The Church of Scientology as a movement of a new age in the world
A. Historical Beginnings of Scientology and Dianetics
The Church of Scientology is the only new religion to have originated in the 20th Century.
It acknowledges the existence of a God as a supreme religious being, however it does not make definitive statements regarding God.
It views man as a basically good and natural creature, and assumes that eternal nature and basic good exists in each living creature – generally speaking, the human being exists in God and God exists within the human being.
Its goal is to bring individuals to full religious freedom and truth, and enable one to live a better life with his fellow man, in accordance with his own judgement,
The Church of Scientology strives for cooperation with all major religious ideas.
Its own beliefs are similar to those traditionally held by some of the oldest of religions, such as orthadox Buddhism.
The beginnings of the Scientology religion can be traced to 1952 when a new Scientological Society with religious goals began, the „Hubbard Association of Scientologists International“ in Arizona, USA.
Two years later, some of its members founded the first „Church of Scientology of California.“
Thus, the Church of Scientology as a religious community was founded in 1954 based on the successful teaching of American writer and founder of Dianetics, L. Ron Hubbard.
B. Lafayette Ron Hubbard
The Church of Scientology as a religious community was founded in 1954 based on the successful teachings of an American writer and expert in Dianetics, Lafayette Ron Hubbard (1911-1986).
This successful science fiction author published in 1950 the first expert book on Dianetics, which was later expanded and reworked, and is currently published in 32 languages in 18 million copies, and may be considered a world-wide best seller: „Dianetics – The Modern Science of Mental Health“ (the Czech version is to be published in 1996).
However, Lafayette Ron Hubbard was not only a successful writer, dianetist, and psychologist, but also an original philosopher, teacher, and manager of Scientology.
We especially need to stress his scientific growth and profile:
He was born into the family of a marine officer in the small city of Tilden, Nebraska, however, from here the Hubbards soon moved to Oklahoma and then to Montana and, it was here in the suburb of the capital of Helena that Ron spent his childhood.
As an eager scout he befriended the Indian boys of the Blackfoot tribe and became a favorite of old Tom, their medicine man. They became blood brothers, and he learned from him many languages and traditions of his tribe.
Witch-doctor practices made an especially big impression on him, and he generally became more interested in the natural healing practices of Indians.
By 12 years of age, he obtained the medal of Tracker First-Class and then he received several awards at school.
In 1923, the entire family sailed from San Francisco to New York and then to Washington.
During the trip, the thirteen-year-old Hubbard met Captain Joseph Thompson who was coming back from Vienna where he studied psychoanalysis under professor Sigmund Freud.
They became friends and thus Ron soon became familiar with the Library of Congress and its treasury of books.
In 1927, young Hubbard undertook his first big trip through Hawaii, Japan, China, the Philippines and to the island of Guam in Micronesia, where his father worked as a marine officer.
He enjoyed travelling so much that he then travelled to the north and south each vacation.
During 1924-29, L. R. Hubbard studied in middle schools in Helena and in Washington.
In 1930, he enrolled at George Washington University, where he studied nuclear physics and the problems of adaptation of human beings to technological progress.
Also, here he became a member of the The Washington Herald team and became successful even in aviation acrobatics.
Also, he received the university award for literature for the one-act play, „The God is Laughing“ and became co-publisher of the magazine, The University Hatchet.
Another success in literature came in 1934 for his adventure story „The Green God“ that was published by a professional publishing house in New York.
During the next six years, he wrote a total of 138 novels, books, and science fiction stories that made him a successful best-selling writer and an author of several adventure movies made in Hollywood.
In 1941, he proved his skill in examination as a captain licensed to sail boats on all the world’s seas, and when the USA entered the World War that same year, he was sent to Australia as a navy officer.
A year later he served as a navigator for convoys across the Atlantic Ocean and for submarine maneuvers in the Pacific Ocean.
In the beginning of 1945, he was seriously wounded, and became blind for a while, however, during his lengthy convalescence he discovered new methods of psychotherapy.
He created his new theory and methodology which he called Dianetics, and he started a successful business.
His first Dianetics Center in Los Angeles was soon visited by famous actors and Hollywood movie crews.
Then he wrote about his 16 years of experience, and when his first book on the methodology and principles of Dianetics, „Dynamic Powers of Life“, was published in 1948, it was clear that a new form of Scientology had been born; L. R. Hubbard’s „Terra Incognita: The Human Minds“.
The year 1950 marked the beginning of the most successful scientific career of L. Ron Hubbard. His book „Dianetics“ was published and became a top best seller in the United States for 28 weeks.
In the same year The Hubbard’s Dianetic Institute in New Jersey started its activity in the study of human behavior.
In 1950-1955, Hubbard gave hundreds of lectures not only in the U.S. and Canada, but also in many other countries, and established other centers of Scientology and Dianetics in Washington, London, and Saint Hill Manor in Sussex.
In 1956, his more significant works were published: „Scientology – Basics of Thinking“ and „Work Problems“.
In March 1960, he published the results of his research as a part of the book „Have You Lived Before This Life?“ In the same year he opened additional centers of Scientology in South Africa and South America.
Since 1965, he had been working on several important projects, enhancing Scientology and Dianetics (in the fight against drug dependency by utilizing music and dance for long-term treatment, etc.).
In 1979, L. Ron Hubbard prepared a systematic course of literacy called „The Key to Life“ and continued by creating the moral essentials of Scientology: „A Road to Being Happy“.
He concluded his activity in Scientology in 1985 with another best seller: „The Fight Until the Very End“. Two musical and relaxation albums „Mission Earth“ and „The Road to Freedom“ use music to express the principles of Scientology.
It is important to stress that L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986 at the age of 75, achieved everything that he considered important, and the essentials of his Scientology live on even after 50 years as one of the best-sellers of the world. The Church of Scientology became a global religious society with almost eight and a half million members and its freedom is protected not only by the American constitution but also the constitutions of other countries where it is active.
C. The Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology created its own baptismal, wedding, and burial prayers and ceremonies, and has its own ministers who conduct worship generally every Sunday and during the major holidays.
During the gatherings, the members usually become familiar with the teachings of their founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who was convinced that Scientology can solve all human problems because Scientology enables human beings to better understand their own being as well as God.
