Scientology Seems to Have all the Answers

By: Brady Beedon

The entrance to downtown Detroit’s Scientology church. (photo via Brady Beedon)

I’ve heard a lot about Scientology over the years. I’ve heard that it is an amazing life changing experience, and I have heard that it is a cult that traps people.

So I decided to go to the new Church of Scientology in Detroit to see what is going on for myself.

As I walked into the building, I was immediately greeted by a gentleman who worked there. I explained to him that I wanted to look around for a story I was doing. He was happy to oblige.

Before the tour began, I had to sign in and fill out a visitors card. The visitors card asked for information such as, name, address, email, phone number, and what you are looking for in Scientology.

My tour guide started talking to me about how he was a recovering heroin addict and that Scientology helped save him. He also made a point to mention to me that Scientology is not a religion, but rather a collection of ideas to better a person.

And they have the answers to everything.

I was first shown their book store where they had books on everything from getting over a trauma, to learning how to communicate better and everything in between

I was then shown a video on drug rehabilitation. It talked about how Scientology will give you a personalized method to get over your drug addiction. The video went into detail about how when you do drugs that the drugs can stick to your fatty tissue and release back into your bloodstream years after you have stopped doing drugs.

But they have the answer.

Their Purification Program, which my tour guide claimed that he had done, will release these toxins from your body allowing to be refreshed.

I was then shown a video about a general overview about Scientology, written by L. Ron Hubbard.

That is a name you cannot avoid if you go into that building. L. Ron Hubbard is plastered everywhere across this building. It is more prevalent that the cross is in a Catholic church.

Hubbard was a science fiction writer who became most famous for his book, Dianetics. He would later go on to found Scientology in 1953.

After I watched the video talking about thetans, and how Scientology is a culmination of every religion of the past 10,000 years, I was taken to the elevator where again, I was told that this is not a religion and that there is no praying.

My host proceeded to then take me around showing me their chapel, which was essentially a large meeting room, their café, and their spa where all the drug rehabilitation takes place.

As we were going from place to place, my tour guide kept talking about Scientology and all of its ideals. I mostly kept quiet and let him talk, then he said something interesting. He told me that he did not want me to get the wrong idea of it being a cult. That it is simply a way of focusing on things in life that are forgotten about.

There are reports that Scientologists believe in an being known as Xenu that brought humans back to earth millions of years ago, but nothing I found could confirm this. It is widely believed that Scientologists only get to hear the story once they have been in the church for a while.

The thing about all of this is: All these places are beautiful. They are brand new and state of the art. The videos I was shown were of Hollywood production quality. There is serious money behind all of this.

My tour concluded with a visit to a recreation of L. Ron Hubbard’s office. This is where my guide kept pushing the idea that this is not a religion, that it is like any other job. There is a chain of command and that it is simple and not that different from the everyday workplace.

After I left, I get why people join. If you were confused with life and were looking for answers, then you find this place that claims to have all of the answers to any problem you could have, with all of this fancy new equipment, it would look appealing.

Maybe Scientology does help people. Maybe it gives people a purpose in life that they had been lacking. But for me, leaving my tour felt like I had just left a sales pitch.