The wisdom and esoteric traditions all, each in their own beautiful and unique way, assert that ordinarily we are trapped in a bubble of our own reality and beliefs; that what we see and feel as ‘real’ is literally created within us via a highly selective and biased process. I know this at some level. My ego-pride hopes that, since I have been practicing the spiritual work which helps us break free from this bubble all my adult life, I know it better than I used to too. At a deeper level. Sometimes I have to question this and the One compassionately helps me to do so.
For example, Scientology. Much in the news lately both nationally and internationally. Recently it has been Convicted of fraud and almost banned in France. It has lost an important leader over its stance on homosexuality. And just yesterday in Australia it came under a pretty wide ranging and damning attack by independent Senator Nick Xenophon (safely under within the seal of Parliamentary privilege I note).
The organisation has always been controversial and had many problems, most of them resulting from its own activities, methods of recruitment and corruption. Many years ago Scientologists used to hang around the corner of King Street in Perth, pouncing on pedestrians in an attempt to get them to take their personality test. I used to pass King Street a lot and admit to playing with their minds a fair bit by talking to them of L. Ron Hubbard’s proven membership in Crowley’s sex magic group, the OTO. I would point out how the traditional lodge system reserved secrets for the higher grades and sex magic was still practiced at a higher level of their church – but they’d never reach that level unless their leaders thought they were suitable and (I hinted) attractive enough. Silly and pointless I know, but it did stop them prattling on about their test and getting ‘clear’ – and for all I know it could be true.
I once went for a test when visiting Sydney and spent an interesting 25 minutes locking eyes in silence with a guy who had done his final pitch for the book Dianetics. His training obviously was to hit them with the hard sell and do the silence thing. Fortunately, I had already received magical will training of my own and this poor guy broke first, looking rather shaken. My brother’s fiancée took the test once in Perth and went with two Scientologists to their headquarters. There she spent the next four hours alone in a locked room with a video playing and no means to turn the TV off or the volume down. She came home with a contract to work for them for $2 a day. She was very shaken and disturbed. The contract though was written in pencil and several hours of threats and shouting at them by my brother got her out of it easily.
So, these are some of the obvious criticisms of Scientology. However, other very large targets are its…theology?…cosmology?…doctrine? Since it’s founder was a Science fiction writer, I like many others find it hard to accept the tale of Xenu and wot all as anything other than another (bad) SF story. Go on, click on the link and read it yourself. However, as an esoteric Christiany guy I know that scripture should not be read literally at all, at all. That’s its stories, ideas, theology and cosmology are strange and bizarre to those who do not ritually and skillfully enter the myth through practice not simply reading. Take the concept of the Trinity and those incredible lines from the Nicene Creed:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, the only-begotten, born of the Father before all ages. Light of light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made.
This can only ever be understood in a mythic way through prayer and practice. It is a mystery. And take the myth of the Native American church, The Peyote Way a church birthed, like Scientology in the modern era, just over a hundred years old. In the myth a larger than life Jesus came down to earth and saw the plight of the Native American peoples which moved Him so much He wept. Wherever His tears fell, peyote grew and sacred ingestion of the peyote allows followers of the Way to participate in the divine vision of Jesus. Now we know this has to be a myth, right?
Scientology says over and over it is a religion, at least of sorts, especially the tax-free sort. I am not going to judge this assertion at all. But I must be prepared to at least accept the possibility that Scientologists engage with the stories of Xenu like Christians engage with the Trinity and Peyote Way folk engage with their myths – as means to gain deeper meaning in life and transform the self. So, surprisingly Scientology has exposed my preferential treatment of some scriptures over others, has awoken me again to the bubble of delusion. This is good 🙂 Thanks a bunch Xenu!