Originally, Scientology was based on the teaching and the science of knowledge and better understanding of all their aspects.
Its origins were contained in two philosophical areas, scientism and anthropologism, which were competing with each other.
Scientism is based on an objective scientific and technical knowledge and it is considered to be so objective that it can exist independently of man and his subjective capabilities and features.
On the other hand, anthropologism is based on teachings of philosophical anthropology and considers man as its greatest value and deduced knowledge from a main subject, i.e., the mind, human nature, and cultural experience.
One of the branches of Scientism developed after 1945 as a clearly pragmatic and materialistic movement. On the other hand, another one founded the Scientological and philosophical-religious community in 1954.
Its founder, a well-known American writer and science- fiction author of that time, L. Ron Hubbard, developed this movement not only as a new science but also as a religious teaching that included the study of human psychology in relation to the human being itself, to other forms of life, and to the universe.
His goal was spiritual freedom. The same way as other movements of the New Age, he borrowed from old eastern religions and modern philosophical and psychological teaching to form the new teaching of a new philosophical-religious concept of Scientology and Dianetic technology.
During the considerably short time of forty years, i.e., until the end of 1995, the Church of Scientology founded more than eight thousand missions and branches in more than 100 countries.
Currently, it has approximately ten million interested sympathizers. In most states, it is registered as a religious organization just as any other church, e.g., in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and elsewhere.
1 In the Czech Republic, it has been trying to register since 1994 as a religious organization with elected representatives.
The name of the church is deduced from the Latin word „scio“ (to know) and the Greek word „logos“ (teaching, science). So, Scientology is a science of knowledge, or a knowledge of how to know.
Scientology includes the study of the soul in relation to itself, to other life, and to the universe. At the same time, it is a science of religious aspects of human beings, about their religious dimensions, capabilities, and possibilities, about the basics of human life.
Its scientific and philosophical part represents a certain new aspect and is a reaction to current ways and forms of thinking in human society.
At the same time, it is a science and philosophy on the religious foundations of man, on things that prevent man from fully expanding his own capabilities and reaching immortality, and thus uses Scientological principles in every day life and contains a method of helping to once again renew spiritual potential, and Scientology and Dianetics are the way to bring the human soul into harmony with itself and with the body.
Scientology as a religious teaching was formed in the tradition of eastern religions as a teaching of the human soul and its relation to the universe.
The Church of Scientology is also based on the principle of decentralization and each mission is managed independently, including social programs.
Besides that, many services are provided free of charge.
As a religious society, it contains religious ceremonies, teachings and beliefs, based on the catechism.
It does not contradict other religions because it explains and brings understanding to the spiritual nature of a man. At the same time, it is based on the existence of the highest spiritual being – God.
The Christian heritage of Jesus Christ and many other religious prophets is considered by Scientologists to be a guide to culture and civilization and honors them as saviors of the human race.
Very remarkable is the relationship of Scientology to reincarnation: it is defined as a natural aspect, as a transformation of immortal spiritual being from one body (at the time of death) to a new body (at birth). At the same time, it does not directly talk about reincarnation but about past lives, which for the believers of Scientology becomes their own assurance and personal experience.
Therefore, Scientology believes that each individual can get better, improve, and cleanse, and thus he/she is primarily active in an effort to make social changes, in an effort to free self-determination of man in solving the problems of upbringing and education, in environmental protection, and in a fight for human rights and peace in the world.
The solution, and a basic postulate, of the Scientological belief is the theme that the soul may be saved and the soul itself has the power to save or heal the human body, that man is generally good, that he strives to survive, and that the survival depends upon him and his fellows human beings, and on achieving a natural brotherhood with the universe.
D.) The basic elements of the religion
The church of Scientology is based on the religious belief with the following articles:
All people have the same rights, regardless of their race, skin color or religious belief.
All people have inalienable rights to their own life.
All people have inalienable rights to their own health.
All people have inalienable rights to their own protection.
All people have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their usage.
All people have inalienable rights to create, elect, and support their own organizations, churches, and governments.
All people have inalienable rights to think freely, to speak freely, to freely express their own opinions in writing, and to disagree with the opinions of others or to present their own opinion and write about it.
All people have inalienable rights to create their own way of behavior.
The souls of people possess the people’s rights.
The study of mind and treatment of mental disorders is not foreign to the religion, and neither should be transferred to religious areas.
No institution, besides God, has the power to cancel these rights or neglect them, either openly or secretly.
Believers of Scientology base their beliefs on the laws of God that prohibit people from destroying their own species, damaging the health of another person, and destroying or enslaving the soul of another person, and of destroying or decreasing the capability of survival of its own species or its own group.
E.) A moral code of dignity
The basic rules are set as the moral code of Scientology, the so-called code of honor which states:
Never desert your friend in need, in danger, or with problems.
Never go back on a promise of faithfulness, which you have made.
Never desert a group to which you owe help.
Never underestimate or lower your own strength or power.
Never become dependent on praise, approval, or pity.
Never make a compromise with your own reality.
Never allow your affinity to be devalued.
Do not give or receive communication unless you want to.
Your self-determination and your dignity are more important than your life.
Your integrity is more important than your life.
Never regret yesterday. The life is inside you today and you create your tomorrow.
Never be afraid to be injured for the right cause.
Do not wish to be liked or admired.
Be your own advisor and choose your own decisions.
Pursue your own goals seriously.
Scientology created the science and methods that enable people to develop their own capabilities, reach immortality, and use the principles of Scientology in everyday life – through Dianetics or the Science of the Human Soul.
This science and practical method contains the knowledge of how people can again renew their original spiritual potential, and how to achieve a harmonious reconciliation with your own being, own soul, and own body.
Within Scientology, a person is studied in four parts: the first and most important is Thetan, the immortal spirit that fully controls the entire person and can create an enormous force and energy.
The second is the body which Thetan enters at conception.
The third is the analytical and conscious mind that under normal conditions causes the person to behave and act normally and consciously. The fourth part is the subconscious, reactive mind.
This is visible when the analytical mind stops working (e.g., at an injury, shock, or pain).
Then the reactive mind records the unpleasant experiences – memory marks, called engrams. These can later appear as deviations or neurosis, or other psychological disorders.
Thetan brings such memory marks into the body and there they can act for many years.
