It’s a common question and an important one to answer.
If you try to answer it with a Google search you’ll get all sorts of answers: some correct, some wrong and some just plain weird. So let me save you from wading through pages and pages of search results.
Like all big questions, this really requires a big answer but that would take a lot of reading and you’d get bored, so I’ll give you a short answer and then include some links to articles that will explain more and that you can check out at leisure.
Here is my take on what Scientology is: Scientology is a very practical religion that contains knowledge and techniques you can use in your life to help yourself and others to successfully handle the situations that you meet in life. It also contains knowledge and techniques for improving yourself spiritually, above and beyond your current life.
“Practical” is not a word we often hear in connection with religion and the seeming impracticality of “faith” and “belief” is often something that detractors of religion will complain about. So what are the practical knowledge and techniques I keep mentioning?
Well, there are a lot of them, so I’ll point you at some simple ones to start with so you can get a quick idea of what I’m talking about.
Here is a technique for handling confusing situations at work and in life:Confusion and the Stable Datum. It’s simple and very effective and I personally use it all the time.
Here is some practical knowledge on how to improve relationships with others: Affinity, Reality and Communication.
A lot of Scientology knowledge and techniques for handling life situations are given in the Scientology Handbook and you can see an index of common life problems and the solutions contained in the booklet Scientology Solutions.
There are even free online courses that train you in these practical techniques: Free online training on Scientology Solutions.
So that’s my short answer to the question. I hope it gives you a better idea of what Scientology is.
Below are some links to give you a more complete answer:
Videos on some Scientology fundamentals: Scientology Beliefs and Practices
Main site: Scientology Home Page. This one has tons of data and tons of videos, so it can be a bit overwhelming, but it will tell you everything.
An encyclopedic website named after the question: What is Scientology?