In my last post I promised an account of what happened when I was rude to some Scientologists, in light of Isaac Hayes leaving South Park as it had made fun of the religion. To give my posts some sort of coherence, I’ve decided to make a new one in order to avoid making any too long.
Following in the footsteps of two heroes, Johnny Depp and Hunter S. Thompson, I set out to find some ‘only in America’ weirdness last month. I found plenty to gawk at whilst travelling through America’s heartland along Route 66 and across California. But hicksville, USA nor the insane world of Vegas have anything on Scientology when it comes to the weirdness stakes. First up was the Big Apple.
We were rather polite to the New York Scientologists (branch pictured above), probably as none of us had knowingly met one before. Oh you’re wondering about that time me and Katie Holmes- well, she hadn’t converted back then. I had heard much of Scientology was based on Hinduism and Buddhism and I went with an open mind. NYC was more of a recce. So when I got to the spiritual home of Scientology, Hollywood, I was prepared.
The Oscars were in a matter of hours. Scientologists were doing what they do the world over in order to attract followers to their super-superior cause: Free Stree Tests! Although this is apparently a process called ‘auditing’ and uses an ‘E-meter’ to measure my ‘galvanic skin response’ to ‘rehabilitate my spirit’. Don’t know about you, but I was converted.
The Hollywood Blvd. branch is pictured here – the armoured cop car was because the Oscars were literally next door at the Kodak Theatre. I figured, if I’ve come to America to find weirdness, now’s the time.
So in I went. Having found out some basic tenets of the religion, which I shan’t bore you with as you can look them up here, I had a few specifics I wanted to ask about. (Interestingly, that wikipedia page has had a recent alteration which has stood for a few days unedited: “CHEF DON’T LEAVE US FOR THIS CRAP!!! SUCKIN’ THE CHOCOLATE SALTY BALLS OF XENU WILL MAKE YOU GO BLIND!!! DON’T DO IT CHEF…DON”T SICK XENU ON TREY AND MATT!!!”)
I chatted to a few smiley youngsters, but mostly a chap called Tom. No, not Cruise.
Rohin: So listen dawg, what’s up with this no drug thing?
R: You know, you people say your followers can’t take drugs.
T: That’s not true.
R: No serious homeboy, Tory Christman was told to stop taking his epilepsy medication and some girl whose name I forget had to stop her thyroxine.
T: Scientology would never advise people to do something that harms their health. And we don’t tell people not to take their medication.
R: What about watch Mission Impossible: 2, that harms your health.
R: Are you laughing cos you agree? Come on dude, you can tell me. I’m not going to blog about this or anything. Are you not allowed to speak against the Cruise? Is he God?
T: No of course he’s not God. Medicines are drugs which can remain in the body forever -
R: No they don’t. Cos if that’s the case, I’d be stoned the whole time.
I moved back onto medicine:
R: I want to be a psychiatrist daddy-O. Do you hate me? [I don't really, they're weird]
T: Of course we don’t hate you.
R: We? I only asked about you. Are you like the Borg?
T: Haha, I don’t really watch Star Trek. No, a lot has been misreported about Scientology and psychiatry. We feel it as a field has little to offer in terms of real improvement and those with mental illnesses are being hurt by psychiatry.
R: That’s bullshit buddy, psychiatrists help patients massively. Look, we’re not going to agree, but I really don’t get your hatred of psychiatry and mental health workers so much. Maybe L. Ron Hubbard was cuckoo.
[Tom rolled his eyes]
R: L. Ron Hubbard said the problem with China is that there are too many chinks and that they smell. Are you racist, man?
T: That is really outrageous, I don’t know where you’ve got your information from.
R: Aren’t South Africans retarded and impossible to train? He said that too.
T: No, I think you’re wrong again. [Actually, Tom's right, L. Ron Hubbard didn't say that, he said they're "retrograded"]
R: OK so Scientologists aren’t racist?
T: Of course not, we welcome all people.
R: Do you have any Indian followers in this church?
T: As in East Indian?
[That was it for Tom. 'East Indian'. One of my pet hates. The country's called INDIA you chump. He was dead now.]
R: Doesn’t matter. What about aliens?
T: I’m not sure if I want to continue this conversation.
R: Yes, this has been a test. And you have failed. I am Xenu. [Xenu came to Earth 75 million years ago and stacked frozen humans around a volcano and blew them up with atom bombs]
R: Seriously, how do you know I’m not Xenu?
T: Thank you for coming today.
R: Not really, I’m a lizard. Have you heard of David Icke?
T: You’re a lizard? That’s great.
R: Yeah a lizard psychiatrist! And Dianetics sounds like a contraceptive pill!
God bless America.
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