Eric Roux, Scientologie
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Eric Roux
Eric Roux
Ministre du culte de L'Eglise de Scientologie, après 25 années passées dans le clergé de l'Eglise, Eric Roux est aujourd'hui le président de l'Union des Eglises de Scientologie de France et Vice Président du Bureau Européen de L'Eglise de Scientologie pour les affaires publiques et les droits de l'homme.
Ce blog est une initiative personnelle destinée aux gens qui s'intéressent à la spiritualité, ou à ceux qui souhaitent en apprendre plus sur la scientologie, à ceux qui pensent que la liberté de conscience est un droit fondamental qui mérite d'être défendu, à mes coreligionnaires ou encore à ceux qui sont curieux...

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Sortie du livre New Religious Movements and Counselling
Le livre "New Religious Movements and Counselling" vient d'être publié chez Routledge, la plus grosse maison d'édition d'ouvrages académiques dans le monde. Vous pouvez le trouver en cliquant ici.

Je vous le signale parce que j'ai écrit dans cet ouvrage collectif le chapitre 9 "Scientology Auditing - Pastoral Counselling or a religious path to total spiritual freedom".

Malheureusement pour ceux qui ne sont pas anglophones, ce texte n'existe qu'en anglais. Je le copie quand même ici pour ceux qui souhaitent le lire :

Scientology Auditing - Pastoral Counselling or a religious path to total spiritual freedom

Scientology auditing is one of the core practices of the Scientology religion. The goal of auditing is to restore one’s innate abilities, oneself being understood as a spiritual being, the soul itself. This is accomplished by helping individuals rid themselves of any spiritual disabilities and by increasing their spiritual abilities. This religious practice is designed to help the person recover awareness of one’s spiritual immortality, one’s basic goodness and one’s personal divine nature.

Auditing (from Latin audire, which means to listen or to hear) is done by an auditor, who is an ordained minister or a minister in training of the Church of Scientology. The auditor applies the ‘processes’ (spiritual exercises) of auditing to an individual to help him or her accomplish the goal of auditing, spiritual enlightenment and freedom. Auditing can be applied to an individual,to a group of individuals together (group auditing) and, in certain cases, is applied to oneself (solo auditing).

While auditing may be seen as a form of counselling, its purpose, effects and its practice are far from the field of counselling as normally understood in the common sense and even different from ‘pastoral counselling’ as sometimes defined. This possible misconception of what Scientology auditing is may stem from the earlier works of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, in which he wrote about Dianetics auditing in his bestseller, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950), a few years before the discoveries which led to the founding of the Scientology religion.

In this chapter, I will outline how Scientology auditing differs from counselling in its usual sense, and also from pastoral counselling as described by some of the more common definitions, even though some of the incidental effects of auditing encompass the purpose of counselling and pastoral counselling. This is without derogating Scientology auditing from its religious status and concern.

Counselling definitions and Dianetics before the birth of Scientology

Counselling is usually defined in English dictionaries as the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems. The word is commonly used in the field of therapy, and refers to professionals trained in that particular field. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines counselling as ‘professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes’. Pastoral counselling refers to the situation in which a clergy member engages in counselling. Pastoral counselling is usually defined as the use of psychotherapeutic techniques by trained members of the clergy to assist parishioners who seek help for personal or emotional problems.


Pamela Cooper-White describes pastoral counselling in these terms:
Pastoral counselling, or psychotherapy, is defined as a distinctive form of counselling in which the full resources, theoretical knowledge, and clinical methods of secular psychology and psychotherapy are brought together with pastoral theological method and practice to provide a holistic approach to psychotherapy that honors and integrates the spiritual dimension of each patient’s life and experience.
(Cooper-White 2004: 131)
When L. Ron Hubbard wrote Dianetics in 1950, Scientology was not mentioned in the book.(1) He described Dianetics as ‘a family of sciences embracing the various humanities and translating them into precise definitions’, and amongst this family of sciences, gave an extensive description of Dianetics auditing, which he called ‘Dianetics therapy’ (Hubbard 1950). The purpose of the ‘therapy’ is described as the removal of the ‘reactive mind’,(2) in order to achieve the goal of ‘Clear’. A ‘Clear’ is defined as an individual freed of his reactive mind, who ‘demonstrates the basic nature of Mankind and that basic nature has been found uniformly and invariably to be good’, with ‘intelligence considerably greater than the current normal’, with full memory ‘throughout the lifetime, with the additional bonus that he has photographic recall in colour, motion, sound, etc., as well as optimum computational ability’ (Hubbard 1950).

