Scientology Will be the Dominant Religion by 4000 AD
I'm watching a show about a cult — Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. It's excellent. I'm secretly in love with Leah because her attitude is so bright. And I love good cult content. Especially when it's about Scientology.
Her show basically explores her time in the cult; shows clips of her advocating for it during the 2000's; talks about her life after leaving the cult; and ultimately, tells the many stories of ex-cult members. We see Leah travel around the country as she talks to people who've experienced abuse at the hands of this multi-billion dollar American authoritarian cult.
I've been researching Scientology on-and-off for many years. It's a fascinating subject, especially thanks to the charismatic cult leader L. Ron Hubbard. The guy who wrote the most amount of published fiction in the world topped that achievement with the creation of a luxury science-fiction cult. It's an achievement worthy of praise at an intellectual level.
But once you take into account the actual injustice of this massive cult, any charms of the cult or its founder quickly disappear.
I'm also worried authoritarianism is going to sweep America.
There's two paths in front of us: a slip into a cyber fascist hell, or a true American renaissance. One seems likelier than the other but I can't tell which. History has a funny way of unfolding.
I'm reading two large tomes of historical summation: Charles Mackey's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds as well as H.G. Wells's Outline of History. I've studied other similar works in the past (Ovid's Metamorphoses, Montaigne's Essays, etc). There's a funny thing I noticed...
Tiny seeds of the deep past turn into total imperial realities in the deep future.
Nobody could've predicted, for example, that a small bumbling group of passionate believers in the Ancient Roman Empire would — 2000 years later — become the dominating religion of the West. And it's become so warped in appearance from its original source. Time does that.
Just look at the image of Jesus: It's changed from who he really was into a kind of cultural ideal — the Jesus we'd rather believe in.
Christianity had plenty of opportunities to disappear. But for some reason, it never did. It only became more popular. Same with Islam.
In modern times, we can draw parallels with the personal computer. Who could've predicted that the experiments with personal computers in people's garages during the 1970's would envelop & change the entire world in only half a century?
Seed in the past, total future.
Of the two possible paths for America, let's explore the possibility of a Techno Dark Age due to a series of traumatic cataclysms mixed with mismanagement.
So, anyway, I'm watching these Scientology shows, right? And there's one thing I noticed — including on Leah Rimini's show — that I find striking. Many ex-Scientologists seem to have a longing in their voice for a Scientology that works.
That's right. Some ex-Scientologists are still believers.
This is not one or two people saying this. Look for yourself. Many outspoken Scientologists openly talk about "reforming the church" or "stripping away all the bad stuff and keeping the good." Many say the "technologies" actually work, have helped them, their families, etc... They just wish the abusive elements were removed.
Many people leave Scientology not because of the policy or religion itself, but because of the mismanagement & abuses of David Miscavige. It's kind of insane, and sad.
These people got into "the church" and were manipulated for so long because they were true believers. They really wanted something to believe in. They wanted to save the soul of mankind. They were absolutely certain of the righteousness of their cause.
These are fundamentally good people who just wanted to do more good.
But Hubbard's group is a money trap, and a brainwashing cult. It manipulates the need for people to belong & serve a higher meaning in life solely for the benefit of the one person at the top. At first that was L. Ron Hubbard, now it's David Miscavige.
And so people leave "the church" furious by their mistreatment, but still with that longing to do good, and better themselves... Their decades-long experience within Scientology informed them of the potential of the "spiritual technology" or "mindset practices" or "ontological framework." And so they figure: David Miscavige is bad, the bureaucracy of the organization is bad, but the "tech" works!
And since the DNA of Scientology has a missionary aspect, it self-replicates.
And I know that in 2018, the number of Scientologists are small. There's about 20,000 or so right now, with declining numbers. I can't predict the actual future. And I don't even really believe Scientology will be the dominant religion by 4000 AD, to be honest.
Often times, the nothing-boring-thing happens in respect to human affairs. Maybe 2,000 years from now the dominant religious forces will still be Christianity vs. Islam, like it was 1,000 years ago during The Crusades.
