All this time I’d been relying on my incredible talent, my very white teeth, banging ugly wealthy people, and just a little bit of luck, and now I know the real reason why I’m not yet mega-famous. L. Ron Hubbard explains it in the opening story of the recent issue of Celebrity, another official publication by the Church of Scientology that was sent to me accidentally in the mail.
“If you’re going to ‘increase somebody’s ability,’ give up,” begins the story, written some time ago by LRH himself. “It’s a lie. You see, I mean it’s a lie that you’re going to increase anybody’s ability. You increase instead their ability to demonstrate their ability. The ability is always there, but something happens to the ability to demonstrate it. See? That’s a little bit slippy, but it’s for sure the route.” Oh yes. FOR SURE.
He’s basically speaking like an insane person, but as he continues, what he means makes some sense—discernable not in his sexist and condescending innuendo, but through some creative and compensatory reading between the lines. It all boils down to owning it, every last atom of your sparkling awesomeness, and allowing yourself the freedom to limitlessly exude it. That’s actually a pretty good message… except it comes at a price.
“Strip away the things holding you back in life” with such courses as Life Repair™Processing, Purification Program®, Scientology® Drug Rundown, Objectives Processing, and Happiness Rundown®. Those seem to be the basics. Then you get ARC Straightwire® Processing to address memory issues, Grade 0: Communications Release™, and a whole slew of others. There are all sorts of things in here designed to inspire us to greatness. Who is on the side of weakness, of low self-esteem and decreased ability? Not I, LRH. See more below:
None of this is really shocking, or new. By now we all know that this religion is all about enhancing superiority of the self, and there's a ton of crazy lingo--and what's the difference between that, any mode of psychotherapy, metaphysics, another religion, or the language you and your twin made up when you were eight to get out of eating mushroom casserole?
It's the money, and the predatory way of collecting it. (Again, not breaking news.) Scientology likes to constantly remind you that you're a worm. A mere human with so many problems you'll never be successful, or even just OK, unless you are Clear, achievable only through their expensive programs. That unless you do all this, you will never be truly great as a creative person--a type that is specifically targeted by Scientology. LRH describes artists and makers and public figures as “a cut above Man. That they were born this way and were not audited to it does not make them less higher beings. He who can truly communicate to others is a higher being who builds new worlds.”
Hence this magazine. Which is super boring. There's one long interview in here, with Nick Ferguson, former NFL safety who played for three teams, who's currently doing... I don't know what, but he explains how Scientology made him OK with that.
Specifically, the ARC Triangle and the Doctrine of the Stable Datum blew his mind. “I started seeing through pieces of tech what had been happening in my marriage and what had been happening in my career,” he says. “I did the Purification Program. The things that happened in the sauna were crazy. Talk about sunburn! I had a really bad sunburn in my face that came out in the sauna. Every time I was in my shower shoes, there was this white chemical residue that would wash out. Certain types of scents started to come out of my skin.”
Detox is an awesome and disgusting thing, and saunas are really excellent for assisting in removing horrible shit out of your body. But I can promise you that sunburns do not come out of your face.
Scientology “allowed me to get control of my fear and most importantly, my confront," he says. "It allowed me to confront, not just myself, but confront the judges, the stage, the executives from major networks and a room full of people." I know when I'm chilling on the grass, feeling really peaceful/confrontational, my appearance mirrors his: relaxing body pose plus grimace and furrowed brow.
Besides the money/self-worth thing, Scientology appeals to one's desire to be recognized for artistic talent, to succeed and rise to fame. (It's no surprise it's so big in Hollywood, with all us "hopefuls" running around, trying to catch our big breaks.) Once you're on the path to becoming Clear(/dump enough money into their hole), you get to hang out with other famous people, “rub elbows,” as Ferguson puts it, in the Celebrity Centre. It’s networking. That’s how you get jobs. And once you start doing that, the big payoff is landing an item in their celebrity update section in the back of the magazine:
Totally worth a few hundred thousand dollars and a good brain scrub.
Previously - Countdown to Eternity