Running down the rainy streets of Mountain View, CA today, this reporter took shelter in the nearest bookshop to prevent her tiny self from drowning in a puddle. She soon wished she’d picked drowning. Because the shop she was sheltering in turned out to be a Scientology bookshop.
But rather than beat a hasty retreat into the rain, she decided instead to leaf through a few copies of the scores of brightly coloured books lining the shelves. It was almost a magnetic pull. A force. In search of some fitting mood music t go with this revelation, she pulled out her iPod and scrolled to Vangelis: 1492.
And that’s when it occurred to her. The striking similarity between Apple and the Church of Scientology. Why, these two cults and their followers are so similar, it is actually uncanny.
Both sects were created by a charismatic leader believing they actually have the inside track on the human psyche and the universe at large, both push themselves on the general public in an uncomfortable way and then charge you through the nose for their “product.”
And let’s not even mention the creepy hordes of fanbois and evangelistic followers who will relentlessly pursue and tear you to shreds if you diss them in any way. Or the lawsuits slapped on whoever dares challenge or speak out against the all encompassing awesomeness they both believe they are privy to.
Both are secretive to a fault, and outsiders can never know what happens in the inner sanctums of either, and any embarrassing problems are quickly buried and all knowledge of them is denied.
Even the followers themselves seem similar – egocentric, superficial, both believing in only one divine path to enlightenment, radiating their serene smiles and smugly nodding to each other when they come across fellow believers. And yet, both have that crazy glint in their eyes, the kind of glint that tells you they’d have no qualms about snuffing you out if you tried to prove them wrong.
Hmmm. The rain has stopped. Perhaps I’d better step back outside again and get some fresh air.