Scientology Facts
Scientology Facts

74 Interesting Facts about Scientology

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published February 28, 2017
  • The Church of Scientology was established in 1954 and is based on the teachings of American author L. Ron Hubbard.[3]
  • While the Church of Scientology claims it has over 10 million members, its critics argue that it has just about 500,000 members, mostly in the U.S., South Africa, and Australia.[9]
  • Scientology is a successor of founder Hubbard’s earlier self-help system called “Dianetics,” which was first published in 1950. Its publication is considered by Scientologists to be the seminal moment of the 20th century.[15]
  • The precursor of Scientology was called “Dianetics.” It was initially designed as a new psychotherapy and was not expected to lead to a new religion.[11]
  • The basic tenant of Scientology is that man is “basically good and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows, and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.”[11]
  • The fundamental principles of Scientology are 1) man is an immortal, alien, spiritual being called a thetan, 2) his experience extends well beyond a single lifetime, and 3) his capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.[8]
  • The complete structure of the practice of Scientology is called “The Bridge to Total Freedom.” The levels of progression are Pre-clear, Clear, and Operating Thetan. Pre-clear is the initial stage where a member undergoes a therapy session called “auditing.” A member is a “Clear” when, after the auditing sessions, he or she is free of negative emotions. The ultimate level is the Operating Thetan, which is where the participant is in control of life, thought, matter, energy, space, and time.[10]
  • Interesting Scientology Fact
    The 8-sided Scientology cross represents the 8 dynamics of life
  • The Scientology cross is a major symbol in the religion. It is similar to the Christian cross, but has an additional 4 diagonal rays between the horizontal and vertical arms. The eight points of the cross symbolize the 8 dynamics in Scientology: 1) The Self, 2) Creativity, sex, and procreation (family), 3) groups, 4) humankind, 5) all life forms, 6) physical universe, 7) spirituality, and 8) God, infinity, or the Supreme Being.[16]
  • Scientologists believe that souls have lived on other planets prior to living on Earth. A person cannot progress until “aberrations’ from previous lives are cleared.[14]
  • Scientologists believe that L. Ron Hubbard discovered their religion through scientific methods, not by revelation.[9]
  • In his therapy sessions, Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard used the word “clear” from early computer science. Hubbard felt the human mind was similar to a computer that needed to be “cleared” of flawed data.[14]
  • Scientology is a contraction of the Latin scio, “knowing,” and Greek logos, “study of.” In short, Scientology means “knowing how to know.”[8]
  • Scientologists eliminate self-destructive behaviors by cleansing their minds of bad memories called “engrams” through therapy sessions called “audits.” Specifically, founder L. Ron Hubbard defined an engram as “a mental image picture of a moment of pain and unconsciousness.”[16]
  • Once Scientologists eliminate negative memories through therapy, they are “clear.” Once clear, they then attempt to move through many levels of understanding associated with “Operating Thetans” (OTs), who are believed to be able to control the world with their minds.[14]
  • One of the most significant criticisms of Scientology is that members must pay significant amounts of money to participate in “audits,” or therapy sessions, in order to advance to new levels of understanding.[14]
  • Scientology has come under attack for its stance on mental health care, especially its prohibition of its members to be on any psychiatric drug.[10]
  • L. Ron Hubbard wrote the sci-fi novel Battlefield Earth, which fellow Scientologist John Travolta translated into film in 2000. The film was a huge flop.[14]
  • Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man wants to make a million dollars, the the best way would be to start his own religion.

