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.

Britain, the German version ….

by Chris Bertram on September 2, 2006

I guess my Irish co-bloggers are rather used to foreigners thinking that they come from a gigantic theme park that bears no resemblance to their country as it actually is. For me it was rather more of a shock, when, for family reasons, I got dragged along to “British Day”: in Hamburg ( “photo gallery”: ). This was the UK (assisted by the Irish who seemed to count as honorary Brits for rugby and drinking purposes) as depicted in _Horse and Hound_ or _Country Life_ , re-enacted by enthusiastic Germans. There was polo, there was rugby, there were endless stalls selling Harris tweed and barbour jackets, there was a welly wanging contest, and a Highland games section where characters called Otto and Diemut (or something like that) tossed the caber whilst dressed in Royal Stewart tartan. English boarding schools — though not the really famous ones — were there too, touting for business among the Hamburg anglophiles: “send Hans to Hogwarts and make him into a real gentleman” was the message. Really quite bizarre. I’m afraid I missed the “last night of the Proms” part, where enthusiastic Hamburgers joined in the singing of “Land of Hope and Glory”, but I could hear it all in the distance. And the stall that came closest to the actual lives of most of us … Indian food, naturally.