Received 18 November 2010, from the Church of Scientology International:
MEDIA ADVISORY ON SILENT BIRTH
In view of recent incorrect media reports about “Silent Birth” the Church of Scientology International advises the media about the background and meaning of “Quiet” or “Silent Birth”.
WHAT IS SILENT BIRTH?
Silent birth is all about providing the best possible environment for the birthing mother and her new baby. Its origins can be found in L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and are firmly rooted in a fundamental and abiding principle that women, particularly expectant mothers, be given the utmost in care and respect.
A silent birth is labor and delivery done in a calm and loving environment and with no spoken words by anyone attending. Chatty doctors and nurses, shouts to “PUSH, PUSH” and loud or laughing remarks to “encourage” are the types of things that are meant to be avoided.
As L. Ron Hubbard wrote: “Everyone must learn to say nothing within the expectant mother’s hearing during labor and delivery. Particularly during birth, absolute silence must be maintained and the more gentle the delivery, the better.”
The point of silent birth is NO WORDS. It does not mean a mother cannot make any sound during childbirth. It is doubtful that any woman could give birth without making any noise at all.
Mothers naturally want to give their baby the best start in life and thus keep the birth as quiet and peaceful as possible. That being said, a woman’s choice for her delivery is completely up to her and her doctor. There is no requirement to adhere to any specific routine. Just like care is taken in all other aspects of labor and birth, a woman and her doctor or midwife and any others present work out how to communicate without words.
Doctors respect the right of a mother to choose her birthing experience. Silent birth is not a medical model but a religious and philosophical approach based on L. Ron Hubbard’s research into the mind and spirit.
The principle behind not speaking during childbirth is delineated in Dianetics and to fully understand why, one should read the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. But to provide a brief explanation, L. Ron Hubbard discovered the hidden source of nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets, insecurity and psychosomatic illness—the reactive mind. This part of the mind records all perceptions during times of pain and unconsciousness—which childbirth is for both mother and child. And words, in particular, spoken during these moments, can have an adverse effect on one later in life.
However, since the research, findings and practice of silent birth were first announced by Mr. Hubbard in the 1951 text entitled Child Dianetics, this method has been corroborated and applied by doctors, nurses and midwives world over.
The Church has no policy against the use of medicines to help a person with a physical situation and these principles do not preclude a mother from receiving any medical procedure needed to safely deliver the baby, including Caesarean section. These are medical decisions and these, too, are between the mother and her doctor.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
HOW DOES SILENT BIRTH ACTUALLY WORK?
There is no specific routine. Just like care is taken in all other aspects of labor and birth, a woman and her doctor or midwife and others present work out how to communicate without words. Different women have done different things.
IS IT A CHURCH RULE THAT THEIR MEMBERS MUST ADHERE TO THIS PRACTICE?
Not at all. A woman’s delivery is always up to her and her doctor.
DOES THE CHURCH HAVE RULES AGAINST PAINKILLERS, ANESTHESIA OR OTHER MEDICAL DRUGS?
The Church has no policy against the use of medicines to help a person with a physical situation. This is a matter between the person and their doctor.
DOESN’T L. RON HUBBARD RECOMMEND/ADVOCATE A NATURAL, DRUG-FREE BIRTH?
Yes, because it is best for the mother and the child. It is common knowledge that natural childbirth is best, but that doesn’t always work out, and it is up to the mother and her doctor.
IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT MANY SCIENTOLOGISTS WILL DEMAND A NATURAL CHILDBIRTH WITH NO DRUGS. WHY?
It is the mother’s choice. If they don’t use drugs it’s simply because a mother wants the best for her new baby.
IS IT TRUE THAT SCIENTOLOGISTS CAN’T TOUCH OR TALK TO THEIR BABY FOR THREE DAYS TO A WEEK? OR ARE THERE SEVEN DAYS OF SILENCE AFTER BIRTH?
Absolutely not, this is a complete fabrication and not a practice of Scientology.
DO DOCTORS AGREE WITH THESE PROCEDURES?
Of course. It’s a personal decision of the mother and doesn’t interfere with any medical procedure. Doctors naturally respect the right of a mother to choose her own birth experience.
ARE C-SECTIONS PERMITTED?
This is a medical decision, nothing to do with Scientology.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN FURTHER WHAT DIANETICS IS?
L. Ron Hubbard discovered the single source of stress, worry, self-doubt and psychosomatic illness, which is the reactive mind. This part of the mind records all perceptions in times of pain and unconsciousness and in particular, words spoken during these moments can have adverse effects on people later in life. Full information on this is available in the book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
WHAT DOES SCIENTOLOGY SAY ABOUT THE RAISING OF CHILDREN?
L. Ron Hubbard has written a great deal about raising children. In Scientology, children are respected the way any person should be albeit in a young body. This does not make them any less a person and they should be given all the love and respect granted adults. Scientologists also believe children should be encouraged to contribute to family life and not just be “seen and not heard,” as the old saying goes.
Most children raised in Scientology homes are above average in ability and quickly begin to understand how and why people act as they do. Life thus becomes a lot happier and safer for them.
WHAT ELSE HAS L. RON HUBBARD WRITTEN ABOUT RAISING CHILDREN?
There is a lot written in Scientology about children. Scientology help people understand their basic nature and this alone helps parents tremendously.