    - L. Ron Hubbard

  • One criticism of Scientology is its zero tolerance on any opposition or any form of dissent to founder L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings.[10]
  • According to Scietnology founder L. Ron Hubbard, an alien named Xenu (or Xemu) was the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy” who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of people to “Teegeeack” (a.k.a. Earth), placed them around volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs. Their souls (thetans) remained trapped on Earth, and Xenu implanted them with false images of historical events that Hubbard claims never existed, such as death of Jesus Christ. Hubbard considered thetans as human souls.[10]
  • The Church of Scientology believes that thetans (or alien spirits), not the central nervous system, command the body through communication points.[9]
  • Hubbard told his associates that he had been many people before he was born Lafayette Ronald Hubbard on March 13, 1911. Specifically, he believed he was Cecil Rhodes, the British-born diamond king of Southern Africa, and a marshal to Joan of Arc. After his death in 1986, a Scientology publication claimed Hubbard was the original musician who invented music some 3 million years ago.[8]
  • Hubbard wrote several “space operas” that contain important themes of Scientology (e.g., the Xenu story). Only the highest members of the church who have paid tens of thousands of dollars to advance through church levels have access to these cosmological teachings. The church considers public discussion of their space opera teachings offensive and has asked the media and academics not to publish the details.[8]
  • Interesting Anderson Cooper Fact
    Scientologists made an anti-Anderson Cooper magazine (Tulane Public Relations / Creative Commons)
  • After Anderson Cooper did a week-long five-part investigation critiquing Scientology, the church published a 95-page magazine attacking the journalist.[13]
  • The symbol of Scientology consists of a letter “S,” which stands for “Scientology,” and ARC and KRC triangles, two important ideas in Scientology. ARC is an acronym for Affinity, Reality, and Communication. KRC is an acronym for Knowledge, Responsibility, and Control.[9]
  • The Church of Scientology call those who practice Scientology without its sanction (or outside the church) “squirrels.” The term is supposed to be pejorative and is similar in meaning to “heretic.”[14]
  • Sea Org, the central management of the Church of Scientology, has its own symbol, which is a star in the middle of two leaves. The symbol represents the Galactic Confederacy of 75 million years ago. Its motto is “Revenimus,” which means “We come back.”[9]
  • The Church of Scientology built a huge vault into a mountainside to protect the works of L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer who established the church in the 1950s. His writings have been engraved on stainless steel tablets and are stored in thousands of heat-resistant titanium boxes. They are playable on a solar-powered turntable.[7]
  • An important part of the Church of Scientology is the Church of Spiritual Technology. Its symbol is two diamonds, each centered in two overlapping circles. It is engraved large enough on a mountainous region of New Mexico to be seen from a high altitude. Former Church member Michael Pattinson said the circles are signposts for reincarnated Scientologists who will return from outer space.[16]
  • In Switzerland, the Church of Scientology is defined as a commercial enterprise. In France and Chile, it is considered a cult.[2]
  • Scientology is considered a tax-exempt religion in the United States, Spain, New Zealand, Portugal, Australia, Italy, South Africa, and the Netherlands.[2]
  • Actress Kristie Alley credits Scientology’s “Narconon” program for helping her kick her cocaine habit. Critics and former members view it as one of the church’s “front groups,” or a group that appears moderate in an attempt to mask other extremist views.[4]
  • Lesser celebrities, producers, acting coaches, and writers are often attracted to Scientology, not just for the spiritual aspects but also for the networking possibilities as well.[4]
  • Members of Scientology move through levels. However, it can cost over $100,000 just to reach a level of OT III (Operating Thetan Level 3).[15]
  • Free Zone Scientologists are Scientologists who do not require its members to pay money to advance through levels of understanding of the church. Some members of the Free Zone church believe the main church of Scientology has been taken over by undercover agents of the Marcabian Confederacy, who they define as a powerful galactic civilization whose headquarters is on one of the tail stars of the Big Dipper.[8]
  • Interesting Big Dipper Fact
    According to Scientologists, the big dipper houses an enemy civilization

  • Famous Scientologists include Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Lisa Marie Presley, and Will Smith.[4]
  • Scientology has three main holidays: 1) L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday on March 13, 2) the anniversary of the first publication of Dianetics in May, and 3) Auditor’s Day in September.[9]
  • Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote everything from romance to science fiction. He wrote more than 275 books and pamphlets before his death.[16]
  • In 1938, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote a manuscript called “Excalibur,” which is the first of his writings to refer to “Scientology.”[16]
  • The book Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard asserts that Hubbard engaged in bizarre sexual acts, made racist remarks, and exaggerated his wartime exploits. Initially, it was not published in the U.S. due to pressure from the Scientology movement. However, in 2014 it was updated and published in America.[12]
  • One of the aims of the Church of Scientology is to create a world without insanity, without criminals, and without war.[16]
  • Scientologists are “all-denominational.” This means that a person could be Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu and still be a Scientologist.[9]
  • Members of Scientology sign a “one-billion-year pledge to symbolize their eternal commitment to the religion.”[14]
  • Though Scientologists claim that its truths are “self-evident” and its principles are easily demonstrable, there are over 15,000 pages of technical writing and more than 3,000 taped lectures on Scientology.[14]
  • Interesting Tom Cruise Fact
    Scientology was a factor in the stars' divorce (Scientology Media / Creative Commons)
  • As a member of the Church of Scientology, actress Katie Holmes was reportedly not allowed to make any noise during her labor in order to avoid negatively affecting her newborn daughter.[9]
  • John Travolta says his popularity soared, including landing the Vinnie Barbarino character on TV’s Welcome Back, Kotter after he took up Scientology in 1975.[4]
  • Tom Cruise claims that Scientology helped him overcome his dyslexia.[4]
  • After John Travolta’s son Jette died, Scientology “minders” stayed with Travolta day and night to help him through the ordeal. It was also after Jett died that Travolta acknowledge Jett was autistic, although scientology does not believe autism exists.[14]
  • The Scientology church has its own cruise ship called the MV Freewinds. It is the exclusive training center for OT VIII (Operating Thetan Level 8), the highest level of Scientology and the last of the published OT levels. It also hosts other Scientology functions and retreats.[14]
  • The marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes sparked interest in Scientology. Scientology has been cited as one of the factors leading to their divorce.[4]
  • Scientology’s “scriptures” are all of Hubbard’s written and spoken words of Scientology, which is over 500,000 pages and 2,000 recorded lectures.[8]
  • In Scientology, there is no praying and no hell. It is a philosophy and self-help program that promises greater self-awareness and the possibility of achieving one’s full potential.[16]
  • The Church of Scientology has engaged in “dead agenting,” which is a way to combat negative comments about Scientology or, in Hubbard’s words, to “attack the attacker.” It includes spreading false information, digging up a person’s past, and spreading rumors to discredit a critic.[15]
  • The inner core of the Scientology is called Sea Org, or SO. Sea Org members run and operate churches, raise money, give auditings, and perform other tasks. They sign a one-billion-year contract and promise to return and serve in their next life.[15]
  • Interesting David Miscavige Fact
    Scientology leader David Miscavige was born Roman Catholic (Scientology Media / Creative Commons)
  • Michele Diane “Shelly” Miscavige, the wife of the Church of Scientology’s current leader David Miscavige, has not been seen in public since 2006. It is believed she is in exile.[17]
  • During most auditing sessions (where a member cleanses himself from negativity or “engrams”), an E-meter is used. This is an electronic measuring device that measures electric charges or impulses that help the auditor identify spiritual problem areas.[14]
  • The FBI has been investigating the Church of Scientology since December 2009 for charges of human trafficking within the Sea Org at the Gold Base in California.[14]
  • Scientologists refer to non-Scientologists as “wogs.” The Church of Scientology copyrighted that term.[14]
  • David Miscavige, current leader of the Church of Scientology, has been accused of beating his aides and humiliating staff members.[14]
  • In 1978, several Scientologists, including L. Ron Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue, were convicted of carrying out the largest domestic espionage in the U.S, called Operation Snow White. The church planted operatives inside the IRS, FBI, and the American Medical Association. They stole and copied thousands of documents to find information they could use against the government.[15]
  • While it is possible for Scientologists to believe in most other religions, some scientology practices, such as auditing, must be performed exactly the way founder L. Ron Hubbard described.[14]
  • Two organizations, the Religious Technology Center (RTC) and the church of Scientology International (CSI), direct all the activities of the church. The RTC was formed in 1982 to safeguard its religious symbols, doctrines, and technical practices. The RTC has ultimate responsibility for church scriptures, doctrines, and rituals. The CSI manages and coordinates the worldwide activities of Scientology, such as auditing and religious training.[14]
