All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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Next Wednesday is L. Ron Hubbard's birthday. He founded Scientology, and so his followers are looking for ways to celebrate.
They have asked Clearwater to extend its heartiest best wishes to Hubbard.
This is tough to do, because the officials and people of Clearwater don't feel many good wishes for Hubbard.
Hubbard and his henchmen arrived in town late in 1975 and began telling lies. They said they belonged to the United Churches of Florida. But when Mayor Gabe Cazares and others, including this newspaper, began checking into things, it became clear that the new gang in town was not a church but a profit-making sect named Scientology, which has been castigated by courts in several countries.
Things have been touch-and-go since then. Clearwater and the Scientologists are still here and prospering, but most people in these parts wish they would leave.
Getting back to Hubbard's birthday celebration:
Although the City Commission is unlikely to tip its hat to Hubbard, perhaps one or more persons will see fit to mark the occasion.
It could be done in these ways:
1. A BANK BOOK DISPLAY. This would be a before-and-after exhibit of the bank books and savings account statements of Scientology students. Entries would be outstanding examples of how quickly and thoroughly the sect can take a healthy bank account and strip it of all its contents.
Scientology is the only course of study that Makes Ivy League board and tuition costs look paltry.
2. PUBLISH THE BIOGRAPHIES OF GREAT SCIENTOLOGISTS. Featured would be such sect leaders as the public relations woman whose idea it was to dress a bunch of followers in Nazi uniforms and parade them up and down in front of the Clearwater Sun.
That was one of the great moments in the history of influencing public opinion. Until that day, many persons paid no attention to the Scientologists.
3. HOLD A "FIND RON" CONTEST. No one is sure where Ron Hubbard lives, or whether he has gone to join the great Thetans in the sky. Sect leaders say Hubbard is indeed alive. If this is so, they should be willing to sponsor a competition to pinpoint exactly where Hubbard hangs his hat. Winner would receive an autographed copy of "Dianetics."
4. HOLD A "RON HUBBARD IS NOT ERNEST HEMINGWAY" COMPETITION. Just as there's a yearly contest to imitate Hemingway's style of writing, the sect could encourage writers to submit samples of writing that resembles Hubbard's style.
Here's one possible entry:
"The way to happiness is best traveled when one is not burdened with excessive obligations for which solutions have not been arranged without regard to fulfillment of discharge of ignorance. The test of any "truth" is whether it seems true for the main person concerned, as compared to society's viewpoint as to what one should do or not do to evaluate refraining indulgence in harmful actions."
5. A SONG CONTEST. A prize could be awarded for the best popular song honoring Scientology. Here is my entry:
"Hey, baby, baby, baby, grab my E-meter, oh, please do.
"And clear my mind of all bad thoughts about you.
"We will climb to Thetan land, on wings of eternal song,
"And worship Ronnie baby, all day and all all night long."