Scientology (or, how John Travolta became my hero)

Wags and I were in our senior year of high school when this story took place. We used to drive by this Scientology center in Tustin all the time and we used to joke about people going in and getting brainwashed. We always thought it would be funny to go in and take their personality test and fuck it up royally, but we kept putting it off. Finally one day we decide it’s time to go in. Using our usual aliases, we entered enemy territory.

As soon as we stepped inside we were greeted by a nice lady and handed clipboards to fill out our personal information. Wags and I sat down and got started. When we were done lying about every aspect of our lives, we were told to wait, and have juice and cookies if we liked. Wags reminded me that they probably drugged the food to make us more succeptible to mind control, but I had a cookie anyway. The lady came back and told us that we got to watch a movie. We got all sarcastically excited and followed her into another room. When we got inside we were surprised to see that they had their own miniature theatre, complete with movie seats and projection equipment. We sat down and got ready, while the lady told us about the virtues of Dianetics. Then she left us alone in the room (dumb idea) to watch the film. First thing I did was check the door. It was locked. Normally this is a situation where we would panick, but we decided to ride it out and watch the film.

The movie started off with some futuristic buildings and a bunch of well dressed white people enjoying their work day walking around a sparkling office building lobby. Then he came onscreen. L. Ron Hubbard. He started babbling about how Dianetics could change anyones life, blah blah blah, and a bunch of psycho babble designed to manipulate the viewer into believing that they are worthless now but will be forever changed by Scientology. Luckily Wags and I are the masters of manipulation, and therefore their pitiful attempts were in vain. Then came their trump cards. Every Scientologist celebrity you know of (and a lot you don’t) came on. Of course they started with Mr. Assface himself, John Travolta. He came off saying that he was nothing before Dianetics and he and his wife owe their lives to L. Ron Hubbard. What a bunch of hippie horseshit. Then something terrible happened. The MAN, Isaac Hayes, came onscreen to preach the good news of Dianetics. This is the man who wrote the theme to Shaft (damn right)! How can he have fallen for this stupid new age BS? Needless to say, we immediately bombed the screen with a flurry of spitwads. As soon as the movie was over, the door clicked open and we were led back into the main lobby.

They sat us down and handed us some reading material while they fetched our personality exams. These were basically childrens coloring books that explained Scientology in a patronizing way to adults. We of course doodled scenes of graphic violence and mayhem. Hopefully it helps snap their next victim out of his drug induced haze. Then in came our “counselor” who was to evaluate our tests. He spoke in halting English (like he was French-Canadian) with an accent that came and went. He told us to take it slow and think about our answers. Wags filled his out only minorly skewed. I, of course, filled mine out with a psychopaths rage. They had the most fucked up questions you ever heard. Do you think of killing your boss, do you think about killing your family, homosexual tendencies, burning your school, and any other crazy shit you can imagine. I filled out every question with the most insane answer possible, except for anything having to do with my place of work, and hoped for the best. When we were done, they took our clipboards away for evaluation.

Five minutes later, Wags was dragged away for his “counseling”. I doodled some more graphic violence in the coloring books and waited for my turn. A few minutes later, Wags walked out and whispered “It’ll cost three hundred fucking dollars to fix me!”. I wanted to hear more, but my number was up. As he led me to his cubicle, the counselor sighed out, “John, John, John” (my alias), “We have got to talk.”

