Daily Archives: May 1, 2011

Sense out of nonsense

On Sunday, Marty Rathbun ran a most interesting blog post. It contains three seemingly disparate elements: The headline (“Radical Scientology’s Public Enemy #1”), a quote from Lao Tzu about humility and power, and a video of Marty, his wife and dog chilling out at the dockside.

I’m trying to ignore the comedy gold in them thar hills, though I can’t resist the obvious interpretation that the Church of Scientology’s biggest threat comes from a man who desperately needs a tripod for his long shots.

No less amusing is the part where Marty tries to get his dog to swim. Marty “projects his intention” by throwing a piece of wood into the water, but good ol’ Chiquita is having none of it. I’ve never met that dog, but I like her already.

Anyway, my point is that the three elements don’t make a whole lot of sense, but if you read the comments, you’ll see Marty’s closest followers doing their best to string them together.

This is a trait you’ll find in Scientologists. They’ll take a long, rambling passage of Hubbard’s, something that defies understanding, and find a way to give it meaning. Then they credit Hubbard for his wisdom, when in reality they should credit their own creativity for making sense out of nonsense. (Yet more proof that nature abhors a vacuum.)

To be fair, I see the same thing happen in other religions. But the Judeo-Christian bible is fairly terse and to the point, and it’s fairly easy to divine the meaning behind the words. Not so with Hubbard, who seemed to go out of his way to be enigmatic and obtuse. Hubbard could (and did) say the most ridiculous fluff, and his followers would assign the most extensive and expansive meaning to it. Is Marty trying to dip his toe in that same ocean?

Actually, I don’t think he is. This may well be an advertisement – an attempt to show Church-going Scientologists, as well as “raw meat” not familiar with Scientology, that this man that the Church says is so horrible (as a de facto member of Anonymous, I object to Marty’s self-applied label of “Public Enemy #1) is really just an easy-going, peace-loving, regular guy. (See, even I am not immune to the urge to make sense out of nonsense.)

I’d question that assessment. After all, Marty – as much as he might object to the classification I’m about to make – believes in the exact same things that Miscavige does, including disconnection, censorship, telling lies “acceptable truths,” and using Scientology techniques in place of proper medical and mental healthcare.

I’m sure Marty is an easy-going fellow, but let’s not forget what he used to do for the Church – among other things, his job was to go after people like himself. Marty has been described as Miscavige’s right-hand man. (Of course, the harassment seemed to be a lot more severe when Marty worked for the Church. Go figure.)

Actually, watching that video makes me feel a lot of sympathy for Marty.

If you’re reading this, Marty, it is my hope that you will some day see Scientology for the scam that it is. You have a lovely wife, a kick-ass dog (give ’em hell, Chiquita! Let those stupid two-leggers swim after their own damn bits of wood!), and you live on a beautiful spot on the water in Texas, oil-drilling rigs notwithstanding. See, Marty, that is what life is really about: Enjoying the people and the places and the things you love.

Hubbard designed Scientology to disconnect you from all that so that you can be pumped dry of your money, your time, and your energy.

All that stuff in your video? That, Marty, is what really matters.