Rolling Stone magazine from a few months ago has a whopper of an article on the Chur^H^H^H^H Cult of Scientology. Fellow reader beware. It is a long one, and prepare to be sucked in for a long but good and educational read. It’s perfect for those bored at work, or at home unemployed, or for those looking to gain fame and fortune by starting their own science-fiction-based religious cult.
The article talks about everything from the history of the organization and L. Ron Hubbard, to how much those “auditing sessions” actually cost, to the wackiness of the secrets of OTIII. OTIII is the stage of Scientology where you’re finally mature enough to have the secrets of the faith revealed to you — including the creation story involving aliens, spaceships, nuclear bombs, volcanos, etc that was revealed to L. Ron Hubbard during a trip to Africa in 1967. Those of us who have seen the “Trapped in the Closet” South Park episode are familiar with OTIII. Actually, the whole South Park Trapped in the Closet episode fiasco and the departure of Chef, played by Isaac Hayes — a now-angry Scientologist, is a good story in and of itself. But, as Bob Bradley, my high school english teacher used to always end up saying: “I digress”…
There are some well-balanced interviews of current, happy members, and those who have left Scientology and suffered forced separation from their still-brainwashed friends and family. Good stuff, and definitely something to keep in mind next time you see those people out on the street selling copies of Dianetics and offering a “free stress test.” The author actually submits to one of these, and describes what happens when you’re brought inside.
Some quotes from interviewees that the author reveals at the end of the article:
“PLEASE, let me know what you will be writing in the story,” wrote one young woman. “I just want to make sure that people won’t be able to read it and figure out who I am. I know my mom will be reading.”
“The church is a big, scary deal,” wrote another. “My [initial] attitude was if this information could save just one person the money, heartache and mind-bending control, then all would be worth it. [But] I’m frightened of what could happen.”
“I’m about two seconds away from losing my whole family, and if that story comes out with my stuff in it, I will,” wrote a third. “I’m terrified. Please, please, please . . . if it’s not too late . . . help me keep my family.”