Needless to say, even if L. Ron Hubbard used the word ‘therapy’ to describe Dianetics auditing, he was not basing the use of Dianetics on ‘clinical methods of secular psychology and psychotherapy’, as Dianetics was a whole in itself, not to be combined with other techniques, and self-sufficient in creating what it promised.

However, this was in 1950, and the vocabulary of ‘Dianetics’, as well as the subtitle of the book ‘Modern Science of Mental Health’ played a role in placing Dianetics in the field of therapy, whatever the intention of the author may have been.

Nevertheless, at the end of the book, Hubbard outlined what would and should be the future of Dianetics, as well as the future of ‘the therapy’, including ‘a further research into life force’ as well as ‘an effort to discover a higher echelon of universal origin and destination’ (Hubbard 1950). Within the space of twelve months after the release of Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health, the first research had been driven to a conclusion, as Hubbard identified an animating force within every living thing, that he called ‘Theta’, from the Greek letter meaning ‘thought’, and distinguished it as life force existing separate from the physical universe.

That was the beginning of a new area of discoveries by Hubbard which he described in a 1958 interview with the American Professor of Religious History, Dr Stillson Judah, in these words:
In the fall of 1951, I found out what was looking at the mental pictures… and described it. And found out that you could do things with it from a practical standpoint that nobody had ever done before, and found myself suddenly in the field of religion, whether I wanted to be or not, there I was. Very simple – the human soul was the fellow.
(Hubbard 1958)
Scientology auditing as a religious practice

It was in the early 1950s that Hubbard started to develop Scientology, first as ‘the science of knowing how to know’ (Hubbard 1952), which rapidly developed into the religious field, without departing from its rational nature, as described by Hubbard: ‘The Scientology religion is precise and exact, designed for an age of exact sciences’ (Hubbard 1956b: 6).

The early 1950s were times of major breakthroughs in the spiritual field of Scientology. Hubbard developed several theories on the subject of the spirit. The spirit, called the ‘theta body’ or the ‘thetan’, was described as the person oneself, the ‘I’, separated from the body, the mind and even the physical universe itself. The thetan was described as having ‘no mass, no wavelength, no energy, no measurable qualities and no time or location in space except by consideration or postulate’ (Hubbard 1975). The thetan is immortal, and when the person dies, the thetan usually goes into a new body, for a new lifetime. Moreover, the thetan can exist separately from the body, with a full awareness of being out of it, a phenomenon which Scientologists call ‘exteriorisation’ (Hubbard 1952).

These new developments led Hubbard, and consequently Scientology, progressively into the field of religion. New auditing techniques were developed, addressing the thetan itself, designed to achieve higher spiritual awareness levels than the level of Clear as defined in Dianetics, and as described above. The purpose of auditing started to reach far beyond the goals of 1950s Dianetics, concentrating on the attainment of spiritual freedom. It is also worth noting here that at its very beginning Dianetics took a scientific approach to the mind and related observable phenomena, and so defined itself within these parameters and purposely did not enter into what was, at that point, the more speculative realm of religion. It was when Hubbard developed his research on the foundation of Dianetics, though beyond its original scope, that he found evidence of the spiritual nature of man.

