Posts Tagged: scientology

"Everyone Masturbates": L. Ron Hubbard's Sadder Mantras

Individual, surprisingly moving mantras selected from the superlative "Going Clear" by Lawrence Wright (Amazon | Indiebound), which we are now basically done writing about, at least for today.

"I can write."

"My mind is still brilliant."

"That masturbation is no sin or crime."

"That I do not need to have ulcers anymore."

"That the numbers 7, 25 and 16 are not unlucky or evil for me."

"That I am not susceptible to colds."

"You have no urge to talk about your navy life. You do not like to talk of it. You never illustrate your point with bogus stories. It is not necessary for you to lie to [...]


Of Monsters and Men, "Mountain Sound"

For a rousing start to the day, here's Icelandic folk-pop band Of Monsters and Men performing a live rendition of "Mountain Sound," the second most popular track from their My Head Is an Animal album, out since April of last year. The big single from that was "Little Talks," which admittedly sounds a bit like this one, but if you like music with stamping and unified "hah!"s, it's all good. Sound Tracks has another excellent version.

Elsewhere, unrelated: The Atlantic's incredible Scientology sponsored post, Coke's anti-obesity ads, and the Lance Armstrong mess. Also "Interpretive Sushi Dance From Norway."


Scientology and Me, Part Four: Disconnection

Previously: Parts one, two, and three.

Like many of us, I was a miserable and angst-ridden adolescent, and the way the Church of Scientology had divided my family in half seemed like just another teenage burden. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I realized with surprise that my family’s history in Scientology gave me pop culture cool points, that it was a factoid I could deploy to make me instantly more interesting to just about anyone. While occasionally useful at parties or when trying to impress dudes, talking about the church also felt like treachery against my father, still a faithful church [...]


Scientology and Me: Part One, Growing Up in the Church

The E-Meter

I was about the age Suri Cruise is now when I had my first session. Mickey, my first-grade teacher at the non-traditional school I attended, had announced that day that he would soon be leaving for a new job somewhere in California. All I remember now of Mickey is his warmth, and his soft, crinkly eyes and thick black beard, but the day he made his announcement, I was devastated in the way only a six-year-old can be – someone I loved was leaving me! The world had turned cruel. I trudged home to my mother, sobbing, and though I’m not sure who brought up [...]


"Going Clear," Lawrence Wright

Upon finishing this week's Physical Book, the superlative "Going Clear" by Lawrence Wright (Amazon | Indiebound), your Books Editor decided to go deeper into the belly of the beast.

Auditor: Are you hungry?

Us (puts down E-meter cans excitedly): Wait, are there snacks?

Auditor: No, but the process is not as accurate if you are troubled by physical hunger, have slept less than 7.5 hours the previous night, have been drinking alcohol or taken drugs within the last 24 hours, or find the room drafty.

Us: That is…thoughtful! I cannot provide the answer you would like to literally any of those questions, but would like to proceed just [...]


Scientology and Me, Part Six: Postscript

Previously: parts onetwothree, four, and five

If you’re ever in the market for a bit of harmless revenge or a rather cruel practical joke, I highly recommend making use of the Scientology mailing list. Sign your friend up under a hilarious name, and 20 years later (assuming the church is still around) they'll still be receiving mail for “Laura Rockemsockem Huntsman.”  Scientology staffers, many of whom work for the church in order to obtain its expensive coursework, have quotas to meet, and must contact a certain number of people by mail or phone in an attempt get them into the church and spending money. Even the [...]


Scientology and Me, Part Three: Leaving the Church

Previously: Parts One and Two.

It’s not something I put on my CV but it’s true: I have a top-notch Scientology pedigree. My paternal grandparents got into Dianetics in the early '50s; I’ve read notes from meetings they hosted in their affluent Midwestern suburb to discuss the “new mental science” and audit one another. They were early adopters, to be sure, but from the notes their meetings sound more like a book club gatherings than outposts of a burgeoning cult. My grandfather discovered Dianetics via articles in Astounding Science Fiction, a magazine whose editor was friendly with L. Ron Hubbard and for a time a strong proponent of his ideas.

Introduced [...]


Scientology and 'Going Clear'

Quentin later told a church officer that, “Personally, I think my father’s crazy.” The next day he disappeared from the headquarters in Clearwater. A few days later he was found in Las Vegas, in a car with a vacuum tube that led from the exhaust through the passenger’s vent window. Two weeks later, on Nov. 12, 1976, he died in the hospital. Hubbard’s reaction was reportedly: “That little shit has done it to me again!”

Jesus. The Daily Beast pulls "15 Scientology Revelations," of varying degrees of grisliness, from Pulitzer-winner Lawrence Wright's new book/exposé, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, which is out today [...]


Scientology and Me, Part Five: Hubbard, Mao, and Me

Previously: parts onetwothree, and four

It gets a little tiring being the only former Scientologist everyone you meet has ever known, or to be asked on a first date whether you were raised religiously and know that if you answer honestly you’re in for 25 minutes of Q&A. Not only do you start to wonder if the most interesting thing about yourself is something you had nothing to do with, but you began to refine and embellish this narrative over dozens and dozens of tellings. Which eventually begins to restructure your actual recollections, highlighting some memories while pushing others — no less important — into the [...]


Scientology and Me, Part Two: What Scientologists Actually Believe

[image from my personal collection – I couldn’t find one with the OT t-shirt!]

Previously: Part One, Growing Up in the Church.

As a child of two Scientologist parents, a child born into a room quieted in preparation for the return of a reincarnated thetan, I grew up fluent in the Church's specialized vocabulary. As a toddler I accompanied my mother during her training at the Flag Land base in Clearwater, Florida, and at the Los Angeles center, wearing a t-shirt that read “future OT,” a bit of gobbledygook that any Scientologist worth their salt could immediately translate as indicating that I was destined to rid myself [...]