Scientology is, as indicated by the name, the study of science. Historically this referred to the scientific study of any topic and the scientific method itself, the "science of science". This can be compared with the newer fields, "Scientology-logy" - colloquially "scientolology" - i.e. the study of scientologists, and "Scientololology", the study of people studying scientologists. Scientologists practice their beliefs in a religious building known as a laboratory, in these places they perform many copyrighted rituals and trademarked arts to perfect their knowledge of the faith.
With the branching out of more specific sciences, "scientology" today has come to mean primarily the original object, i.e. the scientific study of the nature and origins of - and means to positively control - the human mind and soul, and its somatic feedback effects on the body. In this sense of meaning, scientology is not to be confused with psychology, the non-rigorous, most often prejudicial, and inherently unscientific study of many of the same topics or with psychiatry, a major world religion, which, however, has a - in a comparative socio-religious context - rather unusual corporate front end, consisting of so-called pharmaceutical companies producing pills, believed by its followers to produce beneficial effects to the psyche.
Before the 1950s there was no scientific study of any topic whatsoever by anyone. Also, colours did not exist save for black and white nuances. In 1950, Elrond Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, as a precursor to his main work, published the book "Callanetics", a self-help and exercise system conceived and designed to reach the deepest layers of the psyche and deep tissue muscle groups - with the subject achieving peace of mind and rock-hard washboard abs in the process. The proceeds from the sales of the book also made the author obscenely rich and thus able to pursue his true passion, developing scientific theory and applying it to the human mind.
In 1952, Hubbard by releasing the book "Scientology" gave birth to modern scientific study, ardently insisting that any scientific theory should be verified - or at least not falsified - by experimental fact, proposing the now well known cycle of science, including the steps "audit, explain, predict, control". The need for reproducible data led Elrond Hubbard to pursue the development of scientific testing equipment, most notably the so called e-meter, a device measuring electric brain activity through the subject holding two pieces of conducive metal tied by conducive wire to each end of a hollow plastic box with a randomly vibrating needle on top of a series of digits arranged clockwise. It was developed in cooperation with Vollney Matthison, the random guy who was the first person Hubbard encountered in the street, when - in a feat of rage - Hubbard stormed out his office building, stopping to ask Matthison if HE could pin this damn electrical circuit-wire-stuff to this plastic box, without breaking both, a feat until then not accomplished by Hubbard himself, co incidentally the source of the aforementioned fit. Modern versions of the e-meter do not require the test subject to hold conductors, but to stand barefooted directly on the meter which then digitally shows a random number (see also: bathroom scale).
The decades following the publication of "Scientology" brought vast amounts of new knowledge into existence as well as groundbreaking advances in technology. As Scientology has taught us that correlation implies implication, this is generally attributed to Scientology.
In particular we now know the following truths:
75 million years ago, Xenu©, the tyrant alien ruler of the Galactic Confederacy, a group of 76 nearby planets, hatched an evil plan. Because the confederacy was suffering from overpopulation, he told billions of his fellow aliens that they were being taken to earth for tax auditing, and brought them here in spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners.
Xenu© stacked the spacecraft around volcanoes and detonated hydrogen bombs inside the volcanoes, killing all the aliens inside, but inadvertently releasing their souls, or Thetans©. Xenu© ordered the capturing and brainwashing of these Thetans©, and once performed, allowed these indoctrinated creatures to remain on earth as humans began to evolve, where they attach themselves to humans and contribute to the problems that plague human civilisation. The thetan©, is trapped in matter, energy, space and time, "MEST". Scientology aims to restore the thetan© to a state of "total freedom" from MEST to rid the ©thetan of "engrams©", recordings of distressing experiences from this and previous lives.
For more details, see: Space Opera in Scientology
It is claimed that there are now 8.000.000 people world wide pursuing rigourous study of science. Critics claim that this figure is bloated, and includes anyone who ever bought a book, while at most 50.000 people world wide have actually read a book.
