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Background and Basic Principles


The word Scientology, conceived by L. Ron Hubbard, comes from the Latin scio which means "knowing, in the fullest meaning of the word" and the Greek word logos which means "study of. "It means knowing how to know. Scientology is further defined as "the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life."


Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one's true spiritual nature and one's relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being.

Scientology addresses the spirit-not the body or mind-and believes that Man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.

Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these are:

Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to accept anything on faith alone. On the contrary, one discovers for oneself that the principles of Scientology are true by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results.

The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom.


L. Ron Hubbard began his studies of the mind and spirit in 1923, resulting in a manuscript entitled "Excalibur" in 1938. It was in this unpublished work that the word Scientology first appeared to describe what Mr. Hubbard termed "the study of knowing how to know." He decided against publishing the book for the fact, "'Excalibur' did not contain any therapy of any kind but was simply a discussion of the composition of life." Consequently, "I decided to go further."

That "going further" resulted in Dianetics, a subject which was introduced into the much broader field of Scientology to provide an actual "therapy" easily applied by the man in the street. Thus, in 1947, he wrote a manuscript detailing the core discoveries of Dianetics. Although not published at the time, the manuscript was circulated among friends and colleagues, who copied it and passed it on to others. (This work was eventually published in 1951 as Dianetics: The Original Thesis.)

As copies of the manuscript continued circulating, Mr. Hubbard began receiving a flood of letters requesting further information. Indeed, he soon found himself spending all his time answering letters and decided to write a comprehensive text on the subject-Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

Published on May 9th, 1950, it sparked a storm of popular enthusiasm, and immediately hit the New York Times bestseller list where it remained for 28 consecutive weeks. As such, it was the biggest selling book on the mind ever written, and remains so today. Contained within was the discovery of the reactive mind-the hidden source of nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets and insecurity.

Yet L. Ron Hubbard never considered Dianetics an end to his research but, rather, a steppingstone to the discovery and isolation of a long-illusive life source. And indeed, the techniques of Dianetics provided the means by which practitioners soon began discovering past lives. Pressing application and research even further came the accomplishment of what is known as exteriorization-demonstrating the spirit was indeed separable from the body and mind: The Scientology religion was born.

Thereafter, L. Ron Hubbard delved ever deeper into the spiritual nature of Man, documenting his discoveries in thousands of recorded lectures, films, articles and books. While to present those discoveries, he literally circumnavigated the globe and so Churches of Scientology opened on four continents-headquartered at his long-term residence in southern England.

Through ensuing years, L. Ron Hubbard continued advancing the subject until his passing in 1986.

His legacy comprises tens of millions of published words, recorded lectures and films, while with over 250 million copies of his books and lectures in circulation, he has inspired a movement spanning all continents and all cultures.


Although Dianetics and Scientology were founded by L. Ron Hubbard, and all the scriptures are solely comprised of his writings and recorded lectures, he nonetheless wrote:

"Acknowledgment is made to fifty thousand years of thinking men without whose speculations and observations the creation and construction of Dianetics would not have been possible. Credit in particular is due to: Anaxagoras, Thomas Paine, Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, Socrates, Rene Descartes, Plato, James Clerk Maxwell, Euclid, Charcot, Lucretius, Herbert Spencer, Roger Bacon, William James, Francis Bacon, Sigmund Freud, Isaac Newton, van Leeuwenhoek, Cmdr Thompson (MC) USN, Voltaire, William A. White, Will Durant, Count Alfred Korzybski and my instructors in atomic and molecular phenomena, mathematics and the humanities at George Washington University and at Princeton."


Fundamental to Scientology is a view of Man as a spiritual being. In Scientology, the spiritual being is called the thetan. The term is taken from the Greek letter theta for "thought" or "life" or "the spirit." It is used to avoid confusion with previous concepts of the soul. The thetan is immortal and has lived-and will continue to live-through countless lifetimes. One is a thetan who has a mind and who occupies a body. The thetan animates the body and uses the mind.

