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Let's Play "Spot The Scientologist!"


Image from inside Scientology's museum, "Psychiatry: An Industry Of Death"

Check out the letters in this week's LA City Beat in response to Andrew Gumbel's article, "Scientology vs. Science," about our trip to the Scientology museum, Psychiatry: An Industry of Death. Typical is this remark:

I have to fault him for having his story written before he got to the museum.

Hey, loser, I have to fault you for having had your letter written before you read the story. Could it possibly be that you're a practitioner of a religion dreamed up by a hack sci-fi writer that says we're all infested with blown-up space aliens?

In the materials for OT III (Operating Thetan level 3), L. Ron Hubbard writes that, 75 million years ago, the head of the Galactic Federation, made up of 76 planets, was a being named Xenu. Faced with an overpopulation problem, he brought beings to this planet, blew them up with hydrogen bombs, and packaged them. Their spirits now infest our bodies: he says "One's body is a mass of individual thetans stuck to oneself or to the body." Scientologists at this level try to rid themselves of these thetans (spirits) by helping each one to remember the painful experiences of being blown up like that.

And they think psychiatry is nuts? Well, I guess it pays for them to think so.


Message on the wall at the end of our tour

My comments on our trip are here. Here's another image from within the bowels of the museum:


The publicitron for the museum initially told Andrew I couldn't use any photos I'd taken within the museum because they were "copywritten." (Sigh. She meant "copyrighted.") It sounds like this is might be a common practice of Scientology, deeming materials copyrighted so people won't go public with them. Well, this person happens to know a little something about "fair use."

Anyway, after my own little exchange with her about "fair use," she wrote back clarifying that they couldn't give me permission to use "other people's photos" in the museum. How odd that she made it seem that all photos within the museum were unusable until I pressed further! Well, mindful of Scientology's tendency to sue people who write critically of them, I'm not posting photos that include photos in them -- or even a single frame of the doom and gloom videotape that played at extremely high volume below the "You are safe so long as we are here" message.

For more critical information on Scientology, visit this link.

Posted by aalkon at January 19, 2006 10:00 AM

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It just makes me scratch my head and wonder what is up with all of these otherwise normal folks who join up with the s-ologists. Especially after I read a little about it on Clambake and another site that has L. Ron's "affirmations" and I had that "Hoo, boy. Seriously kookoo stuff here" moment.

So, here's a stab at a lay diagnosis. My theory is that s-ologists are suffering from Shared Psychotic Disorder. The DSM-IV code for SPD is 297.3 - we could start referring to the s-ologists as 297.3's. The symptoms seem to match. L. Ron, judging from his "affirmations" was having some pretty serious mental and emotional problems, perhaps a psychosis of sorts. His writings have simply passed his psychosis on to others who are somehow susceptible. And they perpetuate the psychosis. Could be one reason that the s-ologists are so paranoid about psychiatry - they are diagnosible!

Posted by: Harris Pilton at January 19, 2006 10:12 AM

My son was on a sports team with a kid whose dad was a lawyer for the $cientalogists. The father made it possible for Dennis Erlich's computer to be seized ( for publishing their super-secret documents.

Needless to say, my son never went to their house again. I think the dad knew the reason for my sudden chilliness, but hey--they were good clients.

Posted by: KateCoe at January 19, 2006 10:17 AM

Having spent some time on the Operation Clambake site, I found the fact that some of the letters referenced came from Clearwater, Fla. just too funny. Seriously, read up on some of the stuff that the Scientologists apparently made happen there in the 70s.

But I'm sure it's a coincidence that two different people from the same small city in FLORIDA sent letters to an LA news site on a Scientology issue.

Posted by: Kimberly at January 19, 2006 9:57 PM

Very good point!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 19, 2006 10:11 PM

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