Some parts of Scientology are on topic. We currently have one question about it, though two others along different lines were asked (and were deleted). It seems like a viable topic.

I'll quote senshin from that question:

I'd try and read up on this myself, but, you know, I'm not an Operating Thetan, so this stuff is hard to find.

Scientology material is really tough to find. Some is out there, though the Church denies that some of it is true. Much of what we know about it is through a small number of sources, many of them former Scientologists.

To answer senshin's question, I used material from the Fishman Affidavit, testimony given by a former Scientologist who turned against the Church. Wikipedia has some good information, but it's based only on a handful of sources, many just like the Fishman Affidavit. The Church denies that much of it is true. Only top members can learn most of the important stuff.

So what sources can we use - or, rather, are we willing to consider testimony by ex-Scientologists, which is really the only thing we have, canonical information?

See also, of course, What are good sources when answering questions?.

This seems to be an interesting starting point.

1 Answer 1


My opinion in this case (and pretty much all cases, really) is: Use the best sources you have available.

Sources for Scientology are problematic given their antagonism toward inquiry. Testimony by ex-scientologists isn't an ideal source. But if it's what you can get your hands on, use it. The church's denial of it's accuracy would be compelling if they were willing to correct it. They aren't, so it remains the best information we have.

Never refuse to provide information because it's not canonical enough or not complete enough. It certainly doesn't hurt to make note of the nature of your resources, especially if you don't have confidence in them (something I think you've established more than adequately in your answer). But if it's the best available, and it answers the question to the best of your ability, I say go for it.

It's really not all that different from some of the older mythologies, if you think of it. Snorri Sturlson was a christian historian and poet, not strictly a primary source, and many consider his Prose Edda somewhat unreliable. But the Prose Edda sure fills in some gaps, so we use it. Sumerian mythology is often extremely fragmentary. Here are the primary sources for their creation myth, the Enuma Elish:

the Enuma Elish tablets

So much for canonicity.

The reasons for the fragmentary information differs, between Sumerian and Scientological mythology, but the effect is really much the same.

You got to work with what you've got.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .