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Scientology is the source of much fascination and ridicule thanks to its secretive nature and celebrity members. But what’s the truth about the esoteric religion? Is it a cult, an abusive business, or the saving religion of all mankind? Read on to get the scoop.
1. Scientology has three fundamental principles: 1. man is an immortal, alien, spiritual being called a thetan. 2. Thetans experience more than a single lifetime. 3. Thetan capabilities are unlimited, but most people have not realized their potential.
2. There is a clear structure to Scientology that labels practitioners at different levels on the “Bridge to Total Freedom.” You move from pre-clear (when you begin auditing) to clear (after auditing, when you are free from negative emotions) into Operating Thetan (when you can control life, thought, matter, energy, space, and time).
3. Scientology has its own cross. It is similar to a Christian cross, but with 4 additional arms. It symbolizes the 8 dynamics: 1) The Self, 2) Creativity, sex, and procreation (family), 3) groups, 4) humankind, 5) all life forms, 6) physical universe, 7) spirituality, and 8) God, infinity, or the Supreme Being.
4. A core belief of Scientology is that our souls lived on other planets before Earth, and that in order to progress as an Operating Thetan, we must remove all the ‘aberrations’ from previous lives.
5. According to the canon of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard came to the religion through the scientific method rather than revelation.
6. One serious criticism of Scientology is that in order to be audited, one has to pay a significant amount of money.
7. One of the secondary stories in Scientology revolves around Xenu, the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy. Xenu brought billions of people to Earth (which he calls Teegeeack) and killed them with hydrogen bombs around and near volcanoes. Their souls are trapped on earth, and Xenu even gave them false memories of history, like the existence of Jesus. These are now human souls.
8. Hubbard has spoken openly about the other lives he’s lived, including Cecil Rhodes, the diamond king of Southern Africa, and a marshal to Joan of Arc. He also supposedly invented music.
9. In addition to his basic text Dianetics, Hubbard also wrote a number of space operas that tell other stories (such as that of Xenu). High ranking members of the church can pay tens of thousands of dollars to have access to the teachings, and it’s considered offensive to speak publicly about them.
10. “Squirrels’ are people who practice Scientology outside of the church.
11. There are a number of famous Scientologists, including Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kristie Alley, Lisa Marie Presley, and Will Smith. Alley even credits the “Narconon” program with helping her get free from drugs.