08/15/2005: Thought for the Day:
I kept scouting the book for hints of something I'd heard about, the wacky science fiction mythology that lies at the inner sanctum of Scientology, though I knew it wouldn't appear per se in "Dianetics." That's reserved only for those who have undergone the church's intensive training and indoctrination. Scientologists say they withhold this information because learning it can drive the unprepared person insane and give you pneumonia, but it's all over the Web, and it strikes me as far less likely to cause suffering than Hubbard's prose.
Critics say the church hushes up this story -- it involves an evil demiurge who, 75 million years ago, blew up 178 billion souls with hydrogen bombs planted in Earth's volcanoes, trapped them on "electrical strips," brainwashed them and packaged them into clusters that now cling to every human being and mess with our bodies and heads -- for two reasons. One is that the church needs a sufficiently dramatic payoff after stringing members along through years of courses and trainings, all costing upward of a quarter of a million dollars. The other reason is fear that revealing this fantasia of kooky stories might turn off potential converts -- but, hey, that never hurt the Old Testament.
--Laura Miller [salon.com, on L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health]
Len on 08.15.05 @ 07:50 AM CST