This article is from the Scientology and Dianetics FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Scientology Information Server) with numerous contributions by others.
The first question most people ask when they run across the term
"Scientology," is: What is it? And frankly, it's a difficult question
to answer in one sentence. This FAQ will help to answer it (hopefully),
but for the FOREWORD, why don't we begin with: "How did it start?"
Scientology started with the book by L. Ron Hubbard, _Dianetics: The
Modern Science of Mental Health_ [DMSMH], first published in May 1950.
It became one of the best selling self-help books in history, selling
over 16 million copies in numerous languages, according to the
The glossary in the hardcover edition of the recently published _What is
Scientology?_ (1992, Church of Scientology International) defines the
word "Dianetics" as follows:
Dianetics: comes from the Greek words "dia," meaning "through,"
and "nous," meaning "soul." Dianetics is a methodology developed
by L. Ron Hubbard which can help alleviate such ailments as
unwanted sensations and emotions, irrational fears and psycho-
somatic illnesses. It is most accurately described as "what the
soul is doing to the body."
And according to the same book, the term "Scientology" is defined as:
Scientology: comes from the Latin "scio," which means "know,"
and the Greek word "logos," meaning "the word or outward form
by which the inward thought is expressed and made known." Thus
Scientology means knowing about knowing. Scientology is an applied
religious philosophy developed by L. Ron Hubbard. It is the study
and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes,
and other life.
(The book _What is Scientology?_ is available in ASCII via anonymous
FTP at FTP.PCNET.COM out of the directory /users/brianw/wis.)
But without further ado, let's begin the FAQ.
[NOTE: The following numbered questions were generated by readers of the
newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. At this writing, the answers have been
developed by two Scientologists, Chip Gallo (email@example.com)
and Brian Wenger (firstname.lastname@example.org) both with many years of experience
in the Church, both as "public" and as "staff." Additional FAQs
such as a complete Scientology Catechism, a Scientology Book list, a list of
Scientology organizations around the world, and the Codes and Creeds of Scien-
tology, are also available via anonymous FTP from the MIT archive site:
RTFM.MIT.EDU out of the directory /pub/usenet/alt.answers/scientology/users.
There is also an anonymous FTP site at FTP.PCNET.COM /users/brianw
which contains a large collection of information on Scientology, including
the book _Scientology: A New Slant on Life_, by L. Ron Hubbard, (located in
the ../lrh_essays directory).]