Tad Reeves, of the Scientology Parent blog, answers 14 questions posed by a student about Scientology. Here are the last four answers. Published courtesy of the Scientology Parent website.
11)IS THERE A SCHOOL SPECIFICALLY FOR PEOPLE TO LEARN ONLY SCIENTOLOGY
THAT IS SEPARATE FROM THE TRADITIONAL SCHOOL SYSTEM?
Scientology is a religious philosophy, but it is not and was never intended to be a replacement for a full education. Clearly, if one wanted to become a Scientology practitioner, one would obviously study such at a Church of Scientology and not pursue a theological degree at a traditional school.
That being said, there are schools which use the study technology developed by Mr. Hubbard, as well as a handful of other relevant works, but the bulk of the education is a diverse and complete curriculum including mountains of classical and modern literature, chem, math, history, and hands-on learning. I went to such a school in Oregon called The Delphian School, and it was fantastic.
12)WHAT DOES THE SYMBOL OF THE CROSS REPRESENT?
It is an eight-pointed cross representing the eight parts, or dynamics, of life through which each individual is striving to survive. These parts are: the urge toward existence as self, as an individual; the urge to survive through creativity, including the family unit and the rearing of children; the urge to survive through a group of individuals or as a group; the urge toward survival through all Mankind and as all Mankind; the urge to survive as life forms and with the help of life forms such as animals, birds, insects, fish and vegetation; the urge to survive of the physical universe, by the physical universe itself and with the help of the physical universe and each one of its component parts; the urge to survive as spiritual beings or the urge for life itself to survive; the urge toward existence as infinity, also identified as the Supreme Being. To be able to live in harmony with respect to each of these spheres of existence is symbolized by the Scientology cross.
As a matter of interest, the cross as a symbol predates Christianity.
13) WHAT IS THE PERSPECTIVE OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY?The most relevant writing I can point you at here is L. Ron Hubbard’s essay, Religious Influence in Society, which I’d heavily recommend reading in full as it encompasses the spirit with which we view & interact with other religions, inclusive of Christianity.
Specifically, however, I most every Scientologist I know has a deep and profound respect for religious people of all faiths. We may all have different approaches, beliefs and things we hold dear, but for the most part, the great world religions each have a moral code which, by and large, is quite similar religion to religion, and one that is a critical civilizing influence which is in danger of being totally undermined. I think that a destructive element in today’s society over the last 80 years or so has been the introduction of the idea that there’s no such thing as right and wrong, and that morality itself is outmoded. I find that I get along much better with anyone that subscribes to a moral code from their religious upbringing, than with someone who’s got an anything-goes, you-only-live-once attitude.
To further answer your question, I know of a lot of people who remain Christian, but who are also Scientologists. Scientology is all about studying and applying tools for life – things that make sense to you. As such, I know a lot of Christians who have found it quite compatible with their own religious path.
14)WHAT ARE SOME COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS OF SCIENTOLOGY HELD BY SOCIETY TODAY?
Well, how common the misconception is really depends on where you get your data. I have heard just about every story imaginable from people on the Internet professing that they know all about what I believe. Some people I’ve run into have been factually pretty mad about what I apparently do. But the truth has been almost uniformly a lot more mundane than the press makes it.
This is one of the reasons I made a website. It’s one of the reasons I also write for other publications, including this one, to get the truth out there of what we’re about.
There’s literally no end to the number of stories folks can make up about what I believe. If someone makes up a claim that I believe in evil alien overlords ruling the Earth or something, there’s no document out there that says definitively and conclusively, “here is proof I don’t believe in aliens”. (BTW I don’t believe in evil alien overlords)
The only things I can do is: (a) repeatedly say and demonstrate what I do believe in, and most critically, (b) convince you to go down to your local library and read an actual Scientology book so you can see what I’m talking about. And if you’re in the mood for that, my best recommendation would be to pick up Scientology: Fundamentals of Thought, as I think it represents the best cross-section of what I actually believe and do.