THETAN – it is you, your person yourself, your personality, and primarily your spirit as immortal spiritual being that controls your mind and lives in your body.
Thus, in Scientology, we do not say „I have a soul“ but „I am the soul – I am Thetan“ (based on the Greek character theta, which means the soul, the idea).
According to Hubbard, the human being is a spiritual being that directs and controls his/her own body through the mind.
As other religions use prayer, meditation, or exercise a variety of physical exercises, fasts, confessions, or good deeds (from providing alms to a beggar or long-term care for disabled children and senior citizens) to accomplish the religious goals, the church of Scientology uses so-called auditing or listening and harmony with another person or with itself.
Auditing is the general care for the soul. It does not serve as a treatment of mental disorders but can contribute to their treatment or delaying their onset. Auditing is done so the ability of the human being is not to be the reason and enables it to achieve spiritual freedom.
At the same time, it enables the human being to be more free and also more harmonious. Primarily, it is the harmony of body and soul that can improve the health condition of an individual.
At the same time, each person is aware of his own being and may achieve his own destiny and spiritual freedom.
The Church of Scientology has a non-traditional, new and scientific rather than religious means to accomplish the religious goals to help Scientology and Dianetics to fully become an integral part of a New Age, and at the same time, they become a new religion, which is a real response to the social needs and problems in a post-modern and post-industrial society.
From a purely religious point of view, Scientology represents an entirely new way of solving social problems, it is religious, and philosophical and scientific, and at the same time it is an attempt at mutual reconciliation and cooperation.
At the same time, the social importance and social responsibility of Scientology are increasing.
Lately, the solution to these basic questions is supplemented by an attempt to put through social reforms, such as the strengthening and application of human rights, peace, ecological and ethological activities of people, as well as the solution of problems in the raising and education of people, etc.
Lately, the Church of Scientology has been very successful in introducing courses of Dianetics study techniques (the methodology on how to study) and new management technology (building an optimum business structure), as well as in the fight against the violation of human rights in psychiatry (especially in the U.S.A. and in Germany,) as well as in the fight against drug abuse by children and adults (through the foundation of parent activities and Narconon centers, i.e., centers called „No Drugs,“) etc.
Also, the current activity of the Church of Scientology in the area of arts and culture is remarkable.
This has occurred through the creation of Celebrity Centers – they strive for innovation in the artistic capabilities of the culture: „Culture is only as big as its dreams“ – and its dreams are created by artists (see „What is Scientology“, page 18).
John Travolta, a movie star, said: „Scientology solves the puzzle of life. I have been a Scientologist for more than 13 years.“
Chick Corea, a jazz pianist, said that „For me, the discovery of Dianetics and Scientology is as important as the discovery of J.S. Bach as a musician.“
A German painter, Gottfried Helnwein, wrote that „Scientology is the biggest breakthrough in the history of the study of human thinking and behavior – it can change the world that could exist free of mental diseases, crime, and wars.“
According to L. Ron Hubbard, the basics of life are the capacity to survive and Scientology is showing the way:
„No man is happy without having a goal, and no person can be happy without the faith to be able to accomplish this goal.
The biggest human weapon is the brain.
Never regret yesterday. The life today is inside you and you create your tomorrow.
The most neglected friend you have, is probably you.
The freedom of a human being does not mean you can hurt someone. Neither does freedom of speech mean you can hurt someone with words.
Once a man cannot communicate with others, he is dead. He is alive to the degree that he can communicate.
Man is successful because he adjusted his surroundings to himself, and not because he adjusted himself to his surroundings.
Thoughts, not wars, characterize human advancement. The individuals, and not the masses, direct the culture of a race.
… all happiness that you can ever find is inside you.
The journey to spiritual freedom is clearly the journey to a growing security.
If the basic laws were „an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth“ or the instinct of self-preservation, there would be nobody living anymore.
Insecurity is due to lack of knowledge.
… many people are involved in the fight against themselves.
Without an order, nothing can grow or expand…
The basic trap is to accept an invitation to hate.
I know no person who could have a monopoly for wisdom of this universe. It belongs to those who can use it to help themselves and to others.
Understanding is composed of affection, reality, and communication.
The freedom of man does not mean the freedom to hurt others.
The freedom of speech does not mean to hurt through lies.
Man is a spiritual being who controls the body through the mind.
Man is capable, as much as he can, of changing things in relation to their position in space
The common denominator of a psychotic and neurotic is the inability to work.
Everything that is necessary for a man to be humiliated or confused, is to prevent him from working.
A reasonable person has problems in an unreasonable environment.
The basis of mind is the right to establish your own opinion about anything.
He who wants to give, must know how to receive – he who wants to receive, must be able to give.
There are two rules for a happy life: 1. Be able to live through everything. 2. Cause only things that others can easily live with. Because the only riches that exist is understanding.
„I have gotten used to saying that everything is impossible, that there is no hope, no way: despite that I began to see again, to walk again, and I build a new life for myself.
It is a happy life full of work and I hope it is also a useful one.
The only moments of sadness I experience are when two-faced men say there is no way, there is no hope, there is nothing other than sadness and uniformity and hopelessness, and that any effort to help others is false.
I know this is not true.
I do not know a person who would have a monopoly for wisdom of this universe; it belongs to those who can use it to help themselves and others.
If we understood things a little better and knew them better, all our lives would be happier…“
These remarkable sayings are presented in one of the latest publications of Scientology, in: „Understanding: The Universal Solvent“ (Understanding: The General Relaxation, 1990).
It is an extensive selection from the work of L. R. Hubbard (520 pages), including the most important ideas from his Scientology understood as an applied religious philosophy and from Dianetics, the spiritual technology application of his teaching.
The desire to have a clean world without internal as well as external contamination, including wars, crimes, psychological disorders and many diseases, tension, and stress are the major goals of Scientology and Dianetics.
To express it with one sentence from L. R. Hubbard’s Aphorisms: „The sun never sets on Scientology and it is the most vital movement on Earth.
We will succeed and with every turn of the Earth we will move further.“
However, the final goal of Scientology is to fill the world with an absolute spiritual freedom.
This will enable man to develop the intelligence and other capabilities of the body and mind. Each Scientologist strives to be purely clean, to have a creative activity, to have great power of thoughts with an energy, and also an IQ higher than 135.
