Scientology Beliefs on Sexuality

by Geoffrey Mills
Clearwater, Florida, is home to Flag, Scientology's headquarters, which comprises 50 buildings.

Clearwater, Florida, is home to Flag, Scientology's headquarters, which comprises 50 buildings.

Scientology is a relatively new religion based on the teachings and writings of its founder L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986). At its core is the belief that man is a reincarnated spiritual being whose abilities are unlimited but have yet to be realized. The Church of Scientology’s official website states the goal of Scientology as "true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for all." Full awareness can be achieved by adhering to the church's tenets, some of which touch on the issue of sex.

Heterosexuality

Scientology acknowledges that life is made up of a series of urges, one of which is a drive towards sexual activity and procreation. Scientology places emphasis on monogamous heterosexual marriage because it is this state that is most likely to lead to the rearing of children and the formation of a happy family unit. In this happy married state, the Scientologist is more likely to reach a place of spiritual enlightenment.

Homosexuality

The Church's early views on homosexuality were much in line with current scientific attitudes towards same-sex attraction. In Hubbard's 1950 book "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," he described homosexuality, alongside lesbianism and sexual sadism, as a form of physical illness. According to Hubbard, these individuals were not to be blamed for their condition but he nonetheless believed they were dangerous to society. Hubbard's proposed solution to this illness was counseling or even quarantine, although he advised that homosexuals shouldn't be subjected to ridicule or abuse.

Tone Scale

Hubbard introduced his church to the concept of the tone scale, which Scientologists still use to measure types of human behavior. The scale ranges from -3 to +4, where the minus figures indicate negative forms of behavior. According to Hubbard, someone rated at 1.1 was a subversive personality; he included homosexuals and lesbians in this category. In his book "Science of Survival," he denounces promiscuity, perversion, sadism, free love, easy marriage and quick divorce because they are unlikely to result in marriage and the rearing of children.

Modern Church

In more recent years, the Church has become more tolerant towards the gay community. Despite some internal resistance, there are openly gay members of the Scientology congregation, some of whom have spoken positively of the Church's acceptance. Perhaps in response to shifting public and scientific attitudes towards homosexuality, Hubbard was moved in 1967 to say, "It has never been any part of my plans to regulate or to attempt to regulate the private lives of individuals... Therefore all former rules, regulations and polices relating to the sexual activities of Scientologists are cancelled." Ex-members and journalists have suggested that the Church still takes an interest in the sex lives of its members even if it doesn't make formal pronouncements on the subject.

Resources

About the Author

Geoffrey Mills has written for "Global Study Magazine," "Bookdrum" and a variety of literary magazines. He has also contributed reviews to the books "501 Great Writers" and "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die." Mills holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Reading University and a Master of Arts in literature from London University.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images