I’m on the mailing list for the Church of Scientology. Every day, I get an average of four pieces of direct mail related to Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard. Newsletters, book offers, catalogs selling a seemingly endless number of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard, and numerous invitations to training events at schools, resorts and even on cruise ships.
I have no idea why I’m receiving all this mail. It’s been going on since we moved to our current home. There used to be a Church of Scientology a few blocks from my house and so, when the mailings started, I assumed I was being subjected to some sort of “new neighbor marketing campaign” — the type of direct mail effort generally associated with corner dry cleaners, lawn services and your run-of-the-mill Protestant church.
Yet nearly four years later, the Scientology mailings continue. I can only assume that I was put on the list by mistake, or a friend signed me up as a joke.
Sometimes, when my wife is sorting through the inch-tall stack of Scientology correspondence, she turns to me and asks, “Are you sure you’re not secretly a Scientologist? Maybe you just — “and at this point she’ll make quote marks with her fingers — “stopped by the church in a moment of weakness?”
We’ve only been married 4 years. In the history of marriage, I suppose there are more shocking revelations than that your spouse is a secret Scientologist.
But I’m not a Scientologist. Still, sometimes I find myself spending just a little extra time with some of the materials. Scientology is surrounded by such an aura of the absurdly mysterious that I can’t help but hope that some secret will be revealed in the fine print of a Business Reply Envelope.
So far, what I’ve learned is that Scientologists use a lot of lingo to which the rest of us are not privy. What’s a FLAG? An OT? What’s a CCH? What’s my Tone Scale? Am on the proper “route to exteriorization”? Can I be on that route without trying?
I’m baffled by it all. Which seems to be somewhat intentional. Because what’s most interesting to me is the deep and pervasive sense of disdain Scientologists seem to hold for non-Scientologists. I’m a fairly “confident” person, I have to admit, but the Scientologists make me look humble by comparison.
The other thing I’ve learned is that I could spend every dollar I make buying Scientology resources. Books, recordings and the aforementioned training events. There’s no end to what I could spend. And learn.