Irreverent Skeptics Podcast Episode 12 – Scientology part 2 – Goof the Floof

L. Ron Hubbard has goofed the floof.

March 8, 2014 saw the second half of our two-part series on Scientology. Do your KSWs and help pass a gangbang sec check! This time we talked about celebrity Scientologists, Scientology in pop culture, interesting Scientology factoids, Scientology lingo, and more!

Here are the notes from part 2:

Celebrity Scientologists:

  • Kirstie Alley
  • Anne Archer
  • Catherine Bell
  • Sonny Bono
  • Stephen Boyd
  • Nancy Cartwright
  • Tom Constanten
  • Chick Corea
  • Tom Cruise
  • Sky Dayton
  • Bodhi Elfman
  • Jenna Elfman
  • Richard Elfman
  • Doug E. Fresh
  • Beck Hansen
  • Isaac Hays (the Scientologist formerly known as “CHEF”(Southpark)
  • Jason Lee
  • Juliette Lewis
  • Danny Masterson
  • Bijou Phillips
  • Laura Prepon
  • Priscilla Presley
  • Kelly Preston
  • Giovanni Ribisi
  • John Travolta
  • Greta Van Susteren

References in Pop Culture:

South Park’s “Trapped in the Closet” episode – Stan takes a free personality test and they say he’s the reincarnation of LRH. They have him write a whole bunch of new Scientology scripture, but when he starts saying he wants to give away all the teachings for free because it’s not right to charge people for the truth, the church leaders tell him they know it’s all fake and a scam to get money from idiots. The last minute or so of the episode is just Tom Cruise and church leaders shouting at Stan about how they’re going to sue him (“I’ll sue you in England!”) and Stan saying “well, fine! Go ahead! SUE ME!” The show’s credits replace everyone’s names with John Smith and Jane Smith. The episode featured an almost-right version of the OTIII Xenu story, with the words “THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE” flashing at the bottom of the screen throughout it.

South Park’s “The Return of Chef” episode also mocked Scientology, featuring Chef (played by Isaac Hayes, a Scientologist) getting brainwashed by a “fruity little club” into thinking that you could live forever by raping children. The boys try to save Chef from the Super Adventure Club’s jungle hideout, but as they’re leaving, Chef turns back and starts to cross a rope bridge over a ravine, the bridge snaps, and he’s impaled on a tree branch, attacked by a mountain lion, shot twice, attacked by a bear, and then torn in half by the two animals. This was their way of getting rid of Hayes, who had complained about the previous treatment of Scientology (on a show that has gone out of its way to be equally sacrilegious about every religion ever). The episode featured a story about how raping children makes you immortal, with the words “THIS IS WHAT THE SUPER ADVENTURE CLUB ACTUALLY BELIEVES” flashing at the bottom of the screen throughout it.

In 1993, Tool almost refused to play at the Garden Pavilion in Hollywood because it was owned by the Church of Scientology. (It’s the Celebrity Center.) The band’s vocalist Maynard James Keenan recalled that he “spent most of the show baa-ing like a sheep at the audience”. Scott Schalin reported in Bay Area Music: “Between songs, Keenan, staring first at the lush grounds paid for by devoted L. Ron followers and then into the eyes of his own audience, bayed into the mic like a sheep looking for his shepherd’s gate. “Baaaaa! Baaaaa!” the singer bleated.” The lyrics to the Tool song “Ænema” contain the phrase: “Fuck L. Ron Hubbard, Fuck all his clones.” Here’s the whole show.

The 2013 Will and Jaden Smith movie, After Earth (which by the way was directed by M. Night Shyamalan) basically comes across as a depiction of auditing. Will Smith’s character helps Jaden Smith’s character lose his fears, which the hostile fauna of a future Earth can sense by working through a traumatic experience that his character experienced at a younger age. That does indeed seem rather like auditing.

The year 2000 film, Battlefield Earth was based upon L. Ron Hubbard’s novel of the same name. In it are a number of depictions of Scientology beliefs. There’s an invasive race known as “Psychlos” who have enslaved humans and who are also subject to mind control by yet another race known as “Catrists” who parade as mental health experts. Note that the two races have a striking resemblance to psychiatrists when pronounced together. Scientology holds the belief that psychiatrists destroy a person’s will and and lives while appearing to be helpful. If you’ve also seen this movie, I would like to take a moment of silence to grieve with you now.

(This movie was horrible)

And I hope we all feel better now.

The 2012 movie The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman was very clearly about Scientology and its practices/beliefs. It’s an interesting look at some of the processes and how a movement like Scientology takes shape and gains momentum.