I sat down and asked how it turned out. He looked me square in the eyes and assured me that these results in no way would hurt me, only help. Apparently they only tell me how things are, and not how they are going to be. I nodded, and he held up a chart with a line graph. A wavy line jerked along the bottom of the paper, spiked all the way to the top at a point, and then hit rock bottom again. I was pleased, he was not. He told me that I had many violent and latent tendencies that needed to be brought forward. He had this chart with like fifty suns and clouds on it, and each one had a different expression and emotion associated with it. He said, “this one is you.” and pointed to a sad and rainy cloud called depression. I looked down at my shoes to avoid giggling like a girl. He asked me which one I would like to be someday. I looked the chart up and down and saw a cheery, happy sun. I slowly pointed to it. Then he says, “Good, good, now…any others?” So I looked it up and down again and saw this wierd sun with a goofy expression on it’s face called sex. I figured, hey, why not? I pointed to it and looked at my shoes again. He goes, “That’s OK, that’s ok, we all want that sometimes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.” I wanted to bust a nut laughing at this patronizing a-hole, but somehow kept my calm reserve. He went on for another ten minutes, and I lied to him about family divorces and death and all kinds of BS that I knew he’d gobble up. He kept talking to me like he was my best friend on the planet. What an ass. Then came the part we’re all waiting for, the bill. He tells me that they can help, and that they can get me into all these great free seminars where I’ll meet new people and feel good about myself and other new age BS. Then he tells me that all I need to do is give a minimum donation of $280.75. Can you believe they factor in the CHANGE? I could hardly contain myself at that bombshell. Well, I figure the gag is almost over so it’s time to be backing out. I told him that I would get the money ASAP and be back by Friday. He tells me, “Oh no no no no no. We need to get you started today.” I’m thinking WTF?!? You want the money now? He says that this way they can get me into the seminars and classes by tomorrow. Then he walks me out to the lobby where Wags is waiting. Then I say to the guy that I don’t have the money now. He asks if I can borrow it from family. I reply that my family hates me. He asks about an advance from work, I say my boss hates me and won’t do it. He asks about friends, neighbors, anyone else I know. I’m looking at Wags like WTF is this guy on? The reason that they do this is because they are on commision, but he won’t admit to that.

Then Wags looks at me and goes “What about Fast Eddie?”.(for more on Fast Eddie click here) I play off it and say, “Yeah, it could work”. He says, “You know what will happen if you don’t pay up in time right?” and I say, “Yeah, I know, I don’t want to wind up sleeping in the ocean but it’s the only way to get the money.” Then the counselor fucker says “Fast Eddie eh? Yeah, get the money from him! Then we can sign you up today!” I say, “Yeah, he should be at his crib right now, hopefully he doesn’t have any deals going down today. We’ll go see him.” Then came the most frightening words I have ever heard. The counselor looks at us and says, “Great! When do we leave?”. Wags and I exchange nervous glances at this point. “Uh…WE?” I muttered. “Yeah, I’m starving guys, we’ll go see him and grab a bite to eat.” This is where I turned it over to Wags by saying, “Let me grab Eddie’s number out of the car, you wait here.” which was his cue to ditch this a-hole while I got the motor running.

I slid my key into the car door, and saw the counselor come out with his arm around Wags. This is when I knew these people were the heralds of Satan. The guy saunters up to the passenger side and insists on sitting in Wags’ seat, the front seat. I’m surprised Wags didn’t slit his throat right there. Now, you may think that he was on to the gag, and this was an attempt to scare us. Quite the contrary, the gag was far from up, we were just another sale to this guy, and he didnt want to see his money walk out the door. We drove on into Irvine towards Fast Eddies house. Wags and I couldn’t communicate at this point, so I needed a place for us to talk. I drove to Fast Eddie’s place and we piled out of my car.

“You better wait here” I said, “Fast Eddie doesn’t like visitors, and if any shit is going down in there, he’ll be pissed at you and me”. He nodded, and waited. We cheerfully rounded the corner. “WTF is going on here?” Wags exclaimed. “I don’t know, I can’t beleive that fuck is in my car!” I replied. “We’ve got to get him outta here man”, Wags said “He’s a fucking lunatic!” I suggested that we tell him that Eddie was doing business, and couldnt be disturbed. Then we’d play along from there. The guy took that news sadly, and suggested that we go to the market for some cigarettes (No smoking in my car BITCH!). I asked along the way why Scientology hadn’t cured his need for cigarettes. He replied cheerfully that it was his big problem to work on, and threw some confusing psycho babble at us. He went on and on about how he hit on John Travolta’s wife, and didnt know it. And when he laughed, he let out this halting, loud laugh that haunts us both to this day. We got to the Ralphs right by Irvine High School and let him out. We then deliberated on what our next move was. I wanted to ditch him in Irvine, but Wags was still shook up from the guy’s laugh. I almost convinced him that ditching him was a good move when the guy came back. What a fucking bummer. We ended up bullshitting some more about the money and took him back to the Dianetics Center. We would’ve ditched his ass if Wags hadn’t gotten all soft in the end. But that’s how our alter ego’s came to be Scientologists. If you want to rag on Wags for being a puss, e-mail him. That’s all for me, I have to go thank L. Ron for my day and go to bed.

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By Sharkey

I run bamf.

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