Thomas Jefferson and the True Spirit of Scientology

As a 7th grader, I visited the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. The quote in HUGE letters around the inner dome reads: “I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” When I read it, a chill ran down my spine. Later in life, I realized how closely Jefferson’s words align with the true spirit of Scientology.

Thomas Jefferson memorial
The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Brian PIrwin/

There’s a difference between “becoming a Scientologist,” and “finding Scientology.” Scientology is the ultimate self-help subject. I was delighted that it proved to be an effective approach to resolving less-than-optimum life conditions that so troubled me. It wasn’t until much later that I “found Scientology” as a religion. I learned that its value as a self-help subject was dwarfed by its value as an applied religious philosophy with the purpose of freeing the soul of man from “every form of tyranny.” The spinmeisters that gleefully paint the purpose of Scientology as just the opposite of what it is are either knowingly or unknowingly working in direct opposition to Thomas Jefferson’s oath.

The quote is from a letter Jefferson wrote to Dr. Benjamin Rush in which he expressed his feelings regarding those who hoped to establish an oppressive state religion in the newly formed United States of America:

“The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, & they believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: & enough too in their opinion, & this is the cause of their printing lying pamphlets against me… which are absolute falsehoods without a circumstance of truth to rest on…” (September 23, 1800)

Just as Jefferson was attacked by those who sought to impose their form of tyranny over the minds of man, so is the Church of Scientology attacked with hatred and lies. It’s true that those behind the attacks have every reason to fear Scientology, because Scientologists take the spirit of Jefferson’s oath to heart. To paraphrase Jefferson’s words, they believe rightly that any portion of power confided to us will be exerted in opposition to schemes for further enslaving the minds and hearts of man.

And so the battle continues.


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