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Maastricht
02-03-2011, 08:56 AM
Do members of Scientology call/consider themselves Christians?

It seems the teachings of Ron Hubbard have nothing in common with either mainstream or fundamentalist Christian belief.
Yet the social structure and ÷utward appearance of schientologists is more mainstream and (at least outwardly) well adjusted then that of some more extreme Christian denomenations.

Anyone know what they themselves say on the subject?

Mr. Excellent
02-03-2011, 09:01 AM
No. Scientologists do not consider themselves to be Christians. They don't believe in the Judeo-Christian God, nor that Jesus was some sort of divine figure. (Whether or not they believe he was an actual historical figure will, I suspect, vary from person to person). The core tenet of Scientology is, as I understand it, that we are all spiritually descended from a race of space aliens who were exiled to Earth and mass-murdered by an evil galactic emperor. One could argue that this isn't entirely inconsistent with Christian theology (it leaves space for a God to have created the evil galactic emperor and space aliens), but I don't believe that any Scientologists advance that argument.

ralph124c
02-03-2011, 09:16 AM
Interesting question. Hubble himself denied that Jesus existed ("there was no man on a cross"), and also contradicted himself when he said that $cientology should "change no man's religion".
Why do they use a cross? I suspect that if you swallow the whole bizarre packge of $cientology, there would be no room for Christianity, or any other religion-because there is no reason. If you are an immortal "thetan", where is there any need for a supreme being?

CalMeacham
02-03-2011, 09:23 AM
Why do they use a cross?

I suspect a big reason is that it makes them look like a traditional Church (they use the cross on their buildings), and thus makes their claim to being a religious organization, rather than a "mental health" organization or a philosophical one, more apparently plausible.

One writer has noted the similarity of the "Scientology cross" , with its trefoils at the ends of each arm and the four "rays" midway between the arms at the vertex, to one drawn by Aleister Crowley for a Tarot he designed, or something. Hubbard was supposed to be a big fan of Crowley's, and had joined his organization at one point.Some claim that he lifted a lot from Crowley's writings, and this would be just one more example. You couldn't exactly say Crowley was Christian, either.



Here's a comparison of the two, side-by-side:
http://www.lermanet.com/scientology-and-occult/


(you have to scroll down a little)






http://www.carolineletkeman.org/propaganda/excalibur.html

http://youthofamerica.org/scientology/Magic.htm

Cyningablod
02-03-2011, 12:53 PM
Interesting question. Hubble himself denied that Jesus existed [...]

Hubbard. Not Hubble, Hubbard.

Unless the famed astronomer had something to do with Scientology, that I'm not aware of. ;)

blindboyard
02-04-2011, 07:06 AM
Scientology, then trading as Dianetics, originally called itself "The New Science of Mental Health", and should be seen as an, admittedly entirely fraudulent, science rather than a religion. The religious cover is just a front for tax purposes, remembering that the "Church" was once found to have been running a covert operation to infiltrate the IRS.

Even on the matter of Crowley, while it's true that Hubbard joined the California branch of Crowley's cult, run by a local rocket scientist, and took part in sex rituals designed to create a soulless being which could become the earthly vehicle for a discarnate entity, he eventually ran off with the rocket scientist's woman and all the money he'd put into their joint venture, perhaps indicating that he was just in it for the money.

Hari Seldon
02-04-2011, 10:54 AM
Scientology, then trading as Dianetics, originally called itself "The New Science of Mental Health", and should be seen as an, admittedly entirely fraudulent, science rather than a religion. The religious cover is just a front for tax purposes, remembering that the "Church" was once found to have been running a covert operation to infiltrate the IRS.

Even on the matter of Crowley, while it's true that Hubbard joined the California branch of Crowley's cult, run by a local rocket scientist, and took part in sex rituals designed to create a soulless being which could become the earthly vehicle for a discarnate entity, he eventually ran off with the rocket scientist's woman and all the money he'd put into their joint venture, perhaps indicating that he was just in it for the money.

I think there is little question he was in it for the money. Several Sci-Fi writers heard him comment before all this happened that if you really want to get rich, you should found a religion.

