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My report on my Scientology experience…
Posted: 15 February 2006 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I thought I would post an accounting of last sunday's experience.  Enjoy this bird's eye view of an astonishingly bizzare religious world view:

——————————————————————


I walked up to the brand new Scientology building and opened the doors leading into the hallowed halls inspired from the genius of L. Ron Hubbard. Without Mr. Hubbard these faithful followers would not have reason to be here to greet me so warmly and so enthusiastically.

As I enter the building a strapping young man rushes up me with much confidence and with an extended hand knifing outwards through the air in the lobby. As he walks towards me, the arm is extending rigidly from his torso.

Geez, he really wants to welcome me!

"Nice car!" He says, commenting on my new sport's car I just drove up in. Had he watched me drive up? Were they expecting me?

I can't be certain but I think my car pegged me as a above average viable recruit in his mind.

I am invited er… instructed to fill out a form. I hold nothing back. I want the full experience. I want them to pursue me. I want to see if they are able to maintain civility and decency or will their recruiting instincts or tactics cause an embarrassing (for them) implosion.

Name, address, phone number. I feel vulnerable after divulging the goods. I think I gave it all up too easily. My willingness to do so chimed a few bells in the upstairs office because another older but more serious looking fellow came bounding down the stairs with the look of

"We've got a live one here"

written all over his face.

Soon there were three grown men chaperoning me to the various parts of the building each one peeling off at different times so as not to appear over eager but magically reappearing when I asked a poignant question that had the young one caught in an precarious stammer.

"As one pursues Scientology, everything begins to make sense in its own course",
He says

This was some really great tasting milk. My more poignant questions are thwarted. I ask what their version of eternity was. Oh. Too soon to come out with that question. The question was avoided as if the words were not even spoken.

**looks around** Hey! You're just in time for the 11 o'clock service! Right this way!

I was ushered to the service and placed myself in the back. A man named Larry was sharing a really good rendition of "Here comes the Sun" played on his guitar as the opening song. I was so impressed that I got up and moved to the front row to get a better listen. I play guitar myself and really enjoy a live performance where I can get one. He was pretty good.

However, I think my bold move to the front of the "chapel" excitedly chimed a few more bells upstairs.

A reading from the words of The Wise One, Mr. Hubbard, a sermon on the mind's ability to change, and then more Larry. Larry chose to introduce this next piece with an intimate expression of thought:

"This song talks about a bridge," Larry explains

Looks at me (I guess I am the only investigator)

"The bridge is the key. I am not going to get into what the bridge is, but when you hear me sing about it that is exactly what it means."

Me: Huh? Was that cryptic speak? What was that supposed to mean? I try not to act puzzled as the song outlined how those in the valley can walk across the bridge that Ron gave us and scientology is the way. This is a topic that later gets denied by my guide for the day.

Anyhow.

Song is over. Something called group processing begins. Eight of us sit in the room and I will describe what happens. I will try to describe it but it is truly one of those experiences that one really has to "do" in order to really "get it". It is that bizzare. I am instructed that observation is fine but participation is recommended as this next exersize has the potential of unlocking significant levels of spirituality.

Auditor: Hello!
Group (in unison): Hello!
Auditor: Hello!
Group (in unison): Hello!
Auditor: Hello!
Group (in unison): Hello!
Auditor: Hello!
Group (in unison): Hello!
Auditor: Very good, now think of something you want to change….. pause… very good, got it? great. Now think of something you want unchanged…. pause very good. Now see the list… say "Okay" to all of these things.
Auditor: Very good, now think of something you want to change….. pause…

Me: My eyes widen just a bit. Wait-a-minute, didn't we just do this?

Auditor: very good, got it? great. Now think of something you want unchanged…. pause very good. Now see the list… say "Okay" to all of these things.
Auditor: Very good, now think of something you want to change….. pause…

Me: What tha? Okay, obviously repetition is high on the list of things to do around here

Auditor: very good, got it? great. Now think of something you want unchanged…. pause very good. Now see the list… say "Okay" to all of these things.

Auditor: Now think of some things your father wanted to change….

and this went on three times for Father, Mother and then it spun back to the top for the things I wanted to change or unchange in my personal life.

Grand finale:

Auditor: Allright, I want to receive your "Okay's" let me have them.
group (in unison): Okay!
Auditor: One more time
group (in unison): Okay!
Auditor: Once more
group (in unison): Okay!
Auditor: Now let me give you my Okay's
Auditor: Okay
group: Okay
Auditor: Okay
group: Okay!
Auditor: Did you receive them?
group: YES!

Quirky pause…..

Auditor: Find the floor!

(Me: Wha huh? is this a duck and cover drill?)

group: Enthusiastically everyone stomps their feet on the floor

(Me: Ho kay… stomping my feet over here, boss…)

Auditor: Find your chair!

(Me: huh? what is this? As if it is missing!)

group: Everyone grabs the sides of their chair

(Me: feeing silly as I grab my chair, but hey… I want the whole experience right? I comply.)

Auditor then repeats the what I now will call the "hollah back Okay" drill

Session complete.

The rank and file, well, file out and I awkwardly get up. yet another man comes to my side. Introduction, firm grip handshake, gleam in his eye. I notice his white shirt is dirty on the left pocket but his brushed nickel name tag is big, clean and pridefully displayed.

