So, last night, I saw an ad for Tom Cruise’s latest travesty of cinema, “Knight & Day “ with the only slightly less annoying box-office poison known as Cameron Diaz. I thought, “Man, Cruise used to be a stud. Whatever happened to that guy?” Then I remembered: Scientology.
I’m normally not one to openly mock another’s religious beliefs. Secretly, that’s another story. But not openly.
I make an exception for the “church” of Scientology. The only thing you really need to know about Scientology is that it was founded by a mediocre science fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard. If you’d like to know more, though, feel free to read on. Below is a summary of what Scientology is based on, with my own comments thrown in to explain why, other for the obvious reasons, it’s utter BS.
Let me caveat this by saying I’m not a Scientologist, I don’t know any Scientologists personally, and I’ve never read Dianetics, so I don’t have first-hand knowledge of what they believe. However, when multiple ex-Scientologists and professional BS hunters all say the same thing (see links at end of entry), I start to give it creedence. But again, since I have no first hand knowledge, let me officially state that this is merely what they are reported to believe.
By a lot of different people.
Who seem to be pretty credible.
According to Scientology, it all started seventy-five million years ago, when an alien named Xenu (sometimes Xemu) ruled a section of the galaxy containing 76 planets, including Earth (known at that time as Teegeeack). See? Right out of the box, and it already sounds like the beginning of a cheesy Marvel Comics story from the 60’s.
Each planet was home to an average of 178,000,000,000 people (roughly 18 times Earth’s current population). This, apparently, was just too many folks, so Xenu came up with a depopulation plan so cunning it should have had whiskers and a bushy red tail. First, he brought in billions of people under the guise of doing tax audits. Then, with the help of psychiatrists, he paralyzed the people and loaded them onto space DC-8’s. (Why he had psychiatrists paralyze them instead of physicians , I have no idea. It does explain this, though). Plus, a DC-8? Seriously?
The DC-8’s transported the paralyzed victims to Earth, where Xenu had them stacked muzzles to butts around the bases of volcanoes, after which he lowered H-bombs into the volcanoes and detonated them simultaneously, killing everyone.
So Xenu’s problems were solved, right? Ehhh, not so much. The victims’ souls (called “thetans”), hung around, being blown willy-nilly until Xenu captured them all with electronic beams and contained them in boxes.
OK, soooo now Xenu’s problems are solved, right? All the Ghostbusters of 75,000,000 B.C. have to do is toss the boxes into the sun or something, and that’s it.
Ehhh, not so much.
Instead of just sending the boxes on a one-way ride into the heart of the sun, or the vast, infinite coldness of space, Xenu, acting exactly like the equivalent of a 21st century bureaucrat that he was, did the most logical thing he could think of: took the boxes to movie theaters, where he showed the thetans 3-D movies (Did they have to pay an extra $5 for the glasses?) that “implanted” them with false images of what their lives were like (Whaa?). Then, like any sensible bureaucrat, Xenu released the souls he’d just gone through all that trouble to capture. Because why the hell not? Maybe he was really just a big ol’ softy.
At that point, the souls, because they’d all been shown the same movie, congregated together in groups of a few thousand because they all thought they were the same person.
(If you’re not following this, you’re in idiot, because if capturing billions of people, murdering them, and imprisoning their souls, only to release them after forcing them to watch the equivalent of a Michael Moore “documentary,” doesn’t make perfect effing sense, then nothing does.)
There happened to be a few people left alive on Earth (Well, clearly, if there are enough movie theaters to seat 178,000,000,000.), and the thetan clusters—sounds more like a candy bar than a threat from outer space—inhabited the living bodies.
I guess at that point, Xenu’s superiors got wind of what a cluster—literally—he’d made of everything, because he was overthrown and locked away in a mountain on one of the 76 planets he’d been in charge of, where he’s contained by an electronic force field powered by an eternal battery. And there he lives to his day, plotting his revenge and being denied parole more times than Charles Manson.
So how does this all affect Tom Cruise? Well, the thetans are still hanging around today, infesting all our bodies like pubic lice (Everyone has pubic lice, right? Right?). And if you want to be “cleared” of all your thetans, the Church of Scientology can do it for you, all for the low, low price of up to $500,000. Paid in easy installments, of course. There are several levels of Scientologist, and once you reach “OT III,” or Operating Thetan III, you gain the ability to communicate with your thetans telepathically, at which time you can just politely ask them to leave, and they will. Why Xenu didn’t just try that in the first place, we’ll never know.
Oh, and as a final thought, I’ve just doomed you all to death. Sorry ‘bout that. According to the man himself, L. Ron “I Can’t Believe They Bought This $#!+” Hubbard, if you hear this story before you’re prepared (read: “fleeced”) by the CoS, you’ll contract pneumonia and probably die. So again, sorry I just killed you.
So who, besides Tom Cruise and John Travolta, would be dumb enough to buy all this? I mean, literally buy it, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to be “cleared?” So glad you asked. Below is a list of surprising (and not so surprising) Scientologists:
Surprising: Jason Lee
Noooooo! He’s so…cool. And funny. And cool. And he’s Earl. Earl wouldn’t fall for that, dammit.
Not So Surprising: Lisa Marie Presley
She married Michael Jackson. I think being a Scientologist is the least of her problems. Hell, forget the thetans: she was probably trying to get “cleared” of him.
Surprising: Danny Masterson
Once again, someone whose TV character is smarter than them. Hyde would have smelled this manipulative, money-grubbing BS a mile away.
Not So Surprising: Beck
Yeah, it’s not completely surprising that the man who wrote the lyrics
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey
Butane in my veins and I’m out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs, spray-paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose.
is into some weird crap. Maybe he was channeling his thetans that day. I don’t know.
Surprising: Ethan Suplee
I’m just going to assume his co-star Jason Lee told him it was some kind of 12-step food addition cure thing and leave it at that.
Not So Surprising: Juliette Lewis
I rest my case.
Mike McMullen’s new book of humorous nonfiction, I, Superhero!! is now available!