Also fundamental to Scientology is a view of life as compartmentalized into urges (drives, impulses) toward survival. These are called the dynamics and number eight in all. The First Dynamic-is the urge toward existence as one's self. Here we have individuality expressed fully. This can be called the Self Dynamic.

The Second Dynamic-is the urge toward existence as a sexual activity. This dynamic actually has two divisions. Second Dynamic (a) is the sexual act itself. And the Second Dynamic (b) is the family unit, including the rearing of children. This can be called the Sex Dynamic.

The Third Dynamic-is the urge toward existence in groups of individuals. Any group, or part of an entire class, could be considered to be a part of the Third Dynamic. The school, the society, the town, the nation are each part of the Third Dynamic and each one is a Third Dynamic. This can be called the Group Dynamic. The Fourth Dynamic-is the urge toward existence as or of Mankind. Whereas one race would be considered a Third Dynamic, all the races would be considered the Fourth Dynamic. This can be called the Mankind Dynamic.

The Fifth Dynamic-is the urge toward existence of the animal kingdom. This includes all living things, whether vegetable or animal, the fish in the sea, the beasts of the field or of the forest, grass, trees, flowers or anything directly and intimately motivated by life. This can be called the Animal Dynamic.

The Sixth Dynamic-is the urge toward existence as the physical universe. The physical universe is composed of Matter, Energy, Space and Time. In Scientology we take the first letter of each of these words and coin a word-MEST. This can be called the Universe Dynamic.

The Seventh Dynamic-is the urge toward existence as or of spirits. Anything spiritual, with or without identity, would come under the heading of the Seventh Dynamic. This can be called the Spiritual Dynamic.

The Eighth Dynamic-is the urge toward existence as infinity. This is also identified as the Supreme Being. This is called the Eighth Dynamic because the symbol of infinity, 8, stood upright makes the numeral 8. This can be called the Infinity or God Dynamic. Scientologists usually call these by number.

A further manifestation of these dynamics is that they could best be represented as a series of concentric circles, wherein the First Dynamic would be the center and each new dynamic would be successively a circle outside it. The idea of space expanding enters into these dynamics.

The basic characteristic of the individual includes his ability to so expand into the other dynamics. But when the Seventh Dynamic is reached in its entirety, one will only then discover the true Eighth Dynamic.

As an example of use of these dynamics, one discovers that a baby at birth is not perceptive beyond the First Dynamic. But as the child grows and interests extend, the child can be seen to embrace other dynamics.

As a further example of use, a person who is incapable of operating on the Third Dynamic is incapable at once of being a part of a team and so might be said to be incapable of a social existence.

As a further comment upon the Eight Dynamics, no one of these dynamics from one to seven is more important than any other one of them in terms of orienting the individual. While the dynamics are not of equal importance, one to the next, the ability of an individual to assume the beingness, doingness and havingness of each dynamic is an index to his ability to live.

The abilities and shortcomings of individuals can be understood by viewing their participation in the various dynamics.


Scientology certainly meets all three criteria generally used by religious scholars around the world to determine religiosity: (1) a belief in some Ultimate Reality, such as the Supreme or eternal truth that transcends the here and now of the secular world; (2) religious practices directed toward understanding, attaining or communing with this Ultimate Reality; and (3) a community of believers who join together in pursuing this Ultimate Reality.

The Scientology view of an Ultimate Reality transcending the material world includes its concepts of the thetan and the dynamics which include the spiritual world (the Seventh Dynamic) and the Supreme Being (the Eighth Dynamic). The second element can be found in Scientology life-rite ceremonies such as naming, marriage and funeral services, but predominantly in the religious services of auditing and training through which Scientologists increase their spiritual awareness and attain an understanding of both the spiritual world and, ultimately, the Supreme Being. As to the third element, a very vital community of believers can be found at any Church of Scientology at almost any time of the day.

Scientology is thus a religion in the most traditional sense of the term. Scientology helps Man become more aware of his own spiritual nature and that of those around him, and, hence, more aware of God.