Leader: Well? How are you?
Me: ( I hesitate at first… not sure if that is a trick question after what I just went through) Hey! I am fine, thank you.
Leader: My name is ____ and I am the lead I.S. here… pauses to search me for, I guess, visual cues as to my purpose and posture for being in attendance. Good to see you could attend with us today!
Me: Sure. What exactly is I.S.?
Leader: **laughs** Oh! Excuse me! (he explains it… I don't recall what it means but it is a title that everyone knows but me… loaded cult language appears many times throughout this experience!)
Me: Okay
Leader: So how did the group processing benefit you?
Me: (are you kidding? was it supposed to? what is this, am I supposed to feel uneasy that this hollah back Okay drill did nothing for me?) Well, I can see that as the drill…
Leader:—- Session!
Me: sorry, as the session progressed I was able to think of items more definitively due to the repetition. I gather that repetition was the emphasis of this (oops I almost said "drill" again) session?
Leader: (as if I had just said nothing, asked no question) I sense that you have some stressors. (His eyes burn through me in a creepy fashion… I guess another drill they have is how to use X-Ray vision on new potential recruits) The benefits are immense from this type of interaction.  (sensing that I really was not buying his bill of goods, he changes tactics as if a switch flips in his demeanor)

Leader: I have to ask if you have seen our building yet? Have you done the tour? We built this with our own hands. Why, Bill over there carried many boards himself!
Me: Yes, it is a beautiful building. Nicely finished.
Leader: Yes. This is true. (he leads me out of the "chapel")
Leader: Here is Dustin, he will answer any of your questions you might have.
Dustin: (the is the same guy with the knifing power handshake only this time he shakes my hand with a Vulcan death grip designed to snap the sinews between my knuckles like twigs. Fortunately I am a strong man and we battle for only a second in a knuckle snapping death match. I think my demonstration of an assertively strong greeting excited this man or caused him to further improve my status in his mind as a really strong potential recruit)

Dustin: Follow me!
Me: Kay!

and we walk down the 16" x 16" travertine stone floors to a series of cubicles that look mysteriously like an exact replica of the car dealer's salesman set up.

Clack Clack Clack, go our shoes

The walls are lined with 6 foot tall panels filled with Lore and photos of the good old days of Hubbard. I smile to myself with the thought that they should rename this religion "Hubbardology".

My guide pauses to explain a few items and allows me time to drink in the reverent moment he just created. We reach the cubicles and they are complete with one phone, one pencil, one pad, and the top 12" above my head at sitting height are made out of glass. The "visitor's" chair is comfortable but Dustin places himself eerily close to me to the point where his knee bumps mine throughout the discussion several times.

I check. Whew! He has a wedding band on.

Okay so moving along, this discussion is where I try to get down to the brass tacks. Dustin does a quick personality assessment. Opens up Dianetics to the glossary and gives a shpeel about the word "Aberration". Dustin asks me to search inward to find any aberrations in my life. I tell him something vague. It is weak, but he goes with it and half heartedly thumps the desk in triumph:

Dustin:—And Scientology will fix that problem in your life!

I checked to see if his other knee had spasmodically jerked outward in reaction to the script he was obviously following

Me: Oh.
Dustin: Er… did I mention that I am a third generation scientologist?
Me: You are? I noticed you were married. You wife is a scientologist?
Dustin: Yes, she is actually a _____ (I forget the title but it is a designation for an auditor who can get other scientologists to the level of "Clear", which I gather is highly desirable)
Me: That must be nice for you.
Dustin: Yes, we have this in common, it is very nice.
Me: Well, what is your view on eternity? This bridge that Larry sang about in the service and how Ron gave mankind a bridge… that is a metaphor for a path indigenous to Scientology is it not? I mean, I am very interested in knowing how you would view a person who chooses to not cross the bridge. What happens to a person who never practices scientology or who turns away from scientology? Doesn't he not cross that bridge? What happens then to that person?
Dustin: Look, uh, it all boils down to trying it out to see if it works.
Me: But I think I would need to have the basic tenets of the faith down before jumping in to "trying it"
Dustin: Oh this is not about faith. Faith does not enter the equation
Me: Oh? I am curious about that. What is the force that gets you to come to this building on a Sunday morning instead of the Catholic building?
Dustin: (Taps the desk with a fingernail) See, those are great questions and with just one session you will quickly see… I mean… it's like BAM it hits you all at once—and pretty powerfully actually—how powerful this stuff really is. Once you see it work it all makes complete sense. You can't really explain it to someone who, uh, hasn't gone through an auditing session of seminar.
Me: Oh? But I would like to know about how other religions are viewed. Or for instance would you grieve if your wife decided today that she no longer wanted to be a scientologist?
Dustin: Not at all.
Me: Interesting.
Dustin: (figeting) I mean, my life would be much better and complete if both of us were on the same page regarding scientology. I would wonder. I think I would be sad because of how much good I have seen scientology do for people but she would be choosing her own path.
Dustin: Say! I know a great book that would really explain all of this. (Gets up, I follow)

Clack clack clack clack we walk down the echoey halls to "The Library" only this library doesn't lend, you buy. Along the midsection of the library are display cases with an odd machine with two silver metallic cans that have wires hooked up to them.

Me: E-Meters!
Dustin: You know about the E-Meters?
Me: I have read about them on line. How do they work?
Dustin explains the biomechanics of the E-Meter, I am dying to try it out… if only I could…
Dustin: Do you want to see it work?
Me: Cha! (that's an overly excited "Yeah!" in Noggin-ese)
Dustin: Kay, you just relax and hold these cans in both hands and I will calibrate the machine

Dustin seriously turns a few knobs and studies his work and then looks me directly in the eye like a mesmorist. He suggests a few items like my kids, a grassy knoll, a rock concert, and then suggests I think about a grueling agrument I had recently.

