Someone explain scientology to me!

January 17, 2008 at 9:40 pm | Posted in Persuasions | 5 Comments
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I guess half of the blog-reading community have seen the Tom Cruise scientology promotion video already. The videos themselves – well, Tom Cruise, like many actors once out of character, is completely incoherent, but obviously driven by some sense of a mission to rescue everyone “because only a scientologist can do it” (e.g. help in an accident – is he a doctor?).

I continue not to take scientology seriously – how can you take a cult seriously that has a science fiction novelist as its prophet? (I should mention I also have no trust in contemporary prophets – I can live with those of the past but am glad that ‘prophet’ is a discontinued profession). Think Battlefield 9 – such stories are part of their folklore and ritual texture!

This summer in Berlin, when I had a few hours to kill, I was in the mood to let a scientologist accost me, using a bizarre interrogation technique where I had to hold on to two metal pipes while he was asking me questions about my life. It was meant to look like a lie detector, I suppose, but was just a silly apparatus that picks up the electricity of your skin. Throughout the ‘interview’ the guy kept playing with the apparatus until he finally found a setting on which the meter would budge. The scenario was ridiculous, as it was obvious that he was trying to manipulate the machine for it to be sensitive enough for the changes of my skin electricity to show, and in doing so to generate “proof” that I was nervous, e.g. about quitting my job and moving to Vienna, and – most importantly – that he had the answer for my worries.

He then handed me a copy of their ‘bible’ – a book as big and heavy as the bible, but with a science-fiction cover. That was when I was unable to play the game with him anymore and said that I would never read such nonsense (he tried to challenge me once more, saying that I couldn’t dismiss something on which I hadn’t done research – I said that this wasn’t worth to be researched and that this John Travolta movie was enough to run away from scientology).

He then very quickly finished the conversation and took the book away from me – which was a bit sad, because I am sure that I would have had a good laugh reading it.

In any case: Should any scientologist read this post – the header was meant to be ironic. I need no explanation of scientology, it’s obvious that it is a debased, paternal (women have to be silent during child birth!) cult that, regrettably, is attractive to desperate souls and unstable attention seekers such as movie stars.

I just wish more people were aware of that.


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  1. I dare say that even scientologist can’t explain it. I have yet to hear or read a scientologist say what it is about. Sure they rant about how important it is and what it has achieved but never, ever can they explain what it is about. Former scientologists who are only happy to talk about their time in the cult have never been able to explain it either and these are the people who have spent decades in the cult.

  2. Hi anaj, You are right about many things here but I must help clarify something: some of the nicest and smartest people in the world have been conned into Scientology . Why? Well, look at the post I just put up on my blog, along with the 1/16/08 TV news interview of former member Arnie Lerma:

    Lerma tells you how he, myself and so many others were conned into giving up years of our lives for it and why. You might be very surprised and hopefully it will explain fullky the questions you have.

    Best wishes to you, anaj!
    Mary McConnell

  3. Hi Sally – that is definitely true. I mean, a few tests with pseudo-psychological gadgets? Or take that Tom Cruise video – he never even half-heartedly tries to explain why he as a scientologist is the one to help – and that makes it even more difficult to grasp how people can be lured into joining them.
    Hi Mary, thanks for the link! It’s good news that some people can escape the cult – they are the most important ones in enlightening people about scientology. I suppose that even nice and smart people can experience difficult phases in their lives where they are more susceptible to a cult that claims that “they can help” (even though nobody knows how they are going to do that).

  4. Do you know what worries me though? The built-in grammar check in my browser underlines ‘scientology’, but doesn’t underline ‘Scientology’ – suggesting that it should be spelled with a capital letter like ‘God’? WTF?

  5. I always wondered about this cult. On surface, it seems like a lot of mumbo jumbo ( like other such cults) with nothing practical or concrete to offer..
    Apart from occassional writeups about it on Internet, I had never tried to read or explore much about it. Your post was quite interesting.

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