In 2008, Funny or Die did a parody video with Jerry O’Connell spoofing the Tom Cruise video that gained some notoriety online.
This alt.religion.scientology post has LOTS of other references:

  • In 2001, Scientology critic Bob Minton financed a feature-length satire of Scientology entitled The Profit [2]. In the film, Scientology terms such as “Auditing” and “Scientology” itself were renamed, but the filmmakers stated that they used Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, specifically as role models for the settings, plot, and characters in the film. The film was screened theatrically only once, in Clearwater, Florida. After Minton began working for Scientology starting in 2002, The Profit was suppressed and has not been screened in public since its initial premiere. It has not been released on video.
  • In the summer of 2006, 18-year-old filmmaker Brett Hanover directed a low-budget feature-length film entitled The Bridge, a fictionalized story of involvement and disillusionment with Scientology. Unlike The Profit, the film did not shy away from using the name “Scientology”and explicitly used Scientology terms throughout its storyline, going so far as including actual clips from official Scientology promotional and training materials. Rather than release the film theatrically, Hanover premiered The Bridge on the Internet, and made it available for free downloading and viewing at several popular Web video sites, including Google Video and the Internet Archive, where, following Hanover’s withdrawal of it, it is no longer available for the state reasons of “issues with the item’s content”. On October 5, 2006, Hanover asked the film to be withdrawn from circulation, as he would no longer support it and cited “copyright issues”. Watch it on YouTube starting from Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IikkoUieiC0
  • On the March 29th episode of Pardon the Interruption, co-host Michael Wilbon said he believed Katie Holmes would scream at least once during childbirth. (A reference Scientology’s silent birth technique)
  • Mayfair Games’s role playing game Underground from 1993 presented a dystopian view of the year 2021. Elements of this dystopian future included Scientology conquering Europe and ruling as a quasi-fascist dictatorship while sending the Vatican into exile in Central America.
  • The d20 Modern role playing game supplement “Menace Manual” depicts the “Neo-Scientologists”, the result of a fictional major schism of Scientology. The book describes basic Scientology doctrines like Reactive and Analytical minds and the concept of “Clear”, as well as the idea of developing psychic powers at levels above Clear (these cultists exist in the game as foes for the player characters). The only substantial change is replacing the story of Xenu with a grey alien mastermind who actually controls the cult and has a master plan to brainwash humans into being alien minions.
  • In the LucasArts adventure game Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, the Phat City Public Library features a book titled “Dynanetics by L. Ron Gilbert”, to which Guybrush Threepwood, the main protagonist of the game, quips, “Who does this guy think he is, anyway?” The book is an obvious spoof of both Scientology and the Monkey Island series creator Ron Gilbert.
  • Simarly, in the LucasArts adventure game “Sam and Max Hit the Road”, a minor character is shown reading a book called “Dialenics” by Elrod Hubbel. When asked about it by the protagonist, Sam, the character responds, “It’s changing my life.”
  • The computer role-playing game Ultima VII: The Black Gate also contains references to Scientology with its own religion called “The Fellowship.” Early on in the game, players are given the option to join the Fellowship and, in order to do so, subjected to a personality test by the leader, Batlin. Of course, any answer to any of the questions posed is interpreted as some character flaw; there are no “correct” answers that do not ultimately lead to the conclusion that the player character needs the Fellowship. The Fellowship also believes in basic tenets, the “Triad of Inner Strength” (“Strive for Unity”, “Trust Thy Brother”, and “Worthiness Precedes Reward”), which are actually intended to create blind loyalty to the Fellowship. In the end, the Fellowship is shown to be one of the ploys of the Guardian (a powerful, evil red alien creature) to corrupt and destroy Britannia, with Batlin being in on the plan.
  • The computer role-playing game Fallout 2 has a religion named “The Hubologists”. Much of the Hubologist teachings are similar to Scientology’s teachings, and the name of its founder, Jackson Hubbell, is a direct allusion to Hubbard. There are also two porn actors called Juan Cruz and Vikki Goldman who allude to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. By and large, actions that hurt the Hubologists are considered good things for the world of Fallout, and those that aid them are considered bad things for the world of Fallout. Being “scanned” and cleansed by Hubologists (a jab at the belief in Thetans and Xenu) increases the luck of the protagonist but negatively affects his karma.
  • The multi-platform video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas mentions a cult called the Epsilon Program that heavily parodies Scientology’s symbols and activities.
  • The popular computer real-time strategy game WarCraft III contains several quotes referring to scientology, all of which are given by the characters involved in the fictional “Cult of the Damned”. References include Kel’Thuzad, the founder of the cult, saying things like “10000 gold in child-care and they call it a cult” (a poke at scientology’s many financial contributions), as well as the Undead Acolyte saying “Do you want to know the secret to eternal happiness? Page 246.”(a direct dianetics reference).

