"If you really want to enslave people, tell them that you're going to give them total freedom."
- L. Ron Hubbard
From 1991 Time cover story.
According to Scientology (and stemming directly from Hubbard's "vision"), 75 million years ago, an evil ruler named Xenu implanted "thetans," or spirits, in volcanoes on the planet Teegeeack (known more recently as Earth). All humans are made up of these thetans, which are basically good but terribly misguided little buggers. The problem, you see, is that things called engrams, which come from early traumas, cause us spiritual pain and unhappiness. We all got 'em; we all gotta get rid of 'em.
I am an ex-drug addict who has solicited prostitutes in my day. I've also masturbated and inhaled at the same time, and I have been arrested more than once in my life. I dropped out of high school, and I've been under psychiatric care. Oh yeah, and I owe the IRS roughly six thousand dollars that they are well aware of.
In the language of Scientologists, the above information reflects what they include in their "Dead Agent Packs"-dossiers of all the dirt they dig up on people critical of their "religion." Often they disseminate damaging information like this to the friends, family, landlords, and employers of anyone who dares speak of--or worse, publish anything derogatory about the "church." So what I'm doing here is Dead Agenting myself before we begin, beating them to the punch.
Recently I spent two weeks undergoing an initiation to Scientology for this magazine. My experiences constituted only the beginnings of the beginnings of what this cult is all about, but it was enough to leave me strung-out with fear. watching my back, and wondering where the next element of harassment was going to come from.