Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fear Not The E-Meter: A Visit to The Church of Scientology Part I

The Church of Scientology has a presence in New York that is entirely out of proportion to its size. People returning to parked cars often find them decorated with flyers advertising Dianetics (Dianetics, invented by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, is the "science" behind Scientology.) The Scientologists in New York are best known for their “stress test” stations in the subway, where alarmingly normal looking people offer passers-by free assessments of their stress level by asking them questions while they hold a tin can in each hand (the tin cans are wired to a little box with a couple of dials known as an “e-meter.”)



New Yorkers, of course, generally assume that any strangers trying to speak to them about anything other than “Which way is Madison Avenue?” are insane, so the vast majority have never taken e-meter tests. But millions of people use the subway each day, so whenever you go by, the e-meter testers are always busy with interested customers. Thus, I have developed the subconscious assumption that there are many active Scientologists in New York City.

When I told my friends that Scientology was next on the tour, I was startled by their responses. “They mail people live snakes,” explained my roommate. "I wouldn't go in there - they take advantage of people" a co-worker warned. Another mentioned that the Church of Scientology employs a gargantuan legal team and would not hesitate to sue me if I, um, wrote anything inaccurate about it. As we will soon see, Scientology is based around a truly comprehensive and bizarre belief system. However, what is interesting to me is that it has spawned a second complete mythology about it that belongs to outsiders. People pass on myth outside the same way they pass along myth inside. Just last week, for example, Star Magazine reports that the Scientology church is punishing Katie Holmes for disobedience by forcing her to live in a sensory deprivation chamber and drink cup after cup of vegetable oil fortified with niacin (Scientologists believe niacin is very important to brain function). Since none of us on the outside have any clue whether this is a reasonable allegation or not, we pass it on to one another cheerfully without any attempt at rational reporting whatsoever. This leads me to what will become the Fourth Principle of Fear Not The Gods: It is reasonable and right to be concerned about any practice concealed from outsiders.

According to Scientology literature, L. Ron Hubbard believed that a person ought to find things out for himself. So I did. And I went.

By the way. This is a photograph of science fiction writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as a young man.
Cool cat, isn't he?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah,
My wife and I have been Scientologists for over a decade. We raise our kids and lead our lives based on Scientology principles. It's been a positive influence in our lives. Which is not to say everyone should become a Scientologist - to each his own.

But if you want to converse with actual Scientologists instead of reading crazy rumors about us on the Internet, then just drop me a line. (greg*at*liveandgrow.org)

I promise I won't mail you snakes (live or dead ones) even if you insist upon it. [ROFLMAO]

Sincerely,
Greg
Scientologist and proud of it
http://www.liveandgrow.org

Nodoid said...

Good luck. The Cult have much to answer for - they have blood on their hands and know it.

As for Hubbard - he's a fraud. Everything he wrote was from someone else, he just didn't understand any of it and so wrote a load of what he thought it meant but in actuality, causes a lot of damage.

Niacin is used (according to Hubbard) to purge radiation from the body. It does nothing of the sort and has nothing to do with the mind.

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg!

Greg Churilov is one of the cult's PR men.

Google "Greg Churilov" and see how he knowingly lies for the cult.

Formerly Fooled said...

Hannah, You didn't tell us what you did when you got there! You didn't tell us what you found for yourself.

Have you joined the Church? Have you read the stories of or talked with people who have been also walked in and done a stress test?

Not giving a balanced and complete report is just not fair to your readers.

Here's a story by a person who went in with a friend for her 'stress test' titled:
An Afternoon of Scientology
No Money, No Xenu
http://www.nyinquirer.com/nyinquirer/2007/02/no_money_no_xen.html

Here is her friend's experience of the same day:
Always Be Closing
Scientology's Hard Sell
http://www.nyinquirer.com/nyinquirer/2007/02/scientologys_ha.html

My Blog has alot more facts for anyone interested in learning more.

FF

Formerly Fooled said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi again Hannah.

Well, it seems like the anti-Scientologists have posted your blog on their forum, and now they flock to your blog to hiss and bark.

