Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nabbed by a commercial.

'What makes people depressed'?

Some cool, intense music played in the background of the commercial.

Questions were flashed tantalizingly across a black background.

It made me sit up and take notice.

I wanted to know: 'What DID make people depressed'?

The commercial played on.
(Found out later, this commercial must have been one of those created by Jeff Hawkins).

It crescendoed into the a picture of a volcano exploding, then it panned back to show the Dianetics book's flashy cover.


I suddenly had been feeling depressed for no reason. And I wanted to know WHY. And some of the questions this commercial provided promised me answers in this seemingly magical book called: Dianetics.

I called the number on the screen and they gave me the nearest Mission to me: The San Antonio Texas Mission.

It was 1989.

I met a personable, upbeat woman named Jean.

She explained to me all about Dianetics by drawing a series of simple pictures of how it erases the root cause of one's suffering and mental torments, The Reactive Mind.

She made it sound all so simple.

Of course, I was intrigued and I asked her how does one get rid of this part of one's self?

She then explained to me about a special type of councelling called 'Auditing' .

I asked her the price.

It was about $200.00 or so dollars for an 'intensive' (each intensive is 12 hrs long) of this 'Auditing'

Well, I didn't have that, so she sold me the Dianetics book and the extension course, intstead.

She also had me get a free dianetics session.

It was pretty cool stuff!

Very different than anything I had ever experienced in my life.

I wanted more.

But, I didn't have the money!

I had a young baby boy at home, and was an Army Wife. Funds were limited.

They suggested I 'help' them by stuffing letters. I enjoyed volunteering, as I had been doing so all my life; coming from an active Masonic family, we regularly visited nursing homes, participated in bake sales etc for various masonic functions, sororities, etc.

They said I could get some sessions as exchange for helping them. I said ok, and began. I signed no papers. Apparently, this was just a 'temporary deal' (to get ME more hooked so they could either get me to pay for an intensive or to join Staff, I'm sure).

So I went in at least every other night to help with various, clerical tasks. I liked the vibe of this place! It felt so different to me. I was also a voracious reader and started eyeing all the books out on the shelves.

I saw these books about something called Scientology, but I was only interested in Dianetics. At the time, I was a newly-converted devout Catholic and seeing the word Scientology along with this religious-looking cross on some of the books, backed me off from it.

The more I learned, the more excited I became. I started feeling different. Needed, appreciated, and helping them made me feel a sense of belonging. I showed some of their Dianetics Promo to my then husband. He never said much, but when he would, he'd reference things like how much of a 'group' they were and how they possibly excluded God. (He was devoutly fundamental Christian, yet inactive).

I'd scoff at him and continue going to The Mission in the evenings.

I finished my extension course. It was rather interesting, and of course made me want this 'Auditing' even more!

One strange thing I noticed about everyone was how much they all STARED at me! (Or what I considered staring). They'd just stand there and look at you for long periods of time, saying nothing. That made me distinctly uncomfortable.

I brushed it off and went on stuffing enveloped every night. I was never writing letters, yet. I was too new.

About a month into my helping them, one Saturday afternoon, I was at the Mission stuffing envelopes as usual when I started to feel suddenly very weak and sick. I didn't want to appear so, to anyone tho. So I purposely dropped an envelope to the floor necessitating me to have to bend my head down to pick it up, figuring putting myself into this position might help me feel less light-headed. It helped. No one seemed to notice anything.

Within the next couple days, I found out why I was feeling like that.

I found out I was pregnant again. My son was 9 months old at the time.

Then a few weeks later I found out....

I was pregnant with TWINS!


Boy were we thrilled..and scared!

I am a very petite girl weighing under 100 lbs and the thought of me carrying twins (much less giving birth) successfully, daunted me!

Along this time, I decided to return to school to gain some much-needed clerical/work skills.

So I enrolled fulltime in a Technical School in the year-long Executive Secretary Major program they offered. It was an intense two-year program condensed into one year. (supposedly comparable to an Associate's Degree).

So every day, I attended school, then went to the Mission at night. I was seeing my husband and young son, less and less.

Stay tuned for more, soon.

1 comment:

Rose said...

I am thoroughly enjoying your story. I am concerned for a friend who recently shared that he attended a *great dianetics session.* I am learning a lot from your blog. I am also curious, did you ever return to Catholicism?