The Daily Caller reported yesterday that the Church of Scientology has been lobbying the White House. This shouldn’t be considered unusual. Both Scientology and liberalism under Barack Obama are cults — and very similar cults at that.
I read the Daily Caller report just as I was finishing an incredible book, Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. It tells, in astonishing detail, how science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard created his own religion, Scientology, out of a farrago of pulp fiction, Freudianism, brainwashing, and pseudoscience. The basic thrust of Scientology is that human beings are actually immortal godlike creatures called thetans. However, we sometimes don’t know this because of the accumulation of engrams, which are traumatic memories and emotions that are in the subconscious mind.
In order to achieve our actual state, which would then enable us to control the environment around us, we need to be “audited” by a Scientologist. Auditing is a process wherein a subject, or “preclear,” is hooked up to a machine, or E-meter, and asked questions about his or her past (and even past lives). In order to become “clear,” or enlightened, a person sometimes has to be audited over and over again, going over traumas, anxieties and pain from their life until the episodes no longer hold them back. The book Going Clear details tragic cases where people with serious mental or emotional issues obsessively audit themselves over and over again to try and restore sanity.
The parallels here with the Cult of Obama are, excuse the expression, clear.
Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, was born in 1911, began as a writer of pulp fiction — westerns, fantasy, science fiction. He was also known to embellish things about his own life, from what actually happened while he was in the Navy to his ability to move objects with his mind. To this day people still dispute the facts about the life of Hubbard, who died in 1986. All that seems beyond dispute is that he was an intensely charismatic man who was able to sway large groups of people to believe things that weren’t necessarily true and act in ways that weren’t in their best interest. He is considered by his followers to be a messiah.
Barack Obama’s version of his life story has been called a “fairy tale” by Bill Clinton — fairy tales being similar in genre to the hundreds of “amazing stories” Hubbard churned out as a pulp hack. Obama himself has admitted to using “composite” characters and dialogue in his book Dreams of My Father. Rather than investigating Obama’s deception, many reporters, who are the equivalent of extremely dedicated Scientologists — or “Operating Thetans” — defended the future president. Obama biographer David Maraniss told Vanity Fair that Obama’s memoir had value despite the lies: “I say that his memoir is a remarkably insightful exploration of his internal struggle, but should not be read as rigorous factual history. It is not, and the president knew that when he wrote it and knows it now.”
Like Hubbard, Obama is worshipped by his followers as a messiah.
The E-meter machine, or “Electropsychometer,” that Hubbard invented to improve humanity was foisted on the public without much investigation. As a piece of technology, it is considered primitive and ineffective. Despite that, and demands that is be opened up to show exactly how it works, it is angrily defended by the cult’s disciples.
Consider the rollout of www.healthcare.gov.
There is also something similar in the belief in “going clear” and liberal utopianism. In Scientology the follower relies on the E-meter despite the evidence that he or she may just be suffering from depression or a cold. In liberalism, every evil of mankind is the result of either racism, sexism or homophobia. If you think Leader Obama is spending too much money, you’re a racist. If you are against gay marriage, you’re a hater who must be banished. Think the government shouldn’t pay for contraception? You hate women.
In Going Clear, Hubbard punishes mutiny by tossing offenders off the side of one of his several yachts. The programming on MSNBC is like an endless E-meter session, the hosts obsessively auditing the culture for signs of the engrams of sexism, racism, and homophobia. Because they are both religious faiths, no other explanations are entertained.
The cults of Scientology and Obama have attracted well-intentioned, wealthy, but dim celebrities. Scientology has Tom Cruise. Obama has Jay-Z.
In both cults, the leader has bizarre past associations with crazies, connections that the leader would rather forget. The most incredible figure in Lawrence Wright’s book “Going Clear” is not Hubbard himself, but his old associate John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons. Parsons was an occultist, sexual libertine and groundbreaking rocket propulsion scientist (yes you read that correctly). In the 1940s Parsons held weird rituals in his bohemian mansion in Pasadena. These included free sex and chanting to incarnate to goddess Babylon, who would give birth to the AntiChrist. One of his borders was L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard seduced Parson’s girlfriend and stole his money. Hubbard would later play down the association, much the way President Obama has played down his associations with his own crazies, Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.
In recent years, both the cult of Obama and the cult of Scientology have increasingly lost members, largely due to mounting evidence about the competency of the leader. Books like “Going Clear” and the revelation that Scientologists believe in astoundingly idiotic things, such as the idea that all humanity’s problems go back 75 million years ago to an alien named Xenu, have caused some followers to abandon Hubbard’s empire. And as Obama’s charisma wears thin and he is revealed as a hollow and even malevolent demagogue, former worshippers are having their doubts. There is even talk of the collapse of the empires formed by both leaders.
Of course, in every cult there are always the dead enders. Tom Cruise will probably follow the ship of Scientology onto the rocks. And Chris Matthews, who has “gone clear” for liberalism, will always have a tingle for Obama.