I read the original Dianetics articles (I think there were two, but maybe more) in Astounding. John Campbell who was a great editor, but ripe for any kind of strange cult, fell for it hook, line, and sinker. What Dianetics was originally, was a kind of therapy to get past the traumas caused by birth and whatever happened in the womb. The idea is that, while you had no conscious memory of these things all memories were stored somewhere and you had to "work through them" to become clear. Very Freudian actually. Then I heard nothing for a long time. Then I heard of Scientology, but I didn't make the connection until I discovered that Hubbard was the founder.

Mahaloth
02-04-2011, 11:15 AM
Not all, but I have head someone say that you could be a Christian and Scientologist.

It was John Travolta. He wasn't saying he was a Christian and Scientologist, but was saying you could be.

I think most reasonably conservative Christian organizations would disagree.

Darth Panda
02-04-2011, 12:15 PM
Jesus was an operating thetan level 8, and his metachlorian count was through the roof.

Barkis is Willin'
02-04-2011, 02:43 PM
I have met one card-carrying Scientologist in my life (yes, he was carrying a card) and he claimed to also be Methodist. He said it was perfectly normal to be some Christian denomination and also practice Scientology. He also denied all of the loony-toon stuff that goes hand in hand with Scientology, which I bet most of them do.

guizot
02-04-2011, 03:26 PM
I have met one card-carrying Scientologist in my life (yes, he was carrying a card) and he claimed to also be Methodist. He said it was perfectly normal to be some Christian denomination and also practice Scientology. He also denied all of the loony-toon stuff that goes hand in hand with Scientology, which I bet most of them do.Did he ever explain to you, then, what value Scientology held for him?

drachillix
02-04-2011, 03:51 PM
The religious cover is just a front for tax purposes, remembering that the "Church" was once found to have been running a covert operation to infiltrate the IRS.

I am no fan of hubbard, but at the same time a non-profit org does not need to be a church, or religious, its just a tax status. All kinds of NPO's support all kinds of wacky and not so wacky ideas and beliefs. the NP status does not make them any more "official" as a church as the IRS has no opionion on beleifs the org promotes, only that its money is handled properly.

An employee of the NPO is taxed just like you and me, so if Hubbard drew a paycheck..he pays accordingly.

Claverhouse
02-04-2011, 03:58 PM
Mr. Hubbard himself appears to have been an atheist.



"The second that you (http://www.ronthenut.org/antichri.htm) can convince somebody of the fact that the universe belongs to somebody else, particularly some unreachable, untouchable, undementable being that he can never come into contest with - and it all belongs to this other being, whether his name is God or Yahweh or Christ or Seven-Come-Eleven (it doesn't matter what this character's name is); whether it belongs to General Motors, or any other item - the second that you've got him really convinced, you've got him gone; he's a slave." --- L.R. Hubbard, "RESTIMULATION OF ENGRAMS, EXPERIENCES" - 26 October 1953



"For those of you whose Christian (http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/p89.htm)toes I may have stepped on, let me take the opportunity to disabuse you of some lovely myths. For instance, the historic Jesus was not nearly the sainted figure [he] has been made out to be. In addition to being a lover of young boys and men, he was given to uncontrollable bursts of temper and hatred that belied the general message of love, understanding and other typical Marcab PR. You have only to look at the history his teachings inspired to see where it all inevitably leads. It Is historic fact and yet man still clings to the ideal. So deep and insidious is the biologic implanting."



Although he also believed he was an incarnation of Buddha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Buddha_claimants) --- buddhism is by no means incompatible with atheism.

BigT
02-05-2011, 12:39 AM
I have met one card-carrying Scientologist in my life (yes, he was carrying a card) and he claimed to also be Methodist. He said it was perfectly normal to be some Christian denomination and also practice Scientology. He also denied all of the loony-toon stuff that goes hand in hand with Scientology, which I bet most of them do.

It is my understanding that the craziest stuff is not revealed until you are higher up in the organization. And also that it's not required that you believe all of it.

I could see it being possible to stick with Christian truths, while believing in the pseudoscience part of Scientology. I know quite a few Episcopagans (i.e. people who embrace pagan or Wicca as well as Christianity).