Friday, August 13, 2021

Book Report on Scientology

 Joanna Marcellus 

Scientology is a religious system based on seeking self-knowledge and spiritual fulfillment through ranked courses of study and training. It was founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1950. Hubbard was a writer who published over thousands of pieces during his time. When he began writing science fiction he transported his imaginary stories into his theology. His career began taking off when he first wrote his book titled Dianetics. In his novel, he talks about his set of ideas and practices regarding the relationship between mind and body. One of the book’s theories was that if you can revisit past traumas and understand them, they will not be able to have an influence on you in the present and future. Dianetics was on the New York Times bestseller list and because of this success, Hubbard felt this was his psychological breakthrough. He felt like a hero or god-like figure and began to convince himself of many things like having a psychological cure for mankind. He soon added more science and structure to his theories and turned Dianetics into a movement he called “Scientology”.

After Hubbard’s career took off with Dianetics, he seeked a religion that he could profit from without government intervention. The targeted audience for the Scientology movement were people who were on spiritual adventures. Hubbard claimed the goal was to live in a civilization without sanity, criminality, and war. Although Hubbard was one to question his own sanity, it did not stop him from manipulating the minds of others and making them believe he could help them obtain a level of self and spiritual freedom. The Church of Scientology called this, “The Bridge to Total Freedom”.  This metaphor is used by the Church of Scientology to describe believers’ advancement. Believers move up the levels through auditing and the E-meter. The theory of auditing is that it locates and discharges mental “masses” that are blocking the free flow of energy and the E-meter is presumed to measure changes in those masses. 

My favorite part of the book had to be when Hubbard died and David Miscaviage took over. It was interesting to see how Miscaviage was just like Hubbard and how he kept the financial power going. David Miscaviage began using famous people to get more attention and focus on the Church of Scientology. One of the people he used and began associating with was Tom Cruise. Tom was interested and believed in Scientology but his relations with a woman drew him away from the church. This made Miscaviage mad and he hired investigators to investigate his girlfriend Nicole. They tapped her home and her phone. The investigators did everything according to Miscaviage’s plan to get him back. They built his ego and began to slowly make him an ambassador figure to Scientology.

In conclusion, the Church of Scientology is a dangerous cult that engages in suppression and harassment of others and its members.With all the manipulation and abuse that went on within Hubbard’s success, it does not come easy to say that Hubbard was a genius who created an entire religion that avoided paying taxes through his own rules of working around any conflict of interest that would arise. His book and notes ceased anyone from stopping what he had started even after his death. Although the church no longer has a public face to its name, the financial value and success of Scientology is still soaring. What I liked about this book is that it did not have a negative direct attack on the religion, and the author gave clear details on the good and the bad that members of the religion experienced. 

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