In his article Religious Influence in Society,
n early 20th century philosopher spoke of the impending decline of the West. Today we are witnessing that decline and since we are involved in it, it is of utmost importance to us. At stake are whether the ideals we cherish will survive or some new abhorrent set of values win the day.
These are not idle statements. We are today at a watershed of history and our actions today will decide whether the world goes up from here or continues to slide into some new dark age.
It is important to understand bad conditions dont just happen. The cultural decay we see around us isnt haphazard. It was caused. Unless one understands this he wont be able to defend himself or reach out into the society with effectiveness.
A society is capable of surviving for thousands of years unless it is attacked from within or without by hostile forces. Where such an attack occurs, primary targets are its religious and national gods and heroes, its potential of leadership and the self-respect and integrity of its members.
Religion is the first sense of community. Your sense of community occurs by reason of mutual experience with others. Where the religious sense of community and with it real trust and integrity can be destroyed then that society is like a sand castle unable to defend itself against the inexorable sea.
For the last hundred years or so religion has been beset with a relentless attack. You have been told its the opiate of the masses, that its unscientific, that it is primitive; in short, that it is a delusion.
But beneath all these attacks on organized religion there was a more fundamental target: the spirituality of man, your own basic spiritual nature, self-respect and peace of mind. This black propaganda may have been so successful that maybe you no longer believe you have a spiritual nature but I assure you you do.
Of course, such attacks on religion run counter to mans traditional aspirations to spiritual fulfillment and an ethical way of life.
For thousands of years on this planet thinking man has upheld his own spirituality and considered the ultimate wisdom to be spiritual enlightenment.
The new radical thought that man is an animal without a spiritual nature has a name: totalitarian materialism. Materialism is the doctrine that only matter matters. The apostles of this new thought are trying to sell everybody on the idea that people really down deep are just a mass and what the person wants to do is cohese with this mass and then be protected by the mass.
This philosophical position was very handy to militaristic and totalitarian governments and their advocates of the last hundred years who wished to justify their atrocities and subjugation of populaces.
The truth of the matter is that at no time is religion more necessary as a civilizing force than in the presence of huge forces in the hands of man, who may have become very lacking in social abilities emphasized in religion.
The great religious civilizing forces of the past, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and others, have all emphasized differentiation of good from evil and higher ethical values.
The lowering of church attendance in the United States coincided with a rise in pornography and general immorality, and an increase in crime which then caused a rise in numbers of police without a subsequent decline in actual moral aberration.
When religion is not influential in a society or has ceased to be, the state inherits the entire burden of public morality, crime and intolerance. It then must use punishment and police. Yet this is unsuccessful as morality, integrity and self-respect not already inherent in the individual, cannot be enforced with any great success. Only by a spiritual awareness and inculcation of the spiritual value of these attributes can they come about. There must be more reason and more emotional motivation to be moral, etc., than threat of human discipline.
When a culture has fallen totally away from spiritual pursuits into materialism, one must begin by demonstrating they are each a soul, not a material animal. From this realization of their own religious nature individuals can again come to an awareness of God and become more themselves.
Medicine, psychiatry and psychology solved the whole problem of human nature simply by dumping it into the classification of material naturebody, brain, force. As they politically insist on monopoly and use social and political propaganda to enforce their monopoly, they debar actual search for real answers to human nature.
A society gets what it concentrates upon. By concentrating on spiritual values instead of criminality a new day may yet dawn for man.
L. Ron Hubbard
Founder of Scientology Religion