On the Beginner's Guide To L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology
Hardeep Singh Kohli, Well known English actor, comedian and all round entertainer makes a humorous foray into the world of scientology.
Consumed with curiosity about Scientology and its founder, L Ron Hubbard, Hardeep originally approached the church of scientology but was soundly rejected by the Church as being too much of a comedian and evidently not serious enough.
The producer of the documentary then approached the International Freezone Association who passed him onto Rons Orgs in the scientology Freezone where the documentary was eventually made.
The scientology Freezone is where scientologists who are not part of the official church practice the philosophy as originally developed by the founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Hardeep's parents instilled in him the Sikh perspective that there are many roads to God so, despite widespread criticisms of the Church of Scientology, he happily attempted to investigate its beliefs.
Founded by L Ron Hubbard in the 1950s, Scientology has some high profile celebrity supporters but the church is extremely reluctant to share its secrets.
He is told that the philosophy has many layers, that it's not easy to learn but is worth persevering with because it will improve his life but he is worried about rumors that Scientology and its offshoots use brainwashing. Hardeep finds a mentor to guide him through the principles of their religion, who takes him on a long train journey to a disused children's summer camp building hidden deep in snowy Russia, where the number of followers is growing steadily. Here he received his basic training.
Hardeep reads and reads. The book is simple but bizarre. He understands each individual word, he says, but not what they mean all together. His mentor says he should keep reading. He is being prepared for 'auditing', a process of one-to-one questions and answers, while the person being 'audited' holds a device that, according to devotees, measures the body's stress.
He and his mentor also do role-plays of the one-to-one 'auditing' to see whether they can make the other person react emotionally. The questions and answers are repetitive, simple and, in this weird setting, isolated from his own world, it is starting to make sense.
The 'auditing' session arrives and Hardeep's fears of brainwashing return. Holding on to the 'e-meter', he talks about what he wants to change in his life, puts some of his fears into words, and emerges from the session feeling 'lightheaded'. Did Hardeep find God through the teachings of L Ron Hubbard. 'That would be a tall order in two weeks,' he says.
The documentary follows Hardeep's journey of discovery as he finds out the basic simplicities that scientology teaches and that it is not as the media or critics paint but is a simple and effective way of improving and enjoying one's life.
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