Percepticologicalism

by Kieran Healy on September 2, 2006

Via Dave Weeden, the latest moneyspinner to emerge from the muppet labs at Scientology HQ in Clearwater, FL:

Under wraps for decades, Super Power now is being prepped for its eventual rollout in Scientology’s massive building in downtown Clearwater. … A key aim of Super Power is to enhance one’s perceptions – and not just the five senses we all know – hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard taught that people have 57 “perceptics.” … Hubbard promised Super Power would improve perceptions and “put the person into a new realm of ability.”

How much would you pay to receive this marvellous training? Five thousand dollars? Ten thousand? Don’t answer yet! There’s more. The 57 Perceptics (not a brand of tomato sauce or an unsuccessful doo-wop outfit) include Timen Sight [sic], Tasten Colorn Depth [sic], and Personal Size [if you know what I mean].

Asked about Super Power, church spokesman Ben Shaw provided a written statement: “Super Power is a series of spiritual counseling processes designed to give a person back his own viewpoint, increase his perception, exercise his power of choice, and greatly enhance other spiritual abilities.” Shaw would not say how much the program will cost. Upper levels of Scientology training can run tens of thousands of dollars. He declined to provide further insight into Super Power. “It’s not something I’m willing to provide to you in any manner,” Shaw said.

Comic Book Guy Alert! No information will be imparted to you whatsoever until you answer me these questions three, and also sign over the deeds to your house.

Super Power takes “weeks, not months” to complete, said Feshbach. He would not discuss the specific machines and drills that former Scientologists said are used to enhance perceptions. The perceptics portion of Super Power is one of 12 “rundowns” in the full program … Details of Super Power training have been kept secret even from church members. Like much of Scientology training, details aren’t revealed until one pays to take the course.

Notice the 11 extra rundowns that have just been added to the program, of which Super Power Perceptics is only one! Now how much would you pay? Sign up now! Remember, your very willingness to cough up large amounts of cash for this stuff is evidence that you need professional training to heighten your preceptual awareness of the world and the sort of people who live in it.

{ 33 comments }

1

bi 09.02.06 at 11:08 pm

I tell you, these guys are good. There’s a reason why Scientology now towers way above pretty much any other crank group out there.

If Joe tries to argue against some run-of-the-mill crackpotological theory, your run-of-the-mill crank will go on a tirade about how the sheeple Joe has been brainwashed by the Establishment(tm) and is now oppressing their viewpoints, etc. etc. etc.

If Joe tries to argue against Neo-Tech, the Neo-Tech crank will respond that Joe is attacking out-of-context fragments of reality which have been distorted in order to suit the agendas of authoritarian Stalinist holy-book-thumping insurgents.

If Joe tries to argue against Scientology, the Scientologist simply says, “What, Joe?”

2

Delicious Pundit 09.02.06 at 11:13 pm

Or, as The Onion put it in “Our Dumb Century”:
“New E-Meter Measures Human Credulity.”

3

GW 09.02.06 at 11:29 pm

The ‘et cetera’ tag is an inspired bit of scorn, IMHO.

4

Jon H 09.03.06 at 3:41 am

The paper shoulda asked “Do you offer 0% financing, and if not, why should a person buy your courses when they could have a Chevy?”.

5

Jon H 09.03.06 at 3:42 am

“If Joe tries to argue against Scientology, the Scientologist simply says, “What, Joe?””

You’re glib, Joe. Glib. I’ve read these things.

6

bad Jim 09.03.06 at 4:21 am

Why so skeptical? Even the Agape Press (via Brayton) understands that humans have untapped capabilities:

Shock and dismay — that’s how pro-family groups in California are reacting to news this morning that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that gives homosexuals new and far-reaching powers.

Gaydar and the like might not be exactly what the Scientologists are offering, but the possibility cannot be entirely discounted.

More appealing might be a parallel discipline with Cthulhu replacing Xenu. It could be called Ancientology. (Some might find Xena even more enticing, but where is the dread in that?)

7

Barry Freed 09.03.06 at 4:51 am

L. Ron Hubbard taught that people have 57 “perceptics.”

Pshaw. Me? I’ve got 73 of those things.

8

Rasselas 09.03.06 at 7:36 am

My grandmother kept perceptics in a pen in the back yard. Those things will take your hand off.

9

Matt 09.03.06 at 8:04 am

Damn you Kieran Healy! We would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!

10

bi 09.03.06 at 10:40 am

Jon H: here’s how I imagine it going:

Robert Farley (reporter): Do you offer 0% financing, and if not, why should a person buy your courses when they could have a Chevy?

Ben Shaw (church spokesman): [thinks, “Hmm… this is a sticky situation. Let me see: What Will Elron Do?]

Ben Shaw: [thinks, “Aha! I know! Elron will give it his all; he will fight every skirmish as a battle; he will unleash his most powerful ethical weapon to achieve success! Which means…”]

Ben Shaw: What, Mr. Farley?

And after a few “what”s, Farley will probably give up and leave this part out of his interview transcript.

