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Scientology and Abortion

Scientology and abortion. The Church of Scientology does not take a position on abortion. However, the subject comes up in the writings of church founder L.Ron Hubbard, which the church regards as sacred scripture.
Scientology counseling seeks to rid the mind of “mental image pictures” or “engrams” created during painful moments in one’s past including previous lifetimes and time spent in the womb. Hubbard expressed concern about the “prenatal child” and how the emotional traumas of “attempted abortion” can cause problems after the person is born.
Some excerpts from Dianetics:
“Once the child is conceived, no matter how ‘shameful’ the circumstances, no matter the mores, no matter the income, that man or woman who would attempt an abortion on an unborn child is attempting a murder which will seldom succeed and is laying the foundation of a childhood of illness and heartache.
“Anyone attempting an abortion is committing an act against the whole society and the future; any judge or doctor recommending an abortion should be instantly deprived of position and practice, whatever his ‘reason.”
“A woman who is pregnant should be given every consideration by a society which has any feeling for its future generations.”
Scientologists believe that man is more than a mind and a body, he is a spiritual being called a thetan, for the Greek letter theta, for thought. That being occupies an endless series of bodies. That’s why Scientologists say someone who dies has “dropped his body.”
When does the thetan enter the body? At conception?
Church spokesman Tommy Davis answered: “There is research in Dianetics suggesting that as a fetus grows, perceptions are recorded, beginning the moment of conception and continuing throughout the pregnancy.
“L. Ron Hubbard observed that in most cases the spiritual being takes over the body just prior to birth.”
The ‘Dynamics’
Several women say their supervisors cited a common refrain to persuade them to abort their pregnancies:
What would be the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics?
That question refers to the eight “dynamics of existence” that Scientologists use to solve life’s problems.
Represented by the eight points of the Scientology cross, each dynamic is an “urge” that propels a person through life. First is the urge for self preservation, second is the urge to create a family or have a sexual partner, third is to be part of a group.
The remaining dynamics place one’s urge to survive in progressively larger contexts: (4) the human race, (5) all life forms, (6) the physical universe, (7) the spiritual world, (8) infinity.
When addressing problems, Scientologists are to find the best solution for the greatest number of dynamics even if something must be destroyed for the greater good.
A pregnant woman in Scientology’s workforce, the Sea Org, could keep her baby, which under the rules would mean leaving the group.
Or she could get an abortion and stay in the Sea Org.
What to do?
Apply the dynamics.
Starting a family would be good for the first and second dynamics. Getting an abortion getting back to helping the group work on saving the planet can be seen as satisfying the third.
At issue is what is best for the remaining dynamics. According to several women, church supervisors said the church’s well-being was what mattered above all else, across all the dynamics, suggesting abortion was the way to go.
Church spokesman Tommy Davis said there was no pressure on women to have abortions, and he disputed the women’s accounts concerning how dynamics were to be applied.
New York Times Syndicate – June 13, 2010
c.2010 St. Petersburg Times

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    Everyone has a right to their opinion on an issue as important and divisive as abortion. So the Scientologists have their point of view, too. I would hope that rational people can discuss it without resorting to demonization and vilification of those who hold different views, and without resorting to religious arguments, which are, by definition, unprovable.
    Which is to say, the views of Scientologists may be sincere, but I don’t see that they contribute much to a meaningful dialogue. There is no place for dogma and dogmatism in a meaningful dialogue.

  • Goodguyex

    The pressure to have abortions is due to the need to meet statistics by the Scientologists. If you are pregnant and have a newborn your statistics regarding advancing Scientology “crash”. So therefore abortion is good and necessary.
    This is a case of something that was once good being warped. Dianetics and even Scientology tech are really not bad but they have been corrupted by the Scientology establishment. There is need for rational reformation in Scientology.

  • http://So.... Georgia Dude

    Here is a bunck of kooks with their views on abortion. Geez This fellow L. Ron Hubbard must have a very intelligent person or a con artist. This is a just another view of extremism in the Hollywood culture. Americans should reject these extremist opinions.

