So now that we’ve all had a few days to process the madness of Tom Cruise’s Scientology video a few things have become clear. One, he’s a fucking loon. Two, we had no idea what he was talking about. Three, it’s very possible Mr. Cruise was waaay past the legal drinking limit.
Thankfully, for those of us that care to understand what he was mumbling about, MTV has put together a lexicon of terms that get name checked.
“It is something that you have to earn”: Cruise is referring to taking Scientology courses. According to the church, to get to the higher levels of Scientology ? he’s an OT VII, the highest level is OT VIII ? you must complete a number of courses and auditing sessions, a sort of Scientological take on the Catholic confession. And it all costs; depending on your level, the tab for wisdom can be hundreds if not thousands of dollars. To finally learn what the basis of Scientology’s precepts are (about how we got remnants of space aliens known as thetans trapped in our system), you must attain the level of OT III. The secrets of Xenu aren’t free!
“Am I going to look at that guy or am I too afraid?”: Cruise’s relentless stare is actually a technique from “Success Through Communication” training routine (TR) drills. According to former and current members, pre-clears have to learn to look someone straight in the eye for hours. It’s supposed to generate self-confidence and intimidate the other party. No blinking!
“… Because I have my own out-ethics”: The church says ethics are moral choices but belong to a distinct moral system, based on LRH’s book “Introduction to Scientology Ethics.” If you misbehave, you have “out-ethics.” If you’re behaving, you have your ethics “in.” To put your ethics “in” someone else, as Cruise later says, is to make someone else conform.
“The ability to create new and better realities and improve conditions”: “Conditions” refer to LRH principles, which are charted on a scale. It’s a Scientologist’s goal to “improve conditions,” which means improving your relationship with yourself and to those within your group. The “conditions” (in order) are: confusion, treason, enemy, doubt, liability, nonexistence, danger, emergency, normal, affluence, power change and power, according to numerous accounts of church practices. These are the practical applications of “ethics.”
I’m not going to slag Cruise, because that would be almost too easy and his passion alone has almost brainwashed me into thinking this whole Scientology thing is soooo bad. But then again, I always remember this one summer vacation I took with a friend. His dad bought me an L. Ron Hubbard book to read because he knew I liked science-fiction and nice thoughts aside I was way more influenced by my friend’s grandmother going ape-shit over someone buying me an L. Ron Hubbard book and insisting that I never read such garbage.