Above: NEW YORK – JULY 1: People walk past Church of Scientology on July 1, 2013 in New York. Image by Tupungato / Shutterstock.com
This week heralded The Church of Scientology’s first wedding in England. I read about the story in an online newspaper, and underneath in the message boards there was all manner of vitriol aimed not only at the church, but the newlyweds.
From the outside, the tenets of Scientology do seem kind of silly. From what I understand, 750 million years ago there was a kind of space emperor named Xenu who ruled over a galactic federation of planets. Xenu decided that these planets were overpopulated so he froze some of their citizens and then flew to Earth to dump them into the volcanoes of Hawaii. When their souls rose from the volcano, Xenu caught them in a series of floating industrial vacuum machines and transported them to a brainwashing camp where they were made to believe a dark alternate reality. Then, they were released to aimlessly wander the Earth until the dawn of man when they attached themselves to Earth’s new inhabitants and infected them with feelings of fear and confusion.
Now, if the newlyweds want to believe in this, and by being a member of the Church they feel as though they can alleviate their feelings of fear and confusion, well all power to them I say, even more so if they want to be recognized as man and wife in front of their peers.
I think one of the reasons why Scientology has received so much criticism is because its members have to part with so much money in order for them to rid themselves of these very real feelings of fear and confusion. Yet I don’t really see how Scientology is much different from the beauty industry in the way that it has taken something as natural as the ageing process, and convinced us all that it is, a) something to be scared of and b) something which can be cured at a price.
Just the other the day I saw an advert for a secret formula which promises to eradicate the seven signs of ageing. I mean, what kind of hocus pocus crap is that? The seven signs of ageing! As if that wasn’t enough they started trying to baffle me with the ‘science’ of the whole thing as a laser fought off the seven signs of ageing while an android in a lab coat started trying to qualify it all with a few pseudo Latin words like regenerus.
While the Church of Scientology claims to rid its followers of fear and confusion, and the beauty industry offers its services in the ongoing war against the seven signs of ageing, in essence they only exist because consumers use them to feel good about themselves. It’s their money; let them spend it how they want.