But I see a possibility of Scientology becoming the dominant religion by the year 4000 AD. I see it in the glimmer of the ex-Scientologists eyes. And because I can see the possibility, it's something to explore a bit.
Here's one way Scientology could conquer the world:
1. Reform the Church of Scientology
If a new, "reformed" Scientology church emerged, many ex-Scientologist would jump with joy & re-join. Let's say the authoritarian leader David Miscavige leaves for whatever reason. He's no longer in power. He's replaced with a devout reformer. This person atones somehow for the sins of Miscavige and strips Scientology down to only its good parts — eliminating all the bad parts in truth for good: like fair game, disconnection, etc.
2. Engage in a 100 Year Long Operational P.R. Campaign, Handed Down to Each Leader
This stage is to shift the global perception of Scientology. The various leaders are "baptized" into this mission in secret once they're appointed. The goal here is to give the world a lot of value, a lot of good, and actively market the religion as a positive force in the world. Within 100 years, the old brand of Scientology will be nearly forgotten.
3. Maintain Apocalypse-Proof Literature.
Some kind of massive cataclysm is guaranteed for modern civilization. All these gizmos & gadgets have been running pretty well (and uninterrupted) for far too long. It's only a matter of time in the course of human affairs we hit a second dark age. It's for this period — whether that's 20 years from now, 200 years, or 2000 years — that the church will maintain its apocalypse-proof literature.
Where the 100 year marketing campaign is the active defensive measure, this will be the primary tactical operation.
Resources should be funneled away from previous stupid activities like locking people up in solitary confinement or creating smear campaigns against critics, and instead, used to buy the church time to sit & wait.
And most strategic of all — investing in research & development.
4. Win Hearts and Minds with a Value Proposition
The easiest way to get a vast amount of converts into the church, to fill the numbers back up, would be to offer everybody something desperately wanted.
With Christianity it was the participation of a monotheistic spirituality that didn't require you to chop off a piece of your dick as well as the notion of universal conversion: you didn't have to be born a specific race to be a true Christian. People dug this.
To inspire the masses to join The Crusades, Pope Urban II offered to clear all the sins of anybody who fought. With the example of Islam, they offered a unifying brotherhood, a simplicity of worship, and a personal sense of dignity during a time of hardship.
Here's an interesting excerpt about the origins of Islam, according to H.G. Wells —
"[Islam] was full of the spirit of kindliness, generosity, and brotherhood; it was a simple and understandable religion; it was instinct with the chivalrous sentiment of the desert; and it made its appeal straight to the commonest instincts in the composition of ordinary men.
Against it were pitted Judaism, which had made a racial hoard of God; Christianity talking and preaching endlessly now of trinities, doctrines, and heresies no ordinary man could make head or tail of; and Mazdaism, the cult of the Zoroastrian Magi, who had inspired the crucifixion of Mani.
The bulk of the people to whom the challenge of Islam came did not trouble very much whether Muhammad was lustful or not, or whether he had done some shifty and questionable things; what appealed to them was that this God, Allah, he preached, was by the test of the conscience in their hearts a God of righteousness, and that the honest acceptance of his doctrine and method opened the door wide in a world of uncertainty, treachery, and intolerable divisions to a great and increasing brotherhood of trustworthy men on earth, and to a paradise not of perpetual exercises in praise and worship, in which saints, priests, and anointed kings were still to have the upper places, but of equal fellowship and simple and understandable delights such as their souls craved for.
Without any ambiguous symbolism, without any darkening of altars or chanting of priests, Muhammad had brought home those attractive doctrines to the hearts of mankind.
Scientology will have to focus on this mass value-giving effort to win back converts.
Perhaps they can introduce some actual cutting-edge science into the organization, and offer a proprietary scientifically-sound self-help service. It can be priced on a sliding scale for lower socio-economic levels. This would also give more weight to the "science" part of the word in the rebuilding of its global brand.
Or they can offer every member universal basic income... Or access to technology that'll desperately be needed in post-apocalyptic times (global connection technology, information technology, innovative food courts, etc...)
