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Scientology was started by L. Ron Hubbard. His first major work was published in 1950. The book was called, "Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health." In it he offered a methodology designed to help alleviate such things as unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears, and psychosomatic illnesses.

The book became a best-seller. In 1951, after seeing the popularity of his book, Hubbard concluded that an individual was neither his body nor his mind, but rather an immortal spiritual being. And this became the true beginning of scientology, as Hubbard moved from being an author to a spiritual leader. He also wrote another booklet that is widely distributed to interested people called "The Way to Happiness."

The Beliefs of Scientology

Hubbard taught that mankind is descended from an alien race of gods called 'thetans.' Scientologist are encouraged to wake up their thetan or god powers by removing all mental blocks called 'engrams.' Engrams are traumatic experiences from the past or from past lives which stop spiritual progress. Dianetics teaches individuals how to clear oneself of all these hinderances. (Same as new age or witchcraft)

The word "scientology" means "the study of knowledge or truth." The main practice of Scientology is spiritual counseling called "auditing." It is seen as a form of personal counseling intended to help an individual look at his past hinderances or engrams. They use a set form of 200 questions, called a 'personality test' to ask the person being audited. This test tells them what exactly they need to work on to improve their condition. Auditing is a thoroughly codified activity with exact procedures. A Scientology counselor is known as an "auditor." Those who remove all their past hindrances are said to be now be 'clear.'

Scientologists also use specially designed meters, called E-Meters or Electro-psycho meters, which are like lie detectors. These meters help to locate areas of spiritual distress by measuring the mental state of change of the person being audited. Scientologists insist that this is very much like a church confession of past sins.

Scientology places a strong emphasis on continual training and education in the scientology principles. This is what has caused a lot of concern today, since they charge exorbitant amounts of money for people to take these education classes, literally tens of thousands of dollars. While auditing teaches them to see that they have some hindrances, it is ongoing training that teaches one how to overcome the experiences of their past.

People in Scientology believe by using both auditing and training, they can raise themselves to a higher spiritual existence. The end goal is to free themselves from the dependence on the material universe.

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