Christian Science ? Scientology

“Like Tom Cruise…?” questioned junior Megan Reynolds. “I know what Scientology is, not Christian Science,” admitted sophomore Dustin Ziminski. “Isn’t that one religion with all the aliens and the little volcano blowing up?” another sophomore added. When Ames High students were asked what Christian Science was, it did not take long to find that most students did not really have any idea. Many confused the religion with the often publicized religion, Scientology. The WEB staff decided to inform our readers about the differences between these two religions and what is at the base of what the followers of both Scientology and Christian Science believe. Many have heard of Scientology because of its high profile, celebrity followers such as Goldie Hawn, Dennis Quad, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Although these followers of Scientology are very well-known, the religion itself is more of a mystery. Scientology was developed by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950s. The movement began as a self-help philosophy called Dianetics, which was published first in the science-fiction magazine, Astounding Science Fiction. Dianetics describes the relationship between the mind and the body. It quickly grew into a religious movement as the Church of Scientology. Hubbard introduced clear religious beliefs such as the spiritual self, the Thetan, and reincarnation. Although Hubbard did add some religious sentiments to Scientology, overall the basic principles from Dianetics stayed the same. The relatively modern religion of Scientology is often confused with the Church of Christ Scientist, which arose in the late nineteenth century. Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science and she is regarded as a revelator of God’s word by the followers of this religion. This controversial Christian denomination is practiced in over 70 countries with over 2,000 branches. The Church of Christian Science is most well known for not believing in the reality of illness and believing that pain can be conquered without the use of modern medicine. After learning about Scientology and Christian Science, one can see that the two religions are very different. Learning the basics of many different religions can help people be more understanding, so don’t get caught up in the Tom Cruise hype or be too quick to judge Christian Science. They are far from the same.