It’s difficult to imagine a more inaccessible place for photographers. And there really is something to marvel at – a magnificent building, covert rituals, a beautiful atrium, secret electronic equipment and even pink teddy bears. One amateur Moscow correspondent managed to not only get inside this closed organization, but to go out of it with a great photo report.
The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. This word comes from the Latin “scio” which means “to know” or “to recognize” and the Greek “logos” meaning “a proper cause” or “an inner thought”. Thus, it means “the science of wisdom or knowledge” or “knowing about knowing”. At the same time, Scientology is defined as the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life.
In Moscow, there is the large Church of Scientology located on Taganskaya Street. Several missions, small organizations providing initial services of Dianetics and Scientology services and ceremonies.
The number of Moscow’s followers reaches 150.000, 5.000 of which are active parishioners. Each day the Church is visited by more than 500 of them. The Church staff, administrative staff and priests make up 350 people.
At the moment there are about 12.5 million followers of Scientology all over the world. 9000 organizations and churches are located in 189 countries.
In Russia, there are up to half a million followers of this religion, and about 70 organizations in 50 regions.
“The only wealth is understanding. And this is all Scientology can offer you” - L. Ron Hubbard
Scientology hasn’t been accumulating wealth and property for hundreds of years, as other religions have – it must make its way in this world by its own. Cultural and architectural traditions of Scientology Churches are different depending on countries and their locations. Scientology religious rites are all united and fully described by L. Ron Hubbard in his book “The Scientology religion: its origins, ceremonies, sermons and services”.
“Responsible for freelancers”.
“Services for the public”.
“Hiring of personnel”.
The Church of Scientology, just like any other churches, take donations from its parishioners in order to maintain the vitality of the Church, finance its large-scale social reform programs and help people who otherwise would never know about Scientology.
In some churches a system of ecclesiastical tithes is practiced, while others require their members to pay for the rent of a pew, or for religious ceremonies and services. As for the Church of Scientology, parishioners here make donations for auditing (assisting a person with regaining his lost abilities) and studying of whatever they wish sections of religious philosophy. These contributions are the main source of funding of the Church and constitute the financial basis of all its activities, both religious and those which aim to improve society. Scientologists are not required to pay a tithe or make some other contributions.
“The head of the authenticity department”
If we take into account the costs of at least one hour of auditing that requires specialists with a high level of training, and the costs of the maintenance of the premises of the Church, the need for donations is becoming quite clear.
“An organizing scheme of the evening organization”
Needless to say that no donations are expected from people who come to church not for spiritual advice or studying the sections of the religious scriptures, but for taking part in some other services such as listening to tapes of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard, reading the Scientology Church materials in the library, meeting with other parishioners or getting advice from the chaplain, as well as for those who come to Sunday services, sermons, weddings, baptisms and funeral services.
In addition to the system of donations, the Scientology churches have so-called free Scientology centers, where those who are not able to make a donation can receive free auditing.
The number of donations is different for different people depending on what way they selected. The first way is to make a donation for auditing and, being audited, to reach the state of “Clear” (“Clear” is the word meaning a particular state which is achieved through auditing, or a person who reached this state. The “Clear” is a creature that no longer has its own reactive mind and therefore does not suffer from the painful effects that can be caused by his reactive mind).
However, the way that is preferred by most Scientologists (the second one) is training for auditors and auditing with other Scientologists. This way requires much smaller donations, and at the same time allow you to help another person reach spiritual perfection.
Regardless of the chosen way, all who have reached the state of “Clear”, speak about how invaluable is that spiritual freedom which they have achieved.
An E-meter (short for the Hubbard Electrometer) is the electric device that is used to guide a “Preclear” in auditing. It can be used only by a Scientology priest or a person undergoing training for a Scientology priest. The E-meter helps the “Preclear” find the area of spiritual suffering and quietly examine it.
The E-meter defines the mental state of a person and improves the clarity and speed of auditing. It is not suitable and not effective for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases.
“Specifications of the highest level”
L. Ron Hubbard left a great legacy – many finished works on Dianetics and Scientology which contain a large body of knowledge and provide practical solutions to many questions on various aspects of life and existence.
However, L. Ron Hubbard asks not to take everything on trust and encourages to observe, think and make decisions based on the principle of maximum benefit for people.
The distribution of leaflets is one of the ways to help other people. Scientologists do it because, they themselves received great help and now want others to have the same success. Besides, it’s quite natural that a man wants to help his family, group, mankind and simply all living beings.
“See the thought”
“Brilliants of wisdom at a reduced price”
Location: the Church of Scientology, Moscow