PREFACE

The religious message and the religious practice of the Church of Scientology come and are taught to mankind in a time when spiritual messages are extremely difficult to perceive. There are many serious reasons why a person’s subjective reality may be blocked from any spiritual message.

We shall name only a few:

 1. mass secularisation of public consciousness;

 2. traditional religious systems, doctrines and practices leave the majority of contemporaries uninspired;

 3. schisms of conventional churches foster a sense of mistrust and disappointment in ordinary believers and cause them to turn to sources other than conventional structures;

 4. the loss of emotional experience of one’s spiritual foundation and false identification of self with transient values—that is, the loss of spiritual identity—is the loss of the ability to view oneself in a wider spiritual context than the current life.

The situation is aggravated due to numerous social, political, ecological and cultural crises, the sources of which take root in the person’s oblivion of his own spiritual nature. The person has lost the knowledge of self as a spiritual being which results in external catastrophes/disasters and shocks, i.e., the person has lost his spiritual identity and identifies himself with false values. As this false self-identification has gone too far, the rediscovery of one’s true identity and self-awareness as a spiritual being requires covering a special long path—the one that leads to the revival of spiritual self-identification. The path back to spiritual self-identification does not always pass through a conventional religious system. To the contrary, many search for a path outside the conventional religious systems, and they certainly have the right to pursue a path of spiritual revival and rebirth that is outside the conventional religious systems, if the traditions prove incapable of an adequate response to modern challenges.

Scientology in its religious practice and religious messages provides the answer and a path toward spiritual revival. The Church of Scientology addresses the person whose outlook was shaped by a non-religious epoch, and it uses customs and trends created by this particular epoch with the express purpose of reviving spiritual self-consciousness.

Scientology in its religious practice and religious messages provides the answer and a path toward spiritual revival. The Church of Scientology addresses the person whose outlook was shaped by a non-religious epoch, and it uses customs and trends created by this particular epoch with the express purpose of reviving spiritual self-consciousness. The Church of Scientology takes into account the religious and confessional diversity of modern society. Therefore the spiritual message of the Church of Scientology is directed to all religious groups and permits those of other religions to practice Scientology, and those belonging to the Church of Scientology to belong to other religions.

The mission of the Church of Scientology has a special importance for post-totalitarian countries. All the above-given barriers to spiritual revival in the modern world are multiplied in a post-totalitarian location. We should add to them an extremely important task, unknown to countries with advanced democratic institutions—that of rebuilding civil society institutions which were completely destroyed in the period of totalitarian regimes. What is meant here are institutions of community and local self-management and the necessity to train the population in community-building skills. And it is here that the experience of the Church of Scientology in building a community, and its technologies of spiritual training, can and already do play a significant role in creating a new spiritual foundation in places with non-totalitarian governments.

The situation is aggravated by inter-ethnic and political conflicts which constantly threaten to develop into international and inter-religious situations in a post-totalitarian location. The experience of successful inter-religious work, which the Church of Scientology has, is therefore also an urgent matter for new states, countries and territories.

Scientology addresses the person who is ready to execute the search for his true spiritual nature on his own strength. Scientology gives clear promises and the criteria for fulfillment of these promises. It is especially important for people compelled to trust only in themselves and their own strength and who simultaneously search for a spiritual basis and justification of personal sovereignty and independence in a spiritual sphere. There are many such people in all social and professional strata of modern Russia. So what are the reasons of intrinsic, religious/spiritual nature, which make the image of Scientology attractive for independently thinking, active and distrustful persons in the post-totalitarian era? For this purpose it is necessary to comprehend some of the fundamental features of Scientology as a doctrine and as a church organisation as well as its value for people who did not find answers in the traditional church.

Scientology addresses the person who is ready to execute the search for his true spiritual nature on his own strength.

It is particularly necessary to answer these questions: What is Scientology as a theological system? How does it address the problem of maintaining holy knowledge? What is the structure of the spiritual message of Scientology? What is the structure of new existence in Scientology and what is its understanding of the Absolute?

In the preliminary answers to these questions we will try to clarify the reason for the swift success of Scientology in Russia and in the post-totalitarian countries as a whole.

I. Scientology as a Theological System
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