It's no secret that I am neither a fan of Scientology nor Tom Cruise, so this story, well, it made me giggle. And I am definitely a fan of the giggle. And the outright guffaw.
Marc Headley spent over 15 years as an employee at Scientology's international headquarters in Los Angeles and wrote a book about his time served, called Blown for Good; and there is a website to go along with his book, blownforgood.com.
In 1990 Headley was told that he would be excused from his normal duties so that one of the members of the church could practice auditing on him.
Yes, Tom Cruise.
Headley says he was selected because he'd participated in little auditing, had completed some courses that Scientologists pursue as they travel "up the bridge" to a higher status and, since he was still a teenager, he was views as a minimal security risk.
Sounds like a church with secrets to me.
Now, while he's spilling his secrets about Scientology, Headley doesn't go into much detail about his, er, meetings with Tommy, but he says that Cruise put hi through something called "Upper Indoctrination Training Routines."
This involves working with books and, um, bottles, AKA 'the book-and-bottle routine.' Cruise asked Headley to speak to a book, telling it to stand up, or to sit down, or otherwise to move somewhere. Then you try talking to a bottle. And then, if you're good, perhaps you move on to an ashtray.
I am not making this up.
Headley says he was instructed to tell the ashtray, 'Sit in that chair,' and then he would go over and put the ashtray on the chair and say 'Thank you' to the ashtray. This, apparently went on for hours.
This was the routine for three weeks, hours each day; speak to inanimate objects, request that 'they' move and then moving them yourself, followed by a 'Thank you.'
It's polite and all, but a bit nutty. So, the big question is why?
"It was to get your intention over to the bottle....It was supposed to rehabilitate your ability to control things. And to be controlled."
And then came doorknobs.
He was asked by Cruise to find a place in the room with which he might easily communicate. he'd select, say, a doorknob, and he was asked to go touch the doorknob. Then he picked another place and the routine went on. And on.
And there was more. It involved doorknobs.
And there was more. It involved doorknobs.
Headley began to wonder about trying to make objects move by talking to them, but this was Tom Cruise, and not someone you questioned. That was why he'd been chosen: he young and green, and had few contacts outside the church.
It seems less religious teaching than it does mind control. And a tad crazy.
But Headley continued on with the church until 2005 when he was accused of embezzling money; he says he was selling old Scientology equipment on eBay in an approved scheme to raise money for a new base project.
Headley was declared a "suppressive person," and knew he'd probably be sent to "Rehabilitation Project Force" which is a kind of prison program was known to physically debilitate church members through labor and deprivation. He knew also that he would be separated permanently from his wife, also a Scientologist, as well as the rest of his family in what Scientology calls "disconnection."
But, and this is where it gets even more bizarre, before he was scheduled to be interrogated, Headley escaped, being chased off the base by guards. When the guards caught up with him he began shouting at them, which caught the attention of Riverside County sheriff's deputies, who helped Headley get away.
Headley ran to his father's home in Kansas City, where he received word that his wife also wanted to defect. In his book, Headley goes into a rather thrilling account of his wife's escape from Scientology.
Yeah, I am not a fan of Cruise or Scientology, and I am sure they'll come up with a rebuttal to Headley's book and accusations. But more people are speaking out about this "religion" and it's method of controlling its members.
And it leads one to wonder, can't you simply just walk away from any faith in the country? If you choose not to be Catholic any longer can't you just stop? So, them why not with Scientology? Why mind games? Why call those who choose to leave "suppressive" people and why try to detain them?
Why so secretive, Tommy?
The story is HERE