Some of the basic principles Scientologists apply to parenting are summed up in the following quotes:
"Today's children will become tomorrow's civilization. Try to be the child's friend. It is certainly true that a child needs friends. Try to find out what a child's problem really is and without crushing their own solutions, try to help solve them. A child factually does not do well without love. Most children have an abundance of it to return." - "The Way to Happiness"
"The spoiled child is the child whose decisions have been interrupted
continuously and who is robbed of his independence." - "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health"
"Affection could no more spoil a child than the sun could be put out by a bucket of gasoline." - "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health"
“A good, stable adult with love and tolerance in his heart is about the best therapy a child can have.” - “Child Dianetics”
“A human being feels able and competent only so long as he is permitted to contribute as much or more than he has contributed to him.” “Child Dianetics”
DO SCIENTOLOGISTS CONSIDER CHILDREN ADULTS IN A SMALL BODY?
No. Scientologists consider children to be spiritual beings, like all people are but they need to be taken care of as children. L. Ron Hubbard has written quite a lot on the subject, including that “a child needs all of the love and affection it can possibly get” and that “a good stable adult with love and tolerance in his heart is about the best therapy a child can have.”
Children need respect, love, help, and education. They want to help others from a very early age and it is important that adults allow them to do so, within the realms of safety. A child has to know they have a place in life, that they are important and that their contributions are meaningful in a real way.
Education is an important part of this, as a child needs understanding of the workings of his family and society to be able to contribute to them in meaningful ways and in this he can be greatly assisted by his parents and other family members.
CAN CHILDREN PARTICIPATE IN SCIENTOLOGY? HOW?
Yes, many children do and there are no age restrictions as to who may participate in Scientology auditing or training. Scientology Churches conduct courses and study programs specifically designed for young people. Children below the age of majority must first obtain written consent from their parents or guardian to participate in Scientology services. Like adherents of other religions, Scientologists are very proud when their children join them in the practice of their religion.
WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY?
Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being.
Scientology addresses the spirit—not the body or mind—and believes that Man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.
Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these are:
Man is an immortal spiritual being.
His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.
His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.
Scientology further holds Man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.
Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to accept anything on faith alone. On the contrary, one discovers for oneself that the principles of Scientology are true by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results.
The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CORE TENETS OF SCIENTOLOGY?
Fundamental to Scientology is a view of Man as a spiritual being. In Scientology, the spiritual being is called a thetan. The term is taken from the Greek letter theta for “thought” or “life” or “the spirit.” It is used to avoid confusion with previous concepts of the soul. The thetan is immortal and has lived—and will continue to live—through countless lifetimes. One is a thetan who has a mind and who occupies a body. The thetan animates the body and uses the mind.
Also fundamental to Scientology is a view of life as compartmentalized into urges (drives, impulses) toward survival. These are called the dynamics and number eight in all.
The First Dynamic—is the urge toward existence as one’s self. Here we have individuality expressed fully. This can be called the Self Dynamic.
The Second Dynamic—is the urge toward existence as a sexual activity. This dynamic actually has two divisions. Second Dynamic (a) is the sexual act itself. And the Second Dynamic (b) is the family unit, including the rearing of children. This can be called the Sex Dynamic.
The Third Dynamic—is the urge toward existence in groups of individuals. Any group, or part of an entire class, could be considered to be a part of the Third Dynamic. The school, the society, the town, the nation are each part of the Third Dynamic and each one is a Third Dynamic. This can be called the Group Dynamic.
The Fourth Dynamic—is the urge toward existence as or of Mankind. Whereas one race would be considered a Third Dynamic, all the races would be considered the Fourth Dynamic. This can be called the Mankind Dynamic.
The Fifth Dynamic—is the urge toward existence of the animal kingdom. This includes all living things, whether vegetable or animal, the fish in the sea, the beasts of the field or of the forest, grass, trees, flowers or anything directly and intimately motivated by life. This can be called the Animal Dynamic.
The Sixth Dynamic—is the urge toward existence as the physical universe. The physical universe is composed of Matter, Energy, Space and Time. In Scientology we take the first letter of each of these words and coin a word—MEST. This can be called the Universe Dynamic.
The Seventh Dynamic—is the urge toward existence as or of spirits. Anything spiritual, with or without identity, would come under the heading of the Seventh Dynamic. This can be called the Spiritual Dynamic.
The Eighth Dynamic—is the urge toward existence as infinity. This is also identified as the Supreme Being. This is called the Eighth Dynamic because the symbol of infinity, ∞, stood upright makes the numeral 8. This can be called the Infinity or God Dynamic.
Scientologists usually call these by number.
A further manifestation of these dynamics is that they could best be represented as a series of concentric circles, wherein the First Dynamic would be the center and each new dynamic would be successively a circle outside it. The idea of space expanding enters into these dynamics.
The basic characteristic of the individual includes his ability to so expand into the other dynamics. But when the Seventh Dynamic is reached in its entirety, one will only then discover the true Eighth Dynamic. As an example of use of these dynamics, one discovers that a baby at birth is not perceptive beyond the First Dynamic. But as the child grows and interests extend, the child can be seen to embrace other dynamics. As a further example of use, a person who is incapable of operating on the Third Dynamic is incapable at once of being a part of a team and so might be said to be incapable of a social existence. As a further comment upon the Eight Dynamics, no one of these dynamics from one to seven is more important than any other one of them in terms of orienting the individual. While the dynamics are not of equal importance, one to the next, the ability of an individual to assume the beingness, doingness and havingness of each dynamic is an index to his ability to live. The abilities and shortcomings of individuals can be understood by viewing their participation in the various dynamics.