I'm nobody's PR man. I am a successful businessman, a father of two, a husband and a volunteer minister. I've also been a Scientologist for many years. And I like standing up for my religion. (Like John Mellencamp said, "you gotta stand up for something or you're gonna fall for anything")

Go ahead, Google me! (it tickles!) LOL

I'm quite open about who I am and what I'm about (unlike the trolls that have attempted to defame me on this blog.)

You'll find most dumb rumors about Scientology debunked at http://www.scientologymyths.info

best,
Greg
Scientologist and proud of it
http://www.liveandgrow.org

Nodoid said...

"I'm quite open about who I am and what I'm about (unlike the trolls that have attempted to defame me on this blog.) "

Christ, you sound like Barbara Schwartz!

No one is defaming you at all.

If you are a shill for an organisation that is based on the workings of a fraud, who has policies which stop brother talking to sister, father to son and divorces to happen or the ultimate one of "fair game" (lie, cheat, defraud - anything [and I mean *anything - including death] goes), then expect to be declared as being a shill.

If you lie to protect, you are a liar.

It doesn't matter what tech Hubbard has brainwashed you (or anyone else in the cult) with, a lie is a lie is a liar is a liar.

No defamation. Just something Hubbard teaches only comes from those in the cult - but never had any concept of, the truth

Lermanetics said...

$cientology's E-Meter is not a medical device, but this cult makes lots of claims that it can cure. Misleading and deceptive is an understatement, when people die "believing."

But how can people be this easily mislead, or conned into this?

The original creator of the E-Meter was Volney Mathison, and like L Ron Hubbard a hypnotist. Mathison denounced Hubbard, and his methods.

http://www.lermanet.com/exit/hubbard-the-hypnotist4.htm

And, when you see these celebrities so proud of their succeses in $cientology, do not be fooled. They are routinely being hypnotized.

http://www.lermanet.com/exit/confusion-technique.htm

Whether it be hating mental health, or having space alien pieces of Xenu in their bodies causing problems - everyone is taught by the same script.

Some electric juice from the E-Meter and lots of suggestions from the scripts = a continual trance state = unfortunately, a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization known as a cult.

Please help spread the word about this fraudulent scam. Thanx!

"Perchance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it."
Giordano Bruno

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah,

I was a Scientologist for nine years.

I left some time ago. Currently, the church of Scientology is denying my Scientologist sister access to services because I am a dissident who refuses to not sign a promise never to speak critically of the church, though my sister has been a true blue member for 30 years, who has spent many thousands on Scientology, and who has no control over my actions.

It would be like if Jesus denied a believer passage to heaven because the believer's relative bad-mouthed Christianity.

I don't care what the Scientologists believe, and a lot of people believe in what I think are some weird stuff, Christians included, it is only when a church acts in ways unbecoming of a church that I take issue.

During my entire membership of nine years with the Church of Scientology during the late sixties throughout the seventies, L. Ron Hubbard never made one public appearance at any of the yearly gala events in Los Angeles and New York, held in his honor. In fact, from the late sixties onward, he never made one public appearence at any of the gala events.

While L. Ron Hubbard's wife was in prison, L. Ron Hubbard made no contact to her for the last six years of his life.

I left because, after having served in the "Sea Org", Scientology's elite branch, I felt I was being exploited because we were only being paid $10 per week, our living arrangemetns were eight people to a room, and the food was lousy. Scientology created in us a siege mentality, as if we were fighting a war, and that such sacrifices were honorable and necessary. I came to realize it was just a cult who controlled every facet of my life, and there was very little joy in that environment.

For the true story of L. Ron Hubbard, there is an online book entitled "The Bare Faced Messiah".

It exclaims that the true story of L. Ron Hubbard is actually far more fascinating that the hype the churh dishes out about the man.

Good luck in your search for the truth.

Phineas

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah.

I see that the bombarding continues. So far, I'm the only Scientologist who's posted here.

To give you some context:
There is an online forum where disgruntled ex-scientologists and anti-scientologists meet to discuss their strategies on how to smear the Church on the Web. Your blog got posted there, and as a result you're getting this traffic of haters and apostates.

