hroughout history, the most important advances in our culture and civilization have not come about because man invented a stronger sword for the foot soldier, a better longbow for the archer, more powerful tanks for the cavalry or atomic bombs. Rather, progress has come from the new ideas of thinking men.
As L. Ron Hubbard wrote in Science of Survival, “Ideas and not battles mark the forward progress of mankind.” When an idea represents fundamental and workable truths, it is adopted by many and achieves a lasting endurance. Plato’s Republic, written more than three hundred years before the birth of Christ, catalyzed political thinkers for centuries and many of its fundamental concepts are woven into the fabric of modern governments. Descartes’ seventeenth-century laws of mathematics are taught today in modern universities and continue to be used as tools to aid scientific inquiry.
Today, at the dawn of a new millennium, the last hundred years have seen some of the most rapid advances in technology ever. These advances, unfortunately, have been accompanied by a commensurate decline in the beneficial influence of religion and the systematic removal of the humanities from our educational systems. The results have been mixed. While we have seen a rise in material living standards, we have also lived through the horrors of two world wars, political, racial and religious genocide on an unprecedented scale and social turmoil, reflected by plummeting moral standards, the breakdown of the family unit, violent crime, widespread drug abuse in all economic sectors and failing educational systems.
Amid this turmoil, L. Ron Hubbard researched the spiritual breakthroughs which led to his development of Scientology and ultimately the founding of the Scientology religion – the only major new religion established in the twentieth century. But the birth of Scientology has meant more than just the growth of a worldwide religion of eight million adherents. As has happened throughout history, the ideas of one man have been taken up and carried forward by many – Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike – and have become part of the fabric of modern culture.