Scientology and the Substantive Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Comparative Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Functional Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Analytical Definition of Religion

Sharing a Body of Doctrine

Participation in Rituals and Acts of Devotion

Direct Experience of Ultimate Reality

Religious Knowledge

Consequences in Quotidian Life

Scientology and the Emic Definitions of Religions


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The material used in the courses of training consists of books, publications, films and recorded lectures of the founder of the Church which are studied in a pre-arranged order. This material has the equivalent status of scriptures of traditional religions: It is not interpreted or explained. On the contrary, considerable attention is placed on the disciple receiving the word of the founder in its “pure form.” Scientologists believe that Mr. Hubbard found an exact and workable path to spiritual salvation: If following one of the procedures of the founder of Scientology does not achieve the expected results it is because it was not understood or applied correctly. Thus, the possibility that there could exist an error in the original version of the word of Mr. Hubbard is not considered.

Those who direct training in Scientology are called “supervisors” and are recognized as experts in the technology of study and skilled at finding and resolving the obstacles that the students may encounter. The role of the supervisor is also defined as ensuring that the doctrine is properly imparted and does not produce different versions or divergent interpretations. The supervisor does not give lectures and does not propound to the students his own version of the subject. It is scrupulously forbidden that the supervisor propound any type of verbal interpretation of the materials to prevent any alterations of the original.

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