  • In Scientology there is no initiation ritual (like baptism) or other formal recognition of membership.[9]
  • Interesting Lisa McPherson Fact
    McPherson was a devoted Scientologist (Estate of Lisa McPherson / Creative Commons)
  • Lisa McPherson (1959–1995) was a member of the Church of Scientology who died in 1995 while under the care of the Flag Service Organization (FSO), a branch of Scientology. The church was initially charged with 1) abuse/neglect of a disabled adult and 2) practicing medicine without a license. The charges were dropped in 2000. The church later made a legal settlement with McPherson’s family.[1]
  • Scientologists look to be about equally divided by gender, and women appear to be well represented in positions of authority, except for only the highest levels of the organization.[9]
  • From 1966 to the early 1980s, the Church of Scientology performed covert operations against several perceived opponents through what it called the Guardian's Office (GO). The purpose of the GO was to destroy, neutralize, or “depower” any opponents to Scientology. It often resorted to illegal tactics.[14]
  • Actress Leah Remini split from Scientology after becoming critical of the church’s treatment of former and current members. After she left, she filed a missing person's report with the LAPD about chairman David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, who hasn’t been seen in public since 2007. The LAPD said the report was “unfounded.”[6]
  • With the exception of the children of the membership, few Scientologists seem to be under legal age and members older than 65–75 seem to be rare. The majority of the membership seems to range in age from their early 20s to late 50s, with the age distribution skewed toward younger people.[9]
  • The Church of Scientology has been accused of coercing women in central management into getting abortions. If a woman refused an abortion, she was intimidated, isolated, and forced to do physical labor until she agreed. Scientology has no official position on abortion.[5]
  • Crash director Paul Haggis is arguably the highest-profile former Scientologist to speak out against the church. He reported that shortly after he submitted his resignation letters to the church, he came home to find 9 or 10 of his Scientology friends standing in his front yard who tried to talk him out of leaving the church and going public with his experiences.[6]
  • Little Known Scientology Fact
    Scientologists believe that Venus hold "implant stations"
  • Scientologists believe that when a person dies (or when a thetan abandons the physical body), it goes to a landing station on the planet Venus where it is then redirected.[15]
  • In many countries, Scientology has been accused of being a dangerous cult that brainwashes it followers and confiscates its assets. The leaders of the church deny that.[8]
  • Since it was granted tax-exempt status by the IRS in 1993, the Church of Scientology has not released any public information about its membership or finances.[14]
  • Germany has in the past and continues to monitor the Church of Scientology in that country. The government says it considers Scientology to be in conflict with the principles of the nation’s constitution and sees the church as an abusive business rather than a religion.[2]
  • Scientology Timeline[12]
    1938L. Ron Hubbard writes Excalibur, which has concepts that are included in Scientology
    1949Hubbard presents his work on Dianetics to the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association
    1950Hubbard publishes Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
    February 1952Hubbard establishes Hubbard College in Wichita, Kansas
    May 1952Hubbard announces the establishment of the philosophy of Scientology and of the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International
    July 1952Hubbard publishes the Scientology: A History of Man
    1953Hubbard incorporates the Church of Scientology, Church of American Science, and Church of Spiritual Engineering in Elizabeth, New Jersey
    1957The Church of Scientology becomes a tax-exempt religious organization in the United States
    January 1963The church is required to have a disclaimer on the E-meter devices (used for auditing) that these are used for religious purposes
    1966Narconon program is established
    1967The Church of Scientology loses its tax-exempt status
    December 1967The Advanced Organization is established, which offers advanced levels of Scientology
    1969Scientology is recognized by the U.S. Court of Appeals as a religion
    1975Scientology is recognized as a nonprofit organization in South Africa
    1983The High Court of Australia lifts the ban imposed in 1965 on Scientology
    January 1986L. Ron Hubbard dies, David Miscavige becomes church leader
    1999Sweden officially recognizes the Church of Scientology as a charitable, nonprofit organization
    2002New Zealand recognizes the Church of Scientology as a charitable and religious organization
    2003Scientology was recognized as a religion in Taiwan, Portugal, and Spain
  • [1][2][3][4]

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