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Scientologists hold that their beliefs and practices are based on meticulous research and that the doctrines of Scientology should be awarded a status equal to scientific laws.

Dianetics, which Scientologists often refer to as Book One, describes the human mind as a simple construct that works much like a computer. Its main processor, referred to as the analytical mind in Scientology, is in charge of daily events, decisions, and the management of information. According to Scientology, the mind also has a subprocessor, known as the reactive mind, which sometimes subverts the work of the analytical mind by issuing system glitches that are exhibited as inhibitions, fear, love, and hate, as well as various psychosomatic ailments. Incapable of independent thought, the reactive mind lies dormant until it is awakened by a jarring event, the most significant of which occurs at birth. Traumatic events may be recorded in the reactive mind as lasting scars, which Dianetics refers to as engrams, and these are the source of many of the psychological problems that people face. The process used in Dianetics to get rid of these engrams is called auditing. In an auditing process, patients are led through a series of questions intended to help them recall minute details of anegramatic incidents. Once that triggering incident is discovered, patients are asked to run, or re-experience it until its impact is neutralized.

In 1952, Hubbard introduced a device that he called an electropsychometer, or E-meter, which is supposed to give the auditor additional insights into the mind of his preclear, which is a reference to a patients who has not yet elevated to a state of clear, which is the goal of an auditing session. In a sense, the E-meter functions as a lie detector.

Another tool used in auditing is the tone scale, which is an emotional classification system.

Other practices of Scientology include a program called the purification rundown, which is an introductory program using high-dose dietary supplements and sauna baths that are used in the process of detoxification. An auditing process known as the introspection rundown is used to handle a psychotic episode or mental breakdown.

Although Scientologists do not teach a specific concept of God, they do believe in the immortal soul, the thetan, which is viewed as the true identity of a person. Intrinsically good, thetans fall from grace when they identify with their creation rather than their original states of purity, and eventually lose their memory of their true nature.

Scientologists believe that at the higher levels of initiation, known as Operating Thetan, or OT levels, mystical teachings are communicated that could be harmful to those who are not prepared. Thus, these teachings are kept secret from those who have not yet reached that level.

Scientology views itself as a blend of science and spirituality. Scientologists believe in an immortal soul, which can be improved here on the earth through Scientology's methods. Although Scientologists may belong to other religions, Scientology doesn't concern itself with heaven or hell.

Holidays celebrated by Scientologists include L. Ron Hubbard's birthday, the anniversary of the publication of Dianetics, Sea Org Day, Auditor's Day, and the anniversary of the establishment of the International Association of Scientologists. Most Scientologists also celebrate holidays like Christmas, Easter, and New Year's Eve, as well as others, depending on their tradition.

Scientology holds Sunday services, but they don't generally hold the sense of importance seen in other religions and are more for interested non-members than for Scientologists. Hubbard's writing is read aloud during the service, and there is music, announcements of weekly activities, and a sermon on Scientology doctrines. Scientology ministers do not prepare their own sermons, but choose from a limited number of possible sermons.

Scientology rituals include those performed for spiritual transformation, ceremonies for holidays and events, rites of passage, such as weddings and funerals, and those that mimic Christian rituals, like their Sunday services.

The focus of this category is on beliefs and practices associated with Scientology, whether the Church of Scientology or one of several splinter groups.

 

 

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