Scientology: L. Ron Hubbard and Mental Health Essay

Submitted By keekee0710
Words: 1916
Pages: 8

The purpose of this research paper is to explore Scientology and the many aspects that encompass the religion. This paper will explore some main points such as, how Scientology became a religion, the history behind the founder, Scientology views on mental health, theories, how Scientology became a part of our culture, and why other churches oppose the works of Scientology. Many people still debate whether Scientology is a religion, but it certainly has all the characteristics of one for example, its own set of scriptures, the worldview in which it holds, and the ultimate goal to seek spiritual enlightenment. (Martin, 1997).
To understand how Scientology became a religion you should first understand what Dianetics is, and how it plays a major role. The founder Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was born in Tilden, Nebraska on March 13, 1911 (Martin, 1997). His father was in the U.S Navy; therefore, he got to travel a lot, especially in Asia. He is said to have studied at Princeton, Sequoia, George Washington, and even Columbia University, but contradictory evidence has been collected suggesting otherwise (Martin, 1997). Russel Miller wrote a book called, “Bare-faced Messiah: The true story of L. Ron Hubbard and former Scientologist Bent Corydons’, L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman?” (Martin, 1997). This book suggested that Hubbard attended school in America, and not Asia, that his so called degree from Sequoia University was not recognized, and that he did attend George Washington University; however, was on academic probation (Martin, 1997). His claims of being a nuclear physicist were false; moreover, he even failed his only class on the study (Martin, 1997). Commonly known as L. Ron Hubbard, he became a popularly known science fiction writer in the 1930’s and 1940’s (Martin, 1997). One of his successful science fiction books was called “Battlefield Earth.” (McCall, 2007). L. Ron Hubbard spoke at the Science fiction convention, and was quoted saying, “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous, if a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start a religion.” (Martin, 1997). A year later in 1951 after this interesting quote, he published a book called Dianetics: A Modern Science of Mental Health (McCall, 2007). What does Dianetics mean? It comes from the Greek word Dia, which means through, and the word nous which means soul (McCall, 2007).
Hubbard’s definitions of Dianetics were “A spiritual healing technology” and “an organized science of though.” (McCall, 2007). He wrote Dianetics in three weeks it consisted of 180,000 words, so indeed one would not argue with his talents for writing (Martin, 1997). This book was so popular that it sold over 55,000 copies in the two months following its release, and a whopping 750 Dianetic groups began nationwide as a result (Martin, 1997). A year after the books release there were an estimated 2.5 million followers (Martin, 1997).
Hubbard believed that all individuals are basically good, and that our basic instinct as human beings is to survive. He believed that environmental factors and painful life experiences will result in the failure of mankind (Martin, 1997). Hubbard’s notion was that the human mind is a perfect computing machine which makes no mistakes, error occurs because of a previous trauma experienced (Berger, 1989). When trauma occurs it creates what is known as an engram, and in order to get rid of the engram one must go through Dianetic therapy (Martin, 1997).
Hubbard categorized our minds into three separate channels. The first being the Analytical mind which is said to be like the perfect computer, the Reactive mind which is where all of our trauma and negative experiences are stored, and the Somatic mind works with both to create solutions (Martin, 1997). The solution is to get rid of the engrams in the reactive mind through a the use of an auditor, which performs a specific type of counseling. Once all engrams are removed a person is said