Monday, April 17, 2006

Scientology and Me

Went to O last night. I liked this show much more than Mystere. I know Cirque du Soliel is amazing beautiful blah blah blah, however, I find a lot of the staging a bit creepy. However, with O, it felt more whimsical and less heeby-jeeby. Before O, we had dinner at MIX, on the 63rd floor of Mandalay Bay's THE Hotel. It was quite lovely sitting outside.

Today I was buying some knitting mags, and I couldn't resist buying this week's People. The cover story was Katie Holme's new life as a Scientologist. When I was in 6th grade my best friend was Casey. We were both latchkey kids as my mom worked the evening shift (nurse) and her parents were bridge crazy Scientologists. They spent every evening out until 9:30-10pm. As a kid, this was great because we could run amok at her complex (it was a family complex, so it was crawling with kids) The summer after 6th grade, she went to Scientology summer camp. She really didn't want to go, because at that point all she knew about Scientology was her parents and they were boring ol' pills that were never around. However, when she returned from camp at the end of summer, a couple of remarkable changes occured. First, she developed. I mean really developed. Second, she had a stack of Scientology books that she was selling (my mom bought 2). The first issue was rough because not only hadn't I developed, but everyone was expecting me to. I grew up hearing that Mom needed a bra in kindergarten or some such. So here is my mom, blonde large breasted, with my blonde now large breasted best friend, and me flat chested dark hair girl (is it a wonder The Smiths appealed to me so?) Basically around them I looked like the visiting friend. Also, Casey had a brazen about it that I didn't have. She had no qualms about carrying pads in her back jeans pocket (remember 80s- tight jeans). Where I still think it tacky to advertise that way, but I was jealous that she was just so comfortable with herself. Maybe it was the Scientology. Scientology had become the end all, be all to her. Monday - Thursday were just days she had to wait before she could spend the weekend in the Scientology dorms. There were highschool kids there and it was one big party. She wanted to go to school there because she learned that public school wasn't good enough. She was pulling C's; she didn't exactly need a prep school if you know what I mean. Everything was better at the Scientology center. The people, the food, everything. Even I could be better if I went. Not that I was looking for improvement, I wanted to be around the older kids. College dorm life but for a junior high kid??? I was so upset that my mom wouldn't let me go for a weekend. I tried to explain to mom that I wouldnt be doing anything Scientology-y just hanging out (have no clue why that argument sounded any better then...)

Casey and I within a month of her return stopped hanging out together after school... and then in school. But one day maybe 3 months after we started JH and she said that she forced her parents to send her to Scientology school. She told me that she got the church involved and that they had no choice. She was moving to Hollywood. It one sense it seemed really weird, yet in another how cool did it seem that a kid brought parents to their knees.

I didnt see her again after that.

When I was I flying home from college, I sat next to this woman that was actually Casey's neighbor. Casey did force her parents to send her to Scientology, but she didn't have to go to the church for help. Instead, she went to Jackson, one of the local hooligans living in the complex (he had already broken her parents glass coffee table.) Her parents caught her with him. A broken coffee table and daughter were enough for them to realize that they were not equipped to handle her. I dont think think that they were ever really meant to be parents.

Sometime after I graduated and I was working my 1st or 2nd real job, Casey got in touch with me. We had a wonderful chat. I told her about my job and move back to LA, my boyfriend. She got her GED and for a time was working Scientology outreach in Florida. She had just moved back to LA and was now in the publishing department. I kept suggesting we get together for lunch or something. She kept suggesting that I meet her there.

I thought that maybe we reached a new place in our friendship. Like when my best friend in HS came out when we were 19, she drifted while she was finding her place. She went through a hugely militant stage, which was weird for me because my other best friend came out too and he just screwed everything and was fine. But then she figured out who she was as a lesbian and we are closer than ever going on 20 years.

A few days later in the mail, I received a ton of Scientology literature. Everything that I had mentioned, there was a booklet in response. My new boyfriend, UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH SCIENTOLOGY... my job USING SCIENTOLOGY FOR A BETTER CAREER and on and on. Did we actually have a conversation or did she just listen for key words and tick off boxes? A few days after that someone else from Scientology called me up asking me if I read the literature.

Good luck Katie Holmes.

1 Comments:

Blogger The Crafty Weasel said...

Wow! I think I am speechless.... On that though, right outside the museum here in NYC, across the street, there is a "Celebrity Scientology Center" and they do "personality tests for free"....

1:22 PM  

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