It’s really easy to make fun of Scientology. Like really easy. Like really, really easy. But as a person not raised in any particular religion, I do at times find myself thinking that most religions are that easy to make fun of. For instances, at least from an outsider’s perspective, the U.S.’s most popular religion is based on a guy who is also his dad and is another different guy/ thing, and those three things together are watching us all the time so we need to pray to him/ them so we don’t get punished for all eternity. And while I know that that’s reductive and slightly inaccurate, my overall point is that sometimes there are belief systems which seem kooky to someone not versed in that ideology. It could be that once people are as familiar with Scientology as they are with Christianity, it won’t seem as weird or foreign.
But then I read Laura Prepon’s interview in Celebrity Magazine, and realized this shit is just nuts. And while the language and beliefs of Scientology are not the weirdest part of this “religion,” it is still super weird.
So when I first got into Scientology, I did Personal Values and Integrity and then Overcoming Ups and Downs in Life. These courses touched on the observations I was aware of when I was younger. It was right there in black and white. It was amazing, and I felt that finally something was speaking my language. It totally connected with me.
Pretty soon after that I got onto the Purification Rundown, and I started moving up the Bridge.
What does all of that mean? Hell if I know. But I’m guessing at some point she felt a connection to the Bridge? The next section is where I started feeling genuinely bad for Prepon.
Honestly, I’ve become more me. The auditing has stripped away all of this charge, false ideas, decisions and mis-emotions that were affecting me. I recently had one of my biggest cognitions in a New Era Dianetics session. I spotted this decision I made a long time ago that was affecting me to this day. It was a huge realization. At the time of the incident, you make a postulate as a “pro-survival” decision, you know? Then to spot it years and years later, after peeling away these layers and then—boom, there it is—it’s mind blowing! To think of it just hiding there in my bank, affecting me.
In my life, things have become much easier, I’m not affected like I used to be. Things don’t bother me that had before. I don’t react like I did before. I remember I was doing a show with an amazing actor, and we were waiting to hear the fate of our show. He turned to me one day and asked, “How are you always so relaxed? Nothing seems to bother you. I want to know what you are doing…”—I take that as such a compliment and testament to the auditing I have done.
So you spent sessions talking with someone about moments in your life that are in ways still affecting you, and after talking about those things you felt better and more relaxed? I know there’s a word for this, but I’m having trouble coming up with it. Turk? Can you help me out?
Right, you’re going to therapy. Which is cool. Therapy is awesome. I really recommend that everyone have access to a therapist in some way because talking through your emotions is a good way to get a handle on them. But I do not recommend attaching some weird alien voodoo ideology to it. Like this?
When I was doing my Objectives, I was handling some intense stuff—as everyone who has done Objectives can relate to. I remember talking to my Supervisor about how my auditing was going. I told him the wins were so amazing. I kept pushing through and confronting things. The LRH data he showed me totally changed my viewpoint on auditing. It explained that in session, you’re supposed to turn on things that at times aren’t easy to go through. You’re supposed to be restimulated and uncomfortable at times, because you move through it in session, so that when you are out in the world things happen, you’re not affected. It was like this eureka moment for me. I’d never thought about it like that. And that’s exactly what happened.
Man, this bums me out. Because saying “It was really hard to discuss that emotional/ hurtful event and while I was discussing it I became upset, but I’m glad I did because now I can move past it”? That’s what therapy is. Replacing “therapist” with “Supervisor”? That’s what a cult is.
And there are so many examples of that bullshit that are obvious to an outsider:
- Does the person you’re speaking to have a set schedule and payment scale? That is therapy. Does the person you’re speaking to upsell you with additional classes and hidden fees? That is a cult.
- Does the person you’re speaking to encourage you to re- evaluate relationships in order to better deal with possibly toxic people? That is therapy. Does the person you’re speaking to encourage you to stop speaking to anyone who doesn’t follow your personal belief system up to and including your own children because they are “suppressive” people? That is a cult.
- Does the person you’re speaking to identify specific goals that you’re both working toward and the obtainment of which will signal the end of your working relationship? That is therapy. Does the person you’re speaking to inform you that if you ever even think about leaving them they will disclose your deepest, darkest secrets which you told them in confidence? That is a goddamn cult.
The saddest part of course is that it does seem like Prepon is actually getting something out of Scientology. If she feels happier, regardless of the reasons, she’s likely going to continue doing whatever it is that’s making her happier. Hopefully she’ll see the cost of that happiness before it’s too late. Or maybe Piper can help her see the error of her ways.