IV.II. PARTICIPATION IN RITUALS AND ACTS OF DEVOTION

Another of the forms through which religions seem to expect that their adherents demonstrate their religiosity is through participation in rituals and acts of devotion. In this respect, it is possible to observe in the first place that the Church of Scientology celebrates the same rituals as other religious institutions such as Sunday services, weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies for newborn children.

However, these are not the only activities which are ritually structured in Scientology. Auditing, the central practice of Scientology, is a ritual activity in the sense that an anthropologist gives to this term: a highly structured procedure which fits rigorous rules and is repeated meticulously. In effect, auditing is accomplished through a series of carefully established steps developed by the founder of the Church which are to be followed without variation. For the Church of Scientology, auditing demands a precise path, an exact route to reach higher states of awareness. Auditing is defined as a precise activity, precisely codified and which follows exact procedures:

"Auditing uses processes--exact sets of questions asked or directions given by an auditor to help a person find out things about himself and improve his condition. There are many, many different auditing processes, and each one improves the individual's ability to confront and handle part of his existence. When the specific objective of any one process is attained, the process is ended and another can then be run to address a different part of the person's life.

"An unlimited number of questions could, of course, be asked--which might or might not help a person. The accomplishment in Dianetics and Scientology is that L. Ron Hubbard isolated the exact questions and directions to invariably bring about improvement." (What Is Scientology? 1993: 156)

It can thus be observed that auditing is an exact ritual and the repeated participation in this rite is a condition for an individual to be considered a Scientologist.
 

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