Dustin: Okay, I think I have it calibrated. Lets talk about your kids

no E-Meter movement or it goes way down from normal

Dustin: Typical response especially if they are young and adorable still, how old are yours?
Me: 4 and 2… and very very adorable (I smile)
Dustin: Kay, now lets think about your wife
Me: (a little creeped out that he chose to say "Let's" think about my wife) Allright

small E-Meter movement

Dustin: Hmm there seems to be a reading there. Slightly, is there any stress involved with your wife?
Me: (I Laugh, the needle goes up a few more notches with my laugh) let's put you on the cans and see if there is any stress there!
Dustin: (sheepishly) point taken
Me: But don't ask me to talk about my work environment! That is a cesspool of stress!

E-Meter pegs all the way to maximum possible stress factor

Dustin: WOW MAN!!! YOU WEREN'T KIDDING! NOW THAT'S A READING!!!
Me: Yep
Dustin: (Stares intently at me employing his X-Ray vision skills) So what is it? I mean, what has got you all tied up in knots there?

Meanwhile he figets very quickly and practically nonchalant-like with a side nob on the E-Meter control board, I thought it was already calibrated?

Me: (Okay, I will play this out, I'll bite) I work in a 50/50 partnership with my father (I briefly explain my working environment, the needle stays pegged)

Dustin:—And scientology is here to fix that in your life!
Me: Surprise!
Dustin:Okay let's bring this back down to sane levels again. Clear your mind and think about your kids

E-Meter quickly returns to normal

Me: Wow, that is kind of neat. It really reads stress levels.
Dustin: (beaming) Yes it really does! Now off to the library!

he shows me a highly recommended book for dealing with negative stressors in one's life. I indulge him and buy it. It's 4 dollars. This seems to excite Dustin. We go back to the car dealer cubicles to finish up on the hard sale I have been expecting.

Dustin: Now, you have seen the tip of this wonderful ice berg. The next step is to just take a leap of faith and attend a seminar.
Me: A leap of faith? (I thought he said that faith had nothing to do with Scientology)
Dustin: Yes. That is the only way you can really understand it all.
Me: Right. See I am going to stick to my requirements and get more information before I go that route.
Dustin: 15 hours, $100.00. That is all. Pretty small commitment for a life changing event I would say!
Me: Well, how do motivational speakers like Tony Robbins play out? Scientology is called a religion but according to you it dismisses the need for a god, for faith and relies on principles that supercede psychiatric drugging needs. Tony Robbins has many successes with life changing techniques.
Dustin: Tony Robbins? The self-help guru? Oh I am sure he has a few tricky things that work for the short term but we are more interested in long term results. We are here for the long haul.
Me: I see. But I am still going to pass on the seminar for now.

~Noggin

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Posted: 15 February 2006 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Hi Noggin, that was one of the most entertaining posts I’ve ever read on this forum, LOL. Please go to the seminar and report back to us everything that happens!

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Posted: 08 April 2006 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Wow, this was a very entertaining read. I learned at lot about the secret society known as scientology. I can see why famous celeberties are attracted to it, partly because they are about the only ones that can afford it. I know it costs a fortune to belong to their headquarters church in California.

It sort of reminds me of Amway. A man I had a crush on tried to get me rooked into becoming one of his—-I can’t remember what it was called, but I’d been working under him—-lower rung on the pyramid. I went through an indoctrinating process like yours, questions about my life and how my current one is holding me back from my true potential. I checked into Amway and learned quite alot and got out before I got involved.

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Posted: 23 May 2006 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Thanks for the investigative journalist, Noggin!  Did you see the tour of LRH’s military honors.  There are some fascinating stories that the Scientologists trumpet as accomplishments, while the military record has a slightly different view.

My favorite:  LRH was in charge of a maintenance ship off the west coast (I can’t remember the dates).  He decided that his ship should be well-drilled should they be attacked at any time (you can hear ominous Cain Mutiny music building in the background).  To this end, he directed his crew to open fire on (what he believed to be) an uninhabited island with all manner of onboard armaments, include a large deck gun. 

The problem was the island was not uninhabited, and in fact, was a protectorate of a different country (it might have been Mexico).  Ultimately, LRH’s little drill almost turned into an international incident as he fired on another country in a time of peace!!!! 

All records suggest that LRH was a wildly paranoid, delusionally self-important man.  I’ll try to post a great story I read about LRH claiming to have cornered an enemy sub (again off the west coast) for three days - calling in other ships from all over the area to lay seige to the water around the sub for three days…. funny part is… no sub was ever found and no one (other than LRH) ever saw any evidence that a sub was in the area….

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Posted: 26 May 2006 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“MalteseSM”]Thanks for the investigative journalist, Noggin!  Did you see the tour of LRH’s military honors.  There are some fascinating stories that the Scientologists trumpet as accomplishments, while the military record has a slightly different view.

My favorite:  LRH was in charge of a maintenance ship off the west coast (I can’t remember the dates).  He decided that his ship should be well-drilled should they be attacked at any time (you can hear ominous Cain Mutiny music building in the background).  To this end, he directed his crew to open fire on (what he believed to be) an uninhabited island with all manner of onboard armaments, include a large deck gun. 

