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FAQ: alt.religion.scientology Users


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Archive-name: scientology/users/faq
Last-modified: 1995/2/7
Version: 1.41

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------------------< FAQ: Dianetics and Scientology >----------------------

FOREWORD

The first question most people ask when they run across the term
"Scientology," is:  What is it?  And frankly, it's a difficult question
to answer in one sentence. This FAQ will help to answer it (hopefully),
but for the FOREWORD, why don't we begin with: "How did it start?"

Scientology started with the book by L. Ron Hubbard, _Dianetics: The
Modern Science of Mental Health_ [DMSMH], first published in May 1950.
It became one of the best selling self-help books in history, selling 
over 16 million copies in numerous languages, according to the
1993 edition.

The glossary in the hardcover edition of the recently published _What is
Scientology?_ (1992, Church of Scientology International) defines the
word "Dianetics" as follows:

     Dianetics: comes from the Greek words "dia," meaning "through," 
     and "nous," meaning "soul." Dianetics is a methodology developed
     by L. Ron Hubbard which can help alleviate such ailments as
     unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psycho-
     somatic illnesses. It is most accurately described as "what the
     soul is doing to the body."

And according to the same book, the term "Scientology" is defined as:

     Scientology: comes from the Latin "scio," which means "know,"
     and the Greek word "logos," meaning "the word or outward form
     by which the inward thought is expressed and made known." Thus
     Scientology means knowing about knowing. Scientology is an applied
     religious philosophy developed by L. Ron Hubbard. It is the study 
     and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes,
     and other life.

(The book _What is Scientology?_ is available in ASCII via anonymous
 FTP at FTP.PCNET.COM out of the directory /users/brianw/wis.)

But without further ado, let's begin the FAQ.

[NOTE: The following numbered questions were generated by readers of the
newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. At this writing, the answers have been
developed by two Scientologists, Chip Gallo (chipg@access.digex.net)
and Brian Wenger (wengerb@pcnet.com) both with many years of experience
in the Church, both as "public" and as "staff." Additional FAQs 
such as a complete Scientology Catechism, a Scientology Book list, a list of 
Scientology organizations around the world, and the Codes and Creeds of Scien-
tology, are also available via anonymous FTP from the MIT archive site: 
RTFM.MIT.EDU out of the directory /pub/usenet/alt.answers/scientology/users.
There is also an anonymous FTP site at FTP.PCNET.COM  /users/brianw
which contains a large collection of information on Scientology, including
the book _Scientology: A New Slant on Life_, by L. Ron Hubbard, (located in
the ../lrh_essays directory).]

0    Introduction: Should I Try Scientology?

1    Scientology and Science
1.1  Is Scientology a science?
1.2  Has the validity of Scientology been tested?
1.3  What does Scientology have to say about the physical sciences?
1.4  How do scientifically-oriented Scientologists deal with what
     seem to be contradictions between the physical sciences and Scientology?
1.5  Do Scientologists have paranormal powers?
1.6  I'm interested in Scientology, but first I'd like to see some
     proof...

2    Scientology and Religion
2.1  Is Scientology a religion?
2.2  How do Scientologists view other religions?
2.3  Do Scientologists view science as a religion?
2.4  What's an E-Meter? Is it a religious device or a scientific device?
2.5  Is LRH a god?

3    Scientology and the Law
3.1  Who has Scientology ever sued? What suits were won/lost/still
     pending?
3.2  Who has ever sued Scientology? What suits were won/lost/still
     pending?
3.3  What's a "squirrel" group?
3.4  Did "est" squirrel from Scientology?
3.5  Is it ok if I post my favorite LRH bulletins and policy letters to
     alt.religion.scientology?
3.6  Is the Church of Scientology recognized as a non-profit charitable
     organization by the IRS?

