Is Scientology a secret society?
A secret society is an organization of initiated persons whose members, purposes, and rituals are kept secret. Human groups throughout history have maintained secret societies. The ceremonies of initiation into such a society typically begin with an oath pledging secrecy as to all proceedings of the society, ascribing special obligations to its members, and assenting to penalties for violation of the oath. This is followed by tests of the candidate’s worthiness, including physical courage and even painful mutilations. A dominant theme in the initiation trials of most of these societies is the symbolism of death and rebirth. After the candidate has passed the prescribed tests, the secret knowledge is transmitted to him. Secret societies have served as schools in which the elders instruct the young men in the ways of their society.
The Church of Scientology and its actions are anything but secretive. In fact, the Church published a 1,000-page What is Scientology?, an encyclopedic reference book that explains everything one might want to know about the Church. Another reference work, primarily for scholars, is Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion. The Church also holds open house events and tours regularly, and many of our churches open their facilities free of charge for use by community and civic groups.
There is nothing mysterious about Scientology or its members and practices. The Church’s leaders are in close touch with the membership and they hold events throughout the year which are attended by tens of thousands.
Scientologists are actively involved in their communities, visible and effective.
The Church has found that those who allege the Church is secret are almost always those who never bothered to try and communicate or find out anything, in which case they would have discovered Scientologists to actually be more outgoing with information than adherents of other faiths.
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