Thursday, June 23, 2005

Soul for Sale

With all this talk about Tom Cruise and his engagement to Katie Holmes, it’s only natural that there is going to be a lot of discussion about Scientology.

Personally, I think that Scientology is a joke. That’s my personal view on the subject. But, as I’ve stated many times before, I’m also an atheist, so any “religion” is a tough sell for me to say the least.

But there’s something that really gets to me about Scientology.

It could be L. Ron Hubbard’s dubious 1950s science. Members of the church pay handsomely to go through a series of “Audits” by other, more enlightened, church goers. The goal is to work their way through the “eight Dynamics” and obtain a level of “Clear.” Eventually working up to the grand poobah, Golike status of “Supreme Being.”

Or, it could be their rampant Capitalization policy? Giving every Scientology Term Religious Weight?

Audits are like, biofeedback. The one looking for enlightenment forks over some cash for the session and then grips firmly onto the The E-Meter, or Electropsychometer. A “religious artifact” (according to the Scientology web site). A sort of “spiritual lie detector,” if you will, that somewhat resembles those metal things you grab onto while on the crosstrainer at the gym to check your heart rate.

But without having to wait for the ass jerk who is blatantly ignoring the “30-minutes on all cardio equipment” rule.

Then some stuff happens and if you’ve been a good boy or girl, you become enlightened.

Of course, it’s much more complicated than that. Needlessly complicated in fact. But there’s nothing like needless complication to instill a sense of awe and wondrous bewilderment in your idiotic followers, right L. Ron?

Hey, L. Ron Hubbard was no dummy. He knew what it took to maintain a healthy religious following. Ceremony and secrets. Hell, it worked for the Catholics. And it’s doing a fine job with the Mormons too.

The reason I bring this all up. I mean, other than the fact that I just can’t stand Scientology. Is because there was a Scientology representative on the news this morning. He was asked about the churches “tithing” policy.

As I said, members must pay for religious enlightenment. And it’s not cheap. And the more enlightened you want to be, the more you have to pay. This is what the Scientology web site has to say about it:

“Scientology does not have hundreds of years of accumulated wealth and property like other religions - it must make its way in the world according to the economics of today’s society. When one considers the cost of ministering even one hour of auditing, requiring extensively trained specialists, and the overhead costs of maintaining church premises, the necessity of donations become clear.”

Start big, I always say. Good for you Scientologists. Trying to keep up with the Jonses.

But could there be a hidden message here? Why does the church of Scientology feel like they have to make so much money so fast? A harrowing forewarning of events to come, Hale-Bop style? What do they know that I don’t? Should I join and find out? They offer “free” acting classes to members.


No. Not right now. Back to the guy on the news. I felt that his answer to “why do you charge so damned much for spiritual enlightenment?!” was much more creative.

He said:

“Because people don’t really value things they get for free.”

They're doing it for their member’s own good! Hey, what nice people. But I thought it was because they needed to hire people to clean the sweat off of all those E-Meters? And what about the Freewinds, the 450 foot yacht tied up there in the Caribbean? Couldn’t the money go to take care of that too?

Kismet! See, in Scientology, everybody wins!

But it’s nice to think that when I go to the grocery store to buy a candy bar, they’re really only charging me because they want my Snickers to taste better to me.

Incidentally, this is the same reason my mom used to give me when I asked why the hell I had to take out the stupid garbage just so I could get a lousy $1 a week allowance.

I never knew my mom was a Scientologist. But now it’s all starting to make sense. After all, she has seen some Tom Cruise movies.

But I could go on all day about Scientology. About how they’re trying to take over Hollywood. About their enticing “celebrity building” program. About what controlling asshats they are etc…But as the immortal Geordy LaForge used to say…“don’t take my word for it”

Visit the Scientology web site’s “Answers to Questions Most Commonly Asked by the Media” section.

Fun Fact: According to the web site, The Celebrity Center International is open to all of it’s artistically creative members to help them become masters of art. It’s located in Hollywood and ministers to parishioners who excel in the arts, entertainment and business professions.

Only in Scientology can “business” be considered a creative art form. After all, they did somehow manage to get tax-exempt status. That took some serious creativity, right?

L.Ron had to invent a freaking religion for crying out loud!

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