Scientologists have practiced their religion in Britain since the early 1950s. Almost half a century later, with the Church of Scientology and individual parishioners playing vital roles in many aspects of society and the religious community, we are often asked, “What is Scientology?”
As part of a broad public information effort to respond to this interest, we published the 800-page What Is Scientology?, the most comprehensive and authoritative text on the subject ever compiled.
What is Scientology? is available at most public libraries, and can also be viewed on the World Wide Web at http://www.scientology.org. The book is also for sale in hard- and soft-cover editions, and complimentary copies are available to religious leaders, government officials and members of the news media by writing to the address on the back page of this edition of Freedom.
We are also including chapters from the book as a series of articles in Freedom. The extract below is taken from Chapter 4 of What is Scientology?
|Scientology religious services include naming ceremonies for the newborn, weddings, funerals and Sunday services. The Scientology religion contains much wisdom that when applied creates stable and happy marriages and family life.|
cientology is a twentieth century religion. It comprises a vast body of knowledge extending from certain fundamental truths, and prime among those truths: Man is a spiritual being endowed with abilities well beyond those which he normally envisages. He is not only able to solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness, but also to achieve new states of awareness he may never have dreamed possible.
In one form or another, all great religions have held the hope of spiritual freedom — a condition free of material limitations and misery. The question has always been, however, how does one reach such a state, particularly while still living amidst a frantic and often overwhelming society?
Although modern life seems to pose an infinitely complex array of problems, Scientology maintains that the solutions to those problems are basically simple and within every man’s reach. Difficulties with communication and interpersonal relationships, nagging insecurities, self-doubt and despair — each man innately possesses the potential to be free of these and many other concerns.
Scientology offers a pathway to greater freedom. While the hope for such freedom is ancient, what Scientology is doing is new. The way it is organised is new. The technologies with which it can bring about a new state of being in man are likewise new.
Because Scientology addresses man as a spiritual being, it stands completely apart from other philosophies which see man as a product of his environment or his genes fixed in the limitations under which he was born.
Rather, Scientology is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life. Based upon the tradition of fifty thousand years of thinking men, it is built upon the fundamental truths of life. From these principles, exact methods by which one can improve conditions were derived; and unlike other efforts of improvement, which offered only rules by which men should live, Scientology offers real tools for use in everyday life. Thus, it does not depend upon a system of beliefs or faith. The emphasis is squarely on an exact application of its principles toward the improvement of one’s life and the world in which we live.