In 1952, Hubbard expressed that ‘The theta being is the principal target of the auditor’ (Hubbard 1952), and the techniques of auditing began to focus on the goal of exteriorising the thetan, as a way to render the individual full consciousness of his or her spiritual nature. Further, many auditing techniques were designed towards gaining spiritual freedom by way of increasing the communication of the thetan with the physical universe, in order to develop freedom from that physical universe. These included spiritual exercises designed to help the individual change his ‘considerations’ (broadly speaking considerations are thoughts) with regards to the physical universe – considerations being described as a product of the thetan, superior to the physical universe and fundamentally as being causative over it.
The freedom of an individual depends upon that individual’s freedom to alter his considerations of space, energy, time and forms of life, and his roles in it. If he cannot change his mind about these, he is then fixed and enslaved amidst barriers such as those of the physical universe and barriers of his own creation… The goal of processing is to bring an individual into such thorough communication with the physical universe that he can regain the power and ability of his own considerations.
(Hubbard 1954a: 25, 26)
Auditing was, and is, central to the religious practice of Scientology, and has been described as a sacrament, ‘a process by which one becomes aware of the hidden spiritual barriers that keep one from becoming aware of one’s essential spiritual nature as a thetan and from properly exercising that nature’ (Bryant 1994).

In 1953, auditors were called ‘Doctors of Divinity’, and Hubbard made the announcement that they could set man ‘free from pain, from grief, from suffering, from the endless despair of this vale of tears’ (Hubbard 1954b: 273). Recognising that auditing had gone far further than dealing with materialistic goals, Hubbard made clear that Scientology was religious in nature, that ‘it has taught us that a man is his own immortal soul’, and that ‘one cannot now play traitor to the men of god who sought, these ages past, to bring man from the darkness’ (Hubbard 1954c: 279). The first Church of Scientology was incorporated in 1954. As soon as 1955, auditors were entitled to be called ‘Reverend’ and were the Church’s ordained ministers.

Auditing, as a core practice of Scientology, had become a way to ‘total spiritual freedom’, as some Buddhist spiritual exercises are meant to lead to liberation, aimed at freeing the individual from the inherent sufferings of life. Nevertheless, Scientology auditing was developed in a rationalised manner, codified in order to offer ‘Man a systematic and controlled endeavour to promote self-enlightenment and spiritual knowledge’ (Wilson 1995: 29).

Many authors have recognised and acknowledged the genuine religious nature of the purpose of auditing. Frank Flinn has described ‘Scientology’s religious quest’ as ‘a sacred mission, addressed and available to one and all’, and auditing as ‘a religious instructional type of process by which spiritual guides (trained Scientology ministers) lead adherents through the states of spiritual enlightenment’ (Flinn 1994: 9). In an earlier work he had called Scientology a ‘technologized Buddhism’ (Flinn 1983). Auditing has also been described as a ‘sacred practice’ and a ‘detailed method of salvation’ (Harley and Kieffer 2009). Wilson wrote of a ‘rational means for salvation’, comparing Scientology with Methodists in regards to a controlled, disciplined and methodical way of salvation, as well as with the the upaya (‘right method’) of the seventh stage of the ‘bodhisattva way to salvation in Mahayana Buddhism’ (Wilson 1995: 28).

Indeed, Scientology auditing is ‘a set of spiritual exercises’ (Hubbard 1955a: 23), extremely detailed, organised through a path designed to get an individual from a state of ‘relative spiritual ignorance’ to a state of ‘spiritual knowledge’ and ‘total freedom as a spiritual being’. This path is followed step-by-step, going up what Scientologists call ‘the bridge to total freedom’. Auditing uses processes – spiritual exercises – exact sets of questions asked or directions given by an auditor to help a person locate areas of spiritual travail, in order for individuals to find out things about themselves and improve their condition.

Even if Scientology auditing is also designed to help people increase their spiritual abilities and improve their daily life conditions, Scientology’s ultimate goals ‘transcend empirical proof, and the beliefs of its followers are transcendental, metaphysical, and spiritual’ (Wilson 1995: 31).

I have outlined how there was a turning point in the passage from Dianetics to Scientology around 1952, which moved it further into the religious realm.

