September 14, 2012

The Mystery of Scientology: Fascinating Facts Friday

There's no rhyme or reason to my inspiration for Fascinating Facts Friday posts. Actually, I shouldn't say that. Most often, I pick my Friday posts based on a subject that comes up that I don't know much about. Curiosity sends me to the Internet and the interesting things I find end up in a FF post.
Over the last several weeks, the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes split has been celebrity magazine news. More interesting to me, all the information leaking out about Cruise's elusive Scientology leanings. I have to admit I know little to nothing about the "religion."
So off to the Internet I went.
Fascinating Facts about Scientology
L. Ron Hubbard
Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, an American Pulp Fiction author.
According to Wikipedia: After establishing a career as a writer, becoming best known for his science fiction and fantasy stories, he developed a self-help system called Dianetics which was first published in May 1950. He subsequently developed his ideas into a wide-ranging set of doctrines and rituals as part of a new religious movement that he called Scientology.
Scientology teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature.
"In the primordial past, thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure. The universe has no independent reality, but derives its apparent reality from the fact that most thetans agree it exists. Thetans fell from grace when they began to identify with their creation, rather than their original state of spiritual purity. Eventually they lost their memory of their true nature, along with the associated spiritual and creative powers. As a result, thetans came to think of themselves as nothing but embodied beings." (Source)
Note: I was going to put this into my own words, but quite frankly I wasn't sure I could.
A creature from another planet, Xenu, features prominently.
"Xenu, also spelled Xemu, was, according to the founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of his people to Earth in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm." (Source)
"The thetans who were captured and exploded on Earth are the origin of body thetans. Each human has his or her own thetan, which Scientologists purify through auditing until the practitioner reaches a state of Clear. While a Clear's own thetan is now free of destructive engrams, his physical form is still inhabited by body thetans: clusters of these ancient, executed thetans." (Source)
Note: Again, I would have attempted to put this into my own words, but I found the task near to impossible. It's a bit out there, if I may say so.
Formally recognized as a religion in 1993.
The US granted full tax-exempt status to the church in December 1993. In 2007, the church claimed 3.5 million members in the US. But in 2008, the American Religious Identification Survey found that the number dropped to 25,000. (Source)
But, this quote from L. Ron Hubbard (LA Times, 1978), is what I found most fascinating...
"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion."

My husband joked that I shouldn't publish this post because it would ruin my chances of working in Hollywood. I'll take my chances. If I manage to land a movie deal one of these days, you'll all support me and swear you never saw this post, right? (Since I'll promptly delete it!)
Actually, if you think about it, writers everywhere should rejoice. If L. Ron Hubbard can write science fiction so well that it becomes a religion, it shows the power of the pen. Now, if I can just start my own mother-daughter revolution, Depression Cookies will fly off the shelves.
What author can you imagine spearheading the next religious movement?


Unknown said...

OK, I am probably going to shoot myself in the foot here, too, but this actually explained why I could never make it through the book - the entities surrounding me would put me to sleep after 3 or 4 pages... I am doomed to be forever unclear...

Jo Michaels said...

Stephen King. LOL! I could see him starting a revolution of new religion. Probably scare the crap out of all his members, but it would be fun :)

Great post! WRITE ON!

Tia Bach said...

Sandi & Jo. Interesting stuff, isn't it? I might have to do Mormon facts next, since I just read The 19th Wife.

Stephen King is so going to start a religion. He already has the cult following to do it. ;-) Great point, Jo.