Anyone here a Scientologist?

I want to know more about the people in Scientology, but I absolutely don’t want to join the group nor do I trust the anti-Scientology propaganda. There are lots of Scientologists walking around in their blue outfits where I live but I am afraid if I ask questions they will recruit me. I have done some research on the internet and it appears like a sci-fi self help group, not a religion. Am I wrong?

Do they have commandments like the Bible?

Are there sins, like homosexuality, adultery, greed, malice, etc, etc, the same as other religions?

How do they feel about gay people?

Do Scientologists have a God, per se? Who do you have Faith in?

Do you tithe or just work for the church in place of tithing?

If this thread leads to any other questions I welcome them.

I grew up with Scientologist parents. I never got into it myself but some of it’s effects were impossible to ignore so I know at least a little about it. Most of this is from my personal experience. It’s what I saw as real at the time, not necessarily any official church position. I’ll say up front that I’m biased but I think I earned every bit of it.

I never saw any commandments but people were expected to behave ethically. Committing adultery would be a violation of somebody’s trust, and would be ‘out-ethics’ and frowned upon. Malice is low on the tone scale and something to avoid. I’m not sure about the official position on greed but I’m 100% certain about the church’s practice regarding it, and it’s not in their favor. Drugs are frowned upon as something that negatively impacts your ‘soul’ and your ability to improve yourself. Almost all of this will be overlooked as long as you are paying for courses. They might counsel you, or direct you to take a course related to your issue (which you will pay for) but you’re not going to be kicked out.

No clue on the position regarding gay people.

You can believe in whatever higher power you want. There are Christian Scientologists and Hindu Scientologists and whatever else you can imagine. I think as long as your religion’s tenets don’t violate Scientology’s (or keep you from lining their pockets) they don’t care. If there is a conflict you’re expected to follow Scientology’s position. Even if you don’t, as long as you’re paying them money and not causing problems you’re probably fine, they won’t raise much of a fuss. Cause problems for the church though, they will bring the hammer down on you hard.

If they have an opinion on the ultimate Creator I haven’t heard it. It’s more about improving and understanding yourself.

They do think you have a soul (or are a soul, actually), and that you’ve lived countless lives before, and that the sum of each and every one of your negative experiences in those lives negatively impacts your life today. The idea is to learn of, face, and overcome each of those experiences and eventually you will be ‘clear’ and able to make decisions as you, not as you with tons of emotional baggage influencing your reaction.

No tithes because it’s not a matter of donating. If you want to advance in the church you will pay the course fees and you will pay for your books and equipment or you simply won’t be taught the next level of whatever course you’re on. If you don’t have the money to pay it’s because of a flaw in your character that you need to fix and then you will be more successful and able to advance. While you’re working on fixing your inability to pay them money they will hound you mercilessly without regard for your own wellbeing or your family’s and make you feel like shit because you can’t give them more money. You can work for the church, but they’ll just pay you whatever rate they pay and then try their hardest to convince you to spend most of what you earn on more courses.

I know a common line of thought is that you can hear one person’s story and then another’s side of it, and the truth is somewhere in the middle. With Scientology I think you’re much better off believing the detractors. I don’t know that I’ve seen any negative Scientology story, ever, that didn’t either fit my own experiences with the church or at least seem absolutely plausible. Some of their goals, I think, sound like good things on the surface, but their methods of achieving those goals are just wretched and exist with the sole purpose of keeping people immersed in the culture (and paying!) than to actually help them.

Thank you very much Terraplane. I only hope for the best for you.