While Dianetics has remained alive as a practice even nowadays, and became a sub-study of Scientology (Hubbard 1956b: 5), the critical juncture from Dianetics to Scientology has been described by Hubbard in these words:
Dianetics was the forerunner of Scientology. By use of Dianetics, as early as 1950, it became apparent that we were dealing, not with cells and cellular memory, but with a beingness that defied time. Anyone using Dianetics properly would make the same discovery. For Dianetics reached deeper than Man had ever gone before in plumbing the mystery of life.
The phenomena of past lives was followed by exteriorisation. Many of the things Man has always wondered about were suddenly very plain even to the most sceptical observer.
The conclusion was inescapable: We were dealing with the human spirit.

Scientology marked the point of change from a materialistic viewpoint to a spiritual one.

Dianetics is defined as DIA (Greek) through, NOUS (Greek) soul.
Dianetics is further redefined as WHAT THE SOUL IS DOING TO

Dianetics, though it might not have guessed it in its early publication, was dealing with the human spirit and it is interesting that its name, as derived, meant that.
(Hubbard 1981: 7, 8)
Scientology auditing as or versus pastoral counselling

Several authors have described auditing as pastoral counselling, and the Church of Scientology itself sometimes uses this term for auditing (CSI 2014).

Bryan Wilson, for example, wrote:
The means which Scientology employs constitutes a form of pastoral counselling, most specifically organized into the techniques of auditing (from Latin audire, to listen). The specific techniques and apparatus of auditing are organized as a technology which constitutes the core part of Scientological religious practice. (…) This method, like that of affirmation in Christian Science, is claimed to eliminate both the sense of sin and the effects of past suffering and wrongdoing.
(Wilson 1995: 28)
Even some courts throughout the world have recognised, under the terms ‘pastoral counselling’, the religious character of Scientology auditing (for example Stuttgart District Court 1992), whether assessed for reasons of religious recognition or for tax exemption purposes.

However, it seems important to me that when using the term ‘pastoral counselling’ to describe Scientology auditing, we must make sure that what we have in mind is a correct definition of ‘pastoral counselling’. Indeed, a commonly accepted (even if not exclusive of other meanings) sense of ‘pastoral counselling’, states ‘clinical methods of secular psychology and psychotherapy are brought together with pastoral theological method and practice to provide a holistic approach to psychotherapy’ (Cooper-White 2004). If we follow that definition from Pamela Cooper-White, then we cannot conclude that either Dianetics or Scientology auditing fits within that definition. Auditors do not use clinical methods of psychology and psychotherapy. Auditing is not to be mixed with any other practice, and is never done together with any secular psychological or psychotherapeutic method. Scientology auditing is based on Scientology scriptures, which are self-sufficient in order to achieve the purpose of auditing.

However, a more traditional and older definition of ‘pastoral counselling’, based on what religious communities have traditionally sought to provide in terms of religion-based solutions for those in trouble, would apply to auditing. This definition of pastoral counselling would refer to a normal function of pastoral duties, a function of pastoral care.

In fact, the ultimate goal of auditing, which can be described as the attainment of total spiritual freedom, inextricably results in what can be considered as the product of pastoral counselling, whatever definition is chosen. Indeed, it is said by Hubbard as well as by many Scientologists or Scientology observers, that auditing can and does actually bring real betterments for people in their emotional life, their problems and even their well-being. As Hubbard claimed: ‘Scientology processing, amongst other things, can improve the intelligence quotient of an individual, his ability or desire to communicate, his social attitudes, his capability and domestic harmony, his artistic creativity, his reaction time and his well being’ (Hubbard 1956b: 114).

However, the common results that can be observed both in counselling and in Scientology auditing, must not lead us to the wrong statement that they are the purpose of Scientology auditing. In Scientology, these results are incidental, and non-spiritual betterments are not to be considered as being part of the aim of auditing, while they can be the consequence of it.

Scientology auditing is designed to increase the abilities, the knowingness and the freedom of the spiritual being, and this betterment of the essence of man will of course have pragmatic results in the daily life of the individual.