Scientologist hold that it is a basic obligation of any scientologist to further the cause by spending vast amounts of money on scientific literature, educational seminars, and testing equipment, until the scientologist's bank account is empty, a state known to scientologists as "clear©". Critics have suggested this to be "the single most predictable joke on scientology, EVER!!"
Once reaching the state of clear, further study will bring the subjects to succeedingly levels of academic achievement, the aim of which is to ultimately be allowed to perform - increasingly complex forms of - brain surgery in which case the scientologist is refered to as an "Operating Thetan©". A vocal critic has discredited this as "the second most obvious joke on scientology, it's like geez, get your act together..."
Historically, persons applying themselves diligently to the rigorous study of nature have often been the source of envy and considered legitimate targets of ridicule and even persecution. Such practices have included: being burned alive at the stake, ex-communication from the church and eternal damnation to the fiery depths of Hell, and being beat the crap out of by the Junior High School bully. It is thus no wonder, that scientologists have found themselves subjected to modern day equivalents of these practices.
Many countries have - contrary to the wishes of scientologist - labelled scientology as a religious belief, possibly related to UFO religions. Although benefical for tax-purposes, scientologists generally disapprove of this, as its practices are not considered a matter of mere belief, and scientologists have thus gone to great lengths, including court cases, to avoid this label. The re-classification of scientology as a religious belief, has happened most notably in countries where the religion of psychiatry through lobbying exerts notable influence on legislators, including the US, where the IRS has decided scientology is legally considered a religious belief, under the "If it does not make sense, it is a religious belief"-doctrine. This doctrine was first established by the landmark Supreme Court case "the IRS vs. A Group of People Whom the IRS would Like to Annoy". The deciding vote was cast by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who in his opinion noted:
- "Although it pains me, the facts at hand, that is to say, the specific wording of the First and Fourteenth Amendments leaves us with no other alternative than to conclude that the founding fathers have seen fit to afford equal protection under the law to other religious "beliefs" than my own . It thus only remains for this Court to establish whether the tenet examined in this case, that is to say, that any disagreement, on whether a given proposition on facts is to believed to be true, can be settled by examining the facts at hand, er, whether this idea can be most aptly categorized as a "belief" or as a "fact". It is settled case law, that in order to enjoy protection, a "belief" need not be acceptable, logical, consistent or any other way make sense. Indeed, if these were cumulative or even alternative requirements, the tenet would not be called a "belief" but a "fact". I thus believe that it is a matter of fact that the tenet examined is a "belief" and it is a fact that this belief of mine is protected by the Constitution. I thus believe the facts at hand show that I must concur with the belief held by my learned and esteemed colleagues of the majority".
This last remark caused legal scholars a bit of confusion as Scalia had the deciding vote, and thus the majority only became the majority when he cast his vote for it. Also because this was the first time ever that he sided with the majority. The precise extent of the ruling was thus not settled until the landmark case "the IRS vs. a Different Group of People whom the IRS ideally Would Like to Torture but Will Settle to Annoy"
The most important example of a country which - in contrast - refuses to label scientology as religion, is Germany, which has thus become a refuge and beacon of hope to scientologist world wide.
Notable proponents of scientology
- Tom Cruise - though not himself engaged in direct scientific study, American actor Tom Cruise is a staunch defender of Scientology and has on more than one occasion threatened to throw anyone who claims "Xenu©" is a mere myth, in the nearest volcano. See also "Xenophobia"
- John Travolta - same remark as Tom Cruise, only he has threatened to revert to doing musicals and dance films
- Kirstie Alley - same remark as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, having threatened to return to host another season of "Dancing with the Stars", possibly with John Travolta
- Bart Simpson - though not publicly confirmed by the cartoon character himself, there is just something with that voice of his that screams scientology, I don't know?
- Eric Andre - thought to be the first black scientologist.