Scientologist Rodger Clark writes about Scientology and the role responsibility plays in the religion’s basic philosophy and practice. Published courtesy of STAND (Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination)
If you have the impression that Scientologists never examine Scientology, you would be wrong. The simple practice of Scientology forces you to eventually look into and evaluate everything, including Scientology. In a society where you take a pill to avoid facing things you don’t like and that crams a pill down the throat of people it finds inconvenient, Scientology goes completely against the grain. I’m talking about real Scientology here, not the orgy of idiocy that internet trolls, the “proselytes of panic” and the “devotees of drama” so fervently want to believe Scientology is, but the actual subject. (If Scientology were anything like what is portrayed in the media, I, and every Scientologist I know, would avoid it too.)
Anything which brings about any true improvement in an individual requires some degree of work and sacrifice. Example: everyone out there who has gone to college, raise your hand if you enjoyed long hours of study and the pressure of passing tests. No one? Hmmm… Imagine that. In the same vein, studying and practicing Scientology takes a lot of work. It’s just worth it.
The people who think that Scientology is some “I’m OK—You’re OK” 1970s pop-psychology fad, where everyone sits around being wonderful, receive a severe shock when they take their first Scientology course or read their first book. They are introduced to a philosophy that insists, then proves, that everyone can do much better, that they don’t have to roll over and “accept who they are,” that they can accomplish much more than they ever thought, and that does not seek to limit them. Then they find that they are expected to work at it. The ones who make that first “cut,” who are willing to work at improving, usually find themselves on a path that requires perseverance, self-discipline and the personal rewards that come with it, not only in Scientology but in life.
“It’s a philosophy where you gradually take on more responsibility and face up to and begin to change and control situations you don’t like. But in Scientology you gain the tools to do it with.”
After you begin to reap the rewards, you get the “fun” of dealing with media worshippers who want to check your head for antennae and your thermos for Kool-Aid. You also have to deal with family and friends who become upset by any evidence that it is they—not you—who have been duped into believing a false narrative (created to sell advertising). You must continue to choose between what you have seen for yourself and the fictional creations of the media, and remember that a lot of people believing a lie has never made a lie true. From the belief that the earth was flat, to medieval witch hunts, to Nazi Germany, the “majority”—popular opinion—was dead wrong (only it wasn’t the majority who ended up dead). It’s a helluva position to constantly be in. It takes personal courage to stand up to it.
Scientology isn’t for sissies. It requires work and guts. Kinda’ like everything else that’s worth doing.