The problem was the island was not uninhabited, and in fact, was a protectorate of a different country (it might have been Mexico).  Ultimately, LRH’s little drill almost turned into an international incident as he fired on another country in a time of peace!!!! 

All records suggest that LRH was a wildly paranoid, delusionally self-important man.  I’ll try to post a great story I read about LRH claiming to have cornered an enemy sub (again off the west coast) for three days - calling in other ships from all over the area to lay seige to the water around the sub for three days…. funny part is… no sub was ever found and no one (other than LRH) ever saw any evidence that a sub was in the area….

Hey there Maltese

Hubbard created the “Sea Org” on that ship where his devoted shipmates.. er.. servants signed on billion year long contracts of service to His Hubbardness.  The Sea Org still exists today.

**shakes head in bewilderment**

And yes, I did get the high priveledge of walking down the Hallowed Halls of Hubbard.  Bigger than life posters of him.  All kinds of claims in gold matted frames with expensive looking writing and formatting which when I checked a few out on the net proved to be very much exaggerated or even alltogether false.

I was supposed to feel some presence as my guide, Dustin, spoke reverently about The Man.  But all I felt was an urge to kick Dustin swiftly in the pants for being such a dupe and believing this horse manure.

Scientology is a trip.  I am so glad that I went there and got to hold “the cans” (e-meters).  I still need to go back and do a bonefide auditing session but they want $110 dollars and I am not feeling that generous yet.

Thanks for the reply.  If (when?) I do go back, I will post it.

And rab… I can only sheepishly say that I was the KING of Amway for 18 months of my life.  It is worse than that!  I was also a devout Mormon at the time.  I actually lived a layered life of cultdom!  I was a devout Mormon feverishly selling L.O.C. cleaning Amway products to every distant relative of mine on the planet.  No one escaped my sales pitch.  The neighbor’s gathered their children closely to them as I approached their homes.  I spent thousands of dollars attending out of state “functions” garanteed to line my upline’s pockets…. oops, did I say that outloud?  I meant to say garanteed to grow my business.  I stalked the aisles of Home Depot and Safeway at least 4 nights a week.  I lurked on the peripheral vantage points, sizing up, performing character analysis on unsuspecting store patrons.  Yes, I mined the paying customers, sizing them up as potential new recruits for my “downline”.

Me: “Hey there, I see you are buying a hammer…”
Fellow customer: “Uh, Yeah”
Me: “Hey, I like hammers too.  In fact I happen to know that hammer you are buying is a good one”
FC: “Really?”
Me:  “Oh Sure, hey… How about I, uh, take your name down and give you a phone call.  I am an independent sales rep for a multi million billion dollar world wide company and we are always looking to expand our business.”

If the store patron was wise to my oddball approach he’d ask me if it was Amway.  I was trained to lie… er.. I mean… to say

“Oh NO of course not!  The name of this company is Britt World Wide and they are a group of highly assertive business trainers who are looking for a few key individuals to expand their business”
**suddenly Noggin is in a big hurry, looks at his watch**
“Say! I have to jet here real quick, I’ll take your info and give you a call sometime to go over some numbers that will definately pique your interest!.....”

Sure, you guys, laugh it up.  I was a zombie multi layered cult magnet.  Laugh it up because, it is definately funny… and I can laugh right along with you now that I am out of that way of thinking.  I hate to say it, but I believe that Mormonism primed me for Amway.  Gullibility, trust anyone who appears authoritative.  Or, yeah,  I could’ve been just young and dumb.

Noggin

[ Edited: 02 June 2006 09:52 AM by ]
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Posted: 27 May 2006 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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One of the leading Scientologists of my experience has called yet again.  I just got off the phone with this man.  This is probably the 4th phone call from him since I posted my original experience.

I have decided to chronical my journey of aquaintance with Scientology in this EOF forum.  There is a reason.  I will now chronicle my dealings with the C.O.S. in journal format in this thread.

Phone call #4

It’s been about a good month since I last shirked the Scientologists.  I was sitting down to post something to the End of Faith website just now when the phone rang and there they were all up in my business. 

Hello best friend!  How are you?  Have you read any of the materials you bought on that last visit to our church?

I hadn’t as of yet… but I really really need to get that done.  So I chatted him up.  Soon enough, the conversation abruptly switched to one of resolving concerns as to what I needed in order to further pursue Scientology. 

I am interested in this cult.  I am downright fascinated that they believe what they do.  I want to feel the manipulations manipulating my mind… tugging at me.  I want to feel uncertain about the exclusive validity they claim to possess.  In short, I want to travel to the belly of this bizarre beast.  I have my reasons.  I want the experience during a bonefide auditing session to so move me in such a profound way that I question reality again.  I want to feel confused when I walk out of said session.  I want to grapple with these feelings and question whether or not Scientology is real. 

In short, I want the powers of the Scientology cult to tendrel into my mind so that I can then dismiss them. 

If that experience is granted to me by the cosmos, I will then be able to say that I have walked away from 3 cults.  Mormonism, Amway and Scientology.  I think part of my outward tauntings of the cult mindset and it’s brainwashing techniques is due to the fact that I have been in two cults and I am angry over that.  I want to dabble again and allow another cult to try to ensnare me and then spit in it’s face.

After talking to this guy (I forgot his name but it was not Dustin), I already feel the cult working inside my head… feeling after me… searching me out.  He is so friendly.  He is kind, patient and willing to work with all of my issues.  He promises me that with an open mind, remarkable progress that cannot be found anywhere else in my personality, assertiveness, and even business dealings will readily come about.  This, as I combat the effects of the reactive mind, will become so obvious the further I study Dianetics.