Scientology auditing, a world away from professional counselling

We have seen that Dianetics, when it started, was described with terms that placed it de facto in the field of psychotherapy. Indeed, as Wilson stated:
When, in May 1950, L. Ron Hubbard first set out the prospectus of Dianetics, from which Scientology later developed, there was no suggestion that he was putting forward a pattern of religious belief and practice. Dianetics, an abreaction therapy, was not set forth in the language of faith. There is no reason to suppose that, at that time, Hubbard envisaged that Dianetics would become a system of religious belief and practice, or that his following would come to describe and organize itself as a Church.
(Wilson 1995: 22)
Nevertheless, as outlined above, this description of Dianetics rapidly changed as Scientology developed in the 1950s. Moreover, at this time, Hubbard made it very clear that Scientology was ‘not a psychotherapy. It is a body of knowledge which, when properly used, gives freedom and truth to the individual’ (Hubbard 1954a: 351). 

During a lecture given in Washington in 1955, Hubbard said that the developments that had been happening in Scientology, ‘have removed Scientology entirely from any classification as a psychotherapy’. In the same lecture, he even presented his classification of Dianetics as ‘a science’ as his ‘biggest mistake’:
And the biggest mistake that I have made—and I’ve made mistakes, believe me, but the biggest mistake I had made was the day when I said, ‘all right, boys, we will call this a science. All right. We will agree that the Western Hemisphere is not ready to accept anything spiritual or religious. All right. We will call it a science. And this science we will call Dianetics, which means “through mind”’. And that was myself approving with the society, and I never should have approved. Why? Because we went on a wide and large via. We associated ourselves with psychotherapy, and that was not good.
(Hubbard 1955d)
Besides the concern that auditing could be misplaced in the field of psychology or psychotherapy, there was a practical concern which had to do with the reason Scientologists should get auditing: it was important that Scientologists not be misled by their own misinterpretations of what auditing is. Indeed, for Hubbard, 
to use Scientology ‘to get well’, to ‘become less nervous’, is like using an alpine stock(3) to dig a ditch for a water pipe in the back yard. To use Scientology as a guidebook to the discovery of the infinity of infinities is a proper use. (Hubbard 1955c: 155)
Hubbard, on the other hand, had never been afraid of psychology and felt very free to comment on it, as he commented on many societal topics. He sometimes pointed out that the etymology of the word psychology was referring to psyche, the soul and that modern psychology, by negating the existence of the soul had lost its own meaning. He was very much more comfortable with the fact that ancient psychology was associated with religion.
Neither Dianetics nor Scientology should be confused with ‘modern psychology’. More acceptable and normal psychology, such as that begun by Saint Thomas Aquinas and extended by many later authors, was (in 1879) interrupted severely by one Professor Wundt… Scientology is actually a new but very basic psychology, in the most exact meaning of the word - a study of the spirit.
(Hubbard 1956b: 5, 6)
He even advised that some discoveries and Scientology auditing processes be ‘coached to analysts in the hope that the field of psychoanalysis could be made into a successful psychotherapy, for Scientology is not a psychotherapy and does not intend to take the place of any existing psychotherapy’ (Hubbard 1955b: 140). This, while distancing Scientology from the secular field, could be seen as an assumption that the discoveries he made in the frame of his research in the religious field of the human spirit, could benefit and have influence in the secular field of psychotherapy.

He went as far as writing a full critique of psychoanalysis in 1956, in which, after having acknowledged the fact that he was indebted to psychoanalysis and its originator Sigmund Freud, he endeavoured to point out the limitations and errors inherent in the subject as developed by Freud and as practised thereafter (Hubbard 1956a: 443–449, 455–463).

Needless to say, in Hubbard’s discourse, the fact that as a religious figure, he was communicating on subjects that were not to be considered as religious, is not to be taken as even temporary abandonment of the religious sphere. The incorporation of modern scientific terms and topics of ‘Scientological discourse’, ‘does not derogate from its religious status and concerns’ (Wilson 1995: 31).

