What I have learnt from Scientology

Scientologists are nuts.

A couple of years ago I did an article on them and I copped an eleven page letter and months of phone calls. I’d gone to their Castlereagh St church and done their free personality and IQ tests.

It was hilarious. The building was so dated; gaudy displays and testimonials by Kate Ceberano mounted on kitsch wooden panelling lined the rooms – it looked like it hadn’t been decorated since the late 1960s.

The personality test itself was copyrighted to ‘The Religious Technology Center, 1960’. The 200 questions were hilarious: “Do you browse railway timetables for fun? Do you get unexplained muscle spasms? Do you ever turn up the volume of emotion to create effect? Are you a slow eater?”

I chose responses that made me look more malleable — maybe I might get to the inner sanctum that way? So yes, I would “Prefer to be in a position where I didn’t have the responsibilities of making decisions.”

I remember being taken to the results lounge. One bloke next to me had been prescribed an expensive course to fix up his personality and was wavering — but quickly came up with an exit strategy.

“I haven’t got any money, I’ll have to go to an ATM.” But his Scientologist counsellor had obviously been to sales school and wasn’t letting him off that easily.

“Oh yes, there’s a Westpac on the corner, I’ll come with you.” I remember his shoulders slumping.

My bloke pulled out a graph with my personality plotted on it and we discussed me for some ten minutes. It was really just a kind of horoscope service with a dash of quasi-science that was difficult to understand. The MO became quite clear – you blend people’s natural wish to talk about themselves with a dab of bamboozling pseudo-psychological analysis. Then you just play the percentages on individual gullibility.

But if you think that’s bizarre, wait till you find out what they believe. The religion was invented in the 1950s, by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

L. Ron Hubbard, Charlatan

Hubbard, the man who created Scientology in 1952, has an unusual CV for a religious and spiritual leader. As well as being a writer, he was a congenital liar: quite simply a “charlatan”. That was the view of a High Court judge in 1984, who said Hubbard’s theories were “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”.
Tom Cruise’s Church of hate tried to destroy me


He said humans are in a state of ‘pre-clear’ which they must work through with an ‘auditor’ to be come ‘clear’ to become an ‘operating thetan’. ‘Auditing’ is done with an electronic machine called an e-meter, which the ‘pre-clear’ holds while talking about intimate details of their life. It’s part pop psychoanalysis, part confessional. Auditing allows adherents to rid themselves of past traumas, even those in past lives. It is even claimed the process can heal mental and physical ailments and increase IQ.

The biggest trauma in everyone’s past though is only revealed to Level III operating thetans. It costs over $40,000 to get that far in Scientology. In ‘OT III’, it’s revealed that 75 million years ago, an intergalactic warlord called Xenu tried to solve overpopulation problems by drugging and freezing millions of people, stacking them around Earth’s volcanoes and then dropping nuclear bombs in them.

After this Xenu collected all the souls flying around in the air using special flypaper and screened massive 3D movies which gave the ‘thetans’ (the released souls) false ideas like Christianity, etc. He was eventually imprisoned and is still imprisoned somewhere in a force field powered by an eternal battery.

Scientology has spent millions trying to stop these teachings being published elsewhere, but they are readily available on the internet.

Hubbard believed he was the reincarnation of Buddha and had previously been Cecil Rhodes, a Medici and Robespierre. After setting up the church in the 1950s, Hubbard eventually moved the upper echelon of his operation onto a huge ship and cruised the Mediterranean, stateless.

Now this would all be fine — other religions are just as crazy when you think about it. However, Scientology famously charges for its teachings.

It also has some bizarre beliefs. Like that psychiatry is a conspiracy to control the world and, as stated in the letter I was sent by one Tara Fitzpatrick last time I wrote about the church, that 10% of American and Australian psychiatrists and psychologists admit to sexually abusing their patients.

Scientologists also pursue their critics with a religious zeal, using the courts and other tactics to gum up ventilation of their beliefs and practices.

In her book, Cults In Our Midst, clinical psychologist and emeritus adjunct professor at the University of Berkeley, Margaret Singer, details some of the church’s bizarre antics.

Only last year here in Australia the church was controversially linked to a double murder. In Bankstown Local Court, documents describe a 25-year-old mentally disturbed woman whose parents were devoted Scientologists. Her condition was acute. Under normal circumstances she would have been given psychiatric care and medication to minimise the risk of harm to herself and others. But Hubbard had declared a war on psychiatrists, denouncing them as evil and comparing their work with terrorism. After receiving initial care, the Sydney woman’s parents are believed to have declined to provide her with follow-up care because of their beliefs. By the time she received help it was too late. She allegedly stabbed to death her father, 53, sister, 15, and critically wounded her mother.

And it’s not just recently. As far back as 1965, Scientology was condemned by a Victorian government board of inquiry as: “Evil, its techniques evil, its practice a serious threat to the community, medically morally and socially; and its adherents sadly deluded and often mentally ill”.

In fact Australia is one of very few countries in which the Church is given recognition as a religion and the crucial tax-exempt status which it such recognition brings.

Anyway haven written about this group again and attended with a LIVENEWS.com.au camera crew Sunday’s protest against Scientology I look forward to another 11 page letter and a round of phone calls. Or maybe even a lawsuit.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday February 13, 2008.
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