Scientology carries forward a religious tradition extending ten thousand years and embraces truths found in the oldest sacred texts of the Hindu Veda and the wisdom of Buddhism.

Scientology holds in common with all great religions the dream of peace on Earth and salvation for Man. What is new about Scientology is that it offers a precise path for bringing about spiritual improvement in the here and now and a way to accomplish it with absolute certainty.


The word church comes from the Greek word kyrios meaning "lord" and the Indo-European base kewe, "to be strong." Current meanings of the word include "a congregation," "ecclesiastical power as distinguished from the secular" and "the clerical profession; clergy."

The word church is not only used by Christian organizations. There were churches ten thousand years before there were Christians, and Christianity itself was a revolt against the established church. In modern usage, people speak of the Buddhist or Muslim church, referring in general to the whole body of believers in a particular religious teaching. A church is a community of believers who hold in common a system of sanctified beliefs and religious practices by which they strive to overcome the ultimate problems of life.

In the 1950s, Scientologists recognized that L. Ron Hubbard's technology and its results dealt directly with the freeing of the human spirit, and that greater spiritual awareness was routinely being achieved. There was no question in their minds that they were engaged in a religious practice. Thus, in the early 1950s, they resolved that a church be formed to better serve their spiritual needs. The first Church of Scientology was then incorporated in 1954.

Thus, Scientology is a religion and the use of the word church when referring to Scientology is correct.


Yes. The written and recorded spoken words of L. Ron Hubbard on the subject of Scientology collectively constitute the scripture of the religion. He set forth the Scientology theology and technologies in tens of millions of words, including hundreds of books, scores of films and more than 3,000 recorded lectures.


It is an eight-pointed cross representing the eight parts, or dynamics, of life through which each individual is striving to survive. These parts are: the urge toward existence as self, as an individual; the urge to survive through creativity, including the family unit and the rearing of children; the urge to survive through a group of individuals or as a group; the urge toward survival through all Mankind and as all Mankind; the urge to survive as life forms and with the help of life forms such as animals, birds, insects, fish and vegetation; the urge to survive of the physical universe, by the physical universe itself and with the help of the physical universe and each one of its component parts; the urge to survive as spiritual beings or the urge for life itself to survive; the urge toward existence as infinity, also identified as the Supreme Being. To be able to live in harmony with respect to each of these spheres of existence is symbolized by the Scientology cross.

As a matter of interest, the cross as a symbol predates Christianity.


The "S" stands for Scientology.

The lower triangle is called the A-R-C Triangle (pronounced by the letters A, R, C); A for Affinity, R for Reality and C for Communication. The first corner of the triangle is affinity, which is the degree of liking or affection for someone or something. Reality is the second corner and is, fundamentally, agreement. The third corner is communication, defined as the interchange of ideas between two people. All three of these are interrelated. Without a degree of liking and some basis of agreement, there is no communication. Without communication and some basis for affinity, or emotional response, there can be no reality. Without some basis for agreement and communication, there can be no affinity. And when one corner of this triangle is improved, the other two corners are likewise improved. These three interdependent factors combined add up to Understanding and are expressed as a triangle. ARC is a fundamental principle of the Scientology religion. The upper triangle is the K-R-C Triangle (pronounced by the letters K, R, C); K for Knowledge, R for Responsibility and C for Control. Like the points of the A-R-C Triangle, these three elements are interrelated. When one corner of the KRC Triangle is raised, the other two also rise.


L. Ron Hubbard discovered the single source of nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets, insecurities and psychosomatic illness-the reactive mind. In his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health he described the reactive mind in detail and laid out a simple, practical, easily taught technology to overcome it and reach the state of Clear. Dianetics is that technology.

The word Dianetics is derived from the Greek dia, meaning "through," and nous, "mind or soul." Dianetics is further defined as "what the soul is doing to the body." When the mind adversely affects the body, it is described as a psychosomatic condition. Psycho refers to "mind or soul" and somatic refers to "body." Thus, psychosomatic illnesses are physical illnesses caused by the soul.


