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Religion Library: Scientology

Sacred Texts

Written by: J. Gordon Melton

Scientology does not have a sacred text comparable to the Bible or the Quran. It is built on the many writings of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, beginning with the first book describing his discoveries about the human mind -- Dianetics: the Original Thesis -- written in 1945 but first published in 1948. The publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health three years later led to the founding of the first organizations.

Through the 1950s, Hubbard continued to write books that expounded upon his ideas, and these became basic texts for church members and were widely circulated to prospective members. These included Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science (1950); Science of Survival (1951); Self Analysis (1951); History of Man (1952); Scientology: 88 (1952); Scientology 8:80 (1952); Scientology: 8-8008 (1952); How to Live Though an Executive (1953); Scientology 55 (1954); The Creation of Human Ability (1955); Scientology the Fundamentals of Thought (1956); The Problems of Work (1956); and All About Radiation (1957). In the 1960s he added Have You Lived Before This Life? (1960); Scientology a New Slant on Life (1965); Introduction to Scientology Ethics (1968); and The Phoenix Lectures (1968).

In addition to the many titles aimed at the general public, Hubbard also authored a number of technical and professional works that covered the work of auditors and class instructors, and organizational procedures. The numerous publications aimed at those who delivered Scientology to members and others who took Scientology classes were designed initially to inform instructors on procedures, but over the years began to additionally emphasize the need to remain faithful to the exact format that Hubbard taught and condemn any deviation from the procedures he had dictated.

Hubbard believed that he had discovered a clear and scientific way to spiritual reality and truth. The procedures he developed constitute a precise technology to apply his scientific discoveries. To deviate was to misuse the technology. It became the role of the church's leadership to insure that every church organization delivered the technology exactly as Hubbard had decreed.

Hubbard's writings on organization have been compiled into the large multi-volume Organization Management Course, sometimes simply called the green volumes (due to their green covers). The materials covering the procedures for teaching Scientology are contained in the equally large multi-volume set, The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology (1976, 1990).

HHubbard had lectured widely since the 1950s, and in these lectures he conveyed the latest discoveries of his research, offered advanced training to auditors and church instructors, and speculated on the implications of his discoveries in many areas of human life. Many of the professional lectures were superseded by later advances, and most of the lectures are not well known beyond the inner circle of church leadership.A few, however, like the Philadelphia Doctorate Course (1953) and the annual Saint Hill Special Briefing Course (1961-1966) became heralded events.

 

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