Newsgroup: alt.religion.scientology From: Alvin Brattli <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Scientology and mousepads Date: 20 Aug 1996 20:53:18 +0200 Did you all know that the COS is handing out L. Ron Hubbard mousepads for free? Neither did I, until they gave one to me. It all happened to me a few days ago, being on vacation in Chicago. My friends in Chicago took me out sightseeing, and asked me whether there were any particular places I wanted to visit. An idea popped into my mind, and I decided that I wanted to visit the local org to ask them if they knew this Xenu guy, just for the hell of it. Being very helpful, my friends drove me to the org (which is located on 3009 N. Lincoln, btw.) and parked nearby. I then strolled over to the org and stopped, looking innocently at their window display. Then this friendly woman started talking to me, asking me if I knew anything about Scientology, if I knew anything about L. Ron Hubbard or not, and so on. After a couple of minutes, she invited me inside, and gave me some information about Scientology. Of course, she also wanted me to see their Scientology information video, but I said no thanks, looking worriedly at my watch and mumbling something about it getting dark soon. So it ended up with me leaving, and the scientologists practically insisting on me coming back later to watch a video and to take their free personality test. The real reason I left was that my friends were out in the car waiting for me, and I didn't want to take up too much of their time. On browsing through the folders they gave me, I found their personality test. Two hundred questions, of which some are very context-dependent, some have double or triple meanings, and many of them are in a very awkward language. Reading the questions loud for my friends provided good entertainment, and I decided very quickly that I just *had* to go back and take the test! I went back a couple of days later, and I started out using the same tactics as before: strolling innocently over to the org, looking in the windows. But what a disappointment! There were noone there to greet me! So I went away, returning later, in case they were out for lunch, auditing ashtrays, or something. On my way back I went into this shop, next doors to the org. And guess who I met there? My "friend" from the other day! And being a clear (which I diagnosed from her bracelet), she had a perfect memory, remembering me from my last visit. She had to ask for my name again, but I guess that must just have been to check whether I really gave them the same name as before or not. I mean, clears cannot possibly forget a name, can they? Well inside the org, I was greeted effusively (which, interestingly enough, wouldn't have been part of my vocabulary if it hadn't been for the COS personality test), constantly being referred to as "Alvin, my friend from Norway" whenever I was introduced to new people. Telling them that I am a physicist really thrilled them, and the greetings became even more effusive. They seated me in a comfortable sofa, and showed me an incredibly boring video about Dianetics. I am not going into any deep analysis of the video here, but I will say this: the actors were bad, the plot was very thin (there was a red line, but it was faded), and it was constantly interrupted by instructions on how to buy a Dianetics introduction package. I really had to concentrate to look interested. After the video, I took the personality test. When I had finished the test, I took the opportunity to visit the restroom and think about my further strategy while they analyzed the test and made my graph. The graph was explained to me in one of the auditing rooms downstairs. I scored quite high on some things, but low on others. My lowest score was on my relationship to my friends and other people. Being very helpful, my "friend" explained to me that Scientology could help me with my shyness and whatnot. During this session I saw an e-meter for the first time in my life. I commented on it, and the conversation went something like this: Me [pointing at the e-meter and the wires]: Hmmm...this thing looks like some kind of device for measuring resistance. Her: Correct, but it does a lot more than that. Me: Like what? Her: It is used for measuring thoughts. Me: Oh, so it is some sort of lie detector then? Her: Almost, but not quite. It is a *truth* detector. Here I had to concetrate on not starting to ramble about basic logic, the physics behind the e-meter, etc. etc. After this session we went upstairs again, and I was told that there were a number of books I needed to buy to improve myself, and that I needed auditing. On pointing out the fact that I was only there on vacation, they started finding out which org is closest to me. Fortunately, I live a long way from "my" org, and the only practical way of getting there is by plane. This made her change the tactics, and she asked if I had access to the Internet. I answered "yes", and then she started running around the whole org, looking for one of their mousepads (with their URLs printed on them). On seeing the mousepad, I get these strange associations with North Korean propaganda. More than half of the area of the mouse