May 22, 2024
What is Scientology's stance on medicine and healthcare? This article explores the intersection of faith and healthcare, the role of medicine in Scientology, navigating healthcare decisions as a Scientologist, myths and misconceptions surrounding Scientology's healthcare beliefs, objective analysis of Scientology's controversial viewpoints and more that help readers to understand this complex topic better.


Scientology is a religion that has been surrounded by controversy since its inception. One of the most pressing questions that arise when discussing Scientology is its position on medicine and healthcare. This article aims to delve into the topic of Scientology’s stance on medicine and its intersection with healthcare. We will explore the core beliefs of Scientology, its approach to healthcare, its relationship with traditional medicine and alternative medicine, and how Scientologists navigate the complex healthcare choices they face. Our goal is to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the topic and dispel any myths and misconceptions that may exist.

The Intersection of Faith and Medicine: The Scientology Perspective

At the core of Scientology’s beliefs is the concept of the “thetan,” or spiritual being. According to Scientology, the thetan is immortal and is trapped in a human body, which it uses to experience life on Earth. Scientology believes that sickness and disease are the result of spiritual distress and that spiritual healing is the only way to achieve true wellness.

Scientologists believe that traditional medicine only treats the physical symptoms of an illness and does not address the root cause, which is spiritual in nature. Therefore, Scientologists often seek out spiritual healing practices to address their health concerns. These practices can include auditing (spiritual counseling), which aims to alleviate spiritual distress, and the purification rundown, a program that uses exercise, sauna sessions, and vitamin supplements to detoxify the body and improve spiritual well-being.

The Role of Medicine in Scientology: Exploring Its Place in Practice

While Scientology prioritizes spiritual healing, the organization does not categorically reject traditional medicine. The Church of Scientology states that “it is a personal matter and one that allows for medical consultation and treatment if one so chooses.”

Scientologists often use medicine as a complementary approach to their spiritual practices. For instance, a Scientologist might seek medical treatment for a physical complaint while simultaneously receiving auditing to address the spiritual factors that underlie the ailment. Scientology also has its own approach to healthcare, which it calls “spiritual healing technology,” that involves addressing the spiritual causes of an illness.

Balancing Beliefs: Navigating Healthcare Choices as a Scientologist

Scientologists sometimes face challenges when making healthcare decisions. Choosing between traditional medicine and spiritual healing practices can be complex, especially when a practitioner advises for one option over another. In these situations, it is essential for Scientologists to make informed decisions based on their individual beliefs and circumstances. This might involve consulting with multiple practitioners and considering all available treatment options.

Scientologists can also face external pressure to choose traditional medicine over spiritual healing practices, especially in situations where their health or the health of a loved one is at risk. Communicating their beliefs and concerns with medical professionals can be crucial for finding a solution that honors both traditional medicine and Scientology principles.

Myths and Misconceptions: Separating Fact from Fiction about Scientology and Medicine

There are many misconceptions about Scientology’s view on medicine, including the idea that members are explicitly forbidden from seeking medical treatment. However, this is not true; Scientologists are free to choose any medical treatment they wish. Scientology’s emphasis on spiritual healing and alternative practices can lead to confusion, but it is important to note that the Church of Scientology does not dismiss traditional medicine. Rather, it offers an additional approach to healthcare that prioritizes spiritual healing.

The Controversy Surrounding Scientology’s Views on Medicine: An Objective Analysis

While Scientology’s views on healthcare are not unusual for a religion, they have generated controversy. Critics of Scientology have accused the organization of discouraging members from seeking medical treatment and promoting dangerous pseudoscientific treatments. There have been several high-profile cases where members’ health and lives were put at risk due to a refusal to seek medical help.

On the other hand, Scientology supporters argue that traditional medicine is often overused and that the spiritual element of healthcare is often overlooked. They assert that the organization’s unique approach to healthcare is valid and that members have the right to choose what treatments they receive.

The Evolution of Scientology’s Stance on Medicine and Health

Scientology’s approach to healthcare has changed over time. At its inception, Scientology was a far more aggressive opponent of traditional medicine and encouraged members to avoid it entirely. Over time, the organization has softened its stance, acknowledging that medical treatment can be a necessary part of maintaining physical well-being.

Recent years have seen Scientology place more emphasis on the “bridge to total freedom,” a program that outlines stages of spiritual development that members can achieve. The bridge to total freedom includes a healthy body as part of its goals, which can be interpreted as an acknowledgment of the importance of physical well-being alongside spiritual wellness.

Scientology and Alternative Medicine: Examining the Overlap and Differences

One area where Scientology and alternative medicine overlap is the focus on spiritual healing. Scientologists often incorporate alternative practices like meditation, yoga, and acupuncture into their spiritual healing regimen.

However, Scientology is distinct from most alternative medicine practices in that it has its own program for spiritual healing and detoxification that is central to its approach to healthcare. Additionally, Scientology has faced criticism for promoting dangerous and unproven practices like the purification rundown, which can cause physical harm.


In summary, Scientology’s approach to healthcare and medicine is complex and may be challenging for outsiders to fully understand. While the religion prioritizes spiritual healing, it does not categorically reject traditional medicine, and many Scientologists choose to incorporate medical treatment into their healthcare plan. It is essential for Scientologists to carefully consider all of their options when making healthcare decisions and to communicate their beliefs with medical professionals. Understanding the nuances of Scientology’s healthcare beliefs and practices can help prevent misconceptions and promote informed healthcare choices.

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