What Scientology Is, to Me

People ask me about Scientology all the time. They often ask: “what is it and what have you gotten out of it?”

For me, Scientology is about endless possibility and hope. It’s about daring to aim for the top of the mountain and the tools you need to get there. It’s an avalanche of yes’s in a world obsessed with no’s. It’s winning against all odds. It’s creating your own odds. It’s belief in yourself and in humanity, and the extraordinary beauty of people—all people.

Scientology Volunteer Minister Haiti response team
It’s the knowledge that you’re not going anywhere worthwhile without ethics and honesty. It’s caring for the planet that we all live on.

It’s thrilling, fast-paced, action. It’s getting things done, and not just talking about getting things done.

It’s connecting with others—a real social network. It’s knowing beyond any doubt that we’re all spiritual beings—that the color of our skin, that our beliefs, that our income, has nothing to do with anything.

It’s the knowledge that you’re not going anywhere worthwhile without ethics and honesty. It’s caring for the planet that we all live on. It’s lending a hand to your fellow man without him having to ask.

It’s a spiritual technology that you can actually try, to see if it works (and it does). It’s the answer to the question, “Why do I feel so good when I’m around you?” It’s firsthand knowledge versus blind faith.

It’s a cheat code for the game of life.

Two kids at the beach

It’s a shining light in a sometimes dark world. It’s learning to love when you have every reason in the world to hate. It’s change. It’s growth. It’s retaining the unbridled joy and playfulness of childhood when you’re 40 or 50 or 90. It’s knowing that the past is, well, the past—that life exists in the future.

It’s the marriage of science and religion. It’s the answers to all the seemingly unanswerable questions you asked your parents when you were 5. It’s practical and life-changing, not just a bunch of theories to dwell upon. It’s something you use every day of your life. It’s the reason I called my girlfriend in the summer of 1994 to tell her my I.Q. had shot up.

It’s a reminder of things you already knew, but long forgot. It’s living life more awake and alert than you ever conceived possible. It’s winning for yourself and for others. It’s love. It’s hope. It’s helping one another.

It’s a symphony of lights flipping on in the mind—a series of “oh-my-God-that’s-so-true!”s. It’s a road to greater understanding of self and others. It’s a high-on-life no drugs or alcohol could ever touch. It’s thinking about the greater good, and not just looking out for “number one.”

It’s the most enlightening journey of self-discovery I could have ever imagined.

It’s what I had been searching for my entire life and thought I would never find.

Until I did.

Isa Totah
Isa Totah is an award-winning writer and director working in Los Angeles. His feature film project, “America,” delves into the Arab-American experience and is being produced by Academy Award winner Mark Johnson (The Notebook, Breaking Bad, Rainman).