The Science of Scientology

There are many things in life that should bear close scrutiny. Religion is one of them. I took a look inside of the belly of the beast of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the other day. It was not a pretty sight. The pictures of men with their families, where you couldn’t tell his children from his wives, was very disturbing. I will never get those images out of mind.

Another fringe group in our area are the Scientologists. They tend to setup where there’s a preponderance of rich folks, and, who can blame them? The original premise for their religion came from a science fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard. L. Ron posited that if a fellow really wanted to get rich in life, he’d start a religion. He wrote a book called, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Healthin 1952, that detailed his thinking about how people should live their lives.

The book went into great detail about how people could psychoanalyze themselves and be able to cure themselves without the aid of doctors trained in the field. Mood altering drugs were not allowed, but it appears that mind altering drugs were. There were also people trained as “auditors”, who could help guide people in gaining “clarity”. The auditors would use something called an electropsychometer, or E-meter for short. The auditor would strap you into the E-meter and give you a reading about traumas you’ve experienced in this life, and previous ones, to help get you “clear”.

Obviously, the AMA was not happy about the Scientologists practicing medicine without a license, and they went after L. Ron and his followers. After Dianetics went into bankruptcy, L. Ron reformulated it as a religion called the Church of Scientology. With tax exempt status, and free from the attacks from the medical community, L.Ron was on his way to stardom. All he needed was a population looking for something other than a “traditional” religious experience, and he would have the road to riches paved for him. Turns out the road was paved in gold.

It’s easy to see how a science fiction writer could formulate a dialog of Creation that would blend in parts of science, and parts of fantasy, to make the Genesis appealing to people who were burned out on traditional religion. The story of Xenu, a tyrannical ruler of the “Galactic Confederacy”, who brought billions of people to Earth in spaceships 75 million years ago, is a pretty good start for a science fiction novel. Or a religion, apparently. It gets weirder from there, and I encourage further reading.

What is more interesting to me is that the Scientologists don’t seem to have a lot of moral scruples when confronted with opposition. “Do unto others as ye would have done unto you”, does not appear to be one of their tenets. There are a host of misdeeds and crimes listed on the internet for perusal. I think the attack on the IRS stands out the most to me. Maybe because it’s called the “Operation Snow White” affair, which conjures up Disney and Hollywood.

A religion infiltrating the government is kind of science fiction stuff, but I guess it’s just the Scientologists getting back to their roots. They’d probably get Tom Cruise to play the lead in the movie, that is if they ever wanted the rest of the world to know what’s going on behind their closed doors. Sounds like a real Mission Impossible to me.

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