The ensuing line of research, embarked upon some 20 years earlier, proved nothing short of momentous. In another critical statement on the matter, Mr. Hubbard wrote, “I have been engaged in the investigation of the fundamentals of life, the material universe and human behavior.” And if many before him had “roved upon this unmapped track,” he added, they had left no signposts. Nevertheless, in the early spring of 1952, through the course of a pivotal lecture in Phoenix, Arizona, the result of this research was announced: Scientology.

Scientology applied religious philosophy is contained in more than 40 books and over 2,500 tape-recorded lectures. All told, these works represent a statement of man’s nature and potential, and even if echoed in various ancient scriptures, that statement is absolutely the Scientology philosophy: man is an immortal spiritual being; his experience extends well beyond a single lifetime; and his capabilities are unlimited even if not presently realized. In that sense, Scientology represents what may be the ultimate definition of a religion; not a system of beliefs but a means of spiritual transformation.

Yet if Scientology represents the route to man’s highest spiritual aspirations, it also means much to his more immediate existence — to his family, career and community. That fact is critical to an understanding of Scientology philosophy and is actually what Scientology is all about: not a doctrine, but the study and handling of the human spirit in relationship to itself, to other life and the universe in which we live. In that respect, L. Ron Hubbard’s work embraces everything.

“Unless there is a vast alteration in man’s civilization as it stumbles along today,” he declared in the mid-1960s, “man will not be here very long.” For signs of that decline, he cited political upheaval, social putrefaction, violence, racism, illiteracy and drugs. It was in response to these problems, then, that L. Ron Hubbard devoted the better part of his final years. Indeed, by the early 1970s his life may be charted directly in terms of his search for solutions to the cultural crises of this late twentieth century.

That he was ultimately successful is borne out in the truly phenomenal growth of Dianetics and Scientology: There are now more than two thousand organizations in 60 nations utilizing the various techniques of Dianetics and Scientology. It is borne out in the mountain of accolades for L. Ron Hubbard’s work — recognitions and proclamations that would literally fill volumes from state, county, national and international bodies. It is borne out in the sheer scope of his worldwide impact: with 70 million philosophic works regularly read in virtually every country on Earth, no philosopher in history even approaches his popularity. Then again, it is borne out in all that is contained in these pages, including the inherent fact that so many of Scientology’s fundamental truths are now part of our social fabric. But most of all it is borne out in the continued fulfillment of L. Ron Hubbard’s personal philosophic aim:

“I like to help others and count it as my greatest pleasure in life to see a person free himself of the shadows which darken his days.

“These shadows look so thick to him and weigh him down so that when he finds they are shadows and that he can see through them, walk through them and be again in the sun, he is enormously delighted. And I am afraid I am just as delighted as he is.”

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