An Honest Question About Scientology

I know, I’ve been guilty of bashing the adherents of this crazy cult. But I do have a question:
suppose I agree to join the “church”, and submit to auditing. So I sit down in front of some nut with an “e-meter”…and they start asking me to recall my past life (2000 billion years ago, on the planet “Snerk”).
If I am totally honest, and tell them:

  • I have no idea what on earth you are talking about
    -I was born in 1961; there is no planet Snerk, and I don’t have any memories, because I didn’t exist then
    -your questions are so stupid/bizarre, that I cannot stop myself from laughing!
    What would the grand poohbah of the local church do with me?

Continue to try and get money from you.

Answered in one.

That’s not how auditing starts, anyway. They start with tales of making you a better-functioning human being, reducing stress, etc. You’ll be asked to talk about things that stress you out, bad things that have happened to you or that you’ve done (prime blackmail material for their well-known members, allegedly), that kind of thing. You don’t get told about Xenu and the really batshit stuff until you’ve invested a bunch of money and years of effort. I’ve read accounts from a couple decades ago about loyal members who learned that part and were utterly distraught at having their beliefs revealed as a bad sci-fi novel.

My son dropped by their place in DC about 12 years ago, found out it was not for him. Thanked them and left.
THEY STILL WRITE HIM!! He still gets crap about once a month asking him to come back and continue with his “search”.

So I do not think your sceanario will faze thiem in the least and now they know who you are.

So if I really want to mess with someone, I should visit a Church of Scientology and use their name and bona fides?

Good to know.

Ooooh, that’s good! I’ll bet you can do it online with just an email address.

I did this to a friend once. He was unamused. I don’t know how long they pursued him. I think he told them that it was a prank, and they let it go, at least for the time being. I imagine he is still in their system, though. In retrospect, it wasn’t that funny.

Another time, I put his name in to be contacted by the Marine Corps.

I was kind of a dick.

Sometimes when people really piss me off (I mean, genuinely wrong me and are just absolute assbags who deserve it), I sign them up with the Scientologists. Petty, but it makes me happy.

I am currently a dick.

I wouldn’t do this to a friend; I’m thinking ex-wife.

Then again, given what she’s into these days, she’d probably join up.

I wandered into their storefront office in downtown San Diego, and took their personality test. It involved filling in bubbles on a Scantron type card. About 100 questions. They then fed the card into a scanner. Their PC analyzed my answers. A summary was printed.

As far as I can tell (and, of course, the patient is always the worst possible person to make this assessment) their summary of my personality bore no resemblance whatever to me, or to the answers I’d given. It might just as well have been one of those big fake flashy-lights computer biorhythm things they used to have at carnies and county fairs. Absolute damn waste of time.

And, yeah, they kept sending me promotional material for years.

I’ve got enemies I wouldn’t wish this on!

(I’m also on a Mormon mailing list, ever since I took them up on their offer of a free Book of Mormon. Thanks for the book, but could you cut it back to one mailing a month, maybe, please?)

The very lowest levels, the stuff you encounter in the first few sessions, is no better or worse than most self-help seminars. Hubbard borrowed a ton of stuff from other sources from S. I. Hayakawa to Aleister Crowley.

But as time went on, and as the abilities they claimed a graduate of Dianetics or a “clear” would have proved non-existent, Hubbard had to invent new levels. The higher you go, the more nutty you get as Hubbard drank his own Kool-Aid. The Xenu stuff takes tens of thousands of dollars and many years to reach, and your brains are pretty well scrambled by that time. By that time, you simply cannot discuss Scientology without using their terminology - and it is pretty much impossible to win an argument with someone if you are using their dictionary.

Perhaps that was how it originally worked, but how does Scientology cope with the fact that the Xenu stuff is now common knowledge among people who have never been in the cult?

They will never tell the truth, but I doubt they have many new recruits these days (“raw meat” was Hubbard’s charming term for them). That’s one of the reasons they spend so much time and money trying to get people who left back into it. That, and extracting more money from those who are already in. They are notorious for high pressure sales tactics, browbeating members into getting extra credit cards and maxing them out to buy additional courses.

There is a ton of stuff on featuring various people how they got into it, what it cost them and how they left. But if you want to read one very well-written article, the one about director/writer Paul Haggis that appeared in the New Yorker is a good place to start.

Hooo-lyyyyyyy crap!

Very well-written, very insightful, and very disturbing. The next time someone challenges me on why I call Scientology a cult and not Christianity I’ll say “Becasuse the 10-year-olds collecting can goods for the Methodist church down the road didn’t have their parents sign them up for 1 billion years of service.”

Glad to help. As I said, there is a ton of stuff out there including a number of commercially published books on the subject - Russell Miller’s “Bare Faced Messiah”, Jon Atack’s “A Piece of Blue Sky” Paulette Cooper’s “The Scandal of Scientology”. The amazing thing is that the CoS was so aggressive in attacking any criticism that they managed to convert these journalists into foes willing to give their books away. Especially Cooper, who the CoS attempted to frame as a bomber. She submitted to an interrogation under sodium pentathol to clear her name.