I'm not going to be writing long diatribed in defense of the Church. All I will say is that Scientology has been a positive influence in my life. I'm not saying everyone should be a Scientologist, but it's a viable and beneficial spiritual path (when taken earnestly and with an honest heart.)

I'm sure ex-Christians could rack up a blog-full of horror stories about going to confession, about bad christians and about molesting priests. That does not take away the validity of the Christian religion.

I am also sure an ex-spouse will natter endlessly about his/her ex.

People rarely take responsibility for their own lives. It's so easy to go into the "look what they've done to me!" mode. It's so easy to take a pill. So easy to blame organized religion, the Gov't or the economy instead of taking charge of one's own life.

Anyway, I remain open to dialog.
And once again, if you want to get some real skinny, go to the following sites:

http://www.scientologytoday.org
http://www.scientologymyths.info
http://faq.scientology.org/

For any one of these haters posting here, I could put you in touch with scores of happy Scientologists - people living good lives all over the USA and the world who thank Scientology for its good effect on their lives.

Anyway, now back to our regularly scheduled hate-fest.

Sincerely,
Greg
Scientologist and proud of it
http://www.liveandgrow.org

EverAKid said...

When I first walked into a Scientology Mission, I was very wary.

Not because I'd heard anything about it, but because my psychology studies in college had told me that IQ couldn't be raised, all those silly religions who believed in an eternal soul were dead wrong, and no one could reliably get better anyway.

Besides, I was pretty hot stuff, and who were they to think they could teach me anything about communication, Harrumph!

But the people's sincerity at the mission convinced me to take a course. Everything I learned in it about the human mind made sense. All I had to do was observe the principles in action...in my workplace, family and social settings. Even with a cranky traffic cop!

Then the auditing (one-on-one counseling) really "woke me up." And I had always thought I was a very aware person. Perhaps I had been. But there are greater and greater degrees of “awake.”

Today, many years later, I wouldn't trade that first visit to that Scientology Mission for anything.

EverAKid said...

Dear Phineas...

I'm sorry, but you are the cruelest person I've ever met online.

Your depiction of events shows you're the villain of your own family problem, the -->knowing<-- designer of your sister's unhappiness.

A church wants you to sign something saying you'll stop ranting about them (you allege).

Yet, your anger and hatred at some organisation are so all-consuming that you stamp your foot and say No. And you are somehow proud of this?

You prefer to have your sister upset -- and you know that you covertly hope to sow discord between your sister and her church. So you can’t or won't just end your rants, and go about your own life?

I know, and stay in touch with, two ex-Scientologist buddies. And I've been trying to hunt up a third. No one in the church gives a damn. One joined another religion, another moved a zillion miles away, and another quit because his wife objected.

But, as mature adults, they looked back on what they gained from being in Scientology, and decided to move on.

You were at one time obviously winning and having fun also, else you would have left after year one, year two, etc. up through year nine. Why stay in so long if you weren't having regular wins and helping others?

I suggest you follow the lead of my three EX-Scientologist buddies.

They didn't spend hours on the Web trying to criticize a church that was important to someone they liked.

Let alone, a sister, for God's sake.

May your conscience someday kick in.

Anonymous said...

There are lively $cientology communities all over the InterWeb, shaped by the go-go marketing model of the Church of $cientology.

They're fun to explore, but lurk first to check the game. Paranoia rules in some quarters.

I think "mail you snakes" has become a general term for what high control cults like Co$ do.

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg,

Do you like to spar with critics? The Scientologists we were debating snuck off a few weeks ago. Come to this forum if interested.

http://www.topix.net/forum/religion/scientology

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Darren said...

I'm all for what Greg mentions and do know him personally. My best advice to the others actually comes from something I saw posted on the wall of a Dunki' Donuts. It stated, "If you like our service, please tell everyone about us. If you don't then please tell us". See, it does allow life to be simple so all can get on
to enjoy much better things.

Darren

Anonymous said...

I'm all for what Greg mentions and do know him personally. My best advice to the others actually comes from something I saw posted on the wall of a Dunki' Donuts. It stated, "If you like our service, please tell everyone about us. If you don't then please tell us". See, it does allow life to be simple so all can get on
to enjoy much better things.

Darren

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