Tad Reeves, of the Scientology Parent blog, answers 14 questions posed by a student about Scientology. Here are his first five answers. Published courtesy of the Scientology Parent website.
6)HOW HAS AUDITING POSITIVELY AFFECTED YOU?
The broad answer to that is that auditing has, by and large, made me more honest with myself and others, more generally happy, more stable, and more tolerant of having more moving parts and individual things going on in my life that I’m actively working on.
In Scientology, each auditing action that is done has its own specific thing that it is addressing, and an end result in mind for that individual. These are specifically arranged in a sequence of action which makes sense, building one upon the next.
For example, there is an auditing action I referred to above called the Survival Rundown which is specifically directed toward getting an individual to operate in the here & now as opposed to having unwanted fixed attention in the past, or on unwanted thoughts & feelings. This action had a deep & profound impact on my ability to focus on a given task and take it to completion, as well as being much more in the here & now when dealing with my family and kids.
There are numerous other specific auditing actions I’ve done, some focused on handling one’s ability to communicate with anyone on any subject, others on being able to recognize the source of life problems and not feel compelled to “have problems”, on being able to be free from the weight of past upsets, and to be able to get out of fixed, unwanted conditions.On each one, the effects on my own life have been positive and extremely freeing. There are just so many conditions in life that I’ve seen others be entirely convinced are impossible to change, but I’ve seen them change in myself and friends within a few weeks’ time as a result of auditing they did. I think it’s factually pretty amazing.
7)WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH MISSION TRIPS?
Not sure what you’re asking here. Scientologists don’t really have an analogue to required missionary work like the Mormon church does, though Scientologists do frequently travel on their own bat to do volunteer work. Owing to the fact that I do website work, I’ve done a lot of work over the last 10-15 years to coordinate volunteers going to disaster areas like New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina, to India / Thailand / Banda Aceh after the Indian Ocean tsunami, and Japan following the tsunamis there, as well as closer to home when we’ve had flooding and other more minor disasters here. I’ve also been involved in drug education programs and such, to get materials out to schools & seminars to educate kids & adults about drugs.
If you have other more specific questions on this, let me know.
8)I HAVE HEARD THAT SCIENTOLOGISTS BELIEVE IN REINCARNATION. IS THIS TRUE?
To an extent. It is a key part of the Scientology religion that people are treated as spiritual individuals, as separate from their mind or their body. This video describes such in more detail:
That being said, there is not some specific part of Scientology beliefs or scripture that deals in reincarnation, as in, “make sure you do don’t do xyz or you’ll be reincarnated as a toad”, nor is there a particular focus on such as there is in some Buddhist traditions. The main factor is in the orientation of Scientology application to the individual as a spirit not as his body.
9)IS EVERYTHING WRITTEN OR SPOKEN BY L. RON HUBBARD CONSIDERED SCRIPTURE IN SCIENTOLOGY?
It is not. LRH wrote quite a lot, with the basics of the religion comprising 18 different books and literally hundreds of recorded lectures, as well as thousands of pages of church policy and technical material.
But there is a firm dividing line between what comprises the policy of the church and the scripture of Scientology, and what is an individual advice or personal communication aimed only at one individual or to a small group.
It came up even in the very early days of Scientology, where he’d make an offhand comment to somebody while visiting a local church, and then come back years later to find that folks had taken this comment entirely out of context, and assumed it was hard policy from then on, applying to everything all the time. So, there’s even specific policy on what is church policy, and what is merely information, and what’s to be disregarded entirely as not relevant to the church at all.
10)WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CORE VALUES AS A SCIENTOLOGIST?
There’s values, and there’s beliefs, and there’s overlap between the two. I’ve written longer articles about what Scientology is to me, but let me see if I can sum up in a few bullet points, along with some reference material as appropriate that you may find enlightening.
- I believe that I’m a spiritual individual, and am not “my body”. I believe I have a body, but that concepts like love, fear, honor, friendship, and one’s own goals and purposes in life are positively not a part of the body or brain, but are something we create as individuals. This video on the parts of man illustrates this further.
- I believe that it is possible to know about the mind, the spirit, and life. Meaning, I do think that solutions to one’s problems as an individual, a family or group member, are not out of one’s hands, or can only be understood by the infinite, or “transcend the boundaries of human understanding” like old-time philosophers thought. I believe that no matter how hard one’s problems are in life, that something can be done about them, and Scientology contains intensely workable solutions for such.
- I believe that religious choice is an intensely personal thing and that anyone, studying Scientology, should do so for themselves, should read actual Scientology books for themselves, and should make up their own mind about it. I think that Scientology (or any religious philosophy) cannot be forced on someone because there is nothing at all more individual and personal than how one feels about himself. Nobody can tell you how you feel about yourself because nobody else is you. Therefore, a personal, spiritual philosophy can never, ever be jammed down your throat. There is no replacement for quality time, by yourself, in front of a book.