Saturday, July 12, 2008

REVIEW: Prescription for a Superior Existence

As someone who is fascinated by the subject of cults and mind-control, Prescription for a Superior Existence was a no-brainer to add to the pile of books next to my bed—only it never made it there—I read it all in one day. Over the years, I’ve grown to understand that my fascination with cults actually says more about me than the object of my fascination. With that in mind, I strongly recommend that anybody with an interest in cults read this new novel by Josh Emmons. Those who read this blog (both of you) know that I take a snarky, mocking approach to the battle against Scientology. I think humor goes a long way to diffuse the absurdity of the subject matter, but that humor is backed up with personal experience and familiarity with some fairly substantive books on the subject. I now add this work of fiction to that list. By turns moving, disturbing, fantastic and sobering, this book offers a close-up view of what makes humans tick, and what makes some of us turn to extremist groups.

The story is set in a plausible, near-future San Francisco, a time when many of our chickens have come home to roost. It’s the story of an ordinary man plunged into extraordinary circumstances when he falls for the daughter of a cult leader. Playing out against this troubled backdrop, the book has more than a whiff of of Raymond Chandler and a dash of cyberpunk—a slightly dystopian, but very believable, not-too-distant future where environmental, political and societal stresses feed our fears and doubts, leaving some of the populace ripe for the picking.

Emmons has a keen understanding of how cults can snare even the most skeptical people under the right emotional circumstances. I found myself impressed at this young writer’s maturity and familiarity with the psychology and language of mind-control. I also found myself disturbed by his ability to get inside my own head when he eloquently describes the self-doubts that gnaw at his protagonist. I could feel what it would be like to be on that slippery slope of credulity, unable to stop the slide into submission to the group.

The cult that Emmons has created is eerily like Scientology mixed with Landmark. The charismatic leader and his Prescription for a Superior Existence seems to be a bit of Hubbard, a bit of Erhard with overtones Heaven’s Gate. What I found truly scary is that if a fairly charismatic woman or man were to take the ideas in this book and flesh them out, they’d probably find themselves with scores of devotees in no time.
Having just finished the book, I’m haunted by a lingering sense of compassion and understanding for our human frailties. Our self-doubts and our desire to belong are clearly and sometimes achingly portrayed in these characters caught up in the sweep of the storyline.

As I mentioned earlier, Emmons literary style is mature, sophisticated and edgy, though there are twists and turns that are fairly predictable. In the end, even the predictable turns are very satisfyingly rendered in his capable hands. Ultimately, I found myself taking a hard look at what motivates me as a critic. For this I’m very grateful, as it certainly strengthened my resolve in standing up to abusive groups, while reminding me that compassion for those in thrall to those groups is what it's all about. For those of us who rail against the abuses of $cientology and other cults, I believe there is much insight to be gained in reading this novel—insight into what motivates both sides of the argument and how thin the emotional line between the two sides really is.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Space Station 33

I could not possibly make this shit up. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you L. Ron Hubbard . . .

L. Ron Hubbard's Space Station 33 from Artoo45 on Vimeo.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Aleens iz reel . . .

So, somebody thinks they have the scoop of the century with their "alien looking in the window" movie. Well, I took this shot of Xemu last summer at Chincoteague. Sure, he peeped in the window of our Winnebago first (he's shy like that) but soon he was slammin' back cheap chardonnay and scarfing down the quahogs like there was no tomorrow. After dinner we played Scrabble and he gave us all free personality tests. So he's really not such a despot after all, just shy and misunderstood.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Silence of the Clams

Thanks to Dawn at Glosslip for the inspiration . . .

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Xenu Wine Cellar Mishap Ends in Tragedy

Talk show host and currency dispenser, Oprah Winfrey was vaporized today, after an innocent foray into what she assumed was Tom Cruise's wine cellar. Winfrey was stunned to find not neat racks of merlots and ports, but the intergalactic despot, Xenu.
The Evil One ordered Cruise to destroy her with his sooper-dooper™ OT-VIII™ powers and the actor had no choice but to comply fearing a reapeat of a rather unpleasant incident Xenu was involved with in the past. Ms. Winfrey has been replaced with a Marcabian Super Mk VII PuppetBot™. Niether Xenu or Mr. Cruise could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Great Enturbulation Road Show

A download salute to all my anonymous friends . . .

Hella Trouble in Helatrobus . . .

