The Church of Scientology was founded in the 1950s by science-fiction author Lafayette Ronald (L. Ron) Hubbard. Although the church claims to be compatible with Christianity, the two belief structures––one rooted in science fiction, the other in soteriological fact––are contradictory and cannot be harmonized.
First, Scientology teaches that humans are immortal thetans trapped in a physical universe of their own mental construction. Thus, humans are not sinners in need of a savior, but immortal beings who can overcome enslaving engrams—the accumulation of trillions of years of painful subconscious memories—through the pseudo– psychology of auditing—the counseling process through which devotees can locate and resolve past traumatic experiences and experience spiritual enlightenment. As such, Scientology is a rejection of the biblical doctrines of creation, original sin, and exclusive salvation through Jesus Christ (cf. Genesis 1–3; John 14:6; Romans 3:23; 6:23).
Furthermore, Scientology holds that, apart from auditing, a continuous cycle of reincarnation (or “rebirth”) awaits each one of us. In order to escape this vicious cycle we must become self–actualized through the pseudo–psychology of Scientology. No religion that teaches self–actualization by escape from the body can be reconciled with the Christian belief of perfection, purification, and preservation through resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).
Scientology’s philosophy leaves a trail of TEARS:
Thetans—immortal state of humans
Engrams—accumulation of painful subconscious memories
Auditing—counseling process for identifying and overcoming engrams and achieving enlightenment
Reincarnation—cycle of rebirth to be repeated until self-actualization
Supreme Being—a god remarkably like the Brahman of Hinduism
Finally, despite allowing its adherents to believe in a god of their own choosing, Scientology champions a Supreme Being that bears a remarkable resemblance to the Brahman of Hinduism. While L. Ron Hubbard’s Supreme Being is science fiction and ultimately cannot heal our pain, the Supreme Being of the Bible can both stem Scientology’s trail of tears—Thetans, Engrams, Auditing, Reincarnation, Supreme Being—and meet our deepest needs.
For further study, see John Weldon, “Scientology: From Science Fiction to Space–Age Religion,” Christian Research Journal, 16, 1 (1993) available through the Christian Research Institute (CRI) at www.equip.org.
“Even from your own number men will arise
and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them.
So be on your guard! Remember that
for three years I never stopped warning each
of you night and day with tears.”