The Scientologists almost got my friend Matt once. He was working on the set of a TV show when a man offered him some voiceover work at the Scientology center in Los Angeles. My friend declined the offer, but the man was insistent on getting his phone number and address anyway. He would not take no for an answer. Finally, my friend gave him some fake information and the man cackled loudly, transformed into a bat, and flew away.
Sometimes my friend Matt makes things up.
I just moved into an apartment two blocks from the Scientology headquarters, so Iím in their territory now. I canít say Iím a huge fan. Religion in general turns me off, but at least Christianity has some history to it. Scientology was created by a science fiction novelist 50 years ago. McDonaldís has been around for almost 70 years. Canít I just go there on Sunday mornings instead?
Around lunchtime my new neighborhood becomes flooded with little nerds in navy ties and sportcoats. These are the Scientologists. They look exactly like you and me, except much dorkier. Itís like if the guy who wrote ìBattlefield Earthî started a religion, and all his nerdy fans followed it.
Wait, the guy who wrote ìBattlefield Earthî did start Scientology. Wow, thatís weird. All of this makes a lot more sense now.
The Scientologists have never hassled me before, but thatís probably because itís painfully obvious that I have no money. My $10 hoodie sweatshirt from Target and tattered jeans are a dead giveaway. However, I am close to being debt-free, and I think they can smell it. Lately, whenever I pass L. Ron Hubbardís nerd patrol, their eyes get less beady and their ties stick out erect, like the Dilbert comic strip character.
Scientologyís followers donít frighten me, hence why Iím mocking them, but the Scientology headquarters itself does. The building is a giant castle in the middle of a normal neighborhood. Its exterior walls are painted different shades of light blue, likely because itís considered a calming color. In this case, it just looks creepy. The building also has large windows everywhere, similar to the kind you see in old factory buildings. It gives the appearance that a monster lurks inside, and that if the windows were a little less murky, perhaps youíd see it staring back out at you.
The parking lot for the Scientology headquarters is comically large. No matter what day of the week or time of day it is, there are always roughly 400 empty parking spaces available. It makes me a little bitter when Iím driving around in circles for 10 minutes trying to find a spot near my apartment. What a waste. If the Scientologists gave people in the neighborhood free parking spaces, we might stop throwing our garbage and discarded furniture into their lot.
I smashed an empty Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle in their parking lot once. It was pretty awesome. I felt very clear afterwards, as if the pain from millions of years of traumatic incidents, ethical transgressions, and bad decisions were erased from my memory.
Perhaps Scientology has helped me find a way to enlightenment after all. Or maybe Iím just the reincarnation of their arch enemy Xenu, and my entire life purpose is to dirty the parking lot of their headquarters. I am, after all, quite fascinated by psychology, drugs, and very loud childbirths.