WHAT GOES ON IN A SCIENTOLOGY CHURCH?
Scientology Churches are vibrant centers of activity.
Each Church of Scientology provides numerous religious services and materials through which individuals may pursue their studies of Scientology.
Scientology Churches are typically open every weekday from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome—parishioners and nonparishioners alike. People come and go at different times during the week, participating in religious services, community activities or simply meeting friends.
Public Information Center
In the Public Information Center, a series of multimedia displays provide answers to fundamental questions about Scientology and the Church’s community activities and social betterment programs. Visitors are welcome to explore at their own pace to learn for themselves about Dianetics, Scientology and the Church’s outreach activities.
Auditing (Pastoral Counseling)
Auditing, from the Latin audire meaning “to listen,” is a method of spiritual counseling and one of the core religious practices of the Scientology religion. It consists of one-on-one sessions delivered by a Scientology practitioner who is a minister trained and qualified to better individuals through auditing. In that capacity, the minister is referred to as an auditor—meaning “one who listens.”
The auditor and the person receiving auditing sit across from each other in a quiet, distraction-free room. Specific questions guide the person to the area of his life being addressed, resulting in a higher degree of awareness about his own existence.
All Scientology Churches have rooms designated for this spiritual counseling.
Training is the second core religious practice of the Scientology religion. L. Ron Hubbard’s written and spoken words comprise the Scripture of the Scientology religion. It is a doctrine of the religion that fully 50 percent of the spiritual advancement to be had in Scientology come from the study and application of the Scriptures. Scientologists study L. Ron Hubbard’s books, lectures, films and other written materials in course rooms specially set up for this study. Looking in on a Church course room, one will see students studying the written works of Mr. Hubbard, listening to his lectures and applying the principles they are studying.
Students at all levels, beginning to advanced, learn Scientology principles by progressing step by step, at their own rate, through a checksheet. The checksheet provides a sequential guide to learning a subject, with reading, drills and practical application assignments to ensure the student not only knows the theory but can apply the material they are studying. Study of the works of L. Ron Hubbard is not only a regular part of life for Scientologists, it is a vital component to their spiritual progress.
Scientology Religious Services and Ceremonies
Inside all Scientology Churches is a Chapel for Scientology religious services and ceremonies.
Each Sunday, the Chaplain conducts religious services that are open to everyone. For someone new to Scientology, this is an opportunity to gain an introduction to the religion and to take the first steps toward improving spiritual awareness. For a Scientologist, it provides the chance to gain new insights into and reaffirm Scientology religious principles in communal worship.
Similar to those in any religion, Scientology also has wedding, naming (christenings) and funeral ceremonies. These all include a distinctly Scientological awareness and affirmation of individuals as spiritual beings.
Friday night graduations are another Scientology tradition—a time when Church staff and parishioners come together to acknowledge those who have completed auditing or training steps in the previous week.
At other times, one may find in the Chapel a group listening to a recorded lecture by L. Ron Hubbard, a congregational meeting, an open house for parishioners and members of the local community, an interfaith service or meeting, or any of a wide variety of other Church and community functions.
Technical Training Films
In addition to L. Ron Hubbard’s writings and lectures, his technical training films also comprise an important part of the Scripture of the Scientology religion and are studied by Scientologists as part of their spiritual progress in the religion. L. Ron Hubbard wrote 84 film scripts about various aspects of the Scientology religion, from introductory to advanced. Also, several of his lectures were filmed and these, too, are available for viewing in Churches.
Community and Social Betterment Programs
Every Church of Scientology is a central point from which the Church’s many community and social betterment activities are coordinated.
The Church and its members are committed to helping others and, therefore, provide assistance in a wide range of activities in their communities. These programs extend from anti-drug campaigns and human rights education initiatives to secular social betterment programs utilizing L. Ron Hubbard’s discoveries in the fields of drug abuse prevention, literacy, criminal rehabilitation, and morality. Through the Scientology Volunteer Minister Program, parishioners offer relief in times of disaster. Further, Churches are often central meeting places for staff, parishioners and like-minded groups from the community to plan and carry out their programs.