The mind is basically a communication and control system between the thetan-the spiritual being that is the person himself-and his environment. It is composed of mental image pictures which are recordings of past experiences.

The individual uses his mind to pose and solve problems related to survival and to direct his efforts according to these solutions.

The mind is made up of two parts-the analytical mind and the reactive mind. The analytical mind is the rational, conscious, aware mind which thinks, observes data, remembers it and resolves problems.

The reactive mind is the portion of a person's mind which works on a totally stimulus-response basis. It is not under volitional control, and exerts force and the power of command over awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and actions.


In Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, L. Ron Hubbard writes: "The source of aberration has been found to be a hitherto unsuspected sub-mind which, complete with its own recordings, underlies what Man understands to be his 'conscious' mind. The concept of the unconscious mind is replaced in Dianetics by the discovery that the 'unconscious' mind is the only mind which is always conscious. In Dianetics this sub-mind is called the reactive mind."

The reactive mind does not store memories as we know them. It stores particular types of mental image pictures called engrams. Engrams are a complete recording, down to the last accurate detail, of every perception present in a moment of partial or full "unconsciousness."

"Unconsciousness" could be caused by the shock of an accident, anesthetic used for an operation, the pain of an injury or the delirium of illness. During these times, the analytical mind shuts down in full or in part and the reactive mind cuts in, in full or in part. An engram exists below the individual's awareness level yet it can be activated so as to enforce its content and can cause unevaluated, unknowing and unwanted fears, emotions, pains and psychosomatic illnesses.

In Dianetics procedure, the individual recounts an incident of "unconsciousness" from beginning to end until the engram is reduced, which means all the charge or pain is taken out of an incident, or erased, which means the incident has vanished forever. In either case, the individual is free of the aberrative effect of the incident and can experience enormous relief and a rise in emotional tone.

That is the miracle of Dianetics.


Dianetics comes from the Greek dia meaning "through" and nous, "mind or soul." Dianetics is further defined as "what the soul is doing to the body."

Dianetics uncovers the source of unreasonable fears, upsets and insecurities, unexplainable pains, sensations and emotions (psychosomatic illnesses) and sets forth effective handlings for these conditions.

By use of the procedures of Dianetics it became apparent that the source of these conditions were not cells or cellular memory, but a beingness that defied time. The discovery of past lives was followed by the phenomena of exteriorization-the detachment of one's spirit from the body while yet fully conscious and aware. With this discovery-and the inescapable conclusion that one is a spiritual being-the Scientology religion was born.

Scientology is defined as "the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, to universes and to other life." Through the practice of Scientology one can increase his spiritual awareness and ability and realize his own immortality.

Dianetics, though it might not have guessed it in its early publication, was dealing with the human spirit. Dianetics is a forerunner and substudy of Scientology.


Many higher states of existence are available to Man, and these are attainable through Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard provided a precise delineation of these states, and then clarified how they could be attained by arranging them on a chart which graphically showed each step of the route upward.

The chart that shows the gradations to spiritual betterment is called the Classification, Gradation and Awareness Chart. Classification refers to training in Scientology and the fact that certain actions are required, or skills attained before an individual is classified as an auditor at any particular level and allowed onto the next class. Gradation refers to the gradual improvement spiritually that occurs in Scientology auditing.

Man, in his religious tradition, has long imagined a bridge across the chasm between where one is now and a higher plateau of existence. Unfortunately, many of those attempting to cross the chasm fell into the abyss.

Employing this metaphor, the Classification, Gradation and Awareness Chart represents, in fact, the bridge which spans the chasm and brings one to the higher plateau. This is the vision Man has cherished for at least ten thousand years, and it is now attainable by following the steps as laid out on the chart.

The chart is a guide for the individual from their first awareness of Scientology to each higher state. Man has never before had such a map. It is the Bridge to Total Freedom. It is the route. It is exact and has a standard progression. One walks it and one becomes free.

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