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Scientology --- The catholic viewpoint

Title: Scientology --- The catholic viewpoint
Date: Saturday, 1 June 1963
Publisher: Communication (Scientology magazine)
Author: Peter Haskins
Main source: link (464 KiB)

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"Change no man's religion, change no man's politics, interrupt the sovereignty of no nation. Instead teach man to use what he has and what he knows to the factual creation, within any political reference, a civilization on earth for the first time."
[Signed L Ron. Hubbard]

Many people interested in Scientology often ask whether or not processing or training would affect their religious beliefs.

The article on the following pages by Father Peter Haskins, O.M.I., Ph.L., S.T.L. gives the Roman Catholic viewpoint.

We believe you will find this of interest. It appeared recently in the magazine Catholic Life, printed in South Africa, in a regular feature: "Are there any Questions?" in which readers are invited to submit questions about Religion and Life.


In which respects is Scientology unacceptable to a Catholic, if it is in fact unacceptable? (Mrs. D. M., Johannesburg).

The answer to this question requires a proper understanding of what Scientology really is, as well as a realization that like every other system of thought this Science has been prone to abuse. In a word I must say that Scientology properly understood, is definitely not unacceptable to a Catholic, provided that it is clearly understood that it does not pretend to substitute itself for any of the teachings of the Catholic Church. I would like to expand this summary answer by posing several further questions.


Scientology is the name now given to the expended study of mental anatomy which was originally known as Dianetics. 'Scientology' itself may be defined as the science of knowledge and ability. It deals especially with the problems and fundamental principles of communication between man and man, and man and his environment. Its aim is to raise the level of personal responsibility. Scientology takes as its starting point two fundamental considerations. (a) The ''fact that survival is the dynamic principle and main moving force of human existence; (b) the hypothesis that mind is not part of the physical universe, but that the physical universe is, in a sense, a creation of mind. Fundamental to Scientology is the consideration of co-operative activity. Science is a co-operative activity which belongs to the whole of intelligent mankind. The kernel of co-operative activity is intellectual honesty. This means that a Scientist looks at the physical world and sees, not what he would like to see, but what is actually there. Then he reports what he has seen, without fear or favour, so that any who wish to do so may see for themselves and verify what the Scientist has said.

In the light of this notion of science, Scientology is definitely a Science. As such it is in a different realm from religion, and provided none of its claims or practices conflict with religious principles in any way, it can and may claim the attention of any person with an open mind and a genuine intellectual honesty.


It may be described as a form of experimental psychology, and therefore a psychological science. It maintains that ability in man can be measured objectively. It sets out to develop a means of increasing ability, thereby making it possible to deal with psychological phenomena in a scientific way. It is claimed that the stage has been reached by Scientology at which ability can be increased at will, by the application of carefully standardized procedures. The way is now open, Scientologists claim, for a vast extension of "pure" psychology if any should wish to follow it. In the present human situation, the emphasis in Scientology continues to be on working directly for an increase in humanity's ability to improve its own chances of survival.


That Scientology is an organized science cannot be doubted — in fact it would seem to the open mind to be one of the most highly organized psychological sciences. However, as it is today, it is very largely the creation of one man — L. Ron Hubbard, C.E., Ph.D., who was formerly an American nuclear physicist. For this reason, and several others, Scientology requires a centralized organization.

This centralized organization is known as the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International Ltd., a non-profit company incorporated in England. It has its headquarters at Saint Hill Manor in Sussex, England, and offices on all continents, linked by a modern communications network.


As far as possible, the Scientologist seeks to remain a "pure" psychologist, that is to work scientifically on what is objective in psychology and to avoid any and every "dishonesty," whether this be intellectual, practical or emotional. The fundamental hypothesis, is, as we have said above, that mind is not part of the physical universe, but that the physical universe is, in a sense, a creation of mind. By this it is not meant that all reality is but an idea or an illusion, but that a reality is, as far as the mind is concerned, nothing more or less than an agreed upon apparency of existence. An actuality can exist for one person individually. When such an actuality is agreed upon by two or more persons, it can then be said to be a reality as far as those persons are concerned, a definite point upon which communication can be centred and developed.

