How to give birth the Scientology way

The Guardian, London/March 29, 2006
By Carlene Bailey

A new arrival is expected in Los Angeles this week: the child of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Reports suggest the babe will be born under the strictures of Scientology, the "religion" practised by Cruise. But what strictures are they exactly, and do they stop after birth? Below we offer a digested guide.

1. According to L. Ron Hubbard - founder of Scientology - it is important to stay silent during childbirth. This is to ensure the avoidance of "engrams' - impressions formed in the brain because of "physical pain or painful" experiences.

2. Engrams are only relieved through "auditing"- a form of therapy - which is presumably difficult to perform during childbirth. Morning sickness is an "engram" - causes distress and pain (well, duh!)

3. Says Hubbard, in his book Dianetics: "A woman who is pregnant should be given every consideration by a society which has any feeling for its future generations."

4. These considerations should apply to those attending a birth. "Maintain silence in the presence of birth to save both the sanity of the mother and the child. And the maintaining of silence does not mean a volley of sh's."

5. Meanwhile: "Women, you have a right and a reason to demand good treatment."

6. He also claims that a great number of midwives and doctors are scientologists themselves.

7. By the way, life in the womb is not the paradise it has been presented as. Instead "the womb is wet, uncomfortable and unprotected".

8. Even once the child has been born, Scientology can help. According to Hubbard, emotions are transferred to a child through an electrical wave. "Therefore anyone who is emotional around a pregnant woman is communicating that emotion straight to the child."

9. Childhood illness mostly comes from - you guessed it - engrams. Prevent this, says Hubbard, by creating a "calm and harmonious atmosphere" for the child.

10. Furthermore: "Say nothing around a sick child or an injured child. Smile, appear calm, but say nothing."

11. "If she [the child] falls, she should be helped - but silently."

12. "Drooling sympathy" offered to a child when he is sick or feeling unwell can trigger engrams

13. When a young child bounces on a pregnant woman's lap, her unborn child gets an engram.

14. If the husband uses language during sex, "every word is going to be engramic".

15. In Scientology, there are those who are prone to engrams and those who are called Clears. A Clear is a rational person who forms the best solutions he can on the information he has.

16. And pray tell how does one become a Clear? With "some patience and a little study", says Hubbard.

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