The method goes through several stages that can be adopted in special Scientology courses.
The beginner must first get rid of negative engram, and thus, he first participates in an awareness level and then he progresses through other stages up to the eighth level, the OT (operating thetan).
During these courses, the enrichment of positive experiences takes place, which is called facsimile, and the negative engrams are reduced.
Everything takes place on a hypothetical time track that records all the experiences of an individual.
On the so-called track of mankind, all happenings from the beginning of the universe until today are recorded.
With the help of an educated auditor, the audited individual goes back on a time track to the past and tries to capture and identify the particularly negative engrams.
It is a specific dianetic investigation through a dianetic method supplemented by the usage of an electric meter, which is a physical device measuring resistance, which enables the capturing of individual negative experiences and that deactivates their negative emotional charges, or pushes them from memory recording.
This process is called the auditing command, and all basic ethical principles must be secured in its application, primarily the moral code or the code of dignity, then the auditor’s code and the code of Scientology containing a total of 15 items that are modifications of the medical oath of Hippocrates: Don`t leave anybody in need or in danger of life – your honor is more valuable than life itself – your integrity is more valuable than your body – be faithful to yourself and your convictions, your goals, etc.
A No. 1 priority is to respect the integrity of ARC (Affinity, Reality, Communication, or the relations, realities, and communication (leading to mutual understanding.)
This teaching has been the subject of exceptional criticism among experts from the beginning until this day. They criticize the methods as well as the way of influence and the entire concept of Scientology and Dianetics.
However, while major critics are the supporters of classical and conservative medicine and psychology, among the defenders and supporters are more and more researchers from other areas, especially supporters of so-called alternative medicine, Eastern philosophical and religious sciences, and methods of teaching and cleansing the body and soul.
The experiences of L. Ron Hubbard are presented as negative arguments: he was accused of financial intrigues, suspected of spying activity, and accused of three marriages. However, the only thing that can be objectively confirmed was his expulsion from Great Britain at the end of the sixties.
On the other hand, the thorough investigation that Hubbard underwent in the USA freed him, and the churches of Scientology were again recognized as religious, charitable societies and as such they were exempted from paying taxes (1993).
Among the major arguments are the results of his activity and considerably strong theories and methodologies of Dianetics and principles of the Church of Scientology.
Simplicity of the formulations enables an easier understanding even for less educated people: e.g., that Dianetics is a way to expand knowledge which sooner or later leads to the spiritual freedom of man.
They are rather theories of religious and philosophical belief more so than a scientific and philosophical explanation: e.g., the notion that man is essentially good and is trying to make it through his life is very clearly presented but not justified in detail.
If we consider that in the 70s and 80s, Scientology and Dianetics experienced certain progressive developments and many positive changes, as we may find out when we compare them with the former publication of „Dianetics“, we can state that this is an exceptionally successful movement of the New Age that has found its place in post-modern society worldwide.
This teaching means a new civilization without war, disease and crime.
It is a community of spiritually free people with a high level of ethical and social responsibility meeting the needs of the current post-modern society – it is a society of conscientious, capable, and happy people.
This goal can be accomplished through activities based on technology and the Dianetics method of L. Ron Hubbard: e.g.,
The World Institute of Scientology Enterprise (WISE)
Association for Better Living and Education, International (ABLE)
Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)
What are the prospects of the Church of Scientology among other movements of the New Age and what is the future of this church in the world?
Let us try to define the role and position of the church of Scientology among other religious movements and churches and let us try to make comparable religious evaluation of the Scientology at the end of the 20th century.
II. The religion of the new age
The new religion, also-called the religion of the New Age, and the new view of the world were not born during the last decades of the 20th century, but they go back much further.
For example, around the middle of the century, the international movement for unity and peace began to develop, the new religious universalism was promoted, the Church of Unity was established, and Scientology and Dianetics, as well as many other movements and societies were formed, and became known as the movements of the New Age.
1860 marked the beginning of Baha’ism, the world ecumenical religion, Christian Unification, Islam and Buddhism, and in 1880, the international organization of Free Thinking was established in Brussels (the Czech section was established in 1904 and again in 1919).
Its program from the inception was an international one: it primarily recognized positivism and pacifism as well as a strict democratism.
Free Thinking had a radical social program that brought it closer to a socialist and communist movement.
In the religious area, it opposed all notions of religion, especially the clericalism, and strived for simple moral issues and separation of church and state.
B.) The International way
Another new movement that accepts the religion and philosophy of a New Age is the Way International.
Its founder is a German Protestant philosopher, Victor Paul Wierwille, after World War II.
This teaching was especially successful in Germany and the Netherlands and currently has half a million supporters.
The major goal of International Way is the peaceful coexistence of science and the church, and science in all phases of current life.
The American People to People International movement is based on the same principles: it is a non-political, non-profit, volunteer organization with headquarters in Kansas City, U.S.A. A similar goal, applied to adolescents can be found in a movement by the name of Religious Youth Service (RYS) which was established in New Jersey, New York2 , in 1985.
Its leader is Prof. H. Francis Clark. Each year, RYS enables a gathering of young people of different races, religions, and cultures from the all over the world to work together on a program of public service, combining practical work with arranging meetings of people of different religions.
Within these religions of a New Age, there are other international religious foundations, such as the Forum Religion und Weltgestaltung that publishes a magazine by the same name.
C.) The movement for Unification of the World
Currently, the most important is the Unification Movement International that has a foundation of about 10 million people worldwide.
It is a world religious movement, continuing the ideas of old Eastern studies, especially of Baha’ism from the second half of the 19th century and all basic ideas of world religions that in the first place, it attempts to unite.
The movement was founded in 1954 by San Myung Mun („Moon“ in English) and his wife Hak Ja Han.
In its native city of Seoul in South Korea, the movement is called the Mun Church, the international name is the Unification Church, Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC).
Even from the name it is clear that it is an attempt to create a new secular Christian church and a new world religion. The movement has been growing very successfully not only in East and Southeast Asia, but also in the USA, Europe, Africa, and South America.
It created approximately 100 branch organizations and sections, such as the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) with headquarters in Irvington, USA (the World Academy of Professors for the World Peace).
