I watched Going Clear yesterday, the documentary about Scientology. To say it say it shocked me would be like saying we had a mild winter here in Boston.
After college, I lived on Newbury Street for seven years. On the next block, while walking around my life, I would constantly be accosted by guys with the Dianetics book in their hands asking me if I wanted to take a personality test. I knew their “home” was over on Beacon Street and had some India-inspired decor that always caught my eye. I was always curious about exactly what it was they were trying to sell. And I was especially interested in the book Dianetics, which was always advertised on tv as being the number one best selling book in the universe. But we didn’t have Google back then, and most of my research consisted of asking friends. “A cult” was the answer that came up most frequently. I didn’t dive in further.
But as Scientology grew in popularity, I continued to be sort of fascinated by what exactly attracted Tom Cruise and John Travolta to this enigmatic religion. Was it why they were so successful? And what the hell was it, anyway? Why was it nobody ever gave a straight answer when asked specifically what exactly Scientology was?
I won’t ruin it for you, by spilling all the secrets, but I will tell you that if you’re like me and you have, over the years, had questions about that weird yellow book, that unattractive guy named L. Ron Hubbard, and the Church of Scientology, you’re going to want to watch this documentary. If you want to get right to the nitty gritty, here’s a very thorough and thoughtfully written review. The lid is blown off the mystery, and I gotta say, it’s a mind blower.
Grateful I never took one of those personality tests all those years ago. I might not have a personality now (not to mention a dime to my name).