THE BLOG
03/28/2008 02:48 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Step VIII Of My Spiritual Journey: In Which I Take On Scientology

In this week of My Spiritual Journey, I didn't really go anywhere. (Well, except for Florida. I went on vacation. And as far as I'm concerned, falling asleep on a roasty-toasty beach, yes, slathered in sunscreen, is spiritual enough for me.)

But, don't think I have anything to write about. Because I do!

I've got some things to say about Scientology. And it's a pretty hot topic right now, what with that video of Tom "Crazy-Face" Cruise, and all. So, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think Scientology is weird.

Though it clearly fits the definition of religion, (a pretty loose definition, if you ask me), Scientology always feels like it requires just that much more suspension of disbelief. And I get it - all religions are a little wacked out. Christianity has it's rising from the dead and it's transmutations, Hinduism's got more gods than you can count and some of them are elephants, and Islam's got 72 virgins waiting for you in heaven. And I'm not trying to belittle any of these religions; I'm just trying to highlight some of the more, well, hard to swallow portions, particularly for someone like me. Because that's where my problem with Scientology comes in.

Firstly, religions like Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam have some history behind them: combined they've got more than 10,000 years worth! And if that doesn't lend an instant dose of gravitas, then I don't know what does. There's something to be said for standing the test of time and clearly these religions, with Islam as their youngest, have done so.

Secondly, it's a little easier to believe in saintly relics and water-into-wine if you've got no idea how babies are made. I think it's fair to say (considering that most historians have said it) that religions gained footing as a way to explain the unexplained, and, well, clearly there was a lot more to explain back in 600 B.C.

Fast-forward to 2008, and L. Ron Hubbard's path to enlightenment and the supernatural abilities of an Operating Thetan are less than 50 years old. We've landed on the moon, invented new and intelligent forms of transportation, and use this new-fangled contraption known as The Internet. So please forgive me if I'm a little skeptical of the Thetan in me.

But, that said, I have to admit that I had higher hopes for the weird stuff I'd be dragging up on Scientology. I found plenty on Xenu alright, but strangely enough, I didn't feel comfortable posting it as an official tenet and/or doctrine of Scientology. Because, really, I have no idea what I'm talking about. And I guess that's another problem. What exactly is Scientology? What do they believe? Why are they so secretive? And why is Tom Cruise so darn creepy?

A part of me wants to believe that Scientology is a more or less innocent set of beliefs, and sometimes it sounds like that - they believe that god is a supremely personal conviction, and I don't think you can argue the existence of their social betterment programs (but have at their methods!). And a part of me wants to think that maybe it's not so crazy for people to believe, and that even though we've figured out the science of a smile, maybe we're living in a world where hope is all we've got, and far be it from me to mock those who will cling to whatever semblance of that Scientology brings.

But then I realize that they possibly believe in an alien leader named Xenu, they've kidnapped Katie Holmes, and they've started handing out something called the Freedom Medal of Valor, so I can't help but wonder - what says more about the state of the world, and our spirituality: The fact that Scientology exists? Or the fact that people believe in it?

And on that note, as a safety precaution: All Hail Xenu! And if you never hear from me again, please make sure my dog gets fed. He likes Natural Balance Duck & Potato Kibble, and socks.