Friday, February 08, 2008
Requisite Post About Scientology
I've recently become somewhat fascinated by Scientology. I guess this means my induction in Hollywood is now complete. Next stop, rehab! Or jail? Hmm. Which one comes first these days...
Actually (and anyone who knows me can confirm this)I have a longstanding fascination with studying religion. It was my minor in college, but I remembering being in the 4th grade and telling my parents I was going to be a nun. (This may have been more to do with a phase in which I was afraid of boys and their cooties). Because of my mixed religious background (WASP mother, Jewish father) I grew up going to a Unitarian church and sporadically celebrating Jewish holidays. I am not going to lie, come December it was a great way to milk the gift giving season. However, during my freshman year of high school, I actually started to take religion seriously, and was baptized by the Episcopalian Church and confirmed a year later. During college, when I was actually studying religious in an academic sense and attending church from time to time, my dad once cracked a joke about how he had one kid who loved Jesus, and one who looked liked him (witty guy, no?).
I never studied Scientology in college, I pretty much stuck with the three Western traditions (I don't even think Middlebury had a single course that mentioned Scientology), but I remember the summer I lived in New York City to intern at Us Weekly was when I first started to really notice a Scientology presence. By presence I mean those strange people who sit in the subway and ask you if you want to take a "stress test." Fun fact: these people are Scientologists. And they are auditing your reactive mind... or something.
Up until recently, my knowledge of Scientology has been limited to the following things: John Travolta, L. Ron Hubbard, some bad science fiction book by LRH, subway stress tests, something about thetans, and Tom Cruise ripping Matt Lauer a new one on the Today Show. Since I've been in LA, I've learned a few new things. For example, the Scientology "campus" up on Hollywood Blvd is HUGE. There are a few blocks of just Scientology buildings and stores smack dab in the middle of one of the most touristy areas of the city. All the windows seem to have multiple copies of LRH's book Dianetics, which I am tempted to read, just to see what all the fuss is about. I've also learned that there are a ton of celebrities who are Scientologists--way more than we realize. (Google: Celebrity Scientologists. It's fun.) In fact, some of our companies biggest clients are Scientologists. And, like most of America, I have learned that Tom Cruise is completely bat shit crazy. But that's cool. Anyways, there's a definite Scientology presence in Hollywood and I am starting to grow more and more intrigued. The other day at work I began developing a plan to try to pose as a truly interested candidate so I could infiltrate the Church and learn all the ins and outs (probably not the first to want to do this, I am sure), but then I was told that yearly dues amount to something like $30,000. Considering that is more than I make on my meager assistant salary--never mind.
Alas, I have resorted to Wikipedia for my Scientology interests, and will forever remain on the outskirts, wondering what sort of drugs Tom Cruise is on and if I will ever be able to get some.
One other thing: the giant Mormon church, excuse me--Temple of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, on Santa Monica Blvd is the most gargantuan eye sore. I bet L. Ron would have some serious size envy about that one.