Monday, January 4, 2010

New year, new thoughts on Scientology

Scientologists believe that everyone needs to be a Scientologist, or at least Scientologists need to be in control, or civilization will come to an end.

Certainly a heavy responsibility to literally save the world. (One could understand a commitment to such a high purpose).

Apocalyptic promises aren’t new, although for many an apocalypse leads to a better place for believers. Maybe Heaven.

But what is the promise of Scientology? All or nothing? Not much of a choice.

To that, those in the church would say L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings and dictates lead to self awareness – to achieving one’s greatest potential. How, though, does reaching one’s own potential jibe with getting everyone thinking alike? Confusing.

A former Scientologist-buddy of mine says Scientology is less apocalyptic in nature than it is Age of Aquarius – it’s about entering a new age of reason, peace and harmony. (One could understand that people of a certain age once heartily believed in the promise of the late ‘60/early ‘70s).

To that, former Scientologists Nancy Many and Marc Headley reveal in their 2009 books (“My Billion Dollar Contract” and “Blown for Good,” respectively) everything but peace and love. They speak of forced labor, minuscule pay, inhumane work hours and inconsistencies piled on inconsistencies – systematic unfairness and punishment.

Maybe getting out was apocalyptic for them. At the end of one world came an outside world . . . Heaven on earth?

Today, random thoughts at the beginning of 2010. Later, more on Nancy’s and Marc’s books.