With all of the recent hoopla regarding insults to Islam, I feel obligated to stir the pot a little more. When brainstorming for insults, I realized Muslims tend to chop people’s heads off and riot when criticized, Christians outnumber me about two million to one in this state and Buddhists don’t respond to criticism. Then it occurred to me that, like the French, there is one religion virtually everyone hates, few people care enough to learn about and is an easy target. So put on your tinfoil hats, my friends, and prepare yourself for a crash course in Scientology.
Scientology is probably the strangest business cult religion you’ll ever learn about, and Tom Cruise’s tomfoolery is just the tip of the iceberg. These people are kooky, and I don’t just mean a sociology professor kind of weird, I mean a level all their own. Fasten your seatbelts as we begin our descent.
Although different on key areas, Scientologists share many of the same beliefs as other popular religions, such as an immortal spirit, reincarnation and being possessed with the spirits of radioactive aliens. Oh wait, I don’t think Christians believe in reincarnation.
The “church” of Scientology was founded in the 1950s by science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard as a keen way to make money. Scientology, like Super Mario Brothers, has many levels. Following the initial brainwashing period, Scientologists ascend through eight “Operating Thetan” or OT. The lower OT levels consist of all of the boring anti-psychiatry garbage that Cruise and Travolta always rant about, but the top levels contain the real meat and potatoes.
After you’ve given the “church” enough money, you can eventually learn about Xenu (the intergalactic warlord, not the warrior princess). For obvious reasons, the “church” is very hush-hush about good ol’ Xenu. After all, it’s hard to get any brainwashing done when the “Xenu card” has already been played. Former members have retold the story for our amusement.
Seventy-five million years ago, Xenu, the ruler of the Intergalactic Confederacy, was dealing with an overpopulation problem. Like any responsible ruler, Xenu chose to solve the problem by kidnapping hundreds of billions of his alien population and depositing them in volcanoes on planet Teegeeack (that’s “Earth” to you nonbelievers). In what must be either a funny coincidence or a time traveling patent infringement, the aliens were transported in exact copies of the Douglas DC-8. Of course he then blew up the volcanoes with hydrogen bombs.
As if burying someone in a volcano and blowing them up with hydrogen bombs weren’t enough, Xenu then proceeded to brainwash the alien souls by forcing them to watch a “3-D, super colossal motion-picture.” Apparently, they were watching re-runs of Michael Landon’s “Highway to Heaven,” because the hapless aliens were brainwashed with “misleading data” (read: Christianity).
All good things must come to an end, and so goes Xenu. He was eventually overthrown and, according to Hubbard, is trapped in a mountain by a force field powered by an eternal battery and probably giving rise to the search for the solution to our energy needs.
As you might suspect, these aliens weren’t at all thrilled by Xenu’s exploits. Since that fateful event, they’ve been searching for bodies to call their own-sort of like the headless horseman, only different….I guess. Once these alien spirits invade your body, they bring their misleading data with them. Only Scientologists know how to rid themselves of those pesky aliens.
I realize all of this may be a little too much to swallow in one bite, but I’m just scratching the surface of this bizarre cult, er religion. So the next time you reach for a refreshing glass of religious intolerance, choose Scientology. Our mutual disdain for the insane may be the mortar that holds all normal religions together.