4    The Effectiveness of Scientology
4.1  Is Scientology successful?
4.2  Is Narconon successful?
4.3  What countries officially sponsor Narconon?
4.4  What is the essence of Scientology's workability?
4.5  What do non-Scientologists think of this FAQ?

5    Conclusion: Well?? Should I Try Scientology?


0   Introduction: Should I Try Scientology?

  Maybe. Read this FAQ first. Also, read the numerous other FAQs available,
  such as the Scientology Catechism FAQ and the Codes and Creeds FAQ. In
  addition, you may want to get the book _What is Scientology?_ (available
  in most public libraries and bookstores in the USA and Canada, as well as
  at FTP.PCNET.COM  /users/brianw/wis) in order to understand the 
  subjects of Dianetics and Scientology and its organizations in more detail.
  It is also recommended that you pick up a book either by or based on 
  the works of L. Ron Hubbard. One such book, _Scientology: A New Slant on
  Life_ is now available in ASCII form via anonymous FTP from the address
  above, in the dreictory .../lrh_essays.

1   Scientology and Science

 1.1 Is Scientology a science?

  The answer to this question depends on the answer to another question:

                     Does the human soul exist?

  If one can scientifically recognize that an individual is a spiritual
  being, or might be a spiritual being, then Scientology can be approached
  and understood as a science, or at least as a philosophy with scientific
  promise. If one doesn't or can't, then Scientology can only be seen as a
  religion.

 1.2 Has the validity of Scientology been tested?

  Yes, it has been tested by Scientologists within their own organizations.
  Scientology's goal is to free the individual spiritually. In the course
  of this goal, Scientologists have stated that their enjoyment of life has
  increased, their ability to communicate with friends and family has
  improved, and often their intelligence and physical well-being have
  improved.

 1.3 What does Scientology have to say about the physical sciences?

  Scientology recognizes the validity of the physical sciences, in as much
  as they explain the physical universe. However, as mentioned above, it
  would be necessary to understand Scientology's views on the human spirit
  before one understood the relationship of Scientology to the physical
  sciences.

  Contradictions between science and Scientology can sometimes seem to
  appear when one is not familiar with the theory behind Scientology.
  See the answer to the next question for an example.

 1.4 How do scientifically-oriented Scientologists deal with what seem
     to be contradictions between the physical sciences and Scientology?

  When one takes the time to understand the ideas and terms in Scientology,
  the apparent contradictions disappear. For example, a non-Scientologist
  on this newsgroup once said that since Scientologists believe that the
  "whole track" or "time track" has been said to be trillions of years long,
  and scientists recognize the universe as only being a few billion years old,
  then that is a contradiction.

  But this is a misunderstanding of the term "whole track." It does not
  refer to the "age of the physical universe," but the "age of a spiritual
  being." And the physical universe, per the Big Bang Theory, could be
  in a cycle of expanding-contracting universes. So who's to say how long
  this has been going on (if indeed the Big Bang Theory is even correct)?

  So the question again falls back to:  Does the human soul exist?

 1.5 Do Scientologists have paranormal powers?

  There is a very good answer to a similar question in the book _What is
  Scientology?_  The question in the book is "Does Scientology believe in
  mind over matter?" The answer is:

       Scientology addresses you -- not your mind, not your body,
       but you [the spirit]. Scientologists have found that the
       spirit is *potentially* superior to material things, and
       that the spirit, i.e. you, if cleansed of past traumas,
       transgressions and aberrations, can make miraculous changes
       in the physical universe that would not otherwise be possible.

  Do Scientologists have paranormal powers? Potentially, per Scientology
  theory, everyone does. Scientology's O.T. levels are the way one reha-
  bilitates them. ("O.T." is Operating Thetan ["thetan" is Scientology's
  word for the human spirit], and describes an individual who could operate
  totally independently of his body whether he had one or didn't have one.
  He's now himself, he's not dependent on the universe around him. [-Basic
  Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology.])
       
