As L. Ron Hubbard developed the spiritual philosophy of Scientology he needed to communicate concepts that weren’t part of the English language. Also, he didn’t want to use overloaded terms that might lead to confusion. As a result, he came up with many of his own terms. To help you we’ve put together a list of definitions specific to Scientology.
Where a word has several definitions these come from different stages in Scientology’s history. In most cases where a word has several meanings, they are not distinctly different. Rather they build one upon the other, or give more context to the word. Through the years, as Hubbard developed the subject further, he shared his new understanding of these terms in his subsequent writings and lectures.
In our definitions list, if more than one definition for a term exists, the first definition is meant to be most friendly to newcomers. Feel free to read all definitions to gain more understanding of the word.
References given in parentheses at the end of a definition point the reader to the original material the definition came from. Definitions in this list are a combination of words taken verbatim from the original materials and paraphrasing of those materials. In this way, we hope to make the definitions easy to understand and accessible to all readers. The references allow those who want to delve deeper to go to the Source for the definition and its context.
L. Ron Hubbard noticed his students sometimes had trouble fully understanding his teachings. To overcome this, he developed Study Technology so anyone could learn and apply his teachings. Learning barriers can prevent you from getting the most out of L. Ron Hubbard’s writings and lectures. So here are a few pointers to help you out.
When a person reads or hears a word they don’t understand, it can block their comprehension of part, or all, of a subject. Here are a few simple examples:
- Joe watches a baseball game for the first time. One of the announcers says, “the players are going out to the diamond for the first inning.” Joe doesn’t know what a baseball diamond is, so now his mind is busy trying to figure it out. He may even invent a definition or come up with a convoluted way of thinking about what the announcer said. Maybe he concludes a diamond gem must be buried beneath the pitcher’s mound. He’s definitely going to experience confusion and run into trouble understanding baseball.
- Mary’s doctor tells her she needs to see a cardiologist. Mary doesn’t know what a “cardiologist” is. She might invent a definition as Joe did for “diamond.” Maybe her mind associates the word ‘cardiologist’ with rapper, Cardi B. She starts humming a Cardi B song in her head and otherwise completely zones out what the doctor was saying. And because she was zoned out, she missed all the important information her doctor gave her after that point.
Misunderstood words come in all shapes and sizes. They can be big words, like “cardiologist.” Or small words, like “the” and “of.” Or medium length words, like “indeed” or “juice.” Or even words you think you know. When studying, it’s always a good idea to have dictionaries in easy reach. Children’s dictionaries can be great because they define words simply and help avoid further misunderstandings. To get the most out of your studies keep a simple dictionary, a more advanced dictionary, and a specialized dictionary (like this glossary) nearby so words can be looked up easily in any circumstance. Use hard copy dictionaries, or internet dictionaries, whichever you find easier to use.
Do you have some favorite English dictionaries? Not all dictionaries are equal and it’s important to have one that defines words well and includes enough definitions. It’s common for a word to have multiple definitions. You may need to look in more than one dictionary before you find a definition that fits the material you are reading. Try out some different dictionaries to find what works best. Go to the library or bookstore and flip through some dictionaries. Compare how they define the same words. Until you find your favorites, here are some suggestions:
Hard Copy Dictionaries
Merriam-Webster makes good quality dictionaries that are approachable for people new to using them:
- Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary for Children
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- Webster’s New World College Dictionary
Encyclopedias, Atlases, and Reference Books
If something doesn’t make sense or seems confusing, you can always find ways to understand it better. The internet has loads of references that are useful, including Wikipedia. Libraries have reference section specifically for this purpose.
Globes, atlases, specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, can all be very useful when trying to grasp something better. Don’t be shy about using them!