Oh, I was going to ask which meaning of “glib” you were using, but never mind.

11

Jim Harrison 09.03.06 at 11:39 am

Scientology is only one Constantine away from being as venerable as Christianity.

12

Maynard Handley 09.03.06 at 12:06 pm

I have an even better deal for you.
All you have to do is give me 10% of your income, and I will give you ETERNAL happiness. None of this one-lifetime limited crap. None of this extra powers that may (or may not) give you happpiness. Why dick around with means when you can jump straight to the end?

13

Mike Russo 09.03.06 at 12:11 pm

Scientology is only one Constantine away from being as venerable as Christianity.

Inasmuch as “venerable” has very strong connotations of age, I think Christianity’s 19-century head-start gives it a decided advantage under this particular adjective, actually.

Though if someone wanted to forge a Donation showing that a couple hundred years ago some nation deeded over a bunch of land so that the Scientologists could be their own sovereign nation, that would be pretty entertaining.

14

Adam Kotsko 09.03.06 at 12:53 pm

They need to work on getting Medicare to cover their treatments.

15

Peter 09.03.06 at 4:27 pm

Wow, this is exciting … what will I pay … well, I just found a dollar bill in the wash, will that do?

16

JHM 09.03.06 at 4:36 pm

Hey, hey, knock it off – Scientology is a religion (NOT some self-help psycho-babble scam from the 70s gone batsh*t crazy) and you can’t make fun of people’s religion. It’s only one Billy Graham away from being as intellectually respectable as snake handling.

17

Jon H 09.03.06 at 5:54 pm

“Scientology is only one Constantine away from being as venerable as Christianity.”

Sadly, they’ve only got a Travolta.

18

KCinDC 09.03.06 at 7:17 pm

Constantine? Since when is Keanu Reeves a Scientologist?

19

KCinDC 09.03.06 at 7:19 pm

Perhaps that would have been better as:

Constantine? They only need to recruit Keanu Reeves then.

20

Ginger Yellow 09.03.06 at 8:58 pm

Unfortunately for Scientology (and Constantine), venerable and Keanu Reeves do not belong in the same sentence.

21

Mike Russo 09.03.06 at 11:18 pm

I believe Keanu’s already spoken for.

22

glenn 09.04.06 at 6:18 am

I found some used perceptics on Ebay….

(it all just seems so surreal. a myth turned into a fantasy twisted into a farce.)

23

ajay 09.04.06 at 6:29 am

He would not discuss the specific machines and drills that former Scientologists said are used to enhance perceptions.

Interesting use of context. You see, I know perfectly well that “drills” here means “repetitive practice”, as in “drill sergeant”, but in the context of that sentence I immediately thought of another sort of drill or machine used to enhance perceptions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trepanning

24

anand sarwate 09.04.06 at 6:39 am

I think we had a tank in the back yard for our perseptics. A pen would, y’know, smell too bad.

25

Fred Jones 09.04.06 at 7:38 am

“Scientology is only one Constantine away from being as venerable as Christianity.”

Or instead we can have a potent fusing of the two under current leadership.

26

KCinDC 09.04.06 at 8:34 am

venerable and Keanu Reeves do not belong in the same sentence

Well, the man did meet Genghis Khan.

27

W. Kiernan 09.04.06 at 12:02 pm

“Barry Freed”: Pshaw. Me? I’ve got 73 of those things.

We’ve finally found him! Security! Notify Kier Gray immediately, and get the air cars ready. Tell him we’ve tracked down Jommy Cross. I knew he’d slip up someday.

28

bi 09.04.06 at 12:33 pm

#11, #20, #25: I was thinking, perhaps Scientology just needs to recruit Uma Thurman. This may not make it as venerable as Christianity, but who needs venerability when there’s sex appeal?

29

Guest 09.04.06 at 1:03 pm

No thanks, Scientists. I’ve barely got time for the perceptics I was born with – in fact, I’d be willing to part with a few of ‘em, cheap. Perception is *vastly overrated* :-)

30

Jon H 09.04.06 at 2:08 pm

” I was thinking, perhaps Scientology just needs to recruit Uma Thurman. This may not make it as venerable as Christianity, but who needs venerability when there’s sex appeal?”

Unlikely, her dad’s a leading scholar of Tibetan Buddhism.

Though I hear Scientology once had the chance to bag Uma when she was a 16 year old model, but failed to do so.

31

perianwyr 09.04.06 at 4:15 pm

But no one has said at what rank you get to cast Super Perception on others. I mean, it’s all well and good if it’s caster-only, but man, if it’s double the caster rank for AOE-single/other, that could be, like, an extra year of leveling.

Also, what’s the spell point cost?

32

Mr. Bill 09.05.06 at 8:10 am

Look up the Fritz Leiber short srory “Poor Superman”
(aka “Appointment in Tomorrow”) for a good (if chilling) send up of certain cult…(in various collections, google it fer gawdsakes).

33

beajerry 09.07.06 at 10:26 am

After every scientologist pays for Super Power, what will they offer next? Super Deluxe Gold?

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