Ok, so last week, we thought we would put our open-minded caps on and head to the huge Scientology center in Los Angeles. There is so much chat about the “religion” that we thought it was worth checking out. Sadly, you are not going to get a lot of Scientology bashing out of me. I am sure it is there – just as there is fodder for Catholic bashing and every other religion. And I would even guess there is more to poke at with Scientology – somehow it is ok if a religion formed thousands of years ago believes in reincarnation but not one created in 1950. I get it – I really do. But my interest was not to find what was wrong with Scientology but to see if there was anything meaningful – or to see if they were going to lock me in a room and try to brand me with a Scientology iron. And?
Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices tied to managing your mind and soul. It started with Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard’s movement into psychiatry – believing that baggage you carry in your mind related to a traumatic incident can keep you from physically healing – so that talking it through (and/or re-living it) can help you move on and heal. I could write for 3 days about what we learned but you are all capable of going to Wikipedia to learn about it.
So what happened with Lisa and I? We got a tour, we watched some videos, took a 3 hour course and even took a sort of Personality test. What we saw was a group of people who have found some practices and ways of thinking to help them be emotionally healthy human beings. Frankly, it reminded us of Kaballah in the sense that it is “technology of the mind.” We paid only $50 for a 3 hour course with books and course materials that was just for the 2 of us – and then had a half hour to review our Oxford personality tests. So trust us when we say that at least this part was not about taking our money. Have they called, spammed, and harassed me in the 2 weeks since we visited? I have not heard a word from them. So while all those things might be true at some later stage, it was not for us newbies. My personality test looks at 10 things (my happiness, certainty, if appreciative, etc) and I scored very high on 8 of them. The outliers? That I am irresonsible (I am still trying to figure that one out – I think it stems from indicating a willingness to do things when you don’t know what will happen, etc) and that I am critical. Well I sure did not need to drive to Hollywood to have someone tell me that! But it is always nice to take a test that reiterates that you are in fact as happy, stable and grateful as I feel every day. And as always, it was nice to learn a bit more about something that is thrown around frequently in conversation and in the press. At least the next time I am defending my main man TC, I have some personal experience to do it with.