Text: II Peter 2:1-19
I. There are times that I run into ideas that leave me completely puzzled. People seriously believe these things?
A. I was asked to do a lesson on Scientology since it had been in the news recently
B. The things I learned about it were so strange that I was puzzled where to even start.
A. Scientology is the creation of a science fiction writer name L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s.
1. In 1949, Mr. Hubbard is quoted as saying to Lloyd Eshbach, “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.”
2. If true, then Scientology was a success because it is a religion where you must buy your way to successive levels.
a. The costs are disguised as training courses and therapy sessions.
b. The religion is divided into a seemingly endless series of levels to be obtained – each with their associated costs.
c. An estimate in 1995 placed the cost to reach the OT8 level to be between $365,000 and $380,000!
d. “Make money, make more money” [L. Ron Hubbard, HCO PL, March 9, 1972]
e. “Processing may never be given again by an org. Processing is to expensive to deliver.” [L. Ron Hubbard, HCO PL, September 27, 1970]
(1) Contrast this to Christianity - Matthew 10:8; Luke 6:30
B. Hubbard initially created a method of psychotherapy called “Dianetics”
1. It is a form of regression therapy, where the fundamental belief is that past events interfere with your present ability to function.
2. The interesting spin is that the past interference includes past lives.
3. The interference is detected by trained auditors using a machine called an “E-Meter” that simply measures electrical resistence in the body.
a. It is a primitive lie-detector
4. There is no evidence that the therapy works, in fact, it is strongly argued that it doesn’t work.
C. On this foundation Scientology built as a philosophy and religion
1. It borrows heavily from eastern religions and even gnosticism
III. Beliefs of Scientology
A. It is difficult to determine Scientology beliefs because it is deeply enmeshed with its own jargon.
1. Unless you understand the jargon, what is being said sounds like nonsense.
2. Even when the jargon is translated, it is still nonsense!
B. Scientology teaches that every person is an immortal spirit which they call a “thetan.”
1. Of course, the spirits continued to live, and with nothing else to do began to create mental universes to play in. They became so engrossed in their imaginary world that they lost consciousness of their identity and nature. They became entrapped in the physical world that is really a world of their imagination.
2. 75 million years ago these souls lived in an overcrowded universe. Unable to handle the population, a ruler gathered up billions of these thetans sent them to Earth and then destroyed them with a nuclear explosion. (Now doesn’t this sound just like a science fiction story?)
C. Hence, Scientology believes that the material universe is an illusion and that each individual is essentially divine with an infinite potential to create.
1. It is the old trap that Satan offered Eve - Genesis 3:5
2. It appeals to pride - Proverbs 16:18
3. It appeals to people because it is something “new” and scientific sounding - Acts 17:21
D. Scientology teaches that as these immortal spirits live through lives they retain suppressed memories of all the bad things that have happened to them, including being blown up 75 million years ago.
1. They have a process of counseling sessions, called “auditing” to help people reconnect with their past lives and thereby work through their problems, which are called “emgrams.”
2. The souls were given false memories, why is not clear, which serves as the explanation why there are common beliefs among men. One, called R6, is supposed to include the cross. “Religion does much to keep the assumption in restimulation, being basically a control mechanism used by those who have sent the preclear into a body. You will find the cross as a symbol all over the universe, and the Christ legend as implant in preclears a million years ago.” [Professional Auditors Bulletins, Vol. 2, p. 26, 1954]
3. Members of Scientology start out as “preclears.” As they work through the various counseling sessions they advance through various levels until they are declared “cleared.” They are now called a “operating Thetan.”
4. Then they work through a whole new set of levels to learn how to spread Scientology and become auditors for others. Operating Thetans believe they can leave their bodies and operate elsewhere.
E. Scientology teaches that it is a supplement to other religions. In other words, people in Scientology believe you can be a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Jew and a Scientologist at the same time.
1. The problem is that Scientology teaching is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Bible.
a. “An enemy ... may be injured by any means or tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed.” [L. Ron Hubbard, HCO Policy Letter, October 18, 1967]
(1) The Bible teaches - Luke 6:27-31
b. “Handling truth is a touch business ... Tell an acceptable truth.” [L. Ron Hubbard, The Missing Ingredient, August 13, 1970]
(1) The Bible teaches - Matthew 5:37
c. “The universe is a rough universe. It is a terrible and deadly universe. Only the strong survive it, only the ruthless can own it.” [L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: A History of Man, page 38].
(1) The Bible teaches - Matthew 5:5
d. “I don’t know how they found it; either by watching madmen or something. But since that time they have used it. And it became what is known as Christianity. The Man on the cross. There was no Christ!” [L. Ron Hubbard, Class 8 Auditor’s Course (Confidential), taped on the ship Apollo in Corfu, Greece.]
(1) The Bible teaches - I John 1:1-3
(2) “Neither Lord Buddha nor Jesus Christ were OTs accordign to evidence. They were just a shade above clear.” [Hubbard, Certainty Magazine, Vol. 5 #10].
(3) In other words, Scientology offers its members a way to become greater that Jesus, the Son of God.
F. Scientology discourages any inquiry into its teachings or methods
1. “Never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach ... Never let them be half-minded about being Scientologists.” [L. Ron Hubbard, Keeping Scientology Working, HCO PL February 7, 1965]
2. “The law can be used very easily to harass ... the purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. ... The law can be used very easily to harass, and ... will generally be sufficient to cause [the enemy’s] professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.” [L. Ron Hubbard, The Scientologist - A Manual on the Dissemination of Material, reprinted in The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, Volume 2, pp. 151-171, 1979. Also, Magazine Articles on Level O Checksheet, American Saint Hill Organization, 1968.]
3. The Bible teaches - I Thessalonians 5:21-22; I John 4:1
4. Regarding courts - Matthew 5:25; I Corinthians 6:7
IV. The use of gnosticism
A. It is clear from analysis that Scientology is a mixture of borrowed beliefs from a variety of religions, and not always the best selection either.
1. But one that stands out is gnosticism. “Gnostic” come from a Greek work meaning “to know.”
2. One feature of gnosticism is the control of knowledge. Information is doled out piece by piece. Only the inner most circle of believers have the complete set of knowledge.
a. Many religions and pseudo-religions share this control of knowledge, such as Masons
B. Scientology uses this layered approach to fund itself. You have to purchase the next layer to advance.
C. It also makes it difficult to debate because you never know if you understand what it is that you are examining.
D. Interestingly, the original gnostics believed there was a higher god trapped in the material world due to a flaw in that god’s wisdom. They believe that Genesis told of how the “Jewish god” trapped souls in material bodies. To save these trapped souls, the higher god sent a messenger into this world to inform people of their divine origins. Those who understood the message were empowered to rise above the material world to enter the realm of the higher god. (Sound roughly similar?)
V. It makes you wonder how people could be persuaded to believe this nonsense.
A. The answer is that people are looking for a solution and Scientology claims to have an answer.
B. This is why Scientology opposes the psychiatry community so strongly. They market an alternative.
C. Since information is only revealed bit-by-bit and requires heavy personal investments, people are inclined to continue in hopes of a solution just around the corner.
D. II Timothy 2:13-15