This article is about a non-fiction entity related to the Astronist belief system or the Astronic tradition.
Any article relating to a fictional entity will be clearly marked as being part of the Spacefaring World.
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Astronism is a cosmocentric hybrid of religion and philosophy classified as an organised philosophy belonging to the Astronic tradition of religions while Scientology is a new religious movement whose core beliefs and practices are based upon a program of ideas called Dianetics. Scientology predates the founding of Astronism by about 61 years as the former first emerged in May 1952 while the latter was founded in July 2013.
Astronism and Scientology share few if any common beliefs or practices. Astronist beliefs are based upon a largely naturalistic worldview with a focus on the process of cosmosis while Scientology's beliefs are formed by a spiritualistic worldview uniquely combining beliefs in reincarnation with a UFO religious-style theology.
It is in Scientology's beliefs involving the extraterrestrial that we see the largest rift between these two new religions. On the topic of all UFO religions (a category which Astronism considers Scientology to be included within), Astronism sees such religions as creating a parody of its own serious worldview of cosmocentrism.
As a result, the Astronist Institution has consistently taken a negative stance whenever another religion holds exaggerated, fanatical, or otherwise conspiratorial beliefs involving anything remotely astronomical. Such beliefs are considered as undermining the seriousness and advanced nature of Astronist philosophy and beliefs and are often classified as part of comedicism. This issue is of particular importance to Astronism due to its designation as an astronomical religion.
Despite such differences in beliefs, Astronism and Scientology do share some practical similarities. They were both founded in the Western word and both in relative recency. They both were founded by charismatic figures, L. Ron Hubbard for Scientology and Cometan for Astronism.
However, in its 2020 Astronist Freedom report, the Astronist Institution designated Scientology a cult as the Institution considers any religion that does not allow apostasy to be a cult. This publicised designation from the Astronist side regarding Scientology has not allowed for much positive interfaith relations to develop.
Due to Scientology's older age in comparison to Astronism, the former has amassed considerable power and wealth. However, this has been cited as a consistent criticism of Scientology from the perspective of the Astronist Institution. The Astronist Institution, in addition to designating Scientology as a cult, has also called Scientology a corporation more than a religion.
In fact, the Astronist Institution has gone as far to say that Scientology has erroneously self-designated itself as a 'religion' in order to further its commercial interests and to protect itself from receiving criticism for its actions.
Meanwhile, Astronism emerged out of Cometan's philosophical contemplations regarding the nature, meaning, and substance of The Cosmos and humanity's future within it, thus forming the branch of philosophy called cosmontology. Such genuine philosophical inquiries set Astronism apart from Scientology whose own theological and philosophical inquiries were arguably constructed, rather than naturally developed, so as to receive as much funds from its adherents as possible.
Although the Astronist Institution consists of a commercial arm, it does not entangle its beliefs with purchasable services in order to receive payments from its followers which Scientology has conducted such a practice since its founding years and is arguably still dependent upon this practice.