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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

continued - page 3

Half an inch behind my forehead
I returned to Scientology HQ the next evening, with an accomplice operating under the alias Lydia Thumbquist. After sitting through the tragically awful Orientation yet again, we were separated to prevent us from supporting each other’s common sense. I was administered a “free stress test,” and Ms. Thumbquist was to be probed for personal problems by a petit moon-faced being in a blue sweater.

Zonnie rattled questions as I grasped two aluminum tubes wired to an electronic device known as an “E-Meter.” I was prompted to think of the sources of stress in my life, and told the contraption could “weigh your thoughts” by passing a slight electrical current through the body. I concentrated hard, and sure enough the needle shot to the right, calculating the mass of my mental activity, and indicating my apparent stress. Amazing! My hands fidgeted and I altered my grip. The needle flung right again. “What was that?” asked Zonnie, primed to suck money from my newly discovered problem. “Nothing,” I replied, recognizing the device was reacting to my hands rather than impossibly measuring my thoughts. The “E-Meter” measures the electrical resistance of the skin, much like a lie detector. Unlike a standard lie detector however, the “E-Meter” makes no measure of heart rate, blood pressure or respiration, hence it is no more than a misleading pseudoscientific prop.

I was toured around the impressive lobby and made to read the principles of Scientology that were colorfully diagrammed on the paneled walls. Zonnie then took a hushed tone and asked me if I wanted to learn how to “walk a half inch behind my forehead.” That sounded like fun, whatever the hell it meant. She said it was “really cool,” and assumed a far off expression. After some prodding, she explained that the negative press concerning Scientology was the work of “antisocial” personalities, and that ex-Scientologists rarely speak out because the church “knows all their secrets.”

Meanwhile, Ms.Thumbquist was being sold a pamphlet to help in her interpersonal relationships. The small volume, entitled “The Emotional Tone Scale,” taught us many valuable lessons. For instance: when someone is smiling they are happy, when frowning they are sad, and when a person is near death it can be said they are in a state of “total apathy.”

Just do it
It was my third day in a row at the Church of Scientology, and the madness was beginning to affect me. It was time to purchase a class so I could really see what was going on here. I was again pawned off to the man-animal named Neil. Neil is an okay guy, in a used car salesman sort of way. He sat me down at a desk, delving into my personal life. It was soon determined I lack the self confidence to succeed. “This course is only $82.50,” he said, “and it will change your life.” I simply didn’t have the cash. After various sales techniques proved futile, Neil did his best Ben Stiller from Starsky and Hutch. “Do it,” he repeated over and over. “Do it.”

“But I…” “Do it.” “But…” “Do it.” “Bu…” “Do it.” “B…” “Do it.”

He said it nearly 20 times. For a man who promised he didn’t work on commission, he was pimping hard. My mind reeled; I needed to leave. But leaving a Scientology building is a challenge unto itself. Just as you break away from one of them, another pops out of nowhere and showers you with googly-eyed enthusiasm. I shot excuses like bullets, leaving disappointment in my wake. I was chased outside by the moon-faced sweater being. “Come back inside, there are some people you should meet.”

“No really,” I said. “I have plans. I’m already late.”

“Come back inside,” she persisted. “we can begin your courses right now.”

It was like she couldn’t hear me. This went on for way too long; I was forced to walk away while she was talking.

page 4

 

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