comes ready to explain, defend Scientology
date: 2/13/09 Section: News
the religion that has grabbed mainstream
attention thanks to its celebrity followers, sparked curiosity on the
Cal Poly campus last night as a church leader came to clear up what he
calls misconceptions surrounding the religion.
More than 100 students attended the speech, which was sponsored by Cal
Poly Theisms. As seats filled up, many attendants stood while others
watched a broadcast in an adjacent room.
Rev. Lee Holzinger, a leader in the Santa Barbara Church of Scientology
and 30-year follower, came prepared to give the audience a crash course
on the religion. He displayed 18 Scientology books written by L. Ron
Hubbard on the front podium. He also cued up clips from a DVD aimed to
help clarify some Scientology concepts. Holzinger seemed ready to
defend Scientology against any claim.
"I have heard every strange thing and misconception there is about the
Church of Scientology, so it's hard to shock me," he said.
Holzinger said he is aware of the rumors and controversy Scientology
breeds and he wants to dispel some of the negativity by discussing what
Scientologists actually believe and practice.
Scientology is often criticized for believing that humans are actually
immortal beings known as Thetans, who have lived before birth and will
live on after death. Holzinger confirmed this ideology but noted that
it is not forced upon members of the church.
"I am a scientologist. I believe I have lived a long time. It isn't
something we would preach to anyone. It's just something people
discover on their own."
said that Scientologists discover their true being with the
help of "auditing" sessions. These sessions claim to provide a way for
people to recall a previous existence. Holzinger said he made this
discovery and is happy with the belief that he is an immortal spirit.
"It's really a very clarifying and stable thing to get to understand,
to really know who you are," Holzinger said.