Many people probably learned about The Church of Scientology from the Hollywood actor – Tom Cruise. However, the church’s existence goes further than Cruise’s career in Hollywood and birth on 3rd July, 1962. It’s been around for ages. L. Ron Hubbard founded it in the 1950s.
The Church exists purposely to administer and disseminate Scientology. In many countries, it enjoys official and legal recognition as a religion. Nevertheless, it has attracted multiple controversies in countless other jurisdictions.
So, what is The Church of Scientology all about? What are its beliefs and principles?
To answer this question, we will first look at the church’s history.
- Ron Hubbard and his wife – Mary Sue Hubbard – founded the Church of Scientology in December 1953. The two – together with John Galusha – are officially acknowledged as the original founders. The church’s original location was Camden, New Jersey.
How did the idea for the church emerge?
Hubbard had been busy selling books and technologies on Scientology. He had already been a firm believer in Scientology. Thereafter, it wasn’t hard to convert or transition those ideas into a church full of fellow believers.
Since 1952, he formed the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI). In 1953, he considered making it a religion. In 1954, the first Church of Scientology opened its doors in Los Angeles, California.
From the beginning, Hubbard intended to build a religion that would work towards creating a society that’s devoid of insanity, criminals, and war. He hoped his religion would also allow those with the ability to prosper.
Hubbard also went further to state that the Church of Scientology would create a society where honest individuals would enjoy their rights. What is more, the society emerging from all this would also see humans rising to fulfill their potential.
From the beginning, the Church of Scientology developed a creed through which all its members would seek to live by. Hubbard worked hard to ensure that the creed came to life. The creed reinforces three major points, which are:
- Liberty of relishing religious expression
- Mental health is intrinsically spiritual
- Healing men and women’s physical body as a spiritual domain
The Church of Scientology espouses teachings that show humans as immortal spiritual beings. It teaches that humanity is where it is primarily because humans continue to ignore their true nature.
Furthermore, the Church of Scientologists believes in the concept of aliens. That explains why they teach about Xenu. At the core, members of the church believe that humans are thetans, which means immortal alien beings.
Since we are all alien beings, according to the Church’s beliefs, it follows that we already led several past lives in our physical bodies on earth and other planets. Therefore, the church seeks to help humans reclaim their true self through a series of teachings called auditing.
People who go through the entire auditing classes would then be able to:
- Draw closer to God/Supreme Being
- Reclaim their true thetan form
- Unlock the abilities necessary for controlling life, space, matter, energy, and time
Nonetheless, these classes have brought plenty of controversies to the church. The main cause of the controversies have been the fees that student are required to pay. Apart from that, its “Celebrity Centers” have also raised a raucous.
By definition, the Celebrity Centers are open to whoever wants to use them. In reality, though, the centers mostly cater to the needs of celebrities in different industries such as government, arts, and entertainment.
Also, individuals who left the church talk of “rehabilitation camps.” They claim the church uses these camps to hold and keep people in ‘detention’ against their wills. However, that has not stopped the church from enjoying legal recognition and enjoying a tax-exempt status in:
- United States, where its headquarters is
- South Africa
- New Zealand
From infancy, Hubbard was the one in charge of the Church of Scientology. He remained in control until 1966. Thereafter, a group of executives took control. Nevertheless, Hubbard never completely gave up all control. He was the main man until his sudden demise in 1986.