Scientology claims that it is fact based. Scientology claims that no one is asked to believe anything. Scientology claims that, if you don't find something to be true, it isn't true.
So why do Scientologists believe things for which there is absolutely no evidence?
As I've covered before in Scientology: Why Doesn't It Work?, one of the distinguishing characteristics of Scientology is that it doesn't produce any of the major results it promises.
Now what is most amazing about this fact is that Scientologists believe it works.
There are no Scientologists who exhibit any "OT" characteristics, yet they all believe that the state of "OT" exists and that Scientology will produce that state. Why?
There are no Clears, not as described by L. Ron Hubbard, yet all Scientologists believe that Clear can and has been attained. Why?
No Scientologist can "confront and shatter suppression" which almost all of them are supposed to be able to do, since they completed the course that "gave them those powers". But, no, they can't do anything like that. Yet they still believe that the "PTS/SP Course" works! Why?
Course after course, level after level, the results, promised by Scientology, never appear. And, course after course, level after level, Scientologists gladly "attest" they have attained the skills, abilities or powers promised but never attained. Why do they continue? Why do they believe?
What is the magic trick that keeps this charade going?
Well, first, you need to understand a few basic facts about how they do things in Scientology.
When a Scientologist completes a course or a level, they are rushed through to "attest" that they have attained all the wonderful things promised -- before anything else can happen.
Scientologists don't go out to test any alleged "new abilities". Scientologists don't get a few days or hours or even minutes to think about it and see if it stands up even over night. No, they are rushed through to attest immediately -- then go out and "enjoy their new abilities".
So, what they are attesting to is not actually what happened -- because it hasn't really happened yet. What they are attesting to is what they hope has happened.
But there is more to it than just that. There is another aspect of Scientology auditing, never particularly discussed, which complicates this and makes it even harder for Scientologists to see the truth.
There is something in Scientology auditing that causes a temporary feeling of tremendous well-being, or even euphoria. This usually occurs at the end of an auditing session -- the Scientologist temporarily feels good, sometimes quite good. Scientologists call this state "having a floating needle" after the particular manifestation that occurs on the E-Meter when this happens.
This is not connected to any one level or process, but is the expected and common result of each and every session.
Exactly what is the cause of this euphoria isn't real clear, but the state is quite temporary -- sometimes only lasting a minute or so. Whatever its cause and however long it lasts, it is temporary and it always disappears.
So, what does this mean?
While in this temporary state of euphoria, the Scientologist is very suggestible. They feel great and can easily believe they actually have amazing abilities. The church asks them if they will attest to some amazing new abilities and the Scientologist, in the midst of this euphoria thinks, "Well sure, I can do all those things!" And attests. This is the primary reason the church is in such a rush to get Scientologists to attest after session -- the feeling of euphoria wears off rather quickly.
When the euphoria wears off, the Scientologists don't have those abilities and they don't have the certainty any more.
They remember the good feeling, they remember the certainty about those amazing new abilities. They remember, but they don't have it any more. But then it's too late. They've attested -- and a "false attest" is a punishable offence. So, they pretend those abilities are real. They all do this.
And because they can never talk about it with each other, each one believes that the other Scientologists really did get all those abilities and they are the only one who failed to get the promised gains.
Each Scientologist sees all the other Scientologists saying that they all got all those wonderful skills, abilities and powers, and they believe it's all true except for themselves.
And they hope that all these skills, powers and abilities will come true for themselves on the next level.
It is interesting to note that auditors, the Scientologists who are trained and who give those sessions, are often the most ardent believers that "Scientology works". Day after day, session after session, they see people leave session in that temporary euphoria, and they think they are permanently making people better.
And those people, experiencing the euphoria, claim big "wins" and assert that they are "better", "more certain", "more powerful". And that's what the auditor sees and hears. They don't see it wearing off a few minutes or an hour later and the people going back to normal, so the auditor believes he or she has made a permanent change.
But if you look at the community of Scientologists out in the real world, you will see how "permanent" those gains were. In the Scientology community, Scientologists are in real trouble. Scientologists are more likely to be the ones losing their homes to foreclosure. Scientologists are more likely to be the ones declaring bankruptcy. Scientologists are stuck, not making progress, disconnected from their families and friends. They are neither happy nor successful.
And look at the churches themselves. They are empty. They are commonly months behind on their rent. The churches are combining, reducing hours and, finally, closing.
The euphoria doesn't last long at all, and reality, for Scientologists, is cruel. They believe. because they remember how they felt right after session. Without any evidence of any real and lasting results from Scientology, they remember and they believe.
And now you know why.