Scientologists and the use of auditing

Having been myself a member of the clergy of Scientology for more than 20 years, and having met personally more than a thousand Scientologists, be they new ones or old-timers, I can say that I have a personal and in-depth knowledge of the reasons for which Scientologists practise auditing. Having said that, it appears that these reasons, at least at the beginning of the practice of Scientology by a newcomer, may be of various natures, depending on the background and the personal interests of the individual.

Even if huge efforts are made by Scientology Churches to let the newcomers know that they are at the point of starting a religious study which intends to drive them towards upper levels of spirituality, it might happen that some of the new Scientologists are more interested in auditing as a way to solve personal problems or daily life difficulties than to attain total spiritual freedom. The Church will not close the door to them and on the contrary, will consider that the wisdom of Scientology should be available to all, and that its study and practice should not be conditioned by the fact that the applicant must be fully aware of his own desire to be spiritually free, his own desire to rediscover his divine nature. However, as Bryan Wilson wrote:
Thus although much of the initial practice of Scientology is concerned more narrowly with more personal spiritual benefits for those (preclears) who seek Scientological assistance, ultimately the Scientologist must realize that his present life is but a fragment of his continuing existence as a thetan, and that the life of the individual is linked to each of these ascending levels described in the eight dynamics, and so ultimately to the existence and survival of the Supreme Being or infinity.
(Wilson 1995: 25)
L. Ron Hubbard identified eight human impulses which he termed dynamics of existence. They are subdivisions of the fundamental impulse towards survival that is the basic principle of existence itself.(4)

There is a strong determination that Scientology should be used to help one’s fellows, whatever they want to resolve, and that people should encounter Scientology at their current level of interest, in a way that does not close the door to people who are not particularly spiritually oriented. It is also postulated that by experiencing the power and the wisdom that stems from auditing practice, every man or woman will sooner or later discover for him or herself that s/he is a spiritual being, that spiritual heights are attainable and desirable. However, as stated above, in Churches of Scientology, the emphasis is placed on the religious nature of Scientology even before someone starts any auditing or study, so that the person knows that everything he or she will gain from Scientology is the result of a full body of knowledge that is a real understanding of the true spiritual nature of Man.

On the other hand, I know a great number of Scientologists, amongst whom I count myself, who started their study of that religious philosophy and the practice of auditing as a true research of the Absolute, with a strong personal desire to discover metaphysical answers to life, a desire which pre-existed their encounter with Scientology, a desire that was later increased and fulfilled by the practice of auditing.

For Scientologists, Scientology applies to life itself, in all its dimensions. Scientology is defined as an applied religious philosophy. It should be used for the betterment of the eight dynamics, without excluding any of them.

So there is no contradiction in using it to improve any aspect of one’s daily life whilst at the same time to practise it with the purpose of reaching higher states of consciousness and to attain spiritual freedom.


So can we assume in Western countries that Scientology auditing is a form of pastoral counselling in order to understand it through the prism of other denominational pastoral cares? Indeed, if we refer to the normal function of pastoral duties in our societies, which is to provide help in terms of religion-based solutions to the one who needs it, I think auditing can be seen as a form of pastoral counselling.

It is also interesting to see that Hubbard described auditing processes as ‘spiritual exercises’, and that the West has its own tradition of ‘spiritual exercises’. Amongst the foremost of these are the Spiritual Exercises developed by St Ignatius of Loyola, which are a set of meditations, contemplative practices and prayers to help people deepen their relationship with God, ‘to conquer oneself and regulate one’s life without determining oneself through any tendency that is disordered’ (St Ignatius 1522–1524). These became the central component of the Jesuit training programme for novices, when the Society of Jesus was founded.