 1.6 I'm interested in Scientology, but first I'd like to see some
    proof...

  Scientology is a personal journey....trying to see "objective proof"
  of spiritual awareness and abilities, is not always easy. As it says
  at the beginning of most Scientology books:

           "The attainment of the benefits and goals of Scien-
            tology philosophy requires each individual's dedi-
            cated participation, as only through his own efforts
            can he achieve these."

  But the journey begins with the questions:  Am I spirit or matter?

  In the stages of research that followed the publication of _Dianetics_
  after 1950, L. Ron Hubbard found that, while auditing individuals, their
  former lives were contacted, very often to the individual's benefit.
  Ron's ensuing research led him to attempt a description and codification
  of the human spirit and life, in terms of the physical universe of
  matter, energy, space and time. (See the "Axioms of Scientology" in the
  Appendix of _What is Scientology?_, as well as in a number of Scientology
  books listed in the Scientology Books FAQ.)

  Additionally, scientific research over the last two decades (outside of
  Scientology) has been done on the subject of past lives, which helps
  bring scientific rigor to the question of whether there is a "human soul"
  or not. (See the research of Dr. Ian Stevenson.)

2   Scientology and Religion

 2.1 Is Scientology a religion?

  Yes, Scientology is a religion in the deepest sense of the word, in that
  it addresses some of the most fundamental religious questions: Am I a
  spirit? Is there life after death? Can I achieve a higher spiritual
  state?

  But Scientology is actually more than that.

  Scientology is often aptly called "an applied religious philosophy."
  Scientology not only contains a philosophy (or theory) about life 
  and the spirit, but it also contains an exact technology for addres-
  sing, handling and rehabilitating the spirit, a.k.a. auditing.

 2.2 How do Scientologists view other religions?

  Scientologists respect and, in fact, admire other religions. Scien-
  tologists feel that they are brothers of the Hindu and Buddhist, and
  distant relatives of the Judeo-Christian and Muslim. It is felt that
  all religions have had the goal of freeing man spiritually, but that
  Scientology stands apart, in that it has a technology to bring this
  about. This technology we call "auditing."

 2.3 Do Scientologists view science as a religion?

  No, in as much as science ignores the possible existence of the
  human soul, there will always be a clear distinction between
  science and religion.

 2.4 What's an E-Meter? Is it a religious device or a scientific device?

  The E-Meter is a device that measures fluctuations in electrical resis-
  tance, when a tiny current is passed through the body. The fluctuations
  show up in needle movements.

  The definition that is found in the booklet "The Basic Dictionary of
  Dianetics and Scientology" is:

     E-Meter: [short for "electropsychometer"]...An electronic 
              instrument for measuring mental state and change 
              of state in individuals, as an aid to precision 
              and speed in auditing. The E-Meter is not intended
              or effective for the diagnosis, treatment or preven-
              tion of any disease.

  The argument comes in, when the question is posed: Is the body the only
  thing influencing the resistance?

  Scientologists believe that the mind is an energy mechanism, indepen-
  dent of the brain, and is capable of influencing the E-Meter. Those who
  don't believe that the mind is anything more than the brain, feel that
  the body is the only thing influencing the E-Meter.

 2.5 Is LRH a god?

  No. It is felt in Scientology that LRH had just as much potential of
  "godliness" as anyone else. But LRH stated numerous times that he was
  just a man.

3   Scientology and the Law

 3.1 Who has Scientology ever sued? What suits were won/lost/still
    pending?

  In the book _What is Scientology?_, there is a section called "The
  Victories of Scientology." It lists almost 150 legal victories from 1956
  to present.

 3.2  Who has ever sued Scientology? What suits were won/lost/still
     pending?

  [A comprehensive answer to this question and the second parts of 3.1 
   were not available at the time we posted this edition.]