And as for critics... The best way to deal with them is to actually help the world.
5. Plan to Proselytize Earth After the Apocalypse
Alongside the maintenance of the doomsday literature should be a plan to disseminate it. This should include an elite vanguard of monk-warriors re-stationed to wherever the doomsday literature is. They go over the plan, run drills, and perfect this system of religious insurance.
The building itself should be a genuine apocalypse proof bunker. And to give the religion more mystery, this should be top secret. An elite guard. The true religion.
But here's the game — Scientology would have to bank on (or assist in) the near-total annihilation of accumulated digital history.
So, imagine a situation in the year 2500 AD, where some kind of (natural or artificial) EMP attack wiped out all digital data & infrastructure on the planet. And so begins a kind of New Dark Age for a few centuries. It's during this time that Scientology needs to go out into the world with an army of missionaries.
One of the key operations of this post-apocalyptic missionary activity is to completely re-write the origins of the religion.
L. Ron Hubbard turns into a charismatic prophet in the style of Islam's Muhammad: A real life human who was the vessel for the true word(s) of universal divinity; while also surrounded by the petty mortal drama & flaws of being a real human being.
Or perhaps the church re-works L. Ron's image in the manner of Jesus Christ: A real person who walked among an historic era in human civilization... But he was a bit, let's say, supernatural. And not much is known about him. There's only a few traces of his existence: some official U.S. military records (which are forged, obviously), a few newspaper publications about the release of Dianetics, etc.
The key is to build a new, mystical, palatable origin story for the religion to continue unquestioned & uninterrupted into the deep future.
Many religions don't resemble how they began. When they first arrived they were accused of being other false things — a money grab, a political excuse, a military move. But over time, with new generations of converts, with traumatic unexpected (and unrelated) global events, and as time distorts the image of the past (including erasing old associations & grudges)... Everything just changes. It's hard to predict.
If Scientology wants to rule in the year 4000 AD, it'll have to rewrite its origin.
Likewise, David Miscavige's role must be minimal & left as a footnote: He headed the church for half a century, a strong & ruthless leader that centralized property away from the spiritual infidels (something like William the Conqueror); and single-handedly got the church recognized by the Imperial American state as an official religion. Something like that. But not much else.
The function of the post-apocalyptic proselytizing is two-fold: 1) To use this new techno-dark age to spread the religion across the entire earth. 2) To re-write the origin story of the religion to new generations of people who've never heard of the controversies, to people who can't possibly even look up the truth because the truth is gone forever, into the ashes of history...
6. A Few Prophets and Martyrs Thrown In
The religion is going to need some new original rock-stars to add appeal to the church. The doctrine right now may be considered hackneyed or just plain ol' stupid to most people. The church needs to evolve & appeal to the modern times.
It's going to take some charismatic reformers to re-write / re-mix L. Ron Hubbard's text into something actually mystical & religious. These texts should become part of the reformed church. They should also influence pop culture at large.
People will read (or watch!) the new prophet's work and tell their friends, "Yeah I know, I heard they were crazy too, but what can I say... Scientology works!"
And if some of these figures end up dying in the process, like actual religious martyrs, whether by external crime, or sacrificial act, then fuggedaboudit! The right church leader will be able to exploit these circumstances to no end.
Martyrs make powerful marketing.
Why did I just outline a potential plan for Scientology to take over the actual world?
I don't know. I guess I'm just bored.
This is to illustrate how a series of unfortunate events could create a shadow world in the deep future. We're in one now, aren't we? Time to explore other possibilities... and with insight, take appropriate actions to create the future we want.
So, for the record I think Scientology is dumb & evil. Doesn't mean this can't happen.
If Scientology did these things, & improvised others, I can imagine (for example) a future where Earth is a megacity shit hole and Mars is the new suburban neighborhood. On Earth, people drink Herbalife to survive the century-long drought, and pray in Scientology churches in hopes of one day becoming one of their missionaries that gets to escape to Mars...