pad is dedicated to L. Ron Hubbard, and the rest is divided evenly between the Scientology and Dianetics logos. Also, the three URLs http://www.lronhubbard.org, http://www.dianetics.org, and http://www.scientology.org are printed in their respective part of the pad. The pictures on the mousepad are identical to the ones you will find on those web sites. That mousepad is now one of my favourite souvenirs from Chicago. Now I just couldn't hold back anymore, so I started asking about Xenu and the Marcabs. The conversation went something like this: - Tell me, who was this Xenu guy? - Who? Can you spell that? - X-E-N-U ...XENU - X-E-N-U [counting each letter on her fingers] Hmmm...have no idea! - Well, what about the Marcabs, then? Who are they? - [three seconds of silence] The Marcabs...whew! That's pretty advanced stuff! She did a terrible job in pretending she didn't know about Xenu, and it was obvious that she didn't want to talk about him under any circumstance, so I refrained from mentioning him again to her. At this point, I had to admit that I hadn't been totally honest to her, and that I really did know a lot more about Scientology and Dianetics than what I had given the impression of. To fend off my questions, she tried to make me see another film which would "answer all my questions about Scientology", and she told me that if I had any questions left, I could ask afterwards. I tried to ask more questions, but she was so insistent on me seeing the film that I finally gave in. The film lasted for 37 minutes, and it was extremely boring, despite the scientologists claims that this was the "best film ever made". It started out telling the viewers that "Yes, Scientology *is* a religion! Really! It has been proven over and over again in court!" Sure. If some court say so, it *must* be the truth. I guess they must have low self-esteem since they feel this urge to state over and over again that Scientology *is* a religion. Next came psychology and psychiatry bashing, and after that they told us about how nice a guy Ron was. There was almost no end to all the fields Ron excelled in, including but not limited to the claims that Ron was a master mariner and an engineer. After that, lots of well-known public figures (Kirstie Alley, John Travolta, Chick Corea, among others) told their success stories. At this point, I had to concentrate on not groaning loudly. The film ended with information about the recommended Dianetics introduction package, and some guy telling us that at this point we were free to just walk out of there and never think about Scientology again, but that we "might as well jump off a bridge" or blow our heads off. Once finished, they sent another Scientologist, a male this time, to handle me. I asked him about which school Ron got his degrees in and what grades he got, to which he answered that Ron thought school was stupid (and therefore he quit), and that grades are a terrible measure on how good you really do in school. Next I started asking about mental mass and how this was compatible with conservation of energy and matter. This was more difficult to him, and I could tell he was really out on deep water without a life saver. His ansver was that energy in the form of long-wavelength radiation very similar to electromagnetic radiation were converted into mass, *mental* mass. Ha! I had him trapped there! My next question was "Well, can you describe these waves with a set of equations, along the lines of Maxwells equations for electromagnetism?" Here he quite simply answered "I am not a physicist" and changed the subject. Not being a Clear, I do not have perfect memory, so I don't remember all the critical questions I asked him. But after a while I became so annoying to him that he suggested we step outside to continue the conversation. Of course, the purpose of this was double: 1) My questions were too dangerous for all the other scientologists inside, and 2) It was a hint that I was not welcome anymore. Outside, I asked him who the heck this Xenu guy was. I caught him totally off guard, and his reaction was priceless. He froze for a few seconds, staring intensely at me, stepped back quickly, and stared at me again. Then he changed the subject. To my question about who the Marcabs are, he quite simply said that he refused to discuss such high-level stuff. Now I was geting warm, so I continued along the same line. His responses became increasingly aggressive, and it was obvious that he didn't like this situation at all. As I was already outdoors by now, he really didn't need to throw me out -- I was already there! So when he felt that he had had enough of me, he just stepped inside again, leaving me on the outside. His last comment before he disappeared was: "You're a lost soul!" Oh well. I guess Scientology can help me with that... Did I mention that the L. Ron Hubbard mousepad is way cool? :-) aLViN -- | <Alvin.Brattli@phys.uit.no> | | ----------------------------------------- | | GOD MY HEAD HURTS. Too much thinking | | and not enough brain cells. -- Clint Ruin |
I finally got around to place the mousepad on a scanner. So, here it is, for your viewing pleasure. Click the image above to get a larger jpeg-version of it (approx. 71k).