The following is a 1964 analysis of what had happened to religions over the millennia. Interesting how it was happening in real time, first generation, to Scientology while the words were being typed. It continues to play out in real time in the ‘independent field’ as evidenced by the commentary – and omission thereof – on this blog. If you find yourself not to be one of the sheep described (or no longer wanting to be one), you might be interested in investigating more deeply how this applies to Scientology, by reading Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.
From Abraham H. Maslow’s Religion, Values, and Peak Experiences :
When all that could be called ‘religious’ (naturalistically as well as supernaturalistically) was cut away from science, from knowledge, from further discovery, from the possibility of skeptical investigation, from confirming and discomfirming, and, therefore, from the possibility of purifying and improving, such a dichotomized religion was doomed. It tended to claim that the founding revelation was complete, perfect, final, and eternal. It had the truth, the whole truth, and had nothing more to learn, thereby being pushed into the position that has destoryed so many churches, of resisting change, of being only conservative, of being anti-intellectual and anti-scientific, of making piety and obedience exclusive of skeptical intellectuality — in effect, of contradicting naturalistic truth.
Such a split-off religion generates split-off and partial definition of all necessary concepts. For example, faith, which has perfectly respectable naturalistic meanings, as for example in Fromm’s writings, tends in the hands of an anti-intellectual church to degenerate into blind belief, sometimes even ‘belief in what you know ain’t so.’ It tends to become unquestioning obedience and last-ditch loyalty no matter what. It tends to produce sheep rather than men.