The ‘Bridge to Total Freedom’, which is a path to liberation as a spiritual being, a path to knowingness and enlightenment, consists of thousands of detailed processes. These processes are designed to increase progressively the awareness of the individual, one’s recognition of one’s spiritual and divine nature and to free one from the entanglement of the essence of man with the physical universe. These processes do have concrete effects on the daily life of the one who practises. The ability to confront life’s problems increases, as does the handling of life’s vicissitudes. This can also be perceived as having an effect on the physical health of the person, and whilst Scientology does not claim to heal any physical disorder, it will not be the first religion to demonstrate that spiritual enlightenment can have an effect on physical health. If you run through ‘success letters’(5) written by Scientologists who received auditing, you will see that most of them illustrate the spiritual changes and betterments they have undergone with pragmatic changes that they experienced in their daily lives. This should not overshadow the essentially spiritual and religious character of the source of these changes and of the auditing practice itself. The objective changes in daily life are the results of the subjective changes that originate from religious exercises addressing the thetan itself.

Scientology is an applied religious philosophy which encompasses all the facets of life. Scientology auditing – addressing the spiritual being itself, increasing its freedom to alter its considerations of space, energy, time and forms of life, and its roles in them, enhancing its communication with the physical universe – also embraces all facets of life, but is aimed at total spiritual freedom, and full knowledge and awareness of the thetan as regards to its spiritual and divine nature. In that regard, Scientology auditing is more than a form of counselling, it is undoubtedly a method of salvation.


1. In 1954, in the magazine ‘Scientology’, published by the Hubbard Association of Scientologists, it was written that L. Ron Hubbard had named the product of his research ‘Scientology’ in 1938, but that he changed its name to Dianetics in 1947 ‘in order to make a social test of publication and popularity’ before coming back to the original name in 1952.

2. Scientologists consider that the mind has two very distinct parts. The part that you consciously use and are aware of is called the analytical mind. This is the mind which thinks, observes data, remembers it and resolves problems. It contains standard memory banks with mental image pictures and uses the data in these banks to make rational decisions. However, two things appear to be, but are not, recorded in the standard banks: painful emotion and physical pain. In moments of intense pain, the action of the analytical mind is suspended and the second part of the mind, the reactive mind, takes over. When a person is fully conscious, his analytical mind is fully in command. When the individual is ‘unconscious’ in full or in part, the reactive mind cuts in, in full or in part. ‘Unconsciousness’ could be caused by the shock of an accident, anaesthetic used for an operation, the pain of an injury or the deliriums of illness. Scientology considers that when a person is ‘unconscious’, to a lesser or greater degree, the reactive mind exactly records all the perceptions of that incident, including what happens or the words pronounced around the person. It also records all pain and stores this mental image picture in its own banks where it is unavailable to the individual’s conscious memory and outside of his direct control. For Scientologists, reactive mind is the source of aberration, undesired emotions, psychosomatic illnesses and more.

3. A variation of the term ‘Alpenstock’, a long iron-tipped staff used in mountain climbing. The term alpine means of or pertaining to the Alps, and the term stock comes from a German word meaning stick or staff.

4. In ascending order the dynamics of existence are: the first dynamic which is the urge of survival as an individual, the second dynamic which is the urge of survival through one’s family, the third dynamic which is the urge of group survival, the fourth dynamic which is the urge of survival for all humankind, the fifth dynamic which is the urge of survival for all life forms, the sixth dynamic which is the urge of survival of the physical universe, the seventh dynamic which is the urge of survival for all spiritual beings and lastly the eighth dynamic which is urge of existence as infinity. God is infinity but Scientologists do not describe God in anthropomorphic terms. All Scientology practices are aimed ultimately at complete affinity with the eighth dynamic or infinity.

5. It is a common practice amongst Scientologists to write ‘success letters’ in which they depict the spiritual gains they make through auditing or scriptures study. While they are encouraged to do so at the end of each attained level of auditing, they usually originate their own success letters all along their spiritual journey. With the authorization of their author, these letters may be shared with others, and you can find some of them in various Scientology magazines and publications.


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Harley, G. M. and J. Kieffer. 2009. The development and reality of auditing in Scientology, in: James R. Lewis (ed.) Scientology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Eric Roux

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