Wil Seabrook, who blogs for STAND (Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination) answers the question, “Are Scientologists Told What to Think,” published here with the permission of STAND.
One ridiculous criticism I sometimes hear or read about my church is that Scientologists are told what to think about various subjects. That idea is especially ridiculous because, as a person studies and applies Scientology to more and more areas of life, their ability to think analytically and rationally and make positive decisions becomes easier and easier. The entire purpose of Scientology is to bring about everything that’s best and brightest and most capable in a person while getting rid of anything and everything that might be holding them back.
Are there any cultural similarities among Scientologists?
Like any group, especially religious ones, I’ve found there are “cultural” similarities between many Scientologists. We tend to be people who are curious. We ask questions and often don’t take things for granted. Scientologists I’ve known are often motivated to volunteer and help their family, friends, church and community do well.
But when it comes to political views for instance there’s as much diversity in our church as any other. The church as an institution does not take political stances. And it certainly doesn’t advocate for a particular party or position. Some of my dearest friends are people I strongly disagree with politically. But the skills we’ve learned in Scientology—communication, the component parts of understanding, respectfully allowing others to have their own unique points of view—give us the tools to focus on our friendship and the things we have in common while respectfully disagreeing on specific issues.
Communication, the universal solvent
Our founder, L. Ron Hubbard, often talks about communication being the universal solvent. I have always found this to be absolutely true. The solution to any problem in any sphere of influence is always more communication, not less. It’s impossible to find common ground or to come to any sort of understanding without real communication taking place.
Finding common ground
At a time when it seems there are so many forces attempting to reduce our ability to communicate with each other, I think it’s more important than ever to make an effort to truly reach out and find something to like about each other. Even if we disagree on important issues…we need to find common ground on which we can agree. It takes hard work and patience and humility. But I also find that once real communication takes place, the “other side” is never remotely as bad as it’s been made out to be. There is no “them.” There’s only “us.” And communication is the key to creating that sense of fellowship that makes life worth living.
The Founder of the Scientology religion is L. Ron Hubbard and Mr. David Miscavige is the religion’s ecclesiastical leader. For more information, visit the Scientology website or the Scientology TV network.