So. I just finished reading “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape” by Jenna Miscavige Hill, and I was so completely entranced by the utter cultlike pyschoness that is Scientology that I just have to share it with you all. Because let me tell you, holy macaroni, Scientology is craaaaaaaaaazy!
Perhaps most of you reading this are thinking that I’m crazy for not already knowing this, but I really had no idea just how utterly insane it was until I read this book. As my friends Mo and Justin would say, that sh*t is bananas. It is the craziest of crazy town.
I’ve always thought that Scientology was a little bit… off… but outside of Tom Cruise being a total nut job, I didn’t know that much about it. For some reason, I thought that maybe it was similar to the Church of Religious Science, a non-denominational church that my parents had gone to a couple of times. This is a church that believes in God but also believes in science, and I suppose based on the name, I thought Scientology was similar.
Well, it’s not. Not even a little bit. Remember that crazy interview Tom Cruise gave a few years back, where he was saying all sorts of ridiculous things, like how if you go by a car accident, only scientologists are able to truly help the victims? Well, that is just 1/100th of the craziness that is Scientology.
Jenna Miscavige Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, the current leader of the Church of Scientology. She was born into the “church” (and I put church in quotes because calling it that is truly laughable), and she spent her whole life in it. She left (more like escaped) in 2005, and is now one of the most outspoken well-known critics of the church. Thus, she is also one of the most hated people by Scientologists.
The book was so full of crazy information that I don’t even know where to begin, but for those of you that are interested in learning more, here’s some information*:
First of all, Scientology was created L. Ron Hubbard (LRH), a science fiction writer who somehow became enlightened and created a self-help program which he later turned into the church of Scientology. Apparently somewhere along the line he learned all about the secrets of human existence, which is:
75 million years ago, an evil being named Xenu decided to solve a population problem on his galactic colony by exiling a bunch of people to Earth. Xenu then did a ton of horrible things to these people, like drugging them, placing their bodies around a volcano, and blowing them up with H-bombs. But that really only took care of the physical problem – Xenu didn’t just want the bodies gone, he wanted to make sure the ‘thetans’ (spirits / souls) of those people didn’t come back and reincarnate on his colony. So when the souls started leaving the bodies, he captured the souls and forced them into a huge implant station that was kind of like a movie theatre. There, he made them watch movies that ‘implanted’ them with false pictures of Christ, and other historical events that Hubbard says didn’t actually happen. The souls were so screwed up from this implanting that they roamed aimlessly around Earth for millions of years. When human beings started evolving, the thetans started entering their bodies and inhabiting them, and thus these thetans are called ‘body thetans’. And body thetans, says Hubbard, are the source of all human misery.
Ultimately, the goal of Scientology is to rid you of your body thetan. Only then will you be a truly happy enlightened person.
Seriously. That is what it is based on. For a truly entertaining rundown, watch this South Park clip.
If you learn this information “too soon,” without going through the proper training, you are told that you will do serious harm to yourself, perhaps resulting in death!
L. Ron Hubbard has been quoted as saying “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.”
LRH died in 1986 but there is a mansion waiting for him, called Bonne View, that is maintained and waiting for him when he returns in another body.
Scientologists don’t believe in a God. Have you seen the movie The Host? Well, it’s eerily similar. They believe that our souls (thetans), have been around for millions of years and just transfer from one body to the next. This means that there is no such thing as family, because your body is just a carrier for your soul, and your soul can’t really have parents, as a soul can’t be the parent of another soul. Because of this belief, children are treated like adults, given adult-like responsibilities, and separated from their parents for months (sometimes years) at a time. Family is not considered real nor important.
The Church’s inner core is called the Sea Org. Members of the Sea Org run all the churches, live at the base, perform all auditing, teach all classes, etc. etc. Members of the Sea Org are not allowed to have children. They are not allowed to use the internet. They are not allowed to make personal calls (they must request permission, and approval can take days). Their mail is read before being given to them, and if there is anything inappropriate in it (such as anti-Scientology sentiments), they are not allowed to receive it. They work constantly, with their free time/day off being from Saturday evening (after 9) to Sunday afternoon. Members of the Sea Org sign a 1 billion year contract, promising to return and serve in all their future lives.
The goal of Scientology is to stop being a Body Thetan and become an Operating Thetan. To become this, you have to complete 8 different levels/courses. Once you do all levels (which takes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars) you are someone who has achieved the state of Clear. You learn about Xenu in level 3.
The coursework to become Clear involves a lot of crazy things, like standing in front of a wall with LRH quotes on it and not being allowed to move for 2 hours (as in no coughing, sneezing, twitch, anything). If you move, you start over. Some training is called the Bullbait, where trainees are taunted, made fun of, and often sexually harassed. This is to help “toughen” them up. Another part is the Purif, where you are forced to ingest a ton of vitamins and minerals, run around for half hour, and then sit in a 160 degree sauna for five hours.
When Jenna was 12 she tried to run away from the Sea Org, and she was caught. Because she had already signed her 1 billion year contract (which she signed at age 7) she was punished and read the following, direct from LRH himself “When somebody enrolls consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe – never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach…. We’d rather have you dead than incapable… The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depends on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.”
Can you say brainwashing?
When a Sea Org member has done something considered particularly bad (such as have pre-marital sex, or an affair), they are sent to “RPF” where they are separated from all other Sea Org members (and thus, their family) and are forced to do manual labor. They are not allowed to walk – they must run at all times! They cannot see their family or talk to their friends. It’s basically prison. RPF can last years.
If someone in your family leaves Scientology, you are not allowed to talk to or see them. They refer to this as disconnection. If you are in the Sea Org and refuse to disconnect, you are severely punished.
If you leave the Sea Org, you are usually considered a Suppressive Person. Suppressive People are considered evil.
Scientologists don’t believe in mental illness. If you work in the mental health field, you are considered evil, as evil as Adolf Hitler. Mental health professionals are suppressive people.
Non-Scientologists are called WOGS. Wogs are considered to be unenlightened, stupid people who may even be a suppressive person. Scientology wants to clear the world of all WOGS.
I could go on even further, but I’ve already rambled on for far too long. And I didn’t even mention their secret ship!
From one WOG to another, what do you think of Scientology?
*Please note that most of this only applies to those in the Sea Org, and not necessarily to Public Scientologists (such as celebrities).
P.S. Here’s a great interview with Ms. Hill: