Since I have been a Scientologist for over 20 years, I feel I’m very qualified to answer this question.
I’ll answer it with one word and then I’ll elaborate.
When I was 10 years old, I remember thinking: “God, why are there so many rules for so many things? Why is it I HAVE to act a certain way that doesn’t seem to fit who I am? Why is it my parents fight? Why do other people fight? Why are there wars and why can’t people just be happy?!”
I actually picked up the Bible at the age of 16 and read it cover to cover. I have to say, it was wonderful.
Now I didn’t ask these questions all at once, all of a sudden, one fine day. Rather, a concatenation of observations led me to ask them over a longer period of time. And overall, it just seemed like there was a lot of unhappiness all around me, ESPECIALLY with the adults.
Asking these questions on and off for several years, I started looking for answers. I actually picked up the Bible at the age of 16 and read it cover to cover. I have to say, it was wonderful. After getting through all the “He begots” in the beginning, it definitely got more and more interesting. One quote from Jesus really inspired me: “Seek and you shall find.” I was seeking answers and that was a good answer for me: that I needed to keep asking. The Bible was very spiritual and I loved it, but it didn’t answer a whole lot of my questions.
Then I looked through my mom’s psychology textbooks from her college days and I literally had NO IDEA what they were talking about—regarding anything. It all seemed like a lot of big words meant to make the subject look important, but it didn’t seem useful in the least. That’s literally all I got out of those textbooks—just not useful for everyday, actual life.
Then, one night, I saw an infomercial on Dianetics. It caught my attention and the gist of it was that past painful, unconscious moments can have a negative effect on your life in the present. Then it showed a common-sense procedure called “auditing” that would uncover these real-life incidents and remove the negative feelings or attitudes connected to them. Now it made a whole lot of sense to me that this was something anyone could use. I bought the book Dianetics the next day and read it over a one-month period. I have to admit it wasn’t the easiest read BUT I pulled out of it a lot of knowledge on how to actually handle something called “the reactive mind.” This made 100% sense to me. It was real to me that ANYONE and EVERYONE could easily accumulate these types of moments of pain, and to have a way to actually handle the harmful effects of it was truly miraculous and JUST what I was looking for.
It liberated me from having all those questions that I thought would never be answered.
So fast-forward 20 years, and here I sit having done many, many courses in Dianetics and Scientology. I’ve received lots of auditing and given lots of auditing to others. And, today, I use the word “liberating” to describe Scientology because the one HUGE thing that Dianetics and Scientology did for me is liberated me from having all those questions that I thought would never be answered. It was all so practical and did not demand that I believe in any certain thing or act any certain way but only that I look for myself and make my own decisions. I only had to study any course that I felt I needed, and I’ve done just that and I can truly say ALL those burning questions have been answered 20 years later and I couldn’t be any happier. It also gave me tools for LIVING. For LIVING WELL. FOR SUCCEEDING FOR REAL and being proud of my success—not just being glad to be done with something “I had to do” in order to please others.
Scientology has no dogma. It does not demand of you that you be or believe anything at all. It was very liberating that I suddenly didn’t have to do or be what others wanted. I could do or be what I wanted and that was good enough. And with the tools of Scientology, I not only do what I want, but I always make the best possible decisions across all areas of my life.
Scientology and Scientologists never demanded anything of me. L. Ron Hubbard just asked me to look and make up my own mind as to the truth of things. That’s exactly what I did and I found it liberating that I could look and not be afraid of what I found and I could DO something—not just for myself but for others—that would always help me and help them, invariably and 100% of the time.
That’s about as liberating as it gets.