Leaked Co$ docs are like Lay's™ potato chips: betcha can't read just one. I've been gorging on the heaping platefuls of "tech" that have recently shown up on If you pick through them patiently they're quite instructive as to the nature of the racket that is $cientology—especially the lecture transcripts. These are especially hilarious, as you can actually hear the cogs turning in Hubbard's brain as he's bullshitting in realtime. I'd love to say this is like watching "the master at work" but his patois is really transparently pathetic. Lots of verbal static like: "and such", "you see", plus the classic "and that sort of thing". He peppers his lectures with this stuff when he's in the process of making shit up (which is pretty much all the time).

My new favorites are "The Helatrobus Implants". Of course, I've heard of them for years and read little clips here and there, but to spend hours looking closely at them is by turns mirth inducing and tedious. One tactic of Elron's becomes crystal clear however, the ol' "move the target" ploy. He sets up all these thetanic ailments based in ridiculous intergalactic scenarios, and come up with crazy auditing techniques with important sounding names like R2D2 to solve them. He then informs you that there are ever newer levels that you'll have to do on top of that. Here's a fine example from $cientology's Golden Age of Batshit Crazy™:

"Now, the technological win is tremendous and there are only about five percent of the cases you're going to run into that are going to give you a bit of a thetan ache because they don't have what I choose to call now, because it was the nation or small government that did these things -- Helatrobus -- not to be confused with Helatrobe. Helatrobe is the Galactic Confederation.

It's Helatrobus. Call these things the Helatrobus Implants for lack of a better designation because 43 trillion isn't accurate for all cases, don't you see, and that sort of thing. You can't give it by a time date and there is no reason to keep calling it by a time date. Let's call it by something that was less well known, but that we can identify. Call them the Helatrobus Implants and it tells you these are the implants which begin with the electronic clouds over planets and -- and the dichotomy, plus and minus, and so forth, and sweep on through in a certain series. And people have been through them once, twice, three, four times and they have -- we have the patterns of the first series very accurately. We'll shortly have the patterns of the second series.

All that makes very easy auditing. We even have a technique that handles this now: 3N, which has just been released and that's the same patter that you've been using, speeded up a bit. And there's even a shortened version of that which you will need very soon."

There it is, "which you will need very soon". This evidently happens constantly in the cult. You get so far and feel like progress has been made and BAM! You have to be clear. Then you get clear and BAM! You have to go OT. Then you "make progress" and BAM! Body Thetans, evidently 43 trillion years worth of 'em. That's a lot of auditing.

So even though daffy Lafayette has shed his body, Li'l Davy and his minions can keep "discovering" space opera nonsense until the Marcabs come home. That gives me a whole lotta thetan ache.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Have you ever enturbulated an orderly environment?

Well? Have ya, punk?

That's just one of the hundreds of batshit crazy questions on the recently available sec checks now on This amazing look into the rusty carnival ride that was L. Ron Hubbard's brain gives you new perspective on the mind-numbing processes that $cientologists are subject to daily on the Bridge. Hundreds of questions, some reasonable, some completley insane and meaningless, in various combinations and permutations are lobbed at the hapless $cientologist holding the cans.
Imagine going through this process for hours on end. No wonder you get high and feel like the king or queen of the universe when you're done. No wonder you'd believe that the universe is quadrillions of years old (it really isn't really, it just feels like it after a sec check or reading one of Hubbard's tomes).
Read through the OT materials for a good laugh, but remember the state that the auditors get you into in order to fall for the intergalactic tripe. The sleep deprivation. The repetition. And the paranoia. Check out the last questions of the "Jo'burg Confessional". Total paranoia. This might help the wog to understand the mindset of those still inside the "Church" and why they are so in thrall to these ideas.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Talk about enturbulaton . . .

This has to be giving Li'l Davy some sleepless nights. Famed for his Borderline Personality Disorder induced paranoia, Miscavige must be viewing everyone with suspicion now. What a sad little man . . . that and he has to live in Hemet.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jenna Miscavige Hill is Courage Incarnate

For all of us wog critics, we think it must be so cool for those waking up in the cult to speak out against $cientology and leave. Well, this link shows that while it may be empowering and freeing, it's definitely not fun. This woman and her husband have to choose between family and integrity. Something that a child should never have to do. This choice that Jenna and Dallas have made must be painful in a way that those of us not involved in $cientology can't imagine.
Her grace under enormous pressure is amazing to watch, as is Kendra's and Astra's. These women are making a huge difference and All MEST Up salutes them and their work.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

In their own "scripture" . . .

