the _alf blog

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Interview with a Scientologist: What's this I hear about Scientology and reincarnation, or "past lives"?

Interviewer: What's this I hear about Scientology and reincarnation, or "past lives"?

Scientologist: Reincarnation is a definite system that is not part of Scientology.

But, it is a fact, proven conclusively in countless thousands of cases, that unless one begins to handle aberrations built up in past lives, he doesn’t progress.

The common definition of reincarnation has been altered from its original meaning. The word has come to mean “to be born again in different life forms” whereas its actual definition is “to be born again into the flesh of another body.” Scientology ascribes to this latter, original definition of reincarnation. That is to say, yes, one has lived many previous lives, and will live again.

Today in Scientology, many people have certainty that they have lived lives prior to their current one. These are referred to as past lives, not reincarnation. Past lives is not a dogma in Scientology, but generally Scientologists, during their auditing, experience a past life and then know for themselves that they have lived before. Afterall, there is really no better conviction than you recalling something from your own memory.

Interviewer: So you're saying that Scientologists, in the course of their auditing, are able to recall experiences from before this life.

Scientologist: It definitely does happen. That's not to say that all auditing deals with is past lives - not by far. But, as I'm sure you can understand, if you spend a good amount of time recalling things as part of Scientology auditing, using exact procedures that were developed and tested and proven time and time again - if there were such a thing as past lives, and they could be remembered, sooner or later you'd run into it. Well, that's exactly what happens.

Also, to believe one had a physical or other existence prior to the identity of the current body is not a new concept. There are many religions that believe this. Moreover, it's actually quite an exciting concept.

In Scientology, one is given the tools to handle the upsets and aberrations from past lives that adversely affect one in present time, thus freeing one to live a much happier life.

Interview with a Scientologist: I've heard of something called the "dynamics" - what's that all about?

Interviewer: I've heard of something called the "dynamics" - what's that all about?

Scientologist: It's pretty simple, really. Every individual has an urge and determination to survive, right? If you take good look at it, you'll see that the pursuit of survival is the common denominator of all life.

For an individual, this drive for survival embraces eight distinct divisions. In Scientology these are known as the dynamics. The dynamics are best conceived as concentric circles with (1) self in the middle and extending to (2) family and sex, (3) groups, (4) mankind, (5) all life forms, (6) the physical universe, (7) spirituality and (8) infinity or the Supreme Being.

You've got the first dynamic, which one's self, and is the effort to survive as an individual, to be an individual and to fully express one’s individuality.

The second dynamic is creativity. Creativity is making things for the future and the second dynamic includes any creativity. The second dynamic contains the family unit and the rearing of children as well as anything that can be categorized as a family activity. It incidentally includes sex as a mechanism to compel future survival...

Interviewer: And so on from there, I'm tracking. But how do Scientologists use this information?

Scientologist: Well, a good example is in making decisions about whether or not an action one might do would be right or wrong. If you make your decision based on which solution does the most good for the greater number of dynamics, you'd have the better solution.

Interviewer: Hmm - yeah, I see that.

Interview with a Scientologist: Where does the Church of Scientology get it's money from?

Interviewer: Where does the Church of Scientology get it's money from?

Scientologist: Well, the Church is supported by it's members, just like every other church.

Some churches have a system of tithes, others require their members to pay for pew rentals, religious ceremonies and services.

But in Scientology it's a bit different. Instead parishioners make donations for auditing and training they wish to receive. These contributions by Scientologists are the primary source of financial support for the Church and fund all the religious and social betterment activities the Church engages in. Scientologists are not required to tithe or make other donations.

Scientology does not have hundreds of years of accumulated wealth and property like other religions - it must make its way in the world according to the economics of today’s society. When one considers the cost of ministering even one hour of auditing, requiring extensively trained specialists, and the overhead costs of maintaining church premises, the necessity of donations become clear.

The Church selected the donation system as its primary funding because it is the most equitable method. Those who use the facilities of the church should be the ones who contribute most to its maintenance.

