Scientology is presently considered as a new form of religion with it roots in 1950s. The founder L. Ron Hubbard developed a series of mental health solutions in the name of Dianetics in the year 1952. This was then distributed and propagated through his establishment or foundation namely the Dianetics Foundation. Initially this was a flop as there were no actual takers and hence he couldn’t recoup his losses. He also lost his rights on his ideas which were propagated through Dianetics. However he soon started to develop his ideas and doctrines in the form of religion that basically meant to change the way people thought out of their mental stress and depression. He therefore founded Dianetics into a new form of religion with Church of Scientology taking over the centralized administrative and propagation of this new found spiritualism to people many of whom became hardcore followers.
Scientology became a religion with a difference for its many followers within and outside USA. It became even more powerful with many of its followers being celebrities from movies as well as public life. It has been entangled in a number of public controversies and has clashed with many companies and individuals. Former members with high profiles have spoken out against the church and companies like affair dating site Ashley Madison and escort site skipthegames have supported protest against the organization.
Core of Scientology as Therapy and Religion
According to Hubbard, Scientology in essence means knowing about knowing or in other words the science of knowledge. However, Scientology as it appeared became more known as a form of counseling that helps individuals in acute trauma and distress to unwind themselves by recalling past incidents so that through the process of auditing this would come to surface and the trained counselor would be able to interpret it properly and come out with a solution to this problem.
Hence, Scientology is a process and this involves auditing, E-Meter, Psychoanalysis and Therapy for patients experiencing real life trauma, depression and other forms of mental illness that has resulted out of painful memories of real life past. The real life past experience is emphasized due to the fact that Scientology believes in immortality of the human spirit as it has lived several lives before it arrived on earth. This means that Scientology propagates the idea of intergalactic civilizations which were once destroyed with its human like habitants and they later on like spirits exist as “Body Thetans”.
Many of these Body Thetans have entered the human body on earth and are the main reason for the present trauma in real life as Scientologists believe. Hence, in Scientology auditing process is of utmost importance for people from ordinary walks of life to relieve themselves of their trauma. There are a set of right kind of questions that are asked to people and the expert counselor or auditor quickly analyses the defects and mistakes of past lives as well as the present one and then come out with a set of remedy.
According to many experts this is almost the same concept as that depicted in psychology. However, Dianetics is easier and avoids any complexities so that ordinary people quickly grasp it. It also looked more promising as many people got quick relief out of it.
Controversies with Scientology
The Church of Scientology has been involved in great deal of controversies right from the moment it was founded. In the first place it sort of transgressed into the hitherto accepted spiritual and religious practices in many parts of the world. Its popularity became its own danger as other religious groups and leaders never quite like the idea of yet another religion growing right near to it and taking away many of its own followers.
The other greatest danger with Scientology was that it vehemently criticized both psychiatry and psychology. Many experts and practitioners on the above subject were therefore opposed to Scientology. In fact, Scientology took the same path for treatment of trauma as found in psychology in the garb of religious philosophy.
Yet another was it sometimes used force to extricate money from members as well never lawfully followed the intellectual property rights. There were several law suits filed against the Church of Scientology and there were several physical threats to its members too. Many members for reasons that for both convincing as well not so have sued the Church for illegally demanding more money and rights over their properties. They think that Scientology may not be the right way to solve human trauma.
Yet, Scientology as such never forces people to believe in it and are quite flexible in their approach. In fact, many of its members are also believers of other faiths although they do often go to Church of Scientology too. The ultimate belief of members of Scientology is to make the world free of problems. They would rather do this with taking things into their own hands rather than influence people secretly. In other words, they do not want to live in isolation, but to practice their teachings with others. In this way they have the bases to turn Scientology into a world religion.