Blog: The Terrible Culture of Scientology: Part 1 - 2016-09-29

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F0.png The Terrible Culture of Scientology: Part 1 September 29, 2016, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large

Scientology has been a lot of things to a lot of people, some claiming it did them a lot of good while others, not so much. One thing for sure is that Scientology is much more than simply some books that L. Ron Hubbard wrote or a New Age mix of feel good literature and plagiarized psychotherapy. Over the years since L. Ron Hubbard first unleashed Dianetics upon the world in 1950, he gathered a small but intensely loyal core of followers and created a sort of alternate reality, a bubble world of belief in both him and his outlandish mythology.

At first that mythology consisted simply of promising to make people think better and faster and to achieve a state he called Clear, unimpeded by the stresses and trauma of past times. But before long, Hubbard claimed that we were all actually immortal spiritual beings called thetans who were trapped in an endless cycle of life and death and that Scientology was the only answer out of that trap. Scientologists believed him and felt that the subjective experiences they had in Scientology's therapy, called auditing, lent proof to his claims. If they could remember even one event from a past life, no matter how far fetched or unproven or unlikely that event might be, they convinced themselves that Hubbard was on to something amazing and they would then believe almost everything he had to say.

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Hubbard claimed he had continued research into our spiritual history in this physical universe. He declared that we have all lived for trillions upon trillions of years, taking part in intergalactic civilizations and space opera long before we were trapped here on Earth in our current sad state. He said that there were new levels of awareness and ability far above the state of Clear. Called Operating Thetan or OT levels, these were kept strictly confidential and the information in them only parsed out to those who had dedicated the necessary time and money to earn them. Hubbard described them in lofty terms that promise personal spiritual immortality and a state of total cause over matter, energy, space and time.