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ISSUE #110
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Features

ArrowThe 10 Most Ridiculous Things about the Midterm Elections
Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Worst Show on Television
An election night diary
Matt Taibbi

ArrowFEELINÊ HAGGARD
Forget the gay hooker; was Pastor Ted a tweaker?
Alexander Zaitchik

ArrowCrush, Kill, Destroy
Screw bipartisanship; it’s time for revenge.
Allan Uthman

Local BEAST

ArrowCult Classic
Pseudoscience and Psychedelics in the Church of Scientology
Ian Murphy

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Terrorist Emboldener

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Borat, Saw III, Flags of Our Fathers, The Santa Clause 3

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Tool Box, Another Einstein Weighs In, Army Ad's Still Got It, A Real American Hero and more

Cult Classic
Pseudoscience and Psychedelics in the Church of Scientology
Ian Murphy

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Xenu & You"I'm going to invent a religion that's going to make me a fortune. I'm tired of writing for a penny a word."
- L. Ron Hubbard

"If you leave this room after seeing this film, and walk out and never mention Scientology again, you are perfectly free to do so. It would be stupid, but you can do it. You can also dive off a bridge, or blow your brains out; that is your choice.”
- From the Scientology recruitment film Orientation.

“Hulk want PARTY!!!”
- The Incredible Hulk, upon being denied entrance to the Scientology Halloween party.

First Contact
“Hey! Do you want to watch a free movie?” a spry older woman shouted at my back, pouncing onto the sidewalk at the corner of Virginia and Main. For some time at The BEAST, we’d been toying with the idea of infiltrating The Church of Scientology. Recognizing an opportunity, I turned, cordially introduced myself as “Robert Stevens,” and told the woman that a free movie would be “awesome.” Smiling broadly, she said her name was Zonnie. I could feel the power of Scientology oozing from her chapped face. I would come to like Zonnie, an ex-choreographer from the west coast who curses abundantly when riled. After some small talk, I was led through an ornate, vaulted lobby to an intimate twenty-seat projection screen theater. Zonnie pushed a few buttons on a wall console and said she’d be back in about half an hour, leaving me alone in blackness. For a moment, panic washed over me as I imagined the room filling with poison gas. Then the movie started.

Accompanied by a frenetic chorus of tortured, synthesized moans, asteroids whirled toward me in the darkness. Planet earth entered the shot, and optimistic music overtook the terrifying cries. What followed resembled nothing more than a poorly produced infomercial for the prolific ravings of an oddly persuasive schizophrenic, with an unnerving emphasis on the Scientology’s legal status as a bona fide, tax-exempt religion. Even after his death, L. Ron Hubbard’s followers parrot his run-of-the-mill delusions of grandeur and persecution at the hands of a grab-bag of the usual shadowy enemies of siege mentality head cases. In fact, all of Hubbard’s gibberings against psychology seem to be nothing more than an elaborate justification for denying his own painfully obvious neuroses.

Hosted by an unnamed man in a cobalt suit and a late ‘70s haircut (I was amazed to learn the film was made in 1994), Orientation sets out to convince the viewer that L. Ron Hubbard was a genius, the preeminent author of the twentieth century, and a near-messiah sent to save humanity by battling government “mind-control programs” and psychiatric conspiracies. And of course, through the purchase of his writings, one can obtain a cosmic wisdom on par with Kirstie Ally or even John Travolta. And above all: you’re a loser if you don’t get it.

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