fragmented self


Scientology is in the press again…

Having lived in Clearwater, Florida (the world headquarters of Scientology) for the formative parts of my life I have a thing or two to say about Scientology. Let me start by saying that I am not a Scientologist nor am I interested in ever becoming one. It is as much a cult as Islam, Catholicism, Mormonism, People’s Temple and, if you consider a cult as something where a group of people venerate the same thing, just about any religion. The difference between a cult, as we negatively think about the word, and an accepted religion stems from society’s acceptance of the group’s general practices.

Scientology for all intents and purposes is considered in the US (and other nations but not Great Britain) as equal, in the eyes of the law, to any other tax free religious institution. This status has allowed the Church of Scientology to make large purchases of land and businesses and not have to pay their proper dues to Uncle Sam. I would even go so far as to say that Scientology is one large pyramid scheme with the people at the top having all the desired information to reach enlightenment and instead of openly sharing it, they profit off the people at the bottom who so desperately want to know it. It is a complete and utter power pyramid.

Although other religions have systems of tithing like Catholics who are supposed to pay X% of their salary to the church, Scientology requires complete control of your assets. Managing money is for Operating Thetans I suppose.

I remember going to Albertsons and finding Scientologists on every aisle. They, like nuns, stick out due to their formal outfits and uniforms…especially since the group only seems to shop at 2:00 in the morning. Their outfits are very similar to navy uniforms, which is probably because Mr. L Ron Hubbard was a former naval officer. They are not an openly friendly group of people and rarely returned my smile. They spoke to each other in hushed tones and were usually purchasing food items that seemed to be for a party of some sort or a large group of people.

Notice her uniform in the picture from the Hollywood Celebrity Center.

Scientologists usually stick to the downtown area of Clearwater and are not overly open about their practices. I have walked into one of the downtown stationers before and been given the once over by the owners who went automatically on the defensive when I asked if the establishment was owned by the Church of Scientology. I can’t blame them for being defensive but seriously, if it’s so great, why not hang it on your shoulder…shouldn’t everyone be able to see it is as great as you think and join? I mean, Mother Theresa probably wouldn’t have given me the evil eye if I asked her who owned the convent. Ahhh, but L. Ron thought of this, because to Scientologists we are all outsiders who have not reached enlightenment and are therefore not able to understand its benefits without paying for a cure from our current maladies.

Scientology preys on alcoholics, child abusers, drug addicts and the mentally ill. It’s a great formula for success and monetary gain because many of the above are at the end of their rope and are willing to do anything to see a change in their life. For their life’s fortune, Scientology can cure these individuals of their vices – without medication. Although Scientologists are against psychiatry, their auditing processes seem to be very closely linked to psychological therapy.

Fort Harrison HotelMany of the Scientologists live in compounds across Clearwater surrounded by barbed wire and guarded booths. Others live fairly normal lives in society. I went to high school with Scientologists who were regular teenagers and who never attempted to convert me in any way. That said, there is now a centralized school teaching Scientology. The Clearwater Academy International located in Clearwater and New York will likely now be the schooling center for a majority of those Scientologists in those two cities and who fly in to stay at their multi-million dollar facility.

I would say that you usually do not encounter Scientology in Clearwater unless you are out looking for it. The only exception to this would be downtown Clearwater where Scientology is evident on every street corner. On your way over to the beach on a Friday afternoon, you will likely encounter large groups of Scientologists (20 or more) crossing the streets to their next classes.

Well, those are my connections on this one. Here’s what other people are saying:

Cnn news special. I have heard from people who also claim that they have been asked by the Church to assist in training a militia in the South-Western part of the US. Notice the space station type setting. Scientology is like an overextended sci-fi convention.

Link to article between Penthouse and L. Ron Hubbard Jr. I guess there really is good reading in the articles they print.

Link to article regarding Scientology in the classroom from the St. Petersburg Times.

Clearwater City Meeting – School award debate

A who’s who of Clearwater Scientology. The Scientologist have their fingers in the pot everywhere. From the famous Clearwater Jazz Holiday to the Boys and Girls club, their representatives have their fingers in the pot of many affairs in Clearwater.

