Regarding the Monday letter “Real story often hidden by criticism:” Scientology is psycho-babble and science fiction, the last refuge of people who believe Gilligan’s Island is a real place.
In 1973, while a reporter for a Canadian news magazine, I was given an undercover assignment to investigate the Church of Scientology. Why undercover? Because when I first phoned the “church,” I was told that Scientology did not grant interviews to reporters.
My first session at the scientology facility was one strange evening. Two examples will suffice. First, I was placed in a group session called “bull-baiting.” Perhaps 10 of us paired up and faced one another in two rows, our knees nearly touching. We took turns doing anything within our power to cause the other person to laugh, speak, or otherwise react to the swearing, joke-telling or cruel taunts we were encouraged to use to elicit a response. The exercise was a rudimentary introduction to the “mind control” that advanced Scientologists believe they can exert over others.
Secondly, I was taken to an upstairs room where a scientologist connected me to their version of a lie detection machine. I answered a number of questions about childhood memories while holding a tin can attached to some kind of read-out device. It was their initial attempt to clear me of any negativity put on me by circumstances or other people. It would require lots of money and time, however, to become a being with truly supernatural powers known as an O.T. or Operating Thetan. Such beings are said to communicate with plants and animals, as well as mentally force others to do their bidding.
Scientology recruits attractive Hollywood actors to promote the pseudo religion. But no amount of Tom Cruises can change the essential truth: Scientology is as bogus as a three-dollar bill.