This developing international organization strives not only to unite churches and religious thinking with Christian religions, but also all religions of the world and realizes the process of unification not only on the basis of religion and philosophy, but also on economy and culture.
It built an international trust for the collection and processing of salt-water fish, is building the transcontinental highway network from Asia to Europe, provides social and cultural connection between different nations, states, and groups, and supports learning and education in all less developed areas of the world.
At the same time, it is developing its organizational centers in individual countries: in Czechoslovakia, it has been acting as an informal religious movement of the New Age since 1990, also has been supporting the ecumenical effort and movement since 1990.
D.) The church of Unity
The international movement for unity, called the Church of Unity, built its teachings on the fact that the human being has three assigned to him by God:
1. to unite with God and create one being
2. to create a prosperous and moral family
3. to contribute in the creation of God’s growth on the Earth.
It assumes that nothing in the world exists alone but only in mutual relationship according to the traditional Chinese yin and yang.
Thus the human being does not exist independently, but through an internal being (subject) and external body (object) in two forms: the male and female.
The solution and the goal is happiness lived through God’s love (the Korean Shimjung, and the Greek Agape), i.e., „love your neighbor as yourself“ in the Christian sense.
The basic ethics of a new person is the recognition and acknowledgment of a family on the principles of love and free will.
In this sense, it is primarily the perfection of heart and love that should be applied in society.
The basis of family ethics is the need for love and order that is more important than the need for strict equality.
It is not even possible in a physical state (family members have different positions and functions, they differ physically, sexually, professionally, etc.).
Equality is actually possible and necessary on a spiritual level.
It depends on our efforts to achieve equality and it cannot be accomplished without our effort and trying, without a conviction and everyday activity, without the spiritual and permanent humanization of every family member and all of society.
The concept of the unity of man and the world is based on spiritual health and the realization of unity.
It begins with the recognition and a conscious approach to education, and it is important which features are dominant and decisive – it is primarily based and focused on the education of individuals.
Finally, it is always a unification and a unity of the heart, love, deeds, and creative work.
It is the instruction and education of the individual, his neighbors, family, and the entire society, and cannot be separated, treated preferentially, etc.
The idea of unity (or the philosophy of unity) goes along with the principle of unity as a basic system of the Church of Unity.
It brings an overall and new view of traditional philosophical issues. According to this, the ideas of unity may be characterized as a „philosophy of love or heart“.
All mentioned organizations, foundations, and institutions of the International Movement for Unity attempt to unify church, man, and God, to accomplish peace among people and the nations of the world, as well as world peace which requires the understanding of the importance of the religious principles and their unity.
In these societies and movements for New Age religion, the religion has a unique place and importance.
It strives to create a world of harmony, peace, and justice, and through its activity it prepares a reliable way to develop spiritual values.
The solution is the Idea of a Principle, the book published by the Spiritual Society with the approval of the headquarters of The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, New York, 1980.
E.) Unitarians and Universalists
Currently, the unity and universalists have a leading place in religious communities, not only in the United States of America, but also in Europe and elsewhere.
They renew their instructional and educational activity along with their preaching activity: it is a society for the development of a moral and spiritual life with a harmonized personality, with expansion of the mind and integrated society being the most immediate goal.
The Unitarian idea is concentrated in the most important area, of religion, hope, and love: those spiritual attributes of humanity which formed the historical and cultural continuity of the people’s support in the past, at present, and in the future.
For a Unitarian, the primary view is the one presented by Reverend Mikota in 1987 in Prague: „I believe that I am a part of an infinite life with the basic creative power of the universe that many of us call God and that was called by Jesus Christ a Heavenly Father. The Father of all of us who are his children.
I believe in man, his hidden powers, and in his destiny to become a co-creator of God’s kingdom as proclaimed by Jesus.
I believe that God’s Spirit is helping us to uncover our secret powers and leading us to internal knowledge of his tasks, responsibilities and goals.
I believe that man’s mission is to realize the harmony of sense, sensitivity, will, knowledge, religion, and activity, the harmony of truth, love, and goodness… I believe that our religion must be accompanied by powerful and focused activity, in order to carry it over into everyday life.
The religion of the New Age is manifested not only in Europe and the USA, but it is also strongly supported in the countries of the Third World and also in the developed natural religions and sects that primarily survive in Africa and South America where they have hundreds of thousands to millions of members, a total of about one sixth of the population of the world.
The origin of these new religions can be found deep in the past, e.g., in prehistoric times, in Africa, and has developed from old African traditions and rituals.
Many of them were created and changed by the influence of Christianity and Islam, and others began by combining different movements and religious ideas, such as the famous vodou.
F.) New Natural Religions
Modern natural religions are currently growing not only in Africa, such the Amicalism in Congo and Zaire, the Harris movement in Liberia, the Mau-Mau movement in Kenya, the Church of Nazareth in South Africa, but also elsewhere in the world, such as Bhagawanism in India, Manaism in Borneo and in Indonesia, or Bolonism in Sumatra or the Umbanda movement in Brazil.
G.) Vodou and vodouism
Currently, the most important and widespread natural religion and cult in Central and South America is unquestionably vodou and vodouism.
Originally it was the name of the forest spirit in Togo and Dahomey (currently Benin).
It was not an ordinary spirit of the forest but the Great Spirit, a magical, protective, all-embracing spirit, the genius being, omnipresent, most likely the spirit of the jungle and the leader of all that is alive.
He who was on good terms with him, who subjugated himself to him and appreciated him, stayed alive, otherwise he died.
Probably much later, it became smaller, a less important supportive spirit of the people dwelling in the jungles, and it became an integral part of all religion of the descendants of black slaves in Central America and parts of South America.
The secret cult of vodou had different titles in history, mostly locally modified or erroneously interpreted.
E.g., the French called it in error a vadoux, and believed that it was the dance around the golden calf (veau d’or), others supported their interpretation with the word vadois, which is a forest man. In some Caribbean islands it was also-called a santeria or haniguismo, or differently, however, the most widely used is the name vodou [voodoo.]
In 1685, when the French published, the so-called Black Code (Code Noir) that prohibited the vodou cult, this cult immediately became the secret religion of all black inhabitants of the Caribbean islands.
