How I Became A Scientologist
August 16th, 2005.
Lauren Frey Last week, Scientologists invaded my world. They started giving out 'free stress tests' and selling copies of Dianetics in the Times Square subway station. At no cost, you could hold small, silver cylinders with wires attached to them while a pale, forty year old asked you questions about your personal life. I usually love holding cylinders, but in this context it was creepy.
Walking past them every day, I got sick of seeing their pseudo-omniscient, blissed out faces. So yesterday I retaliated. I walked right up to one of the Scientologists and asked if I could have a copy of Diuretics.
Granted, this was not mature. But it was fun.
"Dianetics," the Scientologist corrected me, totally unfazed.
"No, Diuretics, the book over there on that table." I pointed. "Is it about Lauren's Recent Articles: See All nutrition? My doctor told me to drink less coffee."
"Our book is called Dianetics. But your doctor was right to tell you that. Caffeine can kill."
"I know. I killed my cat with No Doz." Which was not true. I don't have a cat.
"I think you would benefit from reading this," said the Scientologist.
She handed me a copy of Dianetics. Maybe it was the picture of the tall volcano shooting out hot, thick liquid on the cover. But I started to get interested. I hadn't even touched those cylinders and they were working some kind of mojo on me.
Yeah, I took that stress test. I told the lady Scientologist about my childhood cat's terminal constipation, my closeted love of both The O.C. and 90210 reruns, and how I almost always wake up with my hands in my pants.
All the while the needle on the stress test hovered at practically zero. The Scientologist told me I needed to go deeper, get at what was *really* causing me stress in my life. I was a little anxious to get out of there, so I told her I killed a guy and that needle shot right up. Lying stresses me out.
But that Scientologist looked me right in the eyes and said, "Do you believe you're a spiritual being?"
"Yes," I said. That was true. I have lots of spirit.
"Gooooooood. Then you need to address what you did, to that man and the cat you killed." I couldn't believe she believed me. It felt so good to be taken seriously. I felt loved.
"Thank you for helping me to see that." I was drunk on make believe. "You won't tell anyone, will you?"
"No." And I believed her. Then she sold me that copy of Dianetics.