 3.3 What's a "squirrel" group?

  According to "The Basic Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology," the
  term "squirrel" is defined as follows:

     SQUIRREL. 1. a squirrel is doing something entirely different.
     He doesn't understand any of the principles so he makes up a 
     bunch of them to fulfill his ignorance and voices them off on 
     a pc (pc = pre-Clear, an individual on the road to going Clear;
     see the book _Dianetics_ or the Scientology Catechism for a 
     description of "Clear") and gets no place. 2. Those who engage
     in actions altering Scientology, and offbeat practices. -v. to
     change and invent processes.

  Thus a squirrel group would be a group of people doing the above. Once a
  person has received auditing from such a person, it can be difficult to
  get standard auditing in a Scientology organization. For instance, there
  is now a special auditing action which people who have been in "est" may
  receive (at the direction of the Case Supervisor, the person who prepares
  the auditing programs), to resolve any incomplete actions or case
  difficulties brought about by participation in this group.

 3.4 Did "est" squirrel from Scientology?

  Yes, Werner Erhard, just prior to creating est, had taken Scientology
  courses and received auditing. A number of concepts and procedures in
  est are very similar to Scientology; at one time, much of the terminology
  was the same. In Scientology, there is an auditing procedure designed
  to address difficulties a person may have had by participation in est.

 3.5 Is it ok if I post my favorite LRH bulletins and policy letters to
    alt.religion.scientology?

  L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology and Dianetics material is now owned by the
  LRH Library. To *legally* post this material, you should get Issue
  Authority (I/A) from the Church. Some licensees of the Church (i.e.,
  International Hubbard Ecclesiastical League of Pastors or IHELP) may
  have a blanket form of I/A via their contract with the Church. Your local
  Church of Scientology can put you in touch with the correct person. And 
  "fair use" generally covers quotations from copyrighted material for the
  purpose of review, etc.

 3.6 Is the Church of Scientology recognized as a non-profit charitable
     organization by the IRS?

  Yes, after an exhaustive study by the IRS into the Church of Scientology, 
  in an October 1993 decision by the IRS, the Church of Scientology
  and its many social reform and improvement programs were recognized
  as non-profit charitable organizations, with full tax exempt status in the
  United States. Any donations (excluding books and materials) made to the
  Church of Scientology or its social reform and improvement organizations,
  are tax deductible in the USA.

4  The Effectiveness of Scientology

 4.1 Is Scientology successful?

  This is understood to ask, "Is Scientology workable? Can it help a
  person?" The active Scientologists in this newsgroup believe that it does
  work and has certainly helped them. 

 4.2 Is Narconon successful?

  (Note: Narconon is a non-profit organization that uses the drug-rehabili-
  tation technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard.)

  Again the above question is understood to mean, "Does Narconon get people
  off drugs? Do they stay off of drugs after completing the program?" Statis-
  tics reported by Narconon indicate that it has a high rate of effectiveness.
  (For more information on Narconon, send e-mail to wengerb@pcnet.com).

  Regarding Narconon's relationship to Scientology - there are a number of
  organizations that operate as entities separate from the Church of
  Scientology "mother church." These include Applied Scholastics, Narconon,
  Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), World Institute of Scientology
  Enterprises (WISE) and others. Many of these were initiated by people who 
  were themselves helped by the works of L. Ron Hubbard. These are listed
  in full in the "Scientology Organizations FAQ." Additionally, information
  on each of these is available in the book _What is Scientology?_

 4.3 What countries officially sponsor Narconon?

  According to John Duff, the President of Narconon International:

     In Sweden, the government donated the Narconon building, and local
     social boards have funded people through the program. In
     Switzerland, the program is usually 100% funded by social programs.
     In Holland, Denmark, Italy and Germany, some of the Narconon
     participants have been funded by the government.

 4.4 What is the essence of Scientology's workability?

  The essence of Scientology's workability is something that each
  individual must decide for him or herself. The subject is so large and
  could be approached in so many ways (e.g. as an administrator, as an
  artist, as an teacher, etc.) that there are literally as many answers to
  that question as there are individuals in Scientology.

