Do You Want to Join The Church of Scientology?

April 10th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
When I was 20 years old, I was somewhat of a confused, neurotic lost soul looking for some meaning and direction in my life. I was still in college but didn’t see nor care a whole lot about my future; I’d just lost my faith in Christianity (the religion with which I was raised up), a former high school friend of mine was murdered and everything about my life just seemed like a fragmented and utterly  meaningless meandering mess. To add to my miserable confused state of mind, I was suffering from intense panic attacks – almost on a daily basis; btw, this was before Prozac and certainly precedes the internet days and the general understanding that millions of people suffer from panic and severe anxiety attacks. Today, panic attacks are discussed openly (which is great !) but at that time, I honestly thought that I and another close friend of mine were the only ones on the planet that suffered from this awful affliction. And, incidentally I discussed my panic disorder with absolutely nobody, except for my other perceived damaged friend with whom I could commiserate; it quite frankly was an embarrassment and I thought that these attacks made me weak and unmanly.
I still suffer from mostly anxiety (as opposed to panic – which is far more severe) attacks but I’ve found a way to live with it and is now really no big deal. What I really want to touch on is Dianetics and the Church of Scientology; yes I read the book ‘Dianetics’, learned all about “engrams” , getting clear and I had this hopeful yet fanciful notion that this scientology stuff was the answer to all my problems and would at last long give purpose and meaning to my life. Long story short, it took one 4 hour or so visit to one of their myriad worldwide locations (churches) to realize that this scientology is just a lot of bunk and at best is nothing more than new age pop psychology yet a sprawling prodigious cult. This visit of mine occurred about 30 years ago so my memory of all the details is a little sketchy but I do know that everyone I met appeared to me to be wildly neurotic if not outright nuts; there was also a whole lot of, chanting, holding hands, and “clay molding” (don’t ask me what this was all about). When I was finally permitted to leave that madhouse, I sighed and said oh well – so much for the L.Ron Hubbard Panacea.
Last night I saw an interesting movie, ‘The Master’, which is loosely based on scientology and which actually prompted me to write this blog today. The film, directed by one of today’s most talented and acclaimed directors, Paul Thomas Anderson, was though cinematically breathtakingly beautifully shot and wonderfully acted (would anyone expect anything less from Mr. Anderson and his 3 leads – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Amy Adams) was as weird, surreal, and just as bizarre as my experience was with the scientology folks.
What I don’t understand for the life of me is the incredible attraction and appeal to this wacky cult. They have a worldwide presence, millions of members including some of the most famous people in the world in all walks of life (but mostly actors interestingly enough) including: John Travolta, Tom Cruise (Tom was said to be outraged with Anderson and his film ‘The Master’ because it essentially depicted L.Ron Hubbard, played by Hoffman, as a charlatan and the whole movement to be a cult, which it is), Kirstie Alley, Chick Corea (famous Jazz pianist), Lisa Marie Presley, and here’s a weird member – Charles Manson.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Incidentally The Church of Scientology is very powerful, has deep pockets, and there have been stories about the cult resorting to violence, blackmail, and extortion to 1. Allay any negative press or stop anyone or any group from undermining their legitimacy. 2. Maintain their membership.

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3 Responses to “Do You Want to Join The Church of Scientology?”

  1. magdalena Says:

    The mention of Chick Corea triggered a long forgotten memory at having seen him perform somewhere in the Village in the 1970’s. I think it was at The Bottom Line but my recollection stops there since that particular night must have been a haze induced event, not that this has anything to do with the topic of Scientology. Then again, maybe it does given the strangeness of it.

  2. magdalena Says:

    But in answer to your question, no I don’t think I want to join.

  3. Rick Says:

    Very strange secretive cult

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