WORLD RELIGIONS – REL 212 World Religions

 

   
WEEK 10

NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS (Scientology)

 
Cosmogony – Origin of the Universe New religious movement (NRM) believes in the presence of GOD as the creator of the universe. They believe that all the universe is created from the Eight Dynamic. Eight Dynamic is God according to NRM. The rise of the NRM is largely attributed to the religious pluralism in the western world. Though some sects might believe in more than one deities.
Nature of God/Creator NRM believe in GOD as the Eighth Dynamic. According to NRM, God is the most superior being of all. God is important and it is believed that the concept of God is necessary for the survival of the universe itself.
View of Human Nature NRM believe in the goodness of human beings. They believe that humans are inherently good. It is a humanistic approach towards the human nature (Bednarowski, 1995). The evil has taken a place in the human nature due to reactionary mechanisms of the mind. Humans can rid themselves of the reactive mind with attaining a state of selflessness and suppressing their ego.
View of Good & Evil According to Scientology, there does exists evil. This form of believe does not deny this fact but they believe that given normal circumstances, humans will act as good. This is because of the normal state of mind. In case of stressful and tense situations, the reactive part of the mind is activated and human can be overcome by the evil that is associated with the reactive mind (Hubbard, 2007). Scientologist believe that memory is stored as a sequence in the mind and by revisiting bad memories that caused the reactive mind and erasing them can bring one to a good state.
View of Salvation According to this believe spirit is called Thetan and it is the true self. Thetan does not originate at the time of birth, instead it is present from the eternity. They believe in the rebirth of the Thetan in another baby. This believe is similar to the Hinduism. When a person dies, there is no judgement for Thetan before it is reincarnated.
View of After Life Scientologists do not believe in hell or heaven. They believe that after death their sour will re arrive in the body of someone else. All of the believers in scientology have to sign a formal contract called the billion year covenant. According to this contract, when a person is reborn in another body, he/she would again be scientologist and serve the interests of the faith in the next life.
Practices and Rituals Scientology has churches for religious practices and rituals. They are open on weekdays.

 

When a person joins the religion, he/she is counseled by a person called an Auditor. The auditor helps the new member to search for reactive thoughts in his/her past and try to erase them to attain a state of calmness and peace called Clear.

 

Anyone who has reached the state of clear can act as an auditor.

 

Body is not important and after death, the family of the deceased can do whatever they want. This is unlike other religions where there are set rules to treat a dead body.

 

Celebrations & Festivals Celebrations are not the priority of Scientology.

 

There are holidays that are associated with different important dates of the progress of the church.

 

There are basic ceremonies for weddings and funerals. The guide to these services is provided in the service book of the church called “The Background, Ministry, Ceremonies and Sermons of the Scientology Religion.” (Dericquebourg, 2009).

 

Sunday services were not part of the religion but since 1999 they have adopted a formal shape.

Week 9 – Sources

 

Bednarowski, M. F. (1995). The Church of Scientology: Lightning rod for cultural boundary conflicts. America’s Alternative Religions, 385-392.
Dericquebourg, R. (2009). How should we regard the religious ceremonies of the Church of Scientology? Scientology, 165.
Hubbard, L. R. (2007). Dianetics: The modern science of mental health. Bridge publications, Inc.