  For Chip: "It is the fact that Scientology offers the only game where
  everybody wins. The auditor wins when she or he applies the technology
  correctly and sees the preclear get gains. The preclear gets those gains
  and comes back for more. The staff see this happening every day and know
  that they are helping it happen. The course supervisors know that their
  students will be going out and auditing others. You could say that
  Scientology's workability lies in the truth of its teachings and the
  basic honesty of man. For if man were not innately good, he would never
  desire to help his fellow man by committing the time and resources to
  train and audit others."

  For Brian: "The principles and concepts in Scientology can sometimes
  appear foreign at first glance, but once they are understood in their
  simplicity (just as one has to understand the simplicity of geometry
  before the complexity of algebra, trigonometry and calculus can be
  mastered) their breadth of clarification and application becomes visible.
  I use Scientology every day, in almost every situation in life. I use it
  to help others, often by helping them recognize and clarify situations
  which are confusing to them. I use it when I try to explain myself in
  ordinary conversation, or when I try to teach or learn a new subject.
  Scientology's 'workability', to me, is dependent on how comfortable and
  natural one feels with the subject."

 4.5 What do non-Scientologists think of this FAQ?

  In general, non-Scientologists can be broken down into three categories:

  4.5.1. Those who have never heard of, or only heard of Scientology
         in passing -- neutral opinion about the subject. They might
         find this FAQ incomplete, and would probably want to take a
         look at our other more comprehensive FAQs, most notably the
         Scientology Catechism FAQ.  [FTP.PCNET.COM /users/brianw ]

  4.5.2. Those who have heard/experienced a variety of positive and
         negative things about Scientology, sway toward the positive,
         but still want to see more comprehensive questions and answers.
         Again, the Scientology Catechism FAQ is recommended.

  4.5.3. Those who have heard/experienced a variety of positive and
         negative things about Scientology, but sway toward the nega-
         tive. This being merely an overview FAQ, it is recommended
         that they also look into our other FAQs, as well as the recently
         published _What is Scientology?_ book available as ASCII via
         anonymous FTP at FTP.PCNET.COM out of the directory
         /users/brianw/wis. Also, there are a number of Church re-
         sponses to negative media, etc. at the same FTP site out of
         directory /users/brianw/misc.

  Additionally, this Users' FAQ will be updated and augmented as time permits.

5   Conclusion: Well?? Should I Try Scientology?

  You're cheating yourself if you don't.

  In Scientology, we feel that our technology is a completion of the work 
  begun by Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, 2,500 years ago. With the exactness
  of understanding and application that L. Ron Hubbard has brought to the
  subject of the human mind, spirit and life, we believe that, with Scien-
  tology, there is finally a chance to break out of the endless cycle of
  birth, death and birth again. Many others have tried, but none have deve-
  loped a workable technology as exact as Scientology. 

  Our first recommendation is to read the additional FAQs and then get a
  copy of the book _What is Scientology?_, available in most public lib-
  raries, many bookstores and even via anonymous FTP as mentioned above. 

  Chip Gallo     <cgallo@capcon.net>
  Brian Wenger   <wengerb@pcnet.com>

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Grateful acknowledgement is made to the L. Ron Hubbard Library for
permission to reproduce selections from the copyrighted works of
L. Ron Hubbard.

"Dianetics," "E-Meter," "Hubbard," "OT," "Purification Rundown,"
and "Scientology," are trademarks and service marks owned by the 
Religious Technology Center and are used with its permission.
"Narconon" is a service mark owned by the Association of Better 
Living and Education (ABLE) and used with its permission.
"Scientologist" is a collective membership mark designating members
of the affiliated churches and missions of Scientology.

-----------------------< End of FAQ >--------------------------------------

For more information on Scientology, FTP to FTP.PCNET.COM /users/brianw
or write to:  scninfo@pcnet.com

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