The Scientology Comparative Theology Page

"Scientology: From Science Fiction to Space-age Religion" ,
John Weldon, The Christian Research Journal, Summer 1993, p.20.

"The Church of Scientology is a controversial new religion developed by L. Ron Hubbard as an extension of his earlier psychological theories of Dianetics. Drawing on ideas from Buddhist and Hindu religious philosophy, science fiction, and Western concepts in psychology and science, L. Ron Hubbard produced a religion that sees all human beings as immortal spirits (thetans) who have forgotten their identity and become deceived by the very universe they mentally emanated in order to amuse themselves. ..."
Kent Affidavit,
Dr. Stephen Kent, 2000.
"Known for his pulp fiction and science fiction writing prior to and after World War II, L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) introduced Scientology's forerunner, Dianetics, to the world in 1950."
"An Experimental Investigation of Hubbard's Engram Hypothesis (Dianetics)", [alternate] [alternate]
Fox, Davis, and Lebovits, 1959.

Psychological Newsletter (Dept. of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY) 1959, 10:131-134
"Dianetic Therapy: An Experimental Evaluation",
Harvey Jay Fischer, Ph.D. Thesis, New York State University, 1953.

A Statistical Analysis of the Effect of Dianetic Therapy as Measured by Group Tests of Intellegence, Mathematics and Personality
Stacy Brooks' Perspective on Auditing,
Stacy Brooks, 2000.

Hubbard borrowed from a number of different schools when he put together the lower levels of auditing. Dianetics and the Grades are basically a simple form of regression therapy."
A.R.S. Acronym/Terminology FAQ,
Martin Hunt, ex-Scientologist, 1997.

"Enturbulated by all the suppressive terminology in Scientology? Feeling nattery, want to blow? Suffering from severe MU phenomenon? Or are your Body Thetans just acting up? Then RTFM, by Xenu!"
A light-hearted look at Scientology jargon from "1.1" to "Xenu".

Dianetics Doctrine

Dianetics was born in 1950, with Hubbard's release of Dianetics: The Modern Science[sic] of Mental Health. Dianetics grew during the initial exploratory period of the self-help movement in the 1950s and 1960s. While the "Church" of Scientology chronicles Hubbard's development of Dianetics, it suffers from considerable embellishment. Bare-Faced Messiah also chronicles the development of Dianetics from the perspective of a (literally) disenfranchised Dianetics Mission holder. The actual history of Dianetics probably lies somewhere between.

Dianetics was positioned as a "Science of the Mind" or an alternative to psychiatry. Dianetics is a form of abreactive therapy, in which psychological trauma is lessened by repeated recall of the traumatic incident. While the technique has some scientific merit, it tends to used by "metapsychology" groups such as the Traumaic Incident Reduction Association, founded by former Dianeticist Dr. Serge Gerbode.

One of the problems of abreactive therapy and recovered memory is the possibility of False Memory Syndrome. While the effect can be minimized, there were no such controls during the development of Dianetics. Making up in enthusiasm what he lacked in credentials[larger image], Hubbard performed "research" (which has never been made public) with a crude lie-detector which he called the "E-meter". Hubbard then developed "technology" (auditing procedures with the E-meter) which produced the State of Clear, a super-human with vast mental powers. There was no faith and no religion involved; Dianetics was represented as being Pure Science.

Attempts by independent researchers failed to duplicate Hubbard's claims and in many cases disproved them. In the Fox experiment, independent researchers followed Hubbard's instructions for producing an "engram" as found in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. The subject was rendered unconcious with sodium pentothal, and pain was administered by squeezing the skin between the subject's fingers. Simultaneously, a passage from a college Physics text was read. Hubbard's auditors were unable to recover the resulting "engram" which, according to Hubbard, should have been created. Likewise, in the Fischer experiment , subjects were given standardized tests for three areas which Hubbard claimed were enhanced by Dianetic therapy - intellectual function, mathematical function, and freedom from personality conflicts. The subjects were given the standardized tests before and after twenty-five hours of Dianetic therapy, and no statistically significant differences in test scores were found.

Snubbed by professional medical societies as a quack, Hubbard undauntedly continued his "research" into engrams and the reactive mind. Through shabby scientific method , Hubbard "discovered" various mental implants, placed there by psychiatrists on faraway planets trillions of years ago, which caused humans to behave irrationally. Hubbard manufactured a conspiracy against himself and Dianetics by the successors of these ancient psychiatrists who in Hubbardian cosmology are the source of human suffering on Earth. Even today, the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights criticizes psychiatric procedures, ostensibly to bolster the theories of Dianetics and Scientology. One of CCHR's more recent exploits was to cast doubt on Eli Lilly's psychoactive drug Prozac, denying effective treatment to thousands of troubled patients. Much to Scientology's chagrin, the international medical community has seen fit to ignore CCHR as well.

Thus, Dianetics grew purely from an ill-advised psuedo-scientific endeavor. It never addressed the supernatural, and treated the spirit (thetan) in a secular fashion similar to Freud's id. A tenet of Dianetics auditing is that the "auditor must never invalidate a pre-clear origination." In plain English, the therapist cannot dismiss or discount any memory that the patient recalls. Since the pre-clear's memories are accepted as true historical fact, Hubbard's group began to record increasingly bizarre case history, such as memories of events prior to birth (dubbed "Past Lives"). Given Hubbard's background as a science fiction writer, these Past Life events increasingly began to resemble one of Hubbard's books, detailing fantastic planets, space travel, despotic rulers, and even the Bad Guys - ancient psychiatrists who used electronic means to control the population.

As it became increasingly "clear" that the inhabitants of Earth were ancient immortal beings, Hubbard found "the religion angle" and Scientology was born.

Next: Metamorphosis to Religion