What is Scientology’s view of Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, the Buddha and other religious figures of the past?
L. Ron Hubbard honored the great religious leaders of the past for the wisdom they brought to the world. He wrote that Scientology shares “the goals set for Man by Christ, which are wisdom, good health and immortality.”
In “Religious Influence in Society: Role of the Volunteer Minister" L. Ron Hubbard states:
“The great religious civilizing forces of the past, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and others, have all emphasized differentiation of good from evil and higher ethical values.”
In “The Hope of Man,” a lecture given on June 3, 1955, Mr. Hubbard states that he honors:
“The great spiritual leaders of the past—not of modern times, but of the past—since these people handed along enough tradition to make us aware of the fact that there was a spiritual side to Man. These great spiritual leaders have been hanged, reviled, misinterpreted, badly quoted, have not been at all comprehended, but nevertheless, they are the hands through which a torch has been handed forward through the centuries so that we could culminate with a greater ability for Man and some hope for his future…
“All these people were saying something that was much more important than ‘There is a spiritual side to life.’ They were saying, ‘There is hope. They can come to you and they can tell you that all is lost and that you are dead, you are trapped, and that there’s no hope for you. They can come to you and say this, but this is not true. There is hope. You do go on living. This life is not all there is. There is some future life in which you can do better, succeed more worthily than you have.’ That is all these men said.…
“...an enormous amount of what we call religion in this Western Hemisphere today was given to this Western Hemisphere directly by Gautama Buddha. It was filtered through the Middle East. ‘Love thy neighbor’ was one of the first lessons he taught and it is that lesson which we have received from the Middle East.
“But what I am telling you is that these people handed on a torch of wisdom, of information, generation to generation. It was handed along geographical routes and one of those geographical routes was the Middle East. And one of the people who handed it on was a man named Moses. And again it was handed on to a man named Christ. And he handed it on and even the Arab nations benefited from this through their own prophet, Muhammad.
“And these men I consider great spiritual leaders, because they gave to Man, on down through the years, the hope that life could go on, that there was a spiritual side to existence, that the business of barter and gain was not all there was to life.”
Further, L. Ron Hubbard taught that everyone’s religious beliefs deserve respect. In the book The Way to Happiness, which is not in fact a religious work but may be used by anyone, religious or not, Mr. Hubbard provided a number of practical guidelines to live by. One of the precepts in the book is “Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others.”
“Tolerance is a good cornerstone on which to build human relationships. When one views the slaughter and suffering caused by religious intolerance down all the history of Man and into modern times, one can see that intolerance is a very non-survival activity.
“Religious tolerance does not mean one cannot express his own beliefs. It does mean that seeking to undermine or attack the religious faith and beliefs of another has always been a short road to trouble.”