Keith Henson in jail for picketing the Church of Scientology in California.

BBC report and reporter losing in on XenuTV and John Travolta lobbying BBC to kill the documentary.

Against the Church of Scientology? Then you should await your fate as being posted on the religious freedom watch page.

It’s time for an update as a lot has happened in the past month and a half. Where to start…

Charlie and I have successfully moved from Clearwater to Orlando. Unfortunately, we do not have jobs yet, but we will soon, hopefully…if anyone has any leads in the metro-Orlando area please send them by my way. Job leads dealing with computers and communication (pr, event planning, writing) are always appreciated.

The new apartment is pretty nice. It’s called Vintage on the Green or Knightsbridge depending on who you ask.

The only downfall is that we are just 2 miles from a coal power plant.
I haven’t found any news articles that say it is a health hazard…yet…but to be safe we are not drinking the water at my grandmother’s request. :o)

 

So, you may be asking why I left a good paying job and moved to Orlando? For starters, Charlie is finishing up his bachelors at UCF and so it was necessary to move as we share one car and that commute would have been brutal. AND my job was affecting my health. The politics (and I mean more than the usual …even more than academia) and CONSTANTLY being thrown under the bus were causing undue stress and my body was reacting. At the same time, I was undergoing tons of MRIs and testing to see why I had lost my eyesight in my right eye. I looked like a pirate for a while there. Turns out that I do have Multiple Sclerosis and the stress from work was causing me to replapse and could possibly cause permanent damage. For right now, this blog will be available only to those people on the list. lol, that sounds like I own some schwanky night club. Employers can see this if I make it public and I don’t want anyone to think I am incapable of doing the job. I have dealt with stress almost all of my 27 years and I know my limits. I was doing my job well, my boss can atest to that, but I was getting sick and so something had to give.

Well, now I am on “Rebif” medication to control the MS and hopefully it will also control any future relapses. All of the MRIs did not show any lesions, which is fantastic and which means that I am catching this very early. The doctor diagnosed me based on the fact that I have oligoclonal bands in my spinal fluid and have experienced two different symptoms unexplainable by anything else – loss of use of my legs and loss of vision in one eye (optic neuritis). There have been no long term studies on the effects of this drug so we will just have to see where it takes me. I’m positive though and I appreciate all the support that my friends and family have given and will continue to give. I took my first dose yesterday and did not receive any side effects. Yay!! The drug has an auto injector device that reminds us of the injector things in Star Trek so the 3x’s a week injections aren’t so bad. :o)

Well, that’s pretty much the biggest parts of the update. I will write more when I don’t have a pressing need to find a job.

Oh! And please feel free to ask any questions about MS if you would like. I’ll post a short video with general information if you want to get an idea. Hope all is well with everyone out there!


How google maps got him out of a traffic ticket
I know everyone is used to “yahoo maps” or better yet, “mapquest” but I assure you that neither of these are up to par (yet) to what Google Maps has to offer. You can get there by simply going to, you guessed it, google.com. Click on “Maps” and have at it. You can also download Google earth where you can plot your life path from your very first neighborhood to now. If so tech inclined, you can go even farther by posting this map to one of your many life websites. Google Earth

While I’m on that subject. I have decided to start a little project I’m calling “fragmented self.” Surprisingly, this website name is still available. I would like to bring all of these fun and fabulous web communities that I am a part of back into one central place. The web decentralized the control of my media messages (and thus my free time and almost every waking moment) into fragments for easy consumption,, development and grouping. My love of online video allows me to pick and choose what I want to see AND when I want to see it. I’m a part of the youtube community. I’m also an (active) part of many other communities such as i-am-bored, google, yahoo, zoom, myspace and friendster, etc…and I have the 300 junk e-mails a day to prove it. Although the junk mail never ends, there are some redeeming qualities to all of these segments and that is what I want to hi-light. Bringing everything back in under my control and not just fragmenting myself but being able to put me back together again. Maybe it’s just me holding on to the old but I’m just not prone to multiple personalities.

At any rate, this has become a little too long winded for a blog. I’ll cut it here with this – “The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.” ” ~M. McLuhan