I love this topic. I've been fascinated with how huge this organization has become and often wondered how they get away with, what those who've escaped are claiming has happened to them... I certainly find it confusing how such an organization can exist. But then, I think of the Mafia...:thinking: I read Dianetics way, way back in the day. I remember being intrigued because here was a guy claiming he had learned how to maximize human potential, by eradicating all conscious or unconscious emotional problems. Clear the catch, of the human brain for optimized and speedy performance! Kinda made sense to me at the time, surely all those pesky mental illnesses and miscellaneous emotional problems could cause a serious lag time trying to boot into a fantastic life right? So I picked up a library copy probably just thinking it was going to be a fantastically promoted "self-Help" book. I remember feeling vaguely dis-satisfied with the offerings that were out there at the time. (David Burns seemed promising, but basically you could sum up his whole philosophy as, Don't Worry, Think Happy!". Meh. Not all of us had great success working on our "Cognitive Distortions", and changing unhealthy "Core Beliefs"). Honestly Cognitive therapy is not wildly successful for lot's of folks. But Dianetics sounded more...solid... like some kind of cognitive neuro surgery, Engrams...Like tumors making you sick and slow, removed by some thorough "scientific" formula. So I had more than an open mind, when I began reading. Just going from memory, the forward and early chapters were engrossing and intelligent sounding. However as I continued on, It seemed to be becoming too "complex" for me to follow. I found myself needing to re-read portions, again and again, and was also becoming increasing uneasy with cult-like indoctrinate voice growing ever stronger. I got the distinct feeling that I was being led astray, by the language that was being used, I felt I was deliberately being confused, in order that I not question certain aspects, but put more effort into trying harder to understand, why *I* wasn't getting it...YET. ( Ya know, if I just became "Clear"...). I became more and more suspicious though, to the point that I don't believe I even ever read the last chapter or so, and here's why: Firstly, I was very put off by the adverts inserted inside. There were several cardboard type "CALL NOW!" you were practically ordered to tear out that card and rush to your phone to call and begin your auditing sessions! (I mean, why wait till you've had time to think riiiggghht?). I swear IIRCC these things were inserted on almost every two or three chapters and then another one, at the very back of the book! Even worse though, while was still digesting the cultist process of "Going Clear" and learning a new language (The language of Scientology!), I found myself with the surreal feeling that I was suddenly reading a Sci-Fi/Horror about each of our Mothers attempting to abort us! (With coat hangers and stuff). Dude lost ME right there! I re-read all the supposed "emotional damage" that we were to believe stemmed from RIDICULOUS, I mean way, WAY beyond the pale, absurd connections that were being solemnly pronounced as shocking, profundity. I recall thinking to myself. "These people are NUTS!" They're as insane as it gets. And then I put that away for a long time. I didn't really give much more thought, the commercials on TV disappeared. I supposed that they would prey on individuals who had a Achilles Heel of some emotional sort, that they could fall for this crap, like the Jones town devotees. Never. In. My. Life did it ever occur to me that Scientology would become what it has, and draw mega stars and like it does! I still can't quite believe it! I find myself wondering, why don't other Hollywood stars, who choose NOT to get involved with this cult, ever speak out about what they think about it? Don't the friends and family of people sucked into this, try and dissuade them form this madness? why are we not hearing more from the relatives and friends about their thoughts on the matter? And what about the rest of us? Where was the outcry? We as a society, and celebrities in particular, love to protest stuff! (I'm actually surprised there isn't a "Society for The Prevention of Cruelty To Plants" yet!). But I've never heard too much, until more recently, about this.( Alister Crowley got more bad press than this guy!). I am happy to see the light finally shining grotesque excuse for a "religion"! Wonder what took though?