Haiti may thank this cult for its gain of independence after a great uprising of slaves on the night of August 14, 1791. Also, since that time the cult and vodou religions are connected with the independence movement of black and colored inhabitants of Central America.
It is even considered a religion that sets free.
Besides the Spirit of the Jungle, there was another spirit or divine being of the ocean in the natural religion of vodou or vodouism, the Agwe, that was simultaneously the protector of fishermen (up to this day, its symbol is a big shell).
Further, there was a divine being or spirit of farmers and lightning, Zaka or Azeka-Tonnereo, his wife Ayida-Weddo (i.e., the heavenly serpent) which was responsible for rain and moisture on the Earth, and finally there was a goddess of love and wealth, Ezulia or Ezili. Finally, this divine family was accompanied by thirty powerful spirits of death (baron of twilight, cross, cemetery, etc.) who usually danced the sexual dance of Banda.
The entire celebration always was and still is managed by Father Legba, the representative of gods of vodou on Earth. This usually ends with the trance of all participants and with the ritual of animal sacrifice.
Of today’s five million Haitians, more than 85% are Catholics, but 100% of the population supports of vodouism. Even Haitian president Dr. Francois Duvalier was one of them from 1957 to 1986 and he was the head of the state and vodouism for a full thirty years.
Thus, the New Age religion of the inhabitants was originally of African origin and currently has expanded to almost the whole territory of Central America and parts of South America.
H.) New Christian activities
In the current religious world of the New Age, there are also the important efforts and movements inside the individual great religions and communities strongly represented, especially on the ground of the world religions.
Thus, the old notion of St. Augustine, who understood that religion is a „semper reformanda“ (permanently renewing) is realized. Even today, it exists within many religious and amateur movements, where some go over the framework of traditional religions:
e.g., such as the Fokolarij movement of Klara Lubich, the charismatic renewal, the Christianity of Love and Family, or the Congregation of the Mission Sisters (The Servants of the Holy Spirit), and others.
The young Christian Taize movement became known around the world – the name originating from the location in France where repeated meetings were held.
The Taize movement is primarily trying to deepen and to permanently enrich Christian spiritual life.
Very helpful is the work and involvement of Sister Mother Theresa, known as The Missionary Love.
She was originally known as Agnes, born in 1910 in Albania, and is currently active in India working with lepers and among the poorest of all inhabitants of India.
Her mission started on September 10, 1946 in the city of Darjeeling where she had returned every year for mass and thanksgiving.
There she heard the God’s calling and devoted her entire life to the service of the poorest and most wretched.
She received papal consecration as early as 1948, and in 1957 she built a modern leprosarium in Calcutta funded by charitable donations, and later also elsewhere in the country.
In 1971, she received the Papal Peace Prize, and in 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize. Finally in 1983, the Queen of England recognized her with the highest British medal for achievement with the words: „Her humanity is the highest form of religious belief, it is the light that will never disappear. Mother Theresa is a woman of God who managed to put Christian love in life again.“
Currently, one of the most important events within the Roman-Catholic Church is the decade of the spiritual renewal of the church, a decade of the renewal of the nation, and a worldwide decade of evangelism: 1990 – 2000. This is supplemented by the ecumenical movement initiated by the World Protestant Church in Geneva.
Most of these revival and renewal movements are trying to gain a deeper interest in religious issues of believers and non-believers and unconcerned people, as well as those who did not respect religion and declared themselves atheists. Thus, currently the wishes of the apostle Paul are being fulfilled: „Try everything and stick with good things.“
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin stresses in his work „The Universe and People“ that man cannot fully see himself outside manhood just as he cannot fully see manhood outside life, and life outside the universe. We most frequently forget that man was not originally man, but became man in the process of upbringing and education.
Our responsibility is to finish the final product or the work corresponding to the culture and the society of a certain time, from this Child of God, this semi-product, this natural creation. If it were sufficient to be a working creature in the past, it is no longer possible in the future.
Man is equipped not only for a life in nature, but also for a life in a certain culture and society. His genetic data bank enables him only the basic existence, survival only, since he inherits only the most basic biological and psychological features and traits, such as the color of eyes, hair, shape of the body, the face, etc., however, nothing more.
He must adopt a certain culture and social behavior, education and professional knowledge and skills in the process of learning, erudition and education.
If a man does not do so, he is more/less a passive member of a human society – a consuming human existing on the level of advanced creatures.
During a considerably short time of about five thousand years, human beings achieved a certain level of civilization, but also the danger and possibility of the decline of human society and of life as a whole.
We overcame a very serious danger, but we stand face to face with several others – the peace between West and East was accomplished, but there is another discrepancy between a rich and prosperous North and a poor and starving South, compared to idealism there is still the idea of materialism, a utilitarian way of life without a deeper spiritual content is against the acceptance of absolute values and a meaningful life and belief in God.
Especially, there are growing trends to live only in an environment based on money and property rather than on an environment based on moral values and spirituality. As people, we lose existing human dimensions and replace them with artificial, temporary values, and ever more reliable technical inventions.
In a philosophical sense it is a continuing process, to say it with exaggeration, of the domestication of a person, and sometimes also a process of his „gorillization.“
III. The process of humanization of the human being
Many of today’s people do not even have a clue about the success of their domestication, some of them are even gorillized, i.e., they depart from themselves, their humanity, they depart from their human features, their skills and possibilities of humanization, and as they are quickly domesticated and enter their ideas and a way of their life in the consumer and market society of a post-modern time.
Their way of life is close to the way of life of domestic animals or even the wild animals that are close to us, such as gorillas.
Since gorillas live from hand to mouth, for the present moment only, and are relinquish any motivation to improve, to develop themselves, or get better, why would they show extra effort? Practically all they need, they have around themselves within easy reach, primarily they accept the present only and live for it.
Those human dimensions that are part of past and future consciousness disappear with human conscience and humanity.
Ever more often, human groups elect this simplified dehumanizing way of materialism of their existence, and regardless of all other world and human societies. According to P. A. Sorokin, the „father of a new sociology“, materialism inside the human being develops merely senses and instincts.
It is an instinctive and sensualistic sense and could become a disaster for the human being, such as the Nazi movement, Fascist movement, Stalinist movement, and Fundamentalism.