I admit to him that I have not done much with Scientology since my first visit because I was rather put off by having to pay money in order to gain these remarkable advantages.  Shouldn’t they be free?  At least, to an investigator?  Was there not a “try it before you buy it” approach to Scientology? Why not?

That rang a bell with my host.  He decided that he would look into what he could do about setting me up with a private auditing session for “not as much money”.  They really do not give it away.

We chatted about some “purification rundown” and how new Scientology members need to rid the body of toxins that they have accumulated from all the drugs we take.  He mentioned LSD causes flashbacks.  I don’t take LSD, I say.  Oh but you take aspirin and cough medicine and anti biotics.  True, I admit.  Then he explains how all of these drugs stay in the system and negatively effect the mind on an accumulative basis.  The sooner we get an individual detoxed from these effects, the sooner we can start seeing the remarkable progress.

Wow wee.  I think to myself.

He closed with admonishments that I watch the DVD…  But that I not read Dianetics just yet as that is the heavy stuff that needs auditing to get the full effect.

I will post the next chapter when it happens

Noggin

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Posted: 27 May 2006 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Noggin, I got audited a few times (a “course”, as they call it), several years ago. After many hours of it, there was one culmination moment, actually lasting about 15 seconds, that was rather unique and exhilarating. I was holding the cans and going through a drill involving the repetition of a single phrase—to the point of irritation, in fact, which I believe was the goal. If you haven’t already, you’ll run across these drills. Repetition seems to create an effect in the brain, though I don’t pretend to understand what, exactly. I’m sure it’s not unlike chanting a mantra like “Om”, or any discipline where the simple focus on repetition comes into play. It was startling—I would almost call it an orgasm of the brain, since it was like a head rush—but not something I would consider unique to Scientology. They’ve simply packaged it into their process.

I’ll be very interested to hear your feedback on an auditing session. My affiliation with them was very brief (one summer, at best—an expensive one, too, since they charge big bucks), but I can definitely say that my mailbox affiliation has lasted a lot longer. Those people are like flippin’ bloodhounds—they’ve never lost track of me through probably a dozen moves.

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Posted: 01 June 2006 04:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Okay.  I am in.  The infiltration has happened.  I am on schedule for an “intense” Scientology auditing session today. Here is how getting to this point went down:

The heat has turned up blow torch style in Scientology’s pursuit of a new recruit, Me. 

After about two months of basic silence except for that one check up phone call from the chief recruiter, I come into full contact with the world of Scientology last Saturday.  Sunday comes and Gary calls during dinner to see how my reading has been going.  He probes to see if I would be open to pursuing more.  I sense that he has already forgotten Saturday’s conversation where I told him I would be interested.  Perhaps he was just checking the pulse.  I put down my fork, swallow, and Gary does not flinch.  No apology that he might have caught me at a bad time.  Obviously, to Gary, there is no bad time to call… what, with my eternal Thetan soul at stake!  Here goes the plunge into the rabbit hole.

Of course, this has always been my goal.  I want to experience this cult and the tendrils that plug into the human brain.  I want a private auditing session.  I tell repeat, casually, how I did not think that an investigator should pay for this.  I am very much a try it before you buy it sort of fellow.  At least give a guy some sort of money back guarantee.  This suggestion seemed to amuse Gary and he chuckled nervously on the phone. 

Gary said he would see what he could do for me.  He indicated that he knew the auditors personally and would try to get me in “for not much money” as a favor.  Yes, that is what he said last time too.  He said he would call me back.  He did not lie about that. 

Later that night I received a phone call and a cryptic message instructing me to call him back as soon as possible as he had some important information to tell me.  He did not say he was with Scientology or hint at any part of our previous conversation.  I willfully refrained from answering or returning his calls.  I wanted to see how earnest his intent was.  Sort of a test of his resolve.  Sort of an inquiry as to what depths Gary would go to get a new recruit on the hook. 

Monday, Memorial day, a national holiday, three phone calls and two messages.  The last phone call Monday was at 9:00 p.m. during an intimate moment with my wife.  We paused mid activity as Gary garbled on into our answering machine.

You have to know that our phone system has an audible caller ID voice announcer.  So each time Gary calls the phone system announces loudly throughout the house:

“Caller, Church of Scien” 

It only reads what is in the display.  Scientology is cut in half so that is all that gets announced.  Kind of funny.  Anyhow.  My devout believing Mormon wife is rather amused at my willful insertion into the cult world of Scientology so, as you can imagine, she had some fun with Gary’s intrusion into our intimate moment.  I found it kind of creepy.  My wife has a nice sense of humor.  If I did not know better, looking from the outside in, I would think that Gary had a thing for me.  And, truth be told, Gary does have a thing for me… he wants my soul.

And from his persistence, I can tell he thinks it is a matter of life or death.  Could I expect anything less?

So Gary’s soul catching business continues.  Tuesday Gary wanes in response leaving only one message.  My wife says with a smile something to the effect of:

Noggin, just put the poor man out of his misery.  Throw him a bone

At this point I decide I have tortured Gary enough with my mental thumb screws so I pick up the phone Wednesday and dial his, by now, memorized number.  Of course, this is during work hours so Gary is not present but the Scientology receptionist urges me to leave my cell phone number and Gary will call me right back.