Protests (Anonymous and similar subversive movements/”supressive persons”):

Jon: The Internet and Scientology dislike one another. Search Google for more info. Moving on.

Someone else: We should say more, shouldn’t we?

Jon: Alrighty then…

[discuss]

Interesting Facts:

  • The book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health is considered to be so influential by Scientologists that they use a dating system based upon the initial appearance of the book. For example: ‘A.D. 25’ does not stand for Anno Domini, rather ‘After Dianetics’.. So there’s that.
  • L. Ron Hubbard (pederasty?)
  • Hubbard was quoted in 1948 saying, “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.”
  • Here are some Scientology terms:
    • COB: Staff often refer to David Miscavige as COB. He is Chairman of the Board for the Religious Technology Center, the trademark-holding body of Scientology. Also commonly referred to as DM, not to be confused with Dungeon Master.
    • Counter intention: Resistance to authority, disobedience. Often refers to refusal to do as ordered.
    • ODC: Overt Data Collection. Information gathered from the public record.
    • OSA: Office of Special Affairs.The church intelligence unit; also handles legal and media matters.
    • Out-ethics: When an individual acts contrary to the group’s best interest or contrary to the group’s mores.
    • O/Ws: Overts and Withholds. Your sins and secrets.
    • Pig’s berthing: Nickname for substandard housing for those who wanted to leave the Sea Org.
    • Rock slam: The crazy, irregular left and right slashing motion of an E-meter needle. It means the subject being audited has a hidden evil intention.
    • SP: Suppressive Person. An evil person. If someone is found to be an SP, he is “Declared,” meaning he cannot have any contact with any Scientologist whatsoever. An SP “works to upset, continuously undermine, spread bad news and denigrate other people and their activities.” The tag is often placed on those the church says have spoken ill of Scientology.
    • SRA: Severe Reality Adjustment.Screaming into someone’s face, often by a superior, to get the person to do what you want.
    • DC-8: Douglas jet aircraft resembling the Boeing 707, and used for trans-Atlantic flights starting in the late 1950s. Hubbard said they were used millions of years ago as spaceships to ferry people about the galactic confederation.
    • Duplicate: to make an exact copy of; to fully understand in order to obey. “You are Out-Ethics, Mr.! You need to do your Conditions! Do you duplicate me?”
    • Gang-Bang Sec Check: a cruel process involving getting the victim to confess to “crimes” or Overts while on a meter and in front of a group of people. Used as a heavy brainwashing technique when a PC threatens to blow. “Three people in the past year have said they have had Gang-Bang Sec Checks recently.”
    • KSW: Keeping Scientology Working. A series of HCOPLs, Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letters, designed to ensure Scientology lasts for hundreds of years, and also that Hubbard’s fondest wish, that his name be smashed violently into the history books, becomes a reality. (Didn’t Manson have a similar desire?)

“Going Clear”(Hollywood and the Prison of Belief) by Lawrence Wright – Quotes/Talking Points:

  • GOING CLEAR by Lawrence Wright
  • Hubbard claims to be “making a monkey of Freud” during the time prior to Dianetics, by conducting 1:1 therapy sessions with clients suffering “inferiority complexes”. He reported amazing/unbelievable/cartoonish success with this clients, and boasts to friends (one such friend was Robert Hienlien), all prior to writing Dianetics.
  • While simultaneously name dropping about his Hollywood lifestyle, he borrows money from successful peers/authors.
  • LRH claims success with clients, both children and adults. He brags to his friends that his method will “abliterate religion and psychology”.
  • Hubbard attempted to marry Ann Jensen, but their marriage certificate was denied due to Hubbard’s status as already married to another woman.  This was at least the 2nd time he’d engaged/attempted to engage in bigamy.
  • Though LRH was critical/dismissive of psychoanalytic concepts, his interpersonal practice is described as mirroring many of the key interventions popular in therapeutic settings, during the 40s.
  • The 1:1 interpersonal focus/review of traumatic seeds for current emotional problems, the need for complete honesty between client and interviewer, and the ability for structured/detailed dialogues to relieve the client of their symptoms, are all key psychodynamic practices
  • LRH co-opted ideas from the field of linguistics, gleaning the technique/necessity/impact of redefining/inventing words/unique a lexicon as a means for shaping the minds of those who use the language.  He bastardized/misunderstood/SUPERCLUSTERFUCKED the ideas described by  Alfred KORZYBSKI (pronounced COREJIBSKEE)
  • Hubbard became enamored with stage hypnotists, and mistook/misreported simple demonstrations of hypnotically themed parlor skits, as a profound and powerful magical skill which could be wielded to assist people to overcome psychosomatic pain.
  • Subconscious experiences, though not registered consciously, by definition, were described to be the seeds for pathological conditions, both physical and psychological ailments, could be resolved by telling/retelling/reviewing personal narratives until the client’s self report no longer triggered clinically significant distress.
  • LRH promised these “miracle cures” in a matter of hours, as opposed to the more standard course of lengthy psychoanalytic therapies, which were available only to the wealthy and those willing to commit to several sessions per month, potentially for years.
  • Dianetics was cheaper, faster, and made concrete/miraculous claims, which appealed to those who found the uncertainty of traditional therapy, philosophically unsatisfying.
  • Early patients of LRH, report having been put at ease, urged to close their eyes and relax, referred to as a “Dianetic reverie” where various memories are explored, and the “original insult” identified, discussed, then patterns/associations made, reviewed, then drained of their emotional charge by repetition.
  • “Clears” were exhibited (circus monkey style), quizzed in front in gawkers, and publicly humiliated by questioners, when the so called Clear was shown to be no more intelligent/psychic/enlightened than someone who had not undergone Dianetic interventions. LRH’s hand picked poster children were ill equipped and unimpressive, according to audience members.
  • LHR encouraged his wife to kill herself, as he had no desire to be “an American husband”, but when she refused, and suggested HE go for therapy, as  condition for their continued marriage, he accused her of plotting against him w/ the psychiatrist, and refused to seek help.
  • This period in Hubbard’s marriage was reported to be marked by extreme violence/manipulation/ and unabashed psychological torture.  Per Sarah (wife), Hubbard kidnapped their child, left said child w/ strangers, then kidnapped his wife, threatened that she would never see her baby again (had cut her in little pieces, due to wife’s decision to divorce).  He continued to keep Sarah from her baby, flying across the country w/ the child, as a means to attempt to control Sarah/force reconciliation. (Cuz who wouldn’t want to be w/ a prize like LRH!!??)

What does Jon LIKE about Scientologists?:

  • Celebrity/Notable Scientologist seem to compartmentalize their lives such that they generally avoid public acknowledgement of their unorthodox beliefs/practices (forgoing the tendency of showy “thank you Jesus!”exclamations so commonly shown in the media)
  • No door to door evangelizing…(sp)
  • Core doctrines promote self improvement/self actualization, as opposed to positing an “original sin” perspective, that indoctrinates adherents to accept their inherent sinfulness/sheepish nature/irreparable inadequacy/
  • Unending source of humor

WUTs:

Some Scientology WUTs:

  • LRH attributed adult onset neurosis to the patient having experienced trauma as a fetus (having been aware of parental intercourse!!!)!!!! WUT!!!!!
  • LRH jr reported that he’d witnessed LRH SR attempting to perform an abortion on his mother, using a coat hanger.. WUT!!??! Also Jr claimed that his father had performed/attempted to complete an abortion when he (Jr) was gestating, such that he was born dangerously premature. (Going Clear-Lawrence Wright)
  • (Scientific inaccuracies in the new Noah movie)?
  • Ticks whose bite can make the recipient vegetarian?
  • Bob Larson does exorcisms via Skype

Links and Attributions

Narconon lawsuit alleges it’s just a cover for Scientology recruitment

Wikipedia – L. Ron Hubbard

Wikipedia – Dianetics

Wikipedia – Scientology

Wikipedia – Auditing

Wikipedia – David Miscavige

Scientology Auditing – Comparison to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis

Wikipedia – Celeb List

South Park – Trapped in the Closet

My First Scientology Audit – Shaun O’Connor’s Blog

James Phelan – Have You Ever Been a ‘Boo-Hoo’? – Saturday Evening Post, 3/21/1964, Vol. 237 Issue 11, p81

The Hubbard Audio Collection

Wikipedia – Supernatural abilities in Scientology doctrine

Wikipedia – Death of Lisa McPherson

Weird Scientology Facts

Is After Earth Based on Scientology?

Going Clear (the Prison of Belief)-Lawrence Wright

Noah movie scientific inaccuracies

Funny or Die: Jerry O’Connell parody

Tom Cruise scientology video (uncut)

The Bridge anti-Scientology movie

The Shocking Secret Life of L. Ron Hubbard (BBC 4 documentary)

Jamie DeWolf, great-grandson of L. Ron Hubbard, talks about growing up in the Hubbard dynasty (beat poem)

 

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