Daily Archives: June 6, 2004

Church of Scientology: An Intro and Movie

I have to preface this by saying that the Church of Scientology is crap.

I forgot to write about this little adventure because it occured during my field trip, which took place while my site was done.

The field trip wasn’t to the Church of Scientology specifically, but to San Francisco, in general. We toured the city. At one point, we passed by the Church of Scientology. My friend was interested in going in since he was doing his history research project on it. How fortunate for us that someone from the Church of Scientology came over to recruit us to visit her church. Apparently, the teacher let us go because she was going to teach us about the architecture. It used to be some old building, don’t remember, you’ll see why soon.

She started off with a little bit about the architecture after she herded us inside. Then, she elegantly segued, mentioning how they changed the building. She pointed to some quotes they had placed on the wall, by their founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Deftly, she directs us to some panels which tell about Scientology, itself.

Everything she says is completely empty. She’s talking, alright. And she’s saying words, and these words make sense to me. Yet, something about these words… “You can be any religion and still belong to the Church of Scientology. Scientology provides the tools to meet spiritual goals…”

“What tools?” I asked, my politic response. I could have said that I thought all she was saying was bullshit, but I didn’t.

“Oh, seminars and classes, to help with marriage, blah blah blah…” Before the “blah’s” I figured it out: It was all for money. Classes? For free? As one says in the famous card game, “BS!”

The next step, some of us were interested in taking their “Free personality test.” However, she offered to show a movie. So, about five of us went in to see the movie, whilst the rest took the test.

Very, very comfortable, the chairs were almost too comfortable, especially after a long day’s journey. Seriously, it was a small movie room, the chairs were comfortable, it was dark, and you never know, she could’ve locked us in. I still wonder if everything we said during the film was recorded.

The film was about Dianetics. What’s Dianetics you ask? I could explain it now, or you can see the film yourself. Okay, okay, I’ll tell you about the film.

The film, supposedly, is based off a true story from the 1950s, and representative of many similar cases. It begins with ultra-cheesy jazz-type music, a dad and a son with a football in the front yard. The kid is then playing football for his high school team. BAM! He’s in the air and hit. Next thing you know, he’s in the hospital. Doesn’t look good. The doctor taps his knee. No reflexes. Tickles his foot. Nothing. He can’t feel the lower half of his body, he says to the other doctor at the foot of the bed, as if the kid on the bed can’t hear.

His girlfriend stops by later. Attack of the bad actors! “Go find someone else who’ll be better for you.” Blah, blah. Yeah, kid, you’re just saying that because you can’t feel your penis. Was that really what the Scientology people were implying? In any case, not good.

From there, the movie gets weird. You can’t really tell when he’s dreaming, and when he’s not. Excuse me if I mess up some things chronologically.

For example, one doctor leaves a book for him. He mentions “psychosurgery” or something like that and how the mind can heal. He goes on about how the kid is crazy, delusional. Later on, a nurse comes along and injects him with a hypodermic needle, Kill Bill vol. 1 style, only the nurse didn’t have an eye patch.

Later on, he’s getting some type of scan, and then you see two doctors talking about him. He’s an interesting case. The only damage is in his cerebral cortex. He’ll be a good one to cut up.

At various points after weird scenes, the kid wakes up, panting. “No surgery,” he demands.

The funniest part is when two doctors are talking about how they’re going to do surgery and how bad his case is, etc, then the camera moves a bit, and you see that they’ve been standing at the foot of the bed the whole time! Well, we got a good laugh out of it.

Eventually, his girlfriend says that one of his friends wanted him to read this… Surprise, surprise: It’s the Dianetics book.

So, the kid reads it. It’s all about how the subconscious represses you. All memories are stored, even when unconscious.

Via a few replayed flashbacks, we figure out that while the kid was flat on the ground, one of his teammates said, “Oh man, he’s never going to walk again.” The point we’re supposed to get from this is that he heard this subconsciously, and that’s why he can’t walk. (Yeah, right, like that’ll help people with severed spines.)

He opens his eyes. “Wiggle your big toe.” Okay, he doesn’t say that, but he does lift the covers, and look at his toes. I wonder if Mr. Tarantino watched the Dianetics movie.

He’s up. He’s walking. He’s jumping on the bed. The music’s back to it’s old cheesy self. He’s changing his clothes.

The doctors walk into the room. They wonder where he went, and then they see him. “What, this isn’t possible,” (the evil) one declares. Two other doctors instantly begin examining him, on with stethoscope ready.

“Get back in bed,” (the evil) one angrily yells. Evidently, they’re mad because they can’t cut him up, as they were planning to do when the camera was on them in the hallway before entering his room.

The kid leaves the book for one of the doctors and walks out. “This could put us out of business,” the man protests as he looks out the window.

Flash forward to the future. Flashback to beginning of movie, cheesy music-wise. His girlfriend is now his wife. He’s playing football with his kid… fade to the best part of the movie.

Titles on the screen first declare something similar to, “Your subconscious is keeping you from reaching your full potential.” And then, more ominously, “Get rid of it.”

The end.

The experience was pretty creepy. I split, with someone else, after watching the movie. The others didn’t have their test results yet, but I didn’t want to stick around.

More on the test tomorrow.