April 10, 2008
Before going to the Church of Scientology I did the mandatory reading about it because I really didn’t know what to expect. From what I’ve heard about them, it does sound more like a cult then a religion but that is just what I’ve heard. Starting with a google search to even find a Scientology church, I found one in New York City. When I kept reading through Scientology home pages and books I found some interesting facts about the church. Scientology combines the Latin word scientia, which means knowledge, and the Latin word logos, which stands for reason or logic. Combining these two words the founder or creator of scientology, an American fiction author, Ron Hubbard was trying to grasp a religious truth about life and god from a logical or more scientific method. In finding this religious truth you will be closer to god.
The Church of Scientology is not like the Catholics or Jews due to the fact that Scientology has 18 basic books and 3,000 lectures (audio and written). When you are apart of this church you are expected to read and lesson to the books and lectures because in the church services you may be asked a question about the readings. Much like the religion itself, Scientology varies from other religions because the services are not like the regular church service. They are a lot shorter and do not require the pastor/father to do anything but read from one of there secrete books. Some of the more personal things that the church does is marriage, death, baptism, or child birth. This leads me to the last interesting topic that I will talk about, the Church of Scientology believes in silent child birth. Yes, silent child birth. When giving birth people in the room, including the mother, tries to say as quite as possible.
I had no idea what to expect from the Church of Scientology. From the readings that I did I thought that I may be going to something like one of my intro to philosophy classes, or they could try to prove to me that god was truly real. Or if it would be like what I had heard it was where I’d go in and be converted to some cult that believes we were put here by aliens and are all doomed. My visit was interesting to say the least. I scheduled an appointment to see the Church of Scientology in Philadelphia. It was located about 20 blocks from Drexel or Temple, I forget which on. It had a very nice view that over looked the river. Upon rival I went to see that the place was closed. There was a note on the inside of the door that said, “Closed for Renovation.” After being very angry, I called number that I had for the church and there was no answer. I tried calling back during the week and there was still no answer. Giving up I found a place in New York that was located on W 48th street and called there. I spoke to what I believe to be the secretary, and then to pastor John Mellinreugh. I scheduled a visit with him for last Sunday, April 6th. He seemed more then friendly enough so this made me feel better about visiting the church. When getting to the church it was part of a four story complex. The bottom was made up of white stone that formed three arches. Two of them were for windows that stretched to the ground and the one was for the door. Pushing the door open I was hit with a big wave of incense. It smelt good but was completely unexpected. There were offices to my left and a reception type desk right ahead of me. I went to talk to the receptionist and he rung the pastor to let him know I was there. After about five minets the receptionist told me to go up the stairs and down the hall. The stairs were a very nice marble looking stone that when from wall to wall with carpet going down the center. The walls of the place looked like that conference room on the second floor of Mercy and the smell of incense wasn’t as strong up on the second floor.
I opened the door that said Pastor John Mellinreugh and introduced myself....