I balk.  Leave my cell phone number?  That is so wrong.  On so many levels that is wrong.  Oh my.  Uhhhhh.  Do I really want to hand over to Gary the ability to part the curtains of my private world by granting him access to my person?  Cell phones are for friends, family and people who make me money.  Gary fit into none of these categories. 

Though the wailing warning sirens blast in my head, I decide… what the hell, it will be a test of restraint for him.  When I fall out, I will tell him I do not wish him to call that number.  I can see if Gary will respect that or not.  My guess is that since he has already shown that he knows no bounds… the results of this move will be regretted.

I relinquish the number.

ring ring.  15 minutes later an exuberant Gary is bubbling on the other end.

Noggin!  This is Gary from the Dianetics Foundation!

Dianetics Foundation?  What is this a charity now?  Is this how it is softened up so that recruits will be more likely to spill into their coffers?

Hi. I say flatly.

Noggin!  (oh no, now I remember, this guy is an annoying Name Sayer type who says your name repeatedly and annoyingly in conversation) Hey Noggin! I just wanted to touch bases with you, Noggin, about when your schedule will free up for a personal auditing session up here at the “Foundation”.

Yeah, okay.  The sooner the better for me.  I can break free tomorrow… say… 3:30ish.

Excellent, Noggin!  Okay, I will see if I can get an auditor to break out some free time in their auditing schedules for that time frame, uh, Noggin, and I will call you back.  They are very busy so I can’t guarantee anything, Noggin.

I’ll wait for your call.

Last night I get the confirmation.

Noggin! Great news!  I was able to pull some strings and get you a time slot for tomorrow at 3:30!

Noggin thinks to himself: I’m sure it was a huge undertaking

By the way, Noggin, what exactly is your occupation?  Eh.. what do you do, Noggin?

I am part owner of a construction company

Excellent!

Noggin to himself, amused:  Excellent?  What if I had told him I bus tables for a living or dug ditches?

So the die has been cast.  Today I embark on this most important journey into the belly of the beast of Scientology.

As soon as I hang up, he calls back one minute later with implicit instructions that I get plenty of sleep and be sure to eat before I arrive as the auditing sessions can be quite intense.

Note: no mention of payment for this session has been mentioned and I do not intend to pay a dime.  BUT.  I do want to experience this session so…....

More to come!

Noggin

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Posted: 02 June 2006 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Its official.  I am now one who knows the ins and outs of basic Scientology auditing.  Trust me, it is as oddball as you might think.

I enter the building, fully rested and fully fed as instructed and I did review the auditing chapters in Dianetics plus review the Scientology intro video.  I was set.

On my report of my first Sunday Scientology service a couple of months ago, I outlined how my Scientology guide for a day refused to go into any doctrine details instead he mentioned that I had to just do Dianetics and then I would know.  I asked him about the Scientology POV of what happens after death and what basis did he employ for going to the Scientology building instead of say the Catholic building each Sunday.  He was vague and reiterated that I just had to do an auditing session and then it would all make cents… er I mean sense.

So then if this auditing was the key that would unlock Scientolgy’s mystery, then I would attempt to grasp this key.  I submerged myself into it, rolled around in it, smeared it all over my body and hair.  Details:

I walk into the “church” where I am warmly greeted by two sleek and attractive Euro-metro looking women.  I feel wanted.  A handshake and intro capitulates this feeling.  Gary, my pursuer, appears out of nowhere as if some chimes had alerted my presence.  There was an aura of anxiousness on his part.

Well hello Noggin, glad to see you.

Yes, I am here and ready.

small chit chat ensued about the joys of construction, clearly designed to build relationships of trust with me.  Truth be told, I do not enjoy talking about construction in idle prattle.  Particularily when the origins are designed to warm me up to events to come.  Rather a turn off.  But hey, he was following the outline of his program.  He had grey teeth, and a raspy smoker’s type voice.  I could smell that he had just rinsed his mouth with mouthwash.  I was surpirsed to note that I felt put off that he used my brand.  I don’t know why that put me off but it did.

I excused myself to the men’s room and washed my hands.  I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror, I felt ready for this.  I saw the mirrors had LED clock displays set into them.  I remember how odd I thought that was last time I was here.  What was the reason 5 bathroom mirrors needed clocks in them?  Who knows.

So I am lead down the hall and get presented to a room with no windows.  I enter and there are about ten people present and they are taking Scientology very seriously.  On my left, two women are “drilling” each other.  That sounds bad.  If you chuckled just now with seedy imagery floating in your head…  No! Okay, for serious here, one woman sat across from the other and drilled her counterpart with this:

Woman #1: Do birds fly?
Woman #2: Yes
Woman #1: Do birds fly?
Woman #2: Oh I think that they do
Woman #1: Do birds fly?
Woman #2: Oh sometimes they do
Woman #1: Do birds fly?
Woman #2: Never!

So I had flash backs of my group processing session at that Scientology Sunday service I attended and reported on back in February (see top of this thread).  It was more repetition, nonsense, and human beings completely willing to subject themselves to it.

I am pointed in the direction of a large desk and I sit down.  Scott, my staff member for the session, whips out a childrens 18” large print edition that explains the Reactive Mind and how sensitive and controlling it is.  The goal in Dianetics is to reduce all incidents in the reactive mind so that they no longer have any effect on illnesses and mental stress, disorders, psychotic episodes, depression and even arthritis, ulcers and poor vision.

Yes, arthritis, ulcers, poor vision and general back aches and pains are all tied to the reactive mind most of the time.  Uh huh.  It’s true because Scientology wouldn’t just make this stuff up!  No Way!

