia's University and therefore a perfectly valid
doctor under the laws of the State of California." [HCOPL 14 Feb. 1966
"Doctor Title Abolished"]. Sequoia University was a diploma mill where
anyone for a small fee could obtain a diploma.

In Professional Auditor's Bulletin #82, "Scientology, Translator's
Edition" 1 May, 1956, by "L. Ron Hubbard, Ph.D. C.E." we have the
statement that Scientology "was organized by L. Ron Hubbard, an
American, who has many degrees" (Tech. Bulletins, vol. 2, p.406).

Hubbard stated "That was the first and only time the government offered
me a post as a nuclear physicist." (L. Ron Hubbard Creating A New
Civilization Tape Series Tape A Postulate Out Of A Golden Age
December 6 1956).

Hubbard also stated "I happen to be a nuclear physicist; I am not a
psychologist nor a psychiatrist nor a medical doctor" ("Dianetics: The
Modern Miracle". February 6, 1952).

Obviously, Hubbard was puffing his academic background toward the
scientific end. He wanted people to see him as a master of the
physical sciences.

Hubbard claimed that his auditing process was scientifically valid.
L. Ron Hubbard constantly makes the claim that dianetics is a
"scientific fact." In fact, he makes that claim 35 times in Dianetics:
The Modern Science of Mental Health. For example, "All our facts are
functional and these facts are scientific facts, supported wholly and
completely by laboratory evidence." (DIANETICS, (1987 edition) p. 96).
Hubbard shows that he regards correct scientific experimentation to
a high degree by carefully hedging his approval of another scientific
experiment done by someone else. This test was conducted in a hospital
to see whether unattended children became sick more often than attended
children. "The test... seems to have been conducted with proper
controls," (DIANETICS, p.143) he cautiously states, not having
apparently seen the entire written report.

Both Dianetics and Scientology are declared to be precise sciences
by Hubbard:

In the Scientology book All About Radiation is the statement that
"Scientology has been called that branch of atomic science which deals
with human ability" (p. 46, 1979 edition).
Hubbard wrote that "Scientology is... more exact than what are
called the physical sciences" (Scientology 8-8008 p. 13).
"Scientology is the only workable system man has" (Introduction to
Scientology Ethics, p.64 1976 reprint).
Scientology "is, indeed, the most validated science of mind Earth
has ever known" (Journal of Scientology Issue 40-G, "Validation of
Scientology").
"It is carefully observed here that the *science* of Scientology
does not intrude into the Dynamic of the Supreme Being" (Professional
Auditor's Bulletin No. 83).
"Dianetics is a science; as such, it has no opinion about religion,
for sciences are based on natural laws, not on opinions" (Dianetics
Auditor's Bulletin Vol. 1 No. 4, October 1950).
"Scientology, which includes Dianetics, is a workable system. The
route is taped. The search is done. Now the route only needs to be
walked" (Dianetics Today p.951).


With all of the above, then, how can the church possibly claim that
its healing claims are *religious*? Dianetics was developed in 1950.
The Church of Scientology was created in 1953. There is evidence from
Hubbard's own writings that this "religion angle" was a business move
rather than an actual move into the religious world.

In 1962 Hubbard wrote "Scientology 1970 is being planned on a
religious organization basis throught the world. This will not upset
in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a
matter for accountants and solicitors" (HCOPL 29 October 1962
"Religion"). When Hubbard's healing claims began receiving scrutiny by
governments and others, Hubbard apparently saw the need to distance his
claims away from the secular to the religious. In United States v.
Article or Device, etc.) the court stated "The bulk of the material is
replete with falsehood medical and scientific claims devoid of any
religious overlay or reference." Such attacks were concern for the
church.
Hubbard began to write of his concern that the church should appear
religious; "promotion of the practice of Dianetics as a *treatment* for
the sick or afflicted... by other than medical doctors, will violate
the medical practice laws where they exist and lead to trouble" (HCOPL
3 June 1969, "Legal Statement Concerning Dianetics and Medical Practice
Laws"). Hubbard began to teach how to make Scientology appear
religious; "Visual evidences that Scientology is a religion are
mandatory on the PES... Stationary is to reflect the fact that orgs are
churches..." (HCOPL of 12 February 1969, "Religion").
Today Scientology operates by selling different courses and levels
of training for very high, fixed rates. It claims that its upper,
secret levels of training are trade (and thus, business) secrets. Its
promotional mailings, TV commercials and other methods of recruiting
stress the secular aspects of Dianetics and keep the religious angle
in the fine print.

So which is it? Is auditing a religious practice or a scientific
process? From researching this question, I believe that auditing
is sold as a scientific process that is also used to handle spiritual
problems (the eradication of body thetans, or leech-like souls attached
to ours). Those who join the church must first become a "clear" by
taking Dianetics courses. Dianetics has NEVER to my knowledge been
touted by Hubbard as a religion. Dianetics is "The Modern Science of
Mental Health" as the title of Dianetics shows. Scientology on the
other hand deals with the soul, so it could be considered religious.
However, the Church has chosen to treat Dianetics and Scientology as
inseperable siamese twins, and in fact Dianetics is under the tax
exemption of the Church of Scientology, as I understand the church's
religious tax exemption. So, there seems to be a split personality
within Scientology; is it a religion that deals with spiritual
aspects only? Or is it a science that offers physical cures?

Can the Church of Scientology legally continue to promote auditing
as a medical panacea? The FDA apparently thought it had put this
question to rest, but it looks like they've never seen the NOTs
writings that are being sold at present and in fact have been for
years. H. Keith Henson's case is now going through the courts, where
his defense of his alleged copyright violations will be that he was
exposing medical fraud.
The FDA should review its case against the church in light of the
NOTs material. Potential Scientologists should be made aware of the
amazing medical claims made by the church so they can evaluate its
validity. And all of us should be cautious when dealing with an
organization that won't let you know what they teach until you hand
over thousands of dollars.

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