It is primarily a mechanical innovation, naivism and utopism, accompanied with the priority optimism and legalism that leads to ecological compromises and compromises in the relationship between nature and man, and thus contributes to the destruction of the human being even before he reaches prosperity, such as the socialist utopia in the 20th century.
This rough political materialism leads directly to atheism, aggressiveness, and totalitarian movements that mean the end of a human being’s life, the end of further humanization.
As people, we have only two possibilities: either to further humanize ourselves, or dehumanize, or become dehumanized. The seemingly third way of maintaining the current level, to stay in the middle, would mean to stop and tomorrow enter the past and enter again the process of slow or rapid dehumanization.
On the other hand, dehumanization is becoming the most important process in current human society, because it also represents the peak, the continuation of the process of sapientation of the man, and will very likely continue including the future times of the human society.
Even today, we may state that without further humanization, the existence of human society would be endangered. For the future, this integrating creative process related to each individual seems to be more important than the effort to reach his/her physical and psychological health.
The humanization represents the final accomplishment of the entogenetic and phylogenetic development of human society.
Is this humanization something new or is it a long used process, realized, but forgotten, neglected, and feared? Is it possible to further humanize themselves without the presence of God and without the help of God? And is the human being still able to choose the start of the route to 21st century?
Man is always the „quinta esencia“ of the creative powers of life on the Earth, and their strongest source (Die Liebe ist die höchste Bewegung des Lebens.)
Therefore, humanization may be successful only as a process of integration connecting the efforts of teachers, scientists, and theologists with the professional and leisure activities and trying to accomplish cultural continuity, connection, and sequence, since this is a live and creative process.
IV. Percpectives of religious thinking and denomination
For the future development in the near time, i.e., for the 21st century, there are three possibilities of development of religious thinking and belief, however, corresponding only very slightly to the approximate political division to the right, middle, and left.
In the right wing of the religious spectrum, there are always extreme, fundamental, and orthodox teachings that differ very sharply already today and decline from other religions, either Islamic or Christian.
They will further expand as far as count is concerned, divide, and isolate from other movements (even within the same religion).
This development trend will become more acute and may create dangerous problems, or increase the intolerance within this religious grouping, i.e., within Islam and within the Christian religion.
On the other hand, Buddhism is departing the history of religion slowly and without notice, but the departure will certainly last several centuries.
Probably, it will not disappear entirely and will very likely remain in Tibet, Mongolia, and elsewhere.
What is happening is the division of the single big and leading idea that was differentiated according to national, cultural, and language specialties in individual parts of Asia.
Buddhism, which was originally the center, the equanimity, and the peace, is currently showing the same tendency as other movements of the center, especially the political, with the difference that religious thinking is not short term, rather very long-term, and its fall and dying may be recorded in longer periods and time intervals of history.
Today, some more important religions of the New Age may be included in the religious center, especially those trying to integrate and unify the individual teachings, churches, and religions.
Currently, the most represented is the Church of Unity or the International Movement for Unity and World Peace, the Church of Scientology, and other religious societies.
Among them, there is the movement of unitarians and universalists and others. We may even suppose that the universal religion and religious movement will further gain strong development in the beginning of the 21st century, and will become the important unifying element in the world.
It is a movement, not only religious and humanitarian, emphasizing not only the theories and teachings, but primarily an utilitarian one.
Most movements in the religious left may again be differentiated as the movements closer to the center or movements in the center (e.g., the movement of Hare Krishna, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others), as movements of rather extreme left that already depart the platform of religious thinking, or only pretended to do so , or represent its opposite (e.g., satanists, atheists, non-believers).
These alternatives on the left may temporarily and locally gain a greater number of supporters, however, their destiny is generally influenced by their unformed, limited, and extreme views.
Many of them stem from the protest and refusal to accept existing religious teachings and churches, especially oriented to those which are primarily orientated to the right.
In the religious world of the 21st century, man will act less pompously, less ceremoniously and liturgically than today, however, on the other side, especially in the countries of the Third World, religion will be infiltrated by folk traditions as they enter the existing practices.
It has happened in the past and it is the current situation in Oceania, in Brazil, in Mexico, and elsewhere.
„Sub speciae aeternitatis,“ this lifelong process will appear as amateur religious teaching, however, it will be a process of quality, healing, and closer approach to human religion – a process that in many aspects records returns to original clean forms of religious life, and in many other aspects it will mean an adjustment to the rhythm and claims of the time of developing science, art, and technology.
There may be different illnesses and collapses of old and new ideas, but development of religious ideas may be characterized as an integral and necessary part of man in the future.
Pope John Paul II stressed that mercy is the only power that may save the world.
Is it actually that simple? The natural world around us and our society suffers daily because of violence and unfair practices.
Closer and better relations among people are necessary for the future of the human race.
This internal contamination is many times more harmful than the external contamination of nature and people.
The positive life relation to transcendant reality is necessary, but not eminent, or entirely formal, therefore noneffective.
As material space is getting smaller and the world can be accessed more easily through mass media or through new transportation means, the spiritual, the cultural, the social, and transcendental world before us is getting bigger and wider.
We enter the age of a „single global family“ and worldwide society where we will live next to those whose religion, nationality, and skin color is different from ours.
In this world, we will need a pure, real, and approving mutual acceptance.
For any individual and group, it will be impossible to have a selfishly divided territory, society, and culture.
It will be necessary to protect all nature and all humans in accordance with the needs of the world community and future generations.
What will be the rule of this new age and new society, and how are we going to reach the realization that we are all members of this global society?
Can this question be answered and solved through the power of human society or only through the power of God’s Creation and his formative means of love, hope, and belief?
World religions knew the answers to these questions for a long time, however, world science and philosophy does not know the complete answers, although they have attempted to find them for centuries.
It seems that we underestimate and do not fully appreciate the role of arts and artistic talents and expression, as other nonsensual or exceptional abilities of people, including natural peoples and nations, who also belong to the cultural treasury of man.
It seems that currently everything is involved, especially all things living and human, and their maintenance and understanding of the principles of life on Earth and in the universe.
Can we, in this unusual situation, find the smart and new solution, or can we find it on any old and proven routes of the past?
There are more people living in the world today than at any time before, however, the world is no more human nor closer to each other as we might expect – the truth is different.
The level of humanity doesn’t depend on quantity but on the quality of human life: on the level of understanding and sympathy.
