Scientology is a cryptic new American religious movement begun in the 1950s. Ron L. Hubbard (1911-1986), a science fiction writer, founded it. Although his parents were largely nonreligious, Hubbard was exposed to Eastern religions, New Age thought, and various spiritistic groups, such as Meister Crowley and the Process.
Scientology makes occasional reference to Jesus Christ in its writings and uses as its symbol a cross with starbursts at each end. But even though it refers to itself as a church and may at times use Christian terminology and symbolism, it is clearly nonbiblical in its view of God, Jesus, Scripture, salvation, and other important doctrines. In fact, it may be challenged whether Scientology is a religion at all. It is largely a pseudo-psychological therapy movement. Ron Hubbard originally sought admission for the movement in the American Psychological Association. After being rejected for membership by the APA, Hubbard framed Scientology as a religion.
The Church of Scientology does not subscribe to the view that God inspired a holy book, such as the Bible, that serves as divine revelation. Instead it lists as revelation Dianetics (1950), authored by Hubbard, as well as The Factors and The Axioms and Logics. The former book attempts to instruct adherents in the practice of Scientology, while the latter works are simply statements of the principles and beliefs of the movement.
No elements of Scientology's texts bear the mark of divine inspiration. There are no fulfilled prophecies in them and neither are they a narrative of God's love and redemption as is the Bible.
Scientology's earlier writings mention God, but they place their stress mainly on an individual's abilities to gain godlike qualities and become "full cause" over the universe. Hubbard obviously rejected the Christian understanding of God, particularly the concept of the Trinity.
Scientology adheres to a view of deities similar to that of Buddhism, using "allness of all" terminology. Its founder therefore could comment that man is part god and can attain a godlike nature.
Scientology does not accept the biblical concepts of Jesus as God the Word incarnate. It also places no emphasis on the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus. Rather, it views Jesus as a proponent of reincarnation and other Eastern mystical concepts. Hubbard taught that Jesus was "a shade above clear," or that Jesus met the standards (slightly at best) of living above the negative influences of His previous lives. Scientology's upper-level materials tout the concept of Jesus as God as being a fiction that ought to be removed by "auditing."
Scientology views man's spirit as being the product of evolutionary processes. It rejects biblical concepts of man as being the creation of God and being fallen due to sin, with the need for repentance, faith, and salvation. Instead, Scientology maintains that we are primarily spiritual beings, that is, "thetans," and creators of the universe. The goal of life is to "clear" oneself of one's reactive mind and become "total cause over life, thought, matter, energy, space and time."
The goal of Scientology is to press for the evolutionary improvement of oneself as a spiritual being. The removal of engrams (negative previous life experience stored in the mind) through "auditing" by a Scientology auditor using an electronic meter makes life improvement possible. The movement rejects all concepts of a biblical understanding of salvation.
Extracted from the Apologetics Study Bible.