Image: via Bookshelf Battle
Image: via Bookshelf Battle
The original Church of Scientology was only formed as recently as 1954. Just over 60 years later, though, there are more than 10,000 Scientology-associated groups that preach the Church’s teachings throughout 165 nations. It’s safe to say, then, that there’s more to the religion than a handful of celebrity believers. And while a good number of people know that sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard advanced Scientology through his book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, perhaps the following 20 facts will prove more revealing, not to mention enlightening.
20. Lord Xenu sent aliens to Earth 75 million years ago
The 2015 documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief claimed that Scientologists teach that galactic ruler Lord Xenu helped first populate Earth. 75 million years ago, it’s said, Xenu thought that his realms were too crowded and so froze some of their inhabitants. Those individuals were then sent to our own planet.
Image: G.E. Ulrich
19. Humans are actually alien souls trapped in human bodies
Once here, it is posited in the documentary, the frozen forms were tipped into Hawaiian volcanoes to perish. Their escaping alien-souls, however, were captured and “cleansed” on Earth, and when the souls were finally set free they found new hosts in humans. It’s worth noting, though, that the official Scientology website states, “Scientology holds no such belief.”
Image: Roger W
18. Xenu’s alien nations looked very like 1950s Earth
L. Ron Hubbard described the style of the civilizations over which Xenu ruled all that time ago as being curiously similar to that of Earth in the mid 20th century. What’s more, Xenu supposedly banished his people to Earth in spaceships that looked like modified Douglas DC-8 airplanes.
Image: via Twitter/Mandalas Tejidos
17. Our souls control our bodies
In Scientology the soul, or more specifically “the spiritual being that is the basic self,” is called a thetan. Thetans, it has been said, are trillions of years old and are the source of bodily movement and communication, rather than any biological matter like the central nervous system.
16. Scientologists may have healing powers
Hubbard maintained that he cured his own World War II injuries through the techniques described in Dianetics. In 2011, though, The New Yorker reported that Hubbard’s military record “contains no mention of [him] being wounded in battle.”
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15. The highest level of Scientology is the Sea Org
The Sea Organization came to be in 1967, and it originally functioned “from a number of ships.” It is “composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists,” who live and work together to further the mission of the Church. They also still wear “maritime-style uniforms” despite mostly operating from land.
14. The Sea Org logo is based on Xenu’s Confederacy
The Sea Org’s militaristic emblem – a five-point star between two branches – is said to represent Xenu’s Galactic Confederacy of 75 million years ago. Furthermore, the organization’s motto of “revenimus” means “we come back.”
13. Sea Org members commit for a billion years
Scientologists who enter the Sea Org must sign a contract pledging themselves to the organization for one billion years. The Church states, however, that this “is a symbolic document” that merely represents “their eternal commitment to the religion.”
12. Death is not the end of membership to the Sea Org
It’s said, though, that Scientologists are indeed required to see through their billion-year commitment. In her 2015 book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini wrote, “In accordance with Scientology beliefs, members are expected to return to the Sea Org when they are reborn over time in multiple lives.”
11. L. Ron Hubbard apparently believed that our souls go to Venus
In 1990 the Los Angeles Times’ story on Scientology called “Defining the Theology” stated that Hubbard believed a person’s thetan goes to Venus after death. There it is “capsuled,” and you have to find your own way out and back to another body.
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10. Scientology has a policy of “disconnection”
In 2009 filmmaker Paul Haggis left Scientology and wrote an open letter to a high-ranking member. In it, he discussed the Church’s “policy of disconnection,” stating that his wife “was ordered to disconnect from her parents” and, as a result, “did not speak” to her mom or dad for 18 months.
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9. Breaking the rules means hard labor
Anyone who fails to live up to expectations of the Church, it’s suggested, faces the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF). Leah Remini wrote that people in the RPF “wear black, are required to run everywhere… and perform the most demeaning and arduous manual labor tasks with no days off.”
8. Sea Org members can’t have children
The official Scientology website states that men and women can only have children “outside the Sea Organization.” This is because in 1986 it was determined that “the duties” of a member of the Sea Organization are “not compatible with raising children.”
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7. Kids aren’t exempt from the labor force, either
In her 2013 memoir Beyond Belief Jenna Miscavige Hill, whose uncle David Miscavige is the current head of the Church of Scientology, said that she joined Sea Org at age seven. She wrote, “A Sea Org member was required to be on duty 14 hours a day, seven days a week, with a break for an hour of ‘family time.’”
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6. Members first need to be “audited”
Scientology teaches that “auditing provides a precise route by which individuals may travel to higher states of spiritual awareness.” Through this process, it’s said, followers can gain spiritual freedom from the negative effects caused by painful past events and traumatic incidents – but this does come at a financial price.
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5. Scientologists hand over their life history
Miscavige Hill also wrote that as a teenager she was asked to “detail every single sexual experience, including masturbating, that [she’d] ever had” as well as all kinds of other private information. She felt that the Church was “asking for material they might blackmail me with.”
4. Scientologists advance to the status of “Operating Thetan”
To achieve the spiritual awareness that Scientology promotes, participants must work through various levels – at fiscal expense – to become an Operating Thetan, which is defined as a “spiritual state above the Clear.” The teachings of each level are only revealed as previous levels are completed.
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3. The teachings of Scientology are future-proofed
In 2005 The Washington Post reported that the works of L. Ron Hubbard were being etched onto stainless steel and buried in a site “built into a mountainside” in New Mexico. The site is marked with a logo to help future souls identify it.
2. There are more than 15,000 pages of Scientology writings
The arrangement and evolution of Scientology was created across in excess of 15,000 pages of documents and over 3,000 recorded talks. This denotes all of Hubbard’s research, and, according to the Church, “its truths are self-evident.”
Image: Hubble Heritage
1. The Marcab Confederacy lives around the Big Dipper
Hubbard apparently believed that the Marcab Confederacy is a formidable alien society that – much like Xenu’s civilizations – looks almost exactly like contemporary America. Its principal city is also thought to be located somewhere among the Big Dipper.