Life forces are the realities which Scientology sets out to study. Life is understood as a static reality, i.e. it has no mass, no motion and no wave length, and cannot be located in space or in time. It has the ability to postulate and to perceive.

The Life Forces or Dynamics (as opposed to the Static) are eight in number. They are the fundamental urges of survival: Self, Family and Sex, Group, Mankind, Other Life Forms, Matter-Energy-Space-Time, Spiritual Universe, Infinity.

In working through these dynamics or urges of survival, the essential prerequisite is understanding. This requires three elements: Affinity, Reality, Communication. There is furthermore a formula of communication which is two-fold: Cause-Distance-Effect and Intention-Attention-Duplication.

Two Cycles pervade every urge: The Cycle of Action: Create-Survive-Destroy. The Cycle of Control: Start-Change-Stop.


(1) The Tone Scale of Human Emotions: Serenity, Exhiliration, Enthusiasm, Interest, Boredom, Antagonism, Anger, Covert Hostility, Fear, Grief. Apathy, Unconsciousness, Death. All these are observable emotions. One moves up and down the scale, but one has a chronic level.
(2) The "Know" to "Mystery" Scale: Native State, Not Know, Know About, Look, Emotion, Effort, Think, Symbols, Sex, Eat. Mystery, Wait, Unconsciousness.
(3) The C.D.E.I. Scale: Curious About, Desire, Enforce, Inhibit.
(4) The Scale of Identification: Differentiate, Associate, Identify, Dissociate.
(5) The Effect Scale: From can cause or receive any effect to must cause total effect, can receive none.


I have given the list of elements in some detail, not in order to enable anyone to practise pseudo-scientology, but just to show the mechanics of the system. It must be clear to all that the application can only be made by an expert, a fully trained Scientologist. It would be foolish to attempt it on one's own. There are many people who patronize scientological lectures for a short time and then think that they have the answer to all their problems, and to the problems of everyone else. This fascination is natural, but must be controlled in a very scientific manner. Otherwise it can lead to all sorts of fantasies — the fantasies which have done the name of Scientology so much harm. Some people have made this science their philosophy of life. Some have made it their religion. Some have interpreted it as kind of faithhealing. In truth, Scientology is none of these, but only what we said at the outset: a Psychological Science which aims at raising the level of people's responsibility. Responsibility for the Scientologist means that one is a knowing and willing cause, and has the willingness to accept any consequences which may result from one's causative action.

If anyone is interested in pursuing the study of Scientology, it is advisable to submit the matter to a priest who has some knowledge of this science and to remain docile to his directives. The purity of a science is not always personified in those who would teach it. Scientology does not escape this danger. Certain ideas foreign to the mind of the Catholic Church easily emanate from a slightly maladjusted notion of Scientology, and these ideas can lead one to question the value of one's religion. This would not be the intention of a sincere Scientologist whose only purpose is to bring a person to a greater realization of himself, thereby preparing him for the acceptance of a Supreme Being to whom all his dynamic urges and his life are subjected. Properly applied, Scientology could pave the way safely and securely to a full and fruitful acceptance of the Catholic Faith.



Courses to the level of Hubbard Professional Auditor and Bachelor of Scientology.

The H.P.A. Course is available during the day for 16 weeks or at week-ends on a part-time basis.

Bachelor of Scientology Course is only run in Melbourne at specified times and is run for H.P.A.'s only

To learn to audit or for the scientific application of Scientology in everyday affairs—the Academy is the place.

Applications should be made to the Registrar:

Melbourne Phone: 32-3670
Perth Phone: 21-2831
Sydney Phone: 31-0551
(Addresses inside front cover)