Scientology

Régis Dericquebourg

Professor, Sociology of Religion

University of Lille III

Lille, France



III. HOW DO SCIENTOLOGISTS VALIDATE THEIR CREEDS?

 

III. VIII. REFERENCE TO A RELIGIOUS TRADITION

     Those questioned only talked about religious traditions to point out their shortcomings. No one mentioned the link between Buddhism and Scientology although it is asserted by L. Ron Hubbard. He underlined their common points but lamented Buddhism’s lack of effectiveness in the world.

     This omission accompanies the omission of science. The faithful do not seek to legitimize their beliefs by referring to external factors. That which they have confirmed for themselves seems to suffice. They do not feel the need to support their beliefs to others in theological terms, nor to place themselves in a tradition of religious thought, even if L. Ron Hubbard perceived similarities between Scientology, Buddhism and various ancient wisdom religions.

     The legitimation of Scientology by some members differs slightly from official documents. The “science based on certainty” is rather a “science based on certainties,” which are only accepted after being confirmed by personal experience. It follows that faith is based on probability and is relative to the stage reached by the member on the spiritual scale. On the other hand, doctrinal affirmations with regard to the technology of the movement are accepted. We are not dealing with discernible proof of the truth which leads to a form of behaviour as in cases of conversion in religions with a doctrine of salvation. In those religions, believers pray because they accept the belief structure which recommends prayer. The Scientologist adds one certainty to another until he obtains sufficient evidence for the truth. One Scientologist told me that he preferred to talk about “continuous conversion.”

     It also appears that their faith is a fides efficax as the believers claim to have found in Scientology a means of understanding society and to transform both it and the whole world.

 



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