  • Alicia

    Speaking as a pro-choice woman, this is disgusting (so is China’s 1 child policy). Pressuring a woman to have an abortion against her will is just as bad as pressuring a woman to give birth against her will. However, the behavior of the Church of Scientology, especially the inner circle Sea Org group, is consistent with that of a totalitarian state. If it walks like a duck (cult) and quacks like a duck (cult) then it is a duck (cult).

  • pagansister

    Yet another “religious” group trying to tell women what to do. Forget it. Still my decision as to what to do with my body…no one elses. If I was going to look to a religion for advice, it certainly wouldn’t be Scientology.

  • Yoni Alter

    I think all religions can get together and denounce a cult that forces women to have abortions so they can keep working and earn money. In fact, I can’t think of an actual, legitimate religion or belief system that can POSSIBLY get behind forced abortions for the sake of labor.

  • nnmns

    “In fact, I can’t think of an actual, legitimate religion or belief system that can POSSIBLY get behind forced abortions for the sake of labor”
    But arguably there have been governments, perhaps churches, who’ve opposed abortion so that in the somewhat longer term there would be more cannon fodder and more laborers.

  • Allondra

    The point that we’re missing here is that it is merely “alleged” that Scientology forces members of the Sea Org to do abortions. The article makes a frail attempt at being fair and inserts this last statement: “Church spokesman Tommy Davis said there was no pressure on women to have abortions, and he disputed the women’s accounts concerning how dynamics were to be applied.” Tommy Davis is right on point. Let us be fair. Be an individual that thinks for himself/herself, instead of jumping on the bandwagon and hating on CoS just because everybody else is doing it. I am not a Scientologist myself, but have met many of them, and they are dedicated to doing good and uplifting people. Please check out Scientology’s official response here, referenced by the article –

  • A_Watcher

    @Allondra, these woman are NOT ALONE in these accusations. They are NOT the first women to accuse Scientology of such a thing. Many women have come forward with similar tales; there are HUNDREDS of women out there who will tell you, yes they WERE FORCED to get an abortion by their superiors.
    You can claim you’re not a Scientologist yourself, but REGARDLESS of how the Scientologists you claim to know present themselves, this is NOT an issue of whether or not they’re nice people. I’m sure most of them are. They are BREAKING THE LAW.
    Tommy Davis’s statement is plain repulsive. He claims that pregnant SeOrg members ‘receive assistance from the Church, including immediate prenatal care, medical care, financial assistance.’ Where’s the proof of that. And if that were the case, did these women who abort KNOW that? Why would they get an abortion if such facilities were provided?
    Scientology’s response to every single allegation levied against them, from fraud to abuse, to blackmail to human trafficking, is to lie, lie, lie.
    There are MANY women who claim they were forced to abort. Not just these three, but the stories are no doubt in the hundreds. Perhaps THOUSANDS. Quite a few of these stories can be found over an These are stories of people who were born, grew up and later escaped from Scientology. Astra Woodcraft was one of the lucky women who managed to get out after she found out she was pregnant and told to abort her baby. She knows others who didn’t get out and aborted. Her sister in-law, for one. You will come across many stories from people who know someone in the SeaOrg who was forced to get an abortion.

  • cmaglaughlin

    Anybody care for the child being ripped to pieces?

  • Alicia

    Allondra, your argument reminds me of the history of U.S. socialist (and in some cases, communist) supporters of the Soviet Union as the revelations about the mass murders under Stalin came out. Over the years, many defectors and survivors told the horror stories, but it took a really long time for them to be believed by many “progressives” who wanted to believe in the Bolshevik revolution.
    Finally (I believe after the invasion of Hungary in the 1950’s) most people on the American left recognized the brutality and totalitarianism of Stalin and often left the political parties (socialist or whatever) to which they had dedicated many years of their lives. Were there good and noble people who believed in the Soviet Union? Quite probably. But they didn’t recognize an enemy of humanity and freedom until it was much too late.

  • pagansister

    To force a woman to do anything against her will is totally wrong, no matter what the organization happens to be…religious or business or an individual for that matter. If a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy, that is up to her, but force being used…not acceptable, ever.

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