The cults of celebrity and personality are powerful in America. In fact there’s almost a cult of cultishness. We hunger for distinctive characters to provide archetypes and guidance for the herd. In the supposed Land of the Individual, one is permitted to be an “individual” so long as one stays within the specific set of limits prescribed by these characters. Venture outside those limits and you’re “crazy” or an “undesirable”. As Internet-fed national hysteria casts its harsh gleam on militias, the End-Times and conspiracies, the business of ripping people off and controlling them in hideous ways continues quietly in the background.
The recent break from Scientology by actress Leah Remini has once again cast a spotlight on the weird church. For years, rumors of brainwashing, abuse, interrogation and even murder have surrounded the cult, whose status as a religion is as questionable as the strict controls it places on devotees. Perhaps you’ve read about Tom Cruise‘s adopted children and the way he turned them against Nicole Kidman, or how Katie Holmes is currently living in fear of stalkers, believed to have been sent by the cult. This is one of many examples of the way Scientologists deal with adversity.
L. Ron Hubbard, the inventor of Scientology, might have been remembered simply as a great science fiction writer, but he had to spoil things. As a template for religion, the cult apparently decided that infiltrating government agencies was the way to go. Operation Snow White was the largest single act of domestic espionage in America’s history. Michael Meisner, a Scientologist involved in the operation, gave himself up to the FBI having been imprisoned by the cult for several weeks. His information led to the discovery that church members had penetrated the inner sanctums of America’s governmental departments and deleted or destroyed anything that could pose a threat to the church. The operation involved hundreds of Scientologists around the world (not just in the USA). Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue, was given a 5-year prison sentence for her part in the scandal.
By 1993 the church owed one billion dollars in taxes to the IRS, thanks to Hubbard’s decision to simply not pay them. He knew that as a recognized religion, they wouldn’t have to pay a penny, and once more the cult assaulted our government to achieve their own ends. They unleashed a blitz on the IRS designed to worry them into declaring Scientology an official religion. (Believe it or not, the IRS are the people who designate official “Religious” status to organizations). Scientology’s lawyers threatened the IRS with hundreds of lawsuits, they had private detectives follow IRS employees with the intention of exposing any personal misadventures they were involved in while out doing their jobs. Eventually, the IRS crumbled and Scientology was given a tax exemption. That billion dollar debt was settled for a bargain $12.5 million…All of L. Ron Hubbard’s other literature, including his science-fiction novels, is also tax-exempt, despite having nothing to do with the church.
In a nutshell, if you embrace Scientology you will:
- Study Dianetics, the pseudoscientific mind-body connection invented by L. Ron Hubbard.
- Fail at Dianetics and be enrolled into the “audit” that costs $200 per hour.
- Acquire an “at risk” status, escape from which comes only at a cost of thousands of dollars.
- Learn “The Big Secret”, i.e. you’re full of the souls of aliens who were murdered by the Evil Xenu 75 million years ago.
- Pay $400 per hour to have these alien souls removed.
- Always remember that if you’re not “getting it”, that’s your fault not theirs.
- Agree never to have children.
- Become a Sea Org member and sign a billion year contract.
- Embark on a domestic espionage operation to purge Federal Government documents unfavorable to the cult.
- Harrass the IRS with hundreds of lawsuits and insist they recognize the cult as a religion.
- Never leave, because they won’t let you.
Several famous musicians have joined the cult. Beck, the much-loved writer of “Loser”, came out as a Scientologist in two interviews with New York Times Magazine and Ireland’s Sunday Tribune back in 2005. Beck revealed that he really did believe in Scientology’s mission and that his own family and his wife’s are all followers. Some other famous musical cult members include Courtney Love, Chaka Khan, Doug E Fresh and Funkadelic’s George Clinton. Clinton was involved in the somewhat Satanic British version of the cult, called The Process Church, with which the likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones also became embroiled in the 60s.
©1993 Beck, Loser. Youtube.com
You may have also heard how John Travolta “healed” a car crash victim by using Scientology, a method known as an assist. Silly, huh? Bullshit, even.
The likes of Tom Cruise, Beck, John Travolta and Leah Remini are part of a large and influential body of celebrities who either are Scientologists or have left and become opponents. Scientology is America’s best-known cult due to its Hollywood connection. A Hollywood connection means cash, and cults prefer cash, the more the merrier. L. Ron Hubbard knew this, and it was money, above all, that spurred him to invent a “religion” from nothing but the contents of his own imagination. In fact, when Hubbard listed the objectives he hoped to achieve with his pet project, the item “make money” appeared several times, along with “make MORE money” and “use other people to make money”.
All in all, Scientology is a silly and muddled mess. Embracing the entire emotional spectrum, from the laughable to the utterly terrifying, there’s proof everywhere that, while they may be prepared to break the law in many cases, the cult remains open to mockery, as in this Twitter Scientology pardoy by Rockstar, related to their “Cultstoppers” website.
L. Ron Hubbard may have been a brilliant thinker and writer, but his skewed idea of fame and fortune has left a stain on the pristine landscape of religious brainwashing. Lt. Commander “Snake” Thompson, a Navy spy, met Hubbard on a boat when Hubbard was a young man. Thompson was returning from Vienna, where he’d met with Sigmund Freud to discuss psychoanalysis. A cat fancier, “Snake” owned a trained cat named Psycho, and he filled the impressionable Hubbard with Freudian concepts of trauma and the subconscious (or alien souls, of you prefer). He taught him that if we can recognize our inner pain for what it is, our psychic wounds will lose their energy, and we will be free to heal. This formed the basis of what would become Dianetics, the gateway to one of the grandest spiritual and financial rip-offs America has ever seen.
Award-winning author Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology, Clear is summed up in this video. It is well worth watching.
Goodnight, children. Sleep tight tonight. Katie Holmes won’t.