It is not only in the area of knowledge, in the area of sense, but also in the area of sensitivity and will.
This is not a new notion, the ancient Greeks knew that; they stood by the cradle of civilization.
Their life ideal was also within reach.
It was the „kalokagatheia“, a creation of a physical and spiritual harmony and their cultivation in the life of any individual.
This ideal was again emphasized during the time of the Renaissance and lives today in the form of human ideals of people.
A new world at the end of the 20th century requires either an entirely new thinking and new approach to a person and the world, and new principles of world unification – in all spheres of life, thinking, and activities, the same as in the areas of science, arts, philosophy, and religion, or it must be cleaned, revived, and returned to original moral, philosophical, and religious ideals.
We can feel that today’s principles of democracy are nonsufficient and are inadequately effective: the Christian code of the Ten Commandments is best created in the history of the human race, however, it is not binding on human beings – most people don’t even know it nor do they respect it, and it is not an imperative for them.
Also some basic elements of the Christian faith that are based on original sin and the fall of man, on the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary and her Marian cult, the interpretation of the most Secular Trinitarianism, and other theological teachings of the Roman-Catholic, orthodox, and other churches.
For man in the 21st century, it will be very difficult to accept it, understand it, and provide new interpretation of the Christian religion, or enable man of the post-industrial society [to have] a more natural and more direct relationship and connection with God, divinity, and the spiritual world.
Even a new Catechism of Pope John Paul II, published in the end of 1992, suggests it.
Tomorrow requires a more secure system, theory, and practice.
However, is there something more effective and better than the Christian belief, hope, love, or ideas of humanism, democracy, etc.?
Are not the principles and basics of the lifelong and worldwide education and its application more important?
The fact that find our knowledge in the past, i.e., especially in the past and only somewhat in the present and not in the future, is alarming.
The future world cannot be built only on the past and the present.
Human beings must care about the future world more and more. Human life makes sense only from the point of future, from the point of view of future generations and our descendants.
At the same time, it suggests a recognition that in this world we live not only for ourselves, but preferably for others.
It is not a coincidence that the new interpretation of man and the new approach and the meaning of human life can be found not only within the Christian teachings and church, but also in the ideas of the movement of Unity, Scientology, and Dianetics, in conscious universalism and in common ecumenical efforts for spiritual revival, the Taize movement, or the Fokolaric movement, Charismatic Revival, or in the efforts of the World Ecumenical Church.
If we succeed to build and realize these ideas from the point of view of science, the arts, and religion, as well as from the point of view of humanitarian ideals of people mentioned above, it will be possible to accomplish further physical and spiritual development of people on this planet even in the future.
The biblical Eden on Earth is not the only idea of ancient origin of the human race, but it is also a longtime idea or common goal of all people that we are approaching at the same speed as this Eden is leaving behind.
However, if we fall off in our efforts or abandon it, we would contribute to the fulfillment of an apocalyptic vision of the world.
Human life would lose any sense forever.
But because man is more a „zoon politicon,“ or a social creature, and Homo creans, or a creative person, who is able to create and participate in everything permanently, and everywhere, such danger exists only when he fails and loses his ideals.
It is understandable that the danger of chaos, contamination, and destruction of life on Earth will be there forever, however, if people will adopt the basics of world ethics, human behavior, and activities within the law, if they are going to be more tolerant and friendly to others, and as long as individual teachings, religions, and philosophies are going to get closer to each other, and they all will act together, i.e., scientists, theologians, and philosophers, politicians and citizens of this common world, and we all will understand this necessity to learn to participate in general and lifelong education, we will not live in individual states and within boundaries, but in a human community without boundaries on the surface of the single live planet, in the real paradise of the universe on our Earth.
V. Perspectives of the Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology, is one of the most successful communities within the New Age movement – as far as the number of believers, the only competition is the Church of Unity of Reverend Moon and some other movements – and is showing a permanent growth since it was established.
In the past forty years of its existence, after the strong initial boom, there was a regular annual growth of 100,000 members per year.
This growth may significantly increase in future years unless there are exceptional campaigns against its activities.
However, it is interesting that such efforts had happened in the near past, but they did not mean more than a temporary slowdown of this growing trend, and a similar development can be expected in the near future in Europe.
Under better management of the promotion of Dianetics and Scientology, it will be possible to use such a campaign for the better information and for a more educated promotion of the Church of Scientology.
This would be not only possible, but also desirable, and necessary, and it would contribute to a further selection and formulation of a new position, role, and importance of the Church Scientology among other movements of the New Age in the world.
It is not a sect of the youth, not a form of heredity, however, it is a focused ecumenical activity that is effectively connecting science with religion.
From a purely religious point of view, it is entirely a unique attempt that enables the solution of problems of post modern society between the century and the millennium.
Also in the Czech Republic, opinions on Scientology and Dianetics were rendered by a wide selection of experts and technicians.
Many physicians revised their original negative opinions and are showing rather an interest in its results, and the possibilities of their utilization.
On the other hand, the criticism of Scientology in religious and theological circles and similar movements has also increased.
Under these circumstances, the first publication of L. R. Hubbard’s „Dianetics“ is prepared as a corpus delicti of its current level.
From the formal point of view, it is an example of a post-modern educational publication, which is attempting to put together the philosophical-religious value of the contents, and scientific and expert values.
It will certainly initiate a new wave of discussions and responses, approving and disapproving arguments, but its major argument is the success of the Church of Scientology and Dianetics in the area of the self improvement of man.
VI. References: The Scientology Handbook, What is Scientology? Book
In the epilogue of the most recent book „The Scientology Handbook“ (Los Angeles, 1994) on page 780, it mentions the contribution of the Church of Scientology quite clearly and in detail, and I agree with it:
Today individuals have tools they have never had before. The task is to make them known and get them used. And that is the purpose of this handbook.
It is a purpose that you have helped fulfill by reading this book. These tools are now yours. And what you do with them is in your hands.
Nothing happens without being caused.
And the future has yet to be created.
With these tools, you can help create it.
The choice is yours.
Prof. Dr. Josef WOLF, CSc.
Prague, June 1, 1995.
1 It is also active in the United States of America, Canada, Australia and Russia.
2 Source text error – NJ is not part of NY