Call me twisted, but I’d been following the whole South Park / Scientology thing for a few days before I went to the US and was finding it pretty funny. Isaac Hayes, just like Tom Cruise and countless other ‘nutjobs’, seemed to have been brainwashed, and everybody was making fun of him – entirely deservedly, in my view. I checked out some newspapers when I arrived in New York and found surprisingly little mention of the whole thing. When I saw the Scientology building just off Times Square I couldn’t resist going inside. I figured I could get some of their literature and make fun of it on the blog, or something.
Right away, I was surprised at the opulence of the building. The floor is marble and there’s pink lighting that makes your hands look rather odd. I looked around for leaflets, but immediately came face to face with a woman who looked to be in her late thirties. Gill (with a G, as she pointed out straight away) welcomed me in and asked if I’d like to watch a video on ‘Dianetics’. I felt kinda bad at this point. I’d come in to make fun of people like her, and, not knowing how to get out of it, I said yes. I was shown into a small theatre (just me) where I saw a fifteen minute show. At first it just seemed stupid. There were all these people talking about how scientology and dianetics had changed their lives. Then came the people who claimed it had cured them of disease. This was fascinating to me. They certainly seemed genuine enough, and honestly believed that their cancer had been cured. Obviously I was skeptical, and when the lights raised I said this to the ‘greeter’ who had appeared in the row behind me. Her name was Julie, and after moving to a different room she asked if I had any questions. I certainly did, but first she questioned me.
Am I happy in life? Am I living up to my potential? Where do I see myself in ten years time? I answered as best I could, and after a while realised that I was actually enjoying myself. Julie was in her late twenties and very pretty, which probably helped, but it was very easy to relax in her presence. After a while I started asking questions, and her answers were surprisingly good. The power of self-belief, it seems, when coupled with the basic theories of dianetics, has been shown to have measurable effects in curing disease. This sounded great. It makes sense from a scientific point of view, but apparently mainstream science has refused to acknowledge the results, thinking that anything associated with scientology is inherently ridiculous. I can certainly believe that’s possible. All the while she was subtly suggesting that I take an introductory course.
Picking up on the sales talk meant I was a bit reluctant at first, but finally I agreed to sign up to the $100 starter kit. This included a copy of “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”, by L. Ron Hubbard, as well as three CDs and two exercise books to ‘work through at home’. She then gave me a hug (scared the hell out of me, to tell the truth) and took me to reception where I paid. I was very nervous on the walk back to the hotel. Had I just done something totally stupid? $100 is a lot.
Turns out that I hadn’t at all. I barely slept that night for reading through the book. It’s just brilliant. It’s hard to explain, but if you read it you’ll realise how it feels. The feelings he describes just make sense in the world, and the explanations too. First thing Sunday morning I was back, and shown into a small lecture room on the second floor (again, just me) where a small man named Eric told me all about how my life’s problems could be fixed in one fell swoop. I knew this was exaggeration – the book says that it can take many ‘auditing’ sessions before I’m cured – but I began to get quite excited. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. Certainly better than any other kinds of therapy!
Obviously the psychiatric profession have a high opinion of themselves, but what else would you expect? It’s ridiculous to think that you can cure the ills of mankind through just talking. Just stop and think about the dianetics techniques of purifying the body through saunas – the “purif”- as well as the ‘auditing’ methods. Doesn’t that say something to you? Doesn’t that make far more sense when you actually stop and think about it? It’s all explained in the book.
Some of you are probably thinking that I’m a hypocrite, and you’d be correct. I spent years thinking that the scientific community knew it all, and I was wrong. I’m happy to admit that. I know of the claims that the higher levels of Scientology introduce the topics of aliens and volcanoes and other ridiculous notions, but I’m pretty sure that’s not true. It just doesn’t fit with what I’ve seen and heard. I’m so glad I decided to go to New York, and to walk into that building.
Since that weekend my life has really changed. I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but it turns out that there’s a Church of Scientology in Birmingham, and I’ve signed up for the ‘Life Repair’ course. This is just under £3000, but it’ll help tremendously. Who knows, in five years time maybe I’ll be an OT III, and get to find out the actual secrets of the universe! I implore you to ignore the reputation of Scientology, and to investigate with an open-mind.