Thetans, rejoice: A Scientology conference is coming to a beach near you.
For two days in March — and for $200 — you can learn about the ins and outs of Scientology, the religion/self-help group/Tom Cruise thingy.
Flyers were sent to potential Thetans (that's the rough equivalent to the "soul" in Scientology-speak) this week, maybe in hopes that they would clean up their acts after a holiday season filled with drunken, drug-addled, soulless debauchery.
For the uninitiated, Scientology is a religion, kind of. Its headquarters are in the sleepy beach town of Clearwater. Famous Scientologists include John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Beck, Isaac Hayes and, of course, Cruise. Thousands around the world have said Scientology has helped them lead more organized, productive, successful lives; others say it is a money-grubbing cult.
Scientologists are anti-psychology (see Tom Cruise's exchange with "Today" show host Matt Lauer) and anti- anti-depressants (see Tom Cruise's remarks about Brooke Shields).
According to the organization's website, Scientology is "the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life." The glossy color brochure in mailboxes this week touts the "Freewinds Weekend Anatomy of the Spirit of Man Congress" held at, well, it didn't say exactly where.
But it did say that Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard would "explain" many aspects of the organization and conduct "group processing" and "Tone Scale Seminars." Never mind that Hubbard, the author of the Scientology-based tome "Dianetics" and other science fiction books, has been dead since 1986.
Scientology has a church in Coral Gables. Could this conference mean that the group wants to expand its influence here in Miami? Hubbard help us.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.