Another odd coincidence

Immediately after watching Going Clear, I drew a hot bath and cracked open Sean Brijbasi’s amazing act of wordamithing, The Unknowed Things, to the page at which I had last abandoned it. I immediately came across a passage containing the declaration, “The War Is Over!” Frightening callback (in my mind) to the powerful Nazi-esque scene in the film at which Miscavige presides over the victory celebration after the IRS caves on their tax-exempt status. Those exact words are projected in larger-than-life characters on a larger-than-life screen as pyrotechnics are detonated and fists are pumped.

Finally watched Going Clear

I finally got around to watching Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Now, to be fair, I did not come into this cold. I had been quite aware of Scientology and all of its horror stories for years. I bought and read Lawrence Wright’s book when it came out. I have been READY for this. But it’s still quite shocking, and at the same time not surprising at all, what people are able to be convinced of, and to convince themselves of.

Interesting from a coincidence standpoint, as at the moment my wife suggested the viewing (I had recorded the film about a month ago and had not yet found the time to watch it), I was researching the Internet, trying to find an audiobook version of Dianetics. DING DING DING! (Because I am curious at heart and not afraid of ideas).

Interesting that Hubbard lived in a group house with Jack Parsons (famed rocket scientist, member of OTO and disciple of Aleister Crowley).

Hubbard started working on Dianetics 1950, goal to make a religion and not have to pay taxes.

Electronically-assisted Freudian therapy? That’s how one person describes the e-meter — as one-third of a lie detector.

“But it works!” Well, of course. If you measure someone before and after fully engaging them, you will see improvement. It is the act of engaging that improves a person. What the person engages with is almost irrelevant! (Ask Crowley).

Interestingly, Hubbard’s office had a “Commodore” sign above the doorway.

Best quote, from an ex-Scientologist after reaching OT-III and being given the secret documents in a locked briefcase: “What the FUCK is this?”

The most alarming thing about this documentary is that much of this insanity was going on during the late 1980s, even after L. Ron’s death.

The crazy IRS debacle. That’s all. That crazy IRS debacle.

I asked my Tarot, prior to publishing this, whether it was safe to publish this review. It responded with the Fortune card: Follow thy Fortune, careless where it lead thee. The axle moveth not: attain thou that.

Being a non-insider with virtually no public influence whatsoever, I suppose I have little to fear. And the consensus among its critics is that the organization is weaker now than it has been in a long time.

Still… frankly, this organization should scare the HELL out of you. For more/deeper information, please visit Operation Clambake. It’s the biggest rabbit hole you’ll ever dive into. A virtually infinite well of insanity.

If you need even more, start here:

21 Insane Things Going Clear Left Out

Regardless of everything that’s been said above, if anyone has an e-meter they’re willing to DONATE for purposes of experimentation, send it to the PO Box.  POB 7945, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an avid collector of cultural artifacts.

Kudos to the former members who had the bravery to step forward and allow this film to happen.

And points to whoever decided that Theremin music would be a good way to segue out of the film and into the credits. SPOOOOOOOOKYYYYYYY!

Murder Ballad of the Week, 4/27/15: Frankie Silver

Another murder ballad with lots of oral tradition behind it, linked below the video as usual.

The story involves ax murder and dismemberment of Charlie (Johnny) Silver by his wife Frankie, and subsequent burning of the body parts to destroy the evidence.

Frankie was hanged for her alleged crime.

Bobby McMillon’s interview: The Uncut Story of Frankie Silver

Epilogue to the Ballad of Frankie Silver

More about the Legend of Frankie Silver pt 1
More about the Legend of Frankie Silver pt 2

There’s a movement to have Frankie pardoned: Frankie & Charlie (Put a Stop to it)

OM: A Tantric Sex Cult Odyssey

goodreadsI’m almost finished reading this book I received from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway, called Om: A Tantric Sex Cult Odyssey by Jeff Nichols. It’s listed on Amazon in the humor/satire category, I have assumed throughout the time I’ve been reading it that it is purely satirical.

After today’s Googling, I’m not quite sure that it’s truly satire. In fact, I’m starting to get the feeling that it’s mostly true. The book is about a guy who gets involved, through a girlfriend, with a group that practices Orgasmic Meditation (OM), which at its core is a large room full of people where the object of the game seems to be to diddle women’s vageeners with a specific finger in a highly specific manner (known as oming) for fifteen minutes at a time.

I googled, and found out that there is such a group, with chapters in most major cities, including a DC Meetup Group with 110 members and a weekly meet-up.

Not going to pass judgement one way or another. If women out there need fiddlin’ and diddlin’ on a purely technical level, with no emotional connection whatever, more power to ’em.

But the book’s pretty damned funny, in terms of characters anyway. It’s a quick read. And if you’re considering joining the meet-up groups to learn to become a diddler or to enjoy being diddled, I really believe this book will serve as a perfect introduction which might lessen the awkward embarrassment of a meet-up.

I don’t think the guys get any reciprocity out of this whatsoever, other than the esteemed title of Advanced Stroker or Master Stroker (according to the book, anyway). Sorry, guys. Maybe you can put that title on your business card, although people might interpret it as something else entirely.

RUM!

Tonight we’re headed to a “Know Your Rum” social at the yacht club. We’ll be tasting a whole bunch of different rums, and I’ve been asked to provide the music, since the dance party last year went so well (the one where I brought the disco ball and Darryl brought his laser light show). This should be a little more low key. I’m hoping I can set a bunch of stuff on shuffle, and the music won’t be the main event this time.  What music would YOU play for a rum tasting social?

Mowing season

First mow of the season this evening. Having a boat means having much of your traditional mowing time (weekends) stolen from you. I fired up the circa 2003 Yard Man mower — like most “things of a certain age,” it took more pulls than it used to for the thing to start.

I gave my 16-year-old (17 next month) a quick tutorial, overseeing a few passes on the side yard before it was oh-so-graciously handed back to me.