The press is all abuzz about Scientology as its poster boy Tom Cruise promotes his new movie and his new engagement (and his attacks on Brooke Shields). Here's a bit about Scientology's practices:
At first blush, Scientology resembles other New Age spiritual practices. The initiate starts with a process of "auditing," which is cross between an interview and confession employing a rudimentary lie detector. The idea is to learn about, target, and shed negative forces — the reactive mind — said to blunt potential. For a regular person, the first step might be a free stress test administered at a public booth in a shopping mall or Grand Central Station.
A Scientologist who is in the beginning stages of auditing — the stage Katie Holmes is reportedly in at this point — would be considered a "pre-clear." If she persists through these lower levels, which address career and other earthly struggles, she will reach the state of “clear.”
Once “clear,” Scientologists work on more otherworldly concerns through a series of levels starting with "Operating Thetan 1." It is only at this point that Scientologists can begin receiving knowledge of confidential teachings of Scientology. Cruise, said to be an OT6, and Travolta — reportedly OT7 — are well into this realm.
Among the secrets revealed to adherents who reach the OT3 level is the incident that led to the current evils of the Earth. In leaked documents now posted on the Internet, this incident started with a galactic shake-up 75 million years ago, when an alien ruler sent billions of subjects to this planet to solve an overpopulation problem. These "thetan" souls dispersed and invaded humans. Scientology is the means through which one's Body Thetans (BTs) are purged.
For some interesting--well, as long as "interesting" means freako scary--insight into Tom Cruise using Scientology as a dating service, see what happened to Scarlett Johanssen. And just where was Katie Holmes for those two weeks?
Yeah, all that's normal...