What is Scientology?
L. Ron Hubbard (LRH) – The Father of Scientology.
The earliest certainly known ancestor of Scientology is Veda – says L. Ron Hubbard while explaining the general background of Scientology.
The first principle of my own philosophy,” wrote L. Ron Hubbard, “is that wisdom is meant for anyone who wishes to reach for it. It is the servant of the commoner and king alike and should never be regarded with awe.” To this he added that philosophy must be capable of application, for “learning locked in mildewed books is of little use to anyone and therefore of no value unless it can be used.” Finally he declared philosophic knowledge to be only of value if true and workable, and thereby set the parameters for Dianetics and Scientology.
How L. Ron Hubbard came to found these subjects is an immense story that effectively began in the first decades of the 20th century with his befriending of indigenous Blackfeet Indians in and around his Helena, Montana home. From here, the story unfolds with his study of Freudian theory with a Commander Joseph C. Thompson — the first United States naval officer to actually work with Freud in Vienna — and through journeys in Asia where Mr. Hubbard spent the better part of two years in travel and study.
Another crucial milestone in this venture was his study of engineering, mathematics and nuclear physics at George Washington University — all disciplines that would serve him well through later philosophic inquiry: point of fact, L. Ron Hubbard was the first to rigorously employ Western scientific methods to the study of spiritual matters.
His searches continued through the Second World War, where he tested his first Dianetics techniques, and created publishing history with the release of the landmark Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, for the first time ever providing the oft-sought answers to questions that had eluded philosophers for centuries: What is the dynamic principle of existence? What causes man to behave as he does? And what is the resolution to the problems of the human mind? Without question, Dianetics answered these questions and more, prompting then-national columnist Walter Winchell to proclaim: “There is something new coming up in April called Dianetics. A new science which works with the invariability of physical science in the field of the human mind. From all indications, it will prove to be as revolutionary for humanity as the first caveman’s discovery and utilization of fire.”
From the release of Dianetics, further advancement was continuous, methodical and at least as revelatory as what had preceded it. At the heart of what Mr. Hubbard began to wrestle with through late 1950 and early 1951 was yet another key philosophical point. That is, if Dianetics constituted the definitive explanation of the human mind, then what was it that utilized the mind? Or more precisely, what was it that constituted life itself? In a decisive statement on the matter, he explained, “The further one investigated, the more one came to understand that here, in this creature Homo sapiens, were entirely too many unknowns.”
The ensuing line of research, embarked upon some 20 years earlier, proved nothing short of momentous. In another critical statement on the matter, Mr. Hubbard wrote, “I have been engaged in the investigation of the fundamentals of life, the material universe and human behaviour.” And if many before him had “roved upon this unmapped track,” he added, they had left no signposts. Nevertheless, in the early spring of 1952, through the course of a pivotal lecture in Phoenix, Arizona, the result of this research was announced: Scientology.
An applied religious philosophy, Scientology is contained in more than 40 books and over 2,500 tape-recorded lectures. All told, these works represent a statement of man’s nature and potential, and even if echoed in various ancient scriptures, that statement is absolutely the Scientology philosophy: man is an immortal spiritual being; his experience extends well beyond a single lifetime; and his capabilities are unlimited even if not presently realized. In that sense, Scientology represents what may be the ultimate definition of a religion; not a system of beliefs but a means of spiritual transformation.
Yet if Scientology represents the route to man’s highest spiritual aspirations, it also means much to his more immediate existence — to his family, career, and community. That fact is critical to an understanding of Scientology philosophy and is actually what Scientology is all about: not a doctrine, but the study and handling of the human spirit in relationship to itself, to other life and the universe in which we live. In that respect, L. Ron Hubbard’s work embraces everything.
“Unless there is a vast alteration in man’s civilization as it stumbles along today,” he declared in the mid-1960s, “man will not be here very long.” For signs of that decline, he cited political upheaval, social putrefaction, violence, racism, illiteracy and drugs. It was in response to these problems, then, that L. Ron Hubbard devoted the better part of his final years. Indeed, by the early 1970s his life may be charted directly in terms of his search for solutions to the cultural crises of this late twentieth century.
That he was ultimately successful is borne out in the truly phenomenal growth of Dianetics and Scientology: There are now more than two thousand organizations in 60 nations utilizing the various techniques of Dianetics and Scientology. It is borne out in the mountain of accolades for L. Ron Hubbard’s work — recognitions and proclamations that would literally fill volumes from state, county, national and international bodies. It is borne out in the sheer scope of his worldwide impact: with 70 million philosophic works regularly read in virtually every country on Earth, no philosopher in history even approaches his popularity. Then again, it is borne out in all that is contained in these pages, including the inherent fact that so many of Scientology’s fundamental truths are now part of our social fabric. But most of all it is borne out in the continued fulfillment of L. Ron Hubbard’s personal philosophic aim:
“I like to help others and count it as my greatest pleasure in life to see a person free himself of the shadows which darken his days.
“These shadows look so thick to him and weigh him down so that when he finds they are shadows and that he can see through them, walk through them and be again in the sun, he is enormously delighted. And I am afraid I am just as delighted as he is.”