For those of you who don’t live or work in Hollywood, or have never browsed (read: stalked) the history of some of the most famous actors and actresses on the planet, The Church of Scientology might be completely alien to you.
And that’s OK, for the simple reason that many people who belong to this quasi-religion/cult based around the beliefs and practices of controversial science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard (best known for his mind/body metaphysical manuscript, Dianetics) might just be aliens, themselves.
One of the guiding principles of Scientology centers around the belief that people are actually immortal, spiritual beings called thetans using human bodies as their physical “hosts.” According to Hubbard, 75 million years ago, Xenu, the ruler of a Galactic Confederacy comprised of 76 planets, loaded billions of his human/thetan subjects into a massive spacecraft and brought them to Earth, where he promptly dropped them into volcanoes, blew them up with hydrogen bombs to release their souls, then programmed their ethereal minds with disinformation.
Just for the record, when he wrote that
batshit crazy wholly believable content, he deemed it non-fiction.
Tom Cruise, Juliette Lewis, John Travolta, Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Kirstie Alley are among those on the list of Scientology’s high-profile members who champion its philosophies and teachings.
And like any religion/cult worth a damn, there’s a price to be paid when you go against its commandments. Heck, just ask two-time Emmy-winning actress Leah Remini, who was mercilessly harassed after she left the Church of Scientology and spoke out against its practices.
But just like In-N-Out Burger and all the other fast-food eateries that have a secret menu for those in the know, Scientology has some pretty twisted penalties if you transgress—penalties you wouldn’t know diddly squat about unless you were a Scientologist.
(Legal Disclaimer: To unearth these details, Mandatory did not subject any previous/current Scientology members to so-called “enhanced interrogation” tactics — at least, not any we’re willing to admit in print.)
The First Rule of Fight Club: You Don’t Talk About Fight Club
This same sentiment carries over to Church of Scientology members sharing insider secrets with non-members. But instead of getting your ass kicked in a dank and dingy basement (without Brad Pitt or Ed Norton to cheer you on and put hydrogen peroxide on your wounds), offenders are strapped naked to the fuselage of one of Tom Cruise’s or John Travolta’s planes and taken for an aerial jaunt they won’t soon forget. Just remember, any landing you can walk away from is a good one.
Meet Your Quota – Or Else
Like any religion (or cult!), if membership doesn’t increase, sooner or later the flock will shrivel up and die—literally. Allegedly, new Scientology disciples whose minds are still reactive to the world around them and have not yet become “clear” are responsible for bringing potential new members to the Church every month, much like each Girl Scout is tasked with selling a pre-determined amount of cookies. (Thin Mints – yum!) Members who fail to meet monthly quotas are heavily fined and must work off the debt performing demeaning tasks for the Church’s leader, David Miscavige. Why Miscavige enjoys watching strangers dressed like characters from Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire scrubbing his mansion’s toilets is anyone’s guess.
No Scan, No Love
Scientology is all about positive mental health, or so the Church claims, and there are numerous rules to that effect in their 20-tenet doctrine, The Code of Scientology, first published in 1954. Members, even those previously deemed “clear,” are frequently subjected to impromptu brain scans in order to determine how much (or how little) of their mental energy they can actually control. Those who fail the test must go directly to jail without passing GO and without collecting $200.
Take The Money and Run
Another Code of Scientology rule states unequivocally that Church members must refuse to accept money from any “preclear” or group they cannot honestly help. However, it’s common knowledge to all who have interacted with the Church that their practices for obtaining funding are more cutthroat than those of the National Rifle Association. Granted, instead of giving out AR-15 “ghost guns” for donation perks, they peddle spotless souls for all eternity. Tomato, tomato. So even if you’re an evil demon with a penchant for causing pain and suffering (the polar opposite of a Hubbard thetan), if you’ve got disposable cash, they’ll gladly write you a receipt. Anyone not accepting such tribute will be publicly celebrated, but privately admonished, immediately followed by a lithium enema, after which you’ll lead a group sing of the Church’s theme song, “We Stand Tall.”
All Animals Are Equal, But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others
Quoting George Orwell’s brilliant but scary allegorical novel, Animal Farm, which barbs privileges enjoyed by some members of what is supposed to be a “society of equals,” while Scientologists champion Equal Justice For All (Code of Scientology Rule #9) publicly, behind the Church’s velvet ropes there’s a definite hierarchy. At the very top of that pecking order is Sea Org, comprised of the Church’s most dedicated members. Disobeying a direct order from a Sea Org delegate, no matter how outlandish the command, will result in “Running the Gauntlet.” Mandatory.com moved heaven and earth to detail this supposedly horrific penance, but despite our best efforts, we were only able to uncover two elements: Running the Gauntlet begins with the fitting of a ball gag, and ends with watching Travolta’s Razzy-winning Battlefield Earth on a continuous loop for 24 hours straight.
Anyone interested in joining The Church of Scientology should walk Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard in the hopes of being “discovered.” Sooner or later, someone will find you.
Cover Photo: NBC
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