Of course, no donation is expected from members who are at the church to participate in services other than auditing and training—listening to tape plays of L. Ron Hubbard’s lectures, reading scriptural works in the church library, meeting with fellow parishioners, receiving counseling from the Chaplain or attending Sunday services, sermons, weddings, christenings and funerals.

Scientologists’ donations keep the Church alive and functioning, fund its widespread social reform programs, make Scientology known to people who may otherwise never have the opportunity to avail themselves of it, and help to create a safe and pleasant environment for everyone.

Interview with a Scientologist: What's this "Way to Happiness" I hear about?

Interviewer: What's this "Way to Happiness" I hear about?

Scientologist: The Way to Happiness is a non-religious moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard and based wholly on common sense.

It's like this: A major concern today is the continuing decline of moral standards, a problem which underlies a wide variety of other ills that plague our society.

Mr. L. Ron Hubbard was keenly aware of this situation in 1980 when he observed that our modern world lacked a code of morals befitting our past-paced society. Old values had been broken but not replaced and many people left to founder.

Even as he continued with his religious researches, Mr. Hubbard always endeavored to bring solutions to the world from a purely humanitarian perspective. And in this instance, quite separate from his religious works—the Scientology religion already had a moral and ethics code— he saw the need for a non-religious moral code.

Interview with a Scientologist: Does the Church engage in interfaith affairs?

Interviewer: Does the Church engage in interfaith affairs?

Scientologist: Absolutely. The Church of Scientology is a strong advocate of the interfaith approach on issues important to all religions. Scientologists work with representatives of many religions to support and encourage interreligious dialogue, religious freedom, constitutional law and respect for religion in society.

Scientologists have fought actively for religious freedom in Europe. In Strassbourg, France, 2,500 Scientologists proclaimed a “Declaration of Religious Freedom” which was subsequently accepted by the Council of Europe. In Denmark, Scientologists are active members of the Danish Interfaith Forum, an outspoken voice for religious freedom in that country.

Also, in Belgium, the Church played a key role in establishing the ecumenical European Council of Religious Movements whose members represent their respective churches and religions in dealing with issues of religious freedom.

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Church organized the “European Journey for Religious Freedom.” News of this 3,225 kilometer marathon through eight countries reached an estimated 33 million people, raising public awareness of the importance of human rights. In many countries of the world, the Church has brought together diverse religions to speak out against intolerance.

And to further bring the message of human rights to Europe, the Church launched the European Marathon for Human Rights—4,500 kilometers through seven countries in 13 weeks. The team of runners carried a Proclamation to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and as they traveled through new cities, the runners invited others to show their support by signing the Proclamation. Soon, the document was covered with thousands of signatures from mayors, city council members, parliamentarians, police commanders, Olympic athletes, famous musicians, leading artists and religious leaders from throughout Europe.

Interview with a Scientologist: What are these Scientology religious retreats I hear about? How does that work?

Interviewer: What are these Scientology religious retreats I hear about? How does that work?

Scientologist: Certain Scientology Churches maintain religious retreats for the benefit and use of parishioners. In Scientology, some upper levels of spiritual counseling require the parishioner’s full-time participation for a period of several weeks for the parishioner to achieve the full benefit. So, the Church has religious retreats, away from the distractions of the world, which provide parishioners the ideal environment for advanced religious studies and spiritual counseling.

There are currently two such religious retreats—one in Clearwater, Florida, and another aboard the motor vessel Freewinds, whose home port is in the Caribbean.

Interviewer: Yes, I've heard of the Church's presence in Clearwater.

Scientologist: The one in Clearwater is the spiritual headquarters for the religion and hub of the international Scientology community. With more than 20 buildings and nearly 1,000 staff, it is the largest Church of Scientology facility in the world. It delivers advanced spiritual training and auditing to parishioners who come from around the world to this Church.

The other retreat is located aboard the 450-foot motor vessel Freewinds. It is there that the highest level of spiritual counseling available in Scientology is delivered. A seagoing vessel is the ideal setting for this level of spiritual counseling, because it provides parishioners with a calm environment set apart from the crossroads of the workaday world where, without distraction, they are free to concentrate on spiritual advancement. While freedom from distraction is important during all counseling, it is vital at the highest level of services which are available on the Freewinds.