religious veracity

Sometimes, it seems, we are quick to criticize what we don’t know — or rather, we judge behavior in which our perspective is limited. It’s as if we feel our limited perspective is enough to cast firm and stern judgment.

Note Sunday night at the Golden Globe awards. When talented actress Elizabeth Moss accepted her award for “Best Actress in a Drama TV Series,” she utilized her allotted time by honoring “all of the women” who were “brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world.”

Almost immediately (because the secular American public has for some reason concluded that this is an acceptable way to respond), Moss was harshly hammered on social media for her perceived hypocrisy. She was criticized because the 35 year old is a practicing Scientologist, and many believe that Scientology is an unjust, abusive, especially-oppressive-of-women ideology.

But it’s easy to jump on a bandwagon — via both criticism and praise. I would simply ask this: do we know what Scientology actually is? Besides visions of Tom Cruise jumping on couches in our heads, what do Scientologists believe? What’s at the core of their thinking?

Public promotions and statements from the organization provide nice-sounding offerings such as “the way to happiness,” “increasing spiritual awareness,” and making “life-enhancing improvements.” Let us also acknowledge the root of the religion, as it is not quite as publicized.

Scientology was created by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950’s. While first publishing what he identified as a “science,” Hubbard later invoked a more religious approach, claiming to have uncovered the deep secrets of the spirit and mind. He professed to have been enlightened, and he also avowed that he had acquired knowledge that no other person has ever possessed, calling himself a “celestial mediator.”

Be aware that prior to establishing the religion, Hubbard was a career science fiction writer. Hence, among his teachings, armed with his fantasy and fictional vernacular, “Incident II” is included in the origin of Scientology.

“Incident II” is a far more ambiguous description of the actual teaching…

In knowledge gleaned only by him, Hubbard asserted that 75 million years ago, Xenu, the dictator of the “Galatic Confederacy,” brought billions of his people to “Teegeeack.” “Teegeeack” is what we now call Earth.

According to Hubbard, Xenu brought these billions in a DC-8-like spacecraft. He then stacked the people around volcanoes, and killed them all with hydrogen bombs. The immortal spirits of these aliens adhere to humans, causing spiritual harm.

This teaching is at the core of Scientology.

It’s important to look at the core teachings of any religion when attempting to discern what is good and right and true; they cannot all be good and right and true.

Who is the key religious leader?
What is the faith based upon?
How did it begin?

And key for me — especially when considering the veracity of Scientology, for example — is the onset of this religion unexplainably miraculous?

Or was it made up by man?

In order to verify any religion as good and right and true, we need to investigate the origin of a faith as opposed to simply observing the followers of a faith. Followers can be imperfect.

It’s important to comprehend the core of the thinking.


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