Scientology

Régis Dericquebourg

Professor, Sociology of Religion

University of Lille III

Lille, France



III. HOW DO SCIENTOLOGISTS VALIDATE THEIR CREEDS?

 

III.II. PROBABILITY IN BELIEF

     Personal verification of the validity of Scientology principles leaves an “unverified” realm. Many Scientologists admit that they have not personally verified all of L. Ron Hubbard’s doctrine for themselves and that there remain some zones of hypothetical belief.

     Belief in God is much discussed. For some, the existence of a Supreme Being is not in doubt. They speak of an inner conviction, evidence of God’s existence which made them make up their differences with the “God of the Catholics” of their childhood. Others have been marked by contact with their past lives during auditing which led them to the idea of an infinite being. For example, “To start with I wasn’t aware of it, but as the auditing went on I realised that there really was an eighth dynamic which is infinite and which exists; at first I didn’t know about it, but now I know it exists.” However, for most of them, God (in their vocabulary—the eighth dynamic) needs to be verified in the same way as the other beliefs. At the same time, they consider God a probable hypothesis: for one thing, if they have checked a part of L. Ron Hubbard’s teaching, there is no reason why the rest should not be true. For example: “I know that there is a creator of all things, of the universe... I believe that there is a Supreme Being, it’s just a question of time. Does he still exist? At the stage I’ve reached now I have no means of knowing. It’s partly faith and partly knowing, because when you’ve verified for yourself 70 percent of a subject, you think the rest is probably true."—Scientologist of 20 years, age 47. Still others think that if Scientologists at higher levels have found God, then he must exist.

     At the same time, they admit that they are on a search which may not end for them with the same discovery. For many Scientologists “the eighth dynamic” remains a world which must be explored personally to be fully believed. For the moment they are waiting. God is probably there. This can be called faith in probability.

 



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