As I always say, criticism of $cientology is never as effective as their own words and actions . . .

This scary tidbit is from the newly uploaded OSA documents of Frank Oliver which can be found here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Anonymous Pulls it Off. Well Done You (All)!

Though I had my fears of ill-mannered shit-disturbers taking the day, the masses of respectful protesters that showed up around the world proved me wrong. Three cheers for worldwide civil disobedience and cheeky attitude. The images from around the globe showed a strong turnout and more than a little creativity. Our San Francisco protest was a great but I wish I could have been in L.A. to see a decidedly maskless Tory surrounded by her posse of dashing V-men.

The Church of Xenu Ascendant of the Latter Day Thetans salutes your enturbulation success.

Friday, February 08, 2008

So THAT'S why he gives me the creeps . . .

I'm a latecomer to "Lost" but I now count myself among its many fans. I know he's the bad guy, but that Ben guy totally creeps me out and I mean way more than the other fairly creepy bad guy characters on the show and I wondered why until it hit me . . .

He's clearly Li'l Davey's long lost brother, that's why those trendy Indiana Jones wannabe hipsters are after him. He knows where all the $cientology skeletons are buried! Man, this just gets better and better.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Entheta is flying . . .

With Cruise's latest bit of Kult Krazy™ in wide release, the entheta is flying fast and furious in the mainstream media and it's open season on the cult, so why aren't I delighted? I certainly want Miscavige and his cronies brought to some kind of justice. I want people to feel free to write about the "church" and Hubbard without fear of being buried in Kobrin-grams or having Eugene Ingram breathing down their neck. Personally, I just like mocking Hubbard and his batshit crazy "tech", but I'm feeling uneasy.

What's giving me this gnawing anxiety is the growing lynch mob mentality of late, mostly fomented by Anonymous' plan to attack $cientology's servers which quickly spread from the digital to the anolog world. Surely this would be fun, right? Plucky underdogs nipping at the bloated bureaucracy of the cult, striking blows for free-speech and liberty. That should fill me with glee, right? There are many thoughtful Anonymous members to be sure, but sadly, what is coming out of the woodwork is more like a pack of juvenile Hubbards who clearly don't get out of their parent's basements enough. These rogue shit-disturbers seem to be filled with anger and stupidity and they're playing directly into OSA's hands. The fake anthrax envelopes, the "Honk if you hate Scientology" signs and calls for sabotaging church property all sound like the tactics of OSA at the height of Hubbard's paranoia.

The problem with anarchy is that it only works when everybody is a responsible, smart adult. When you throw out an open call for action, you're gonna get nut-cases who just want to smash some shit and they don't care who gets hurt or what the consequences are. This is never a good idea. One huge difference between Anonymous and OSA is that OSA is run with an iron fist, and that everything is planned down to the last detail. Okay, the OSA plan may be a complete foot-bullet-clusterfuck (it usually is), but at least there won't be any "rogue-element" surprises along the way.

Attacking them isn't the way to get at them folks . . . you have to reveal them in all their space-opera glory. Don't be a censor and try to stop people from reading Hubbard's crap . . . encourage them to read it! Get them a copy of the hilarious "A History of Man" or highlight the tone-scale stuff in "Dianetics" about eliminating gays "without sorrow". Get them to watch Tom Cruise go off the deep end on Gawker. Have them watch one of the cult's creepy recruiting films. For in-depth research, send folks to or Then there's parody: Southpark has proven that you'll get way more results with some smart mockery or parody than you will with an attack on the poor shchmucks in the church who are the very people we're trying to wake up. How about Hubbard in his own words? My song "What's the Matter With You Hat?" (mad props to Karl for the video) is a fun primer on interplanetary travel and tanning in the Van Allen belts. If you're itching for confrontation, head down to your local org or mission and picket . . . politely. Don't give them any ammunition about how awful and evil critics are. Remember, all the preclears see is the happy, shiny Scientology that teaches and helps people. They see the smiling face, not the greedy, manipulative, paranoid cult.

For a daily dose of sanity, check in on Mark Bunker's great blog. He's been on the front of this battle for years and has great perspective on the whole thing. For all the media circus around the cult right now, there are still millions of folks who really don't know anything about the CoS, so there is still a need to speak out. I believe the critic's job is to get the uniformed direct access to the crazy stuff before they can be love-bombed into parting with all their money and brainwashed into believing all their troubles stem from being covered with Xenu's space cooties.