Monday, September 7, 2009

Getting some answers

I didn't intend for this blog to be so Scientology oriented, but once I started looking into the religion/cult, it just started taking over. It's so hard to get a real handle on it that it makes it difficult to let go.

I always want to know more. My basic problem is not figuring out why people would be Scientologists in the first place. I can understand a person's quest to improve their life and try on different belief systems. What I can't quite get, is what Scientology offers that keeps people interested and engaged -- two things that seem to mark religion, no matter a person's beliefs.

Still, can thousands of members be wrong? They must be getting something out of it, aren't they? Can that many people be brainwashed, as detractors contend?

My research so far has painted a pretty ugly picture of the Church of Scientology, or at least of its leadership and it's actual organization, as separate from believes.

I hope to get some understanding later this month when I join a group of former Scientologists at an annual weekend gathering I've been fortunate enough to be invited to. As a journalist it's a great chance to talk to a lot of people from different locales in the same setting -- and what a boon to talk to people face to face rather than through e-mail and social media.

I'm guessing some of these people abhor Scientology while others honor all or parts of it. Their stories will be fascinating, and I hope to share a few here. Something made them join, something made them stay and, then, something made them leave.

I hope to be enlightened. I long to know the attraction and substance that keeps people involved in this controversial religion/cult.

Anything that defies logic -- or at least my logic! -- moves me to desire a greater understanding. I want to know why people believe what they believe.

Stay tuned.

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