20 minutes of instruction on the Reactive mind and auditing go by.  Now I am primed for a session.  I get up to enter another subroom… again with no windows in sight.  As I walk, I note that the two women to my left are still hotly debating whether or not birds fly.  I sit down in a white euro styled chair and another Scientologist named Jose enters the room.  We meet and greet.  I close my eyes, and am instructed this auditing session can be terminated at any time I feel uncomfortable.  A safe word is created.  I recount two pleasurable experiences and three bothersome experiences.  I am told that we will cancel the session with the audible command of “Cancel” at the end so that my Reactive mind will not be negatively impacted.  The negative experiences I share are “reduced” by me repeating them over and over (surprise!) until I showed signs of comfort, laughter, smiling.  About the fourth time through I did smile and let out a chuckle because the experience was so redundant.  The chuckle occurred when I paused mid sentance to reflect sideways that these people really believe this type of therapy is Universal Saving Truth. 

The auditor asks me if I am in present time.  I am supposed to acknowledge that I am.  After I vocalize, he counts backwards from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and snaps his fingers and tells me to open my eyes.  The room is bright and so I blink.

Pause

So?

Pause

What did you think?

Pause

I feel almost badly that I did not feel anything special.  No elation, no euphoria, no BAM! as it was supposed to hit me.  I told this auditor that I was not feeling anything special or out of the ordinary.

To this he smiled and declared that this was just the begining.  The tip of the iceberg so to speak.  Some times it took new people many many sessions to record a true “win”. 

At that second a flashback occurred.  I was in Spain again as a Mormon missionary.  I recalled the countless times I was compelled to explain to my investigators who honestly and sincerely put Moroni’s promise to the test and came up zero, nada, empty handed.  I heard myself telling them that some times it takes many prayers before God will grant an answer to Moroni’s promise.

I shuddered. The parallel was enormous.

Next step, and this is getting too long so I will try to go in brevity, was they wanted me to experience giving an audit session.  They had a 10 step card that I could use as a cheat sheet.  I was a little reluctant as it kind of was unexpected and felt decidedly like they were trying to make me feel accomplice to some crime by partaking in this way.  But what the hell.  I want the full monty.  So I sit down and another Scientologist sits across from me.  He brings out this huge white fluffy overstuffed bear with a red and green plaid bow tied around it’s neck.

What’s the bear for?
Oh, we never have people audit live the first time, you will audit this bear to practice.
What—
Look, it is a little odd but we don’t want you to feel any pressure that you might say the wrong thing during your first time.
Uh. Okay then. 

So I hold my nose and swallow their medicine.  I asked the questions, and attempted to place the bear under a trance.  I interrogated the bear and mysteriously the man behind the bear answered all of the questions and recounted several pleasurable experiences from his… er.. the bear’s? past.

Very strange.

The session completes and .... I bring the bear out of the trance with the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 snap of my fingers.  Okay it was strange to do that, I am just going on the record here that it was very odd.

pause

me: what?

dramatic pause

How do you feel?  Was that a good experience?

me: oh!  okay.  Well, I thought that was just practice so I really didn’t put 100% effort into it.

I could tell, but that is okay.

He nervously gets up and walks out of the room with no windows.  I follow.  I am dumped back into Scott’s observance.  He has me fill out a check list of 5 agenda items I was to complete that day.  I checked off 4 out of 5.  He shook his head.

No, you must initial these items.  A check mark will not do.

me: oh, sorry!  so I change the check marks into Noggin initials.  This seems to please him.  He also required a full signature at the bottom of the page.  I should have asked for a photocopy in case they tried to add print in later that I am deeding my house and car over to Scientology.  That thought actually crossed my mind.

Long story short, I go into the room again and this time another Scientologist is waiting for me.  I do a “live” audit session and get to pass that off the checklist.  It was equally unsatisfactory.  Nothing special happened.

At this point, Scott (the head staffer of this room) does not know what to do with me so he takes me down a series of halls and shows me the chapel.  We pass Gary’s office.  Gary appears to be engrossed in something on the 17” flat panel computer screen at the moment.  I see the chapel again.  I ask Scott innocently why most of the rooms I see are rooms that have no windows.  This appears to agitate Scott and he quickly closes the chapel door and leads me down another series of halls.

Scott:  Oh we have windows, entire walls of windows.

we saunter past the 7 foot tall L Ron Hubbard shrines and turn a corner to see the outside again.  Clack clack clack clack echoe our footsteps off the highly polished travertine floors.

Pause for presentation, Scott sweeps magestically with an arm.

Scott: See?  walls of windows. Scott says guardedly.

We go outside where the chief Scientologist lady (Karen) is smoking several cigarrettes with three other fellows.  Scott is wanting directions.  Karen informs Scott that he is to drill me with more auditing. We walk back to the room with no windows and I honestly am not up for more auditing.  It is mind numbing.  It is so boring.

I get a chance to steer a conversation.  I ask Scott how long he has been in Scientology.

Scott: 31 years.  I have been on staff for quite some time just like my brother.
Me: your brother?  Did he quit Scientology?
Scott: No, he took on a different form.
Me: that means he died?
Scott: well, his mind left the body and he is now elsewhere.  That is the key to Dianetics.  The upper level auditing sessions I have had clearly show that the mind is seperate from the body.
Me: Do you ever doubt Scientology?  Were you skeptical at first?  Because I have to tell you that I am very skeptical.
Scott:  My only skepticism was that everyone was so friendly to me. I had to stick around after that.  What is your religious background?

I then went on to explain my experiences with Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eckankar and fundie christianity.  I explained how I was doomed to each of these religions’ hells because I was told by them that I knew too much.  I was told that turning my back on what I knew qualified me for their hell.

Pause

Scott shakes his head

Scott: what do you want out of this experience?

Before I could answer a lady appeared in the hallway looking worried and rushed. Scott commented how he was late and it was past 5:00.  I took my cue.  I got up from the desk and walked down the halls and out of the building. I took my time, pausing to drink in the L Ron Hubbard shrines and feel the Pleather backed furniture as I walked myself out.  I felt like I failed some test as nobody wanted to escort me out the building.  Were they on to me?  Oh.  It didn’t matter.

I think I am changing mouthwash brands asap as I can’t imagine it giving me that good clean feeling in my mouth any more.

Noggin

[ Edited: 02 June 2006 01:04 PM by ]
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Posted: 02 June 2006 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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omg, Noggin, you just gave me the best laugh :D. And you audited a bear. We are so  proud. Just think, our Noggin, an auditor already. . . *sniffle*

wink

You gotta love how freaked out they are about any drugs—not even an aspirin is considered safe during a fever—and yet smoking is almost ubiquitous in Scientology, home of the Purification Rundown, a steamroom-type flushing out of all traces of drugs (hello? nicotine?) from your system, because drug traces are considered a hinderance to proper auditing.


So we can assume you’ll get a follow-up call from your assigned stalker soon? I would think the next step is either a one-on-one warm/fuzzy chat with their best snake charmer . . . or a direct solicitation of a block of auditing. I wonder it they make a Scientology Visa card with a high pre-approved limit yet?


Awaiting the next installment.


Are you tempted to put one of their salespeople through a classic debate before you finish this? Oh, to be a fly on the wall when you do . . .


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Posted: 02 June 2006 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Great read, Noggin. I loved the bear auditing the best LOL

Funny, they allow smoking but not asprin. I also found the hallways with no windows kind of creepy. I would wonder too about the signing the document. Be careful!

this is from an article I found on Clambake:

HARRIET BAKER, 73, LOST HER HOUSE after Scientologists learned it was debt free and arranged a $45,000 mortage, which they pressured her to tap to pay for auditing. They had approached her after her husband died to help “cure” her grief. When she couldn’t repay the mortage, she had to sell.
http://www.xenu.net/archive/media/time910605.html

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Posted: 02 June 2006 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“Mia”]-

omg, Noggin, you just gave me the best laugh :D. And you audited a bear. We are so  proud. Just think, our Noggin, an auditor already. . . *sniffle*

Aw.  Thanks!  I feel empowered! (not).

Mia wrote:
You gotta love how freaked out they are about any drugs—not even an aspirin is considered safe during a fever—and yet smoking is almost ubiquitous in Scientology, home of the Purification Rundown, a steamroom-type flushing out of all traces of drugs (hello? nicotine?) from your system, because drug traces are considered a hinderance to proper auditing.

I KNOW!  Isn’t it so odd? rab caught this too and you both are thinking what I am thinking on this.  I have looked into the purification rundown and asked Gary about it in depth and I gotta tell you… it is rigorous!  All that and then pause for a puff on the old cancer sticks.  It makes little sense.

Mia:
So we can assume you’ll get a follow-up call from your assigned stalker soon? I would think the next step is either a one-on-one warm/fuzzy chat with their best snake charmer . . . or a direct solicitation of a block of auditing. I wonder it they make a Scientology Visa card with a high pre-approved limit yet?


Awaiting the next installment.

This weekend I will avoid any calls that come my way.  I am feverishly putting together my top 3 questions for Gary.  I can’t decide which ones yet (I have so many).  So yes, if I have anything to do with it, a debate with Gary or Karen or whomever is in the works.

Glad I provided merriment to a few who read this!  That’s partly what this is all about!

Noggin

[ Edited: 02 June 2006 12:46 PM by ]
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Posted: 02 June 2006 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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For the bear to sit through that was pretty cool… and yes, i think you’re awesome and extremely entertaining… much more so than the dude “eric” that posted his advertisement about his book!  what a hoot…. keep it coming!


afterthoughts….
actually, eric’s post was under the pen name “william”

i shall call him… “william the advertiser.”

[ Edited: 02 June 2006 11:01 AM by ]
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Posted: 02 June 2006 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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First Post, but this pulled me out of the woodwoork even got me to register.

Thank you Noggin. I realize you may be doing this for personal reasons But I really admire your willingness to take on this task and document it for the rest of us. It is very generous you manage it with style wink. Your writing technique and subject matter are worthy of a fullblown news article and I wonder that some paper hasn’t funded a similar series. We should have a similar documentation done for indoctrination experiences with other evangelical organizations.

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Posted: 02 June 2006 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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A big welcome, Autochton (that just made the strangest gutteral sound in my throat when I tried to pronounce it :D!.

It’s a great idea, running a long series of undercover church investigations. The right paper would gobble it up. I can imagine it especially in a mag that focuses on corruption investigations and the like.

Save this stuff up, Noggin. You never know when you might find a place to submit it. Be bold, take a chance one of these days, see if you get a nibble wink.


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Posted: 04 June 2006 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Wonderful read Noggin, and very interesting = )

I kinda quit coming to this forum but will check in now and then to see if you post any updates.

ps. I took ALOT of LSD when I was younger, and still waiting for a flashback = p

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