Don't feel too bad. Not everyone is born with talent.
October 16, 2016 5:37 PM   Subscribe

 
Came for the baffling Scientology idea - salad, stayed for the dude wearing a sweater vest with nothing under it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:46 PM on October 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


So what's the deal with 'noticing' things? Coat racks, chandeliers, etc. This is not a Scientology practice I'm at all aware of, but I love it. I think this is my favorite:

WOMAN: Thank you. Notice that wall.
MAN: Yes.
posted by crazy with stars at 5:49 PM on October 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


It kind of looks like a bunch of cut scenes from David Byrne's Your Action World, only, you know, cut for a reason.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 5:50 PM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


oh my god my parents HAD that coat rack when I was a kid
posted by a mirror and an encyclopedia at 5:52 PM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


You noticed!

sorry, could not resist...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:01 PM on October 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


So what's the deal with 'noticing' things? Coat racks, chandeliers, etc. This is not a Scientology practice I'm at all aware of, but I love it.

It seems to be similar to the initial steps of an E-meter drill.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:03 PM on October 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


i went to scientology 101 and all i got was this lousy coat rack
posted by pyramid termite at 6:12 PM on October 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


you're lucky, all I got was a sweater vest.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:17 PM on October 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wow, these are like David Lynch doing Mel Brooks doing Hitchcock.
posted by jabah at 6:25 PM on October 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


The main problem with this link is that there aren't enough illustrations. I wish they could go on forever. I feel similarly about the reviews on Amazon: "Book is very big and heavy and not easy to read unless sitting at a desk."
posted by scratch at 6:26 PM on October 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Your daily dose of the weird.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:27 PM on October 16, 2016


I too like to do lines of cocaine while I imagine an older man yelling at me.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:34 PM on October 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


Holy crap- that guide to an e-meter drill!

At first glance this drill seems like a waste of time: the student is alternately ordered to touch the meter and to let go of the meter. Each time the student complies, the coach is to respond with "thank you". There is no indication of how long this is supposed to go on, but provisions are made in case things should get weird: the coach is instructed to occasionally ask the student how he's doing, and if the student exhibits any manifestations of distress, the coach is to inquire "What is happening?"


In case things should get weird?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:37 PM on October 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


yes.
posted by ennui.bz at 7:04 PM on October 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thank you.
posted by spacewrench at 7:27 PM on October 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Obligatory link to the Oh No Ross and Carrie podcast. Here's part one of their 9-part series on going undercover into Scientology. If you liked the weird-yet-utterly-mundane aspect of these postcards, you'll love the series.
posted by treepour at 7:34 PM on October 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


I think Burroughs riffed on this stuff in his early cut up film.

"look at the picture"

"how does it seem to you now?"

"does it seem to be persistening?"

"where are we now?"

"yes"

"hello"

"thank you"
posted by idiopath at 7:42 PM on October 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


(also source for the best outgoing answering machine messages)
posted by idiopath at 7:44 PM on October 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can't anyone else see the thetans in those pictures?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:46 PM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


> Can't anyone else see the thetans in those pictures?

*sues Metafilter*
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:47 PM on October 16, 2016 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: become curious about that.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:08 PM on October 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


I was in Los Angeles, journeying up the West Coast a few months ago, and had an interesting morning full of Scientologists. I was having breakfast at this new hipster spot around Los Feliz and, when I walked out, was amused to find myself in front of a big, blue Scientology church. "Oh right, all the Hollywood people are Scientologists," I thought to myself. I walked to the end of the block and there was an older man and a pretty young woman in crisp royal blue polo shirts doing some maintenance to the front of an upscale building. I didn't think there were any hotels in the area and wondered what the building was, and so I did what I was beginning to love about this trip, went right ahead and, knowing I had my "well, I'm not from around here" alibi, asked. Both their faces light up and the young woman said "Oh! This is where our parishioners stay at when they come to visit the church. We have parishioners coming from all over the world!" Their warmth was contagious and I said something like, "oh, well that's lovely. Thank you." And they wished me a pleasant day, and I wished them a pleasant day back and continued on my way.

I continued on walking a few blocks, in search of some vintage stores that the waitress told me about (again, pulling out my old "what's good in your hood?" schpiel). At one intersection, I came across a middle-aged woman and younger man handing out fliers of some sort. I wondered what it was about and they noticed me slowing my walk and went right ahead to tell me about their, to my eyes and ears, Scientology-branded Enneagram test. "It will only take an hour or so," the woman said. "Oh, I don't know...," I started. She replied "oh, the church is right around the corner, it won't take long." She went to take my arm, as if to usher me into the loving womb of Scientology, and I said "sorry, I really have to be on my way. Take care!" And off I went.

"Hey hey, the Scientologists tried to recruit me," I thought, while on my walk. "The Scientologists tried to recruit me." I now had a tiny dot for "attempted recruitment into a cult" on my grand bingo card of life.
posted by sevenofspades at 10:32 PM on October 16, 2016 [27 favorites]


GENERIC BRANDS Muhfuggin' Cola.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 11:57 PM on October 16, 2016


It's too bad we can't embed images in comments anymore because I would use these all of the time.

Or maybe that's a good thing.
posted by ckape at 11:59 PM on October 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


The nonsensicality of these photos reminds me of the graphs scattered through Dianetics, like this one. If you've never tried to read Dianetics, you might look at the Descriptic Graph of Survival and think "this looks absurd, but maybe in context it makes a kind of sense" - nope! The whole thing is a kind of Baudrillardian simulacrum of a completely imaginary understanding of human psychology. But to someone who truly inhabits the Dianetic world, a woman in an electric blue suit telling a man in a vest with nothing underneath "THANK YOU. NOTICE THAT WALL" makes total sense.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:22 AM on October 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Getting down on your knees and touching people on the back of their hand really is the best way to get their attention
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:40 AM on October 17, 2016


These images are from the long-lost Scientology Tarot deck. Suits are Notices, Attentions, ThankYous, and Walls.
posted by Weftage at 5:12 AM on October 17, 2016 [10 favorites]


Yeah, but "Zippy" Cola actually is much better than A1.
posted by Bob Regular at 5:14 AM on October 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


> you might look at the Descriptic Graph of Survival and think "this looks absurd, but maybe in context it makes a kind of sense" - nope

Aw dang, the man's kids and grandchildren start out life with less potential for immortality than he does.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:56 AM on October 17, 2016


These images are from the long-lost Scientology Tarot deck. Suits are Notices, Attentions, ThankYous, and Walls.

The Jokers, of course, being coat racks.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:05 AM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


A little aside about coat racks:

You know how there are some fruits in North America that are designed for extinct megafauna, like osage oranges and kentucky coffee trees? That these plants are the echos of long extinct species that linger long after the seed dispersers for which they are designed are gone?

Look at this google search for 'coat rack.' Notice the crown at the top? Isn't it weird that there are two different levels hooks to hang coats? That's because the top level is for men's hats. The ones nobody has worn since basically Kennedy's inauguration in 1962, over 50 years ago.

Echos, yo.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:12 AM on October 17, 2016 [17 favorites]


I once read that a lot of photographs like these were shot outside at one of their concentration, I mean, compounds. They built the sets looking like rooms. They did this outside to get sunlight to illuminate the scenes to save on lighting costs. The apparent cheapness adds to the aesthetic quality. And realism!
posted by njohnson23 at 8:38 AM on October 17, 2016


All of the clothing looks odd because it is being worn by people who are not used to wearing Earth clothing. Or even Earth bodies.
posted by allthinky at 9:04 AM on October 17, 2016


The cringing nerdiness of Scientology continues to astound and baffle me. I mean, who in her right mind would be attracted to this?
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:38 AM on October 17, 2016


From the E-Meter drill link
When a person is newly promoted onto a post in Scientology, a familiarisation step for the person is to do a reach and withdraw on the new area.

"Reach for that table." "Thank you." "Withdraw from that table." "Thank you." "Reach for that lamp." "Thank you." and so on until the EP is reached.
A person then notices things and becomes more comfortable in the area. This is supposed to increase the person's ability in the job by removing any fixed ideas that s/he may have which might take up attention units better used on the post.

WHAT.

What is an EP?

And also WHAT?!. A cult, you say?
posted by sio42 at 10:47 AM on October 17, 2016



"Reach for that table." "Thank you." "Withdraw from that table." "Thank you." "Reach for that lamp." "Thank you." and so on until the EP is reached.

What is an EP?


An EP is a vinyl record, usually ten or twelve inches in diameter, containing more material than a single, but less than an album.

Every Church of Scientology Auditing Room is equipped with one standard-issue table, lamp, coat rack with sweater vest, and autographed copy of Elvis Presley's Strictly Elvis. It is known.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:58 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


EP is "end phenomena", or the end of a procedure/test. Larger glossary here.

Just be warned, all this scientology terminology and slang is an incredibly deep rabbit hole. Be cautious with your time and exposure.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:04 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Thank you. Notice that wall." just sounds like something Trump would say.

2016, you ruin everything.
posted by maryr at 1:48 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Notice that wall" gives off a strong "manga translation by someone whose first language is neither Japanese nor English" vibe to me. Make everybody happy! Get a feeling so complicated.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 1:51 PM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Brilliant! It has a Hipgnosis feel.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