IV.I. SHARING A BODY OF DOCTRINE

It has been maintained that religious institutions expect their adherents to share their doctrinal principles. (Stark and Gluck 1985:256) In this respect it can be observed that the Church of Scientology propounds an interrelated whole clearly structured so that its adherents acquire its body of doctrine. In effect, the practice of Scientology is composed in equal parts of auditing and training in its principles. The Church affirms that while auditing permits one to see how something happens, training teaches why.

The material used in the courses of training consists of books, publications, films and recorded lectures of the founder of the Church which are studied in a pre-arranged order. This material has the equivalent status of scriptures of traditional religions: It is not interpreted or explained. On the contrary, considerable attention is placed on the disciple receiving the word of the founder in its "pure form." Scientologists believe that Mr. Hubbard found an exact and workable path to spiritual salvation: If following one of the procedures of the founder of Scientology does not achieve the expected results it is because it was not understood or applied correctly. Thus, the possibility that there could exist an error in the original version of the word of Mr. Hubbard is not considered.

Those who direct training in Scientology are called "supervisors" and are recognized as experts in the technology of study and skilled at finding and resolving the obstacles that the students may encounter. The role of the supervisor is also defined as ensuring that the doctrine is properly imparted and does not produce different versions or divergent interpretations. The supervisor does not give lectures and does not propound to the students his own version of the subject. It is scrupulously forbidden that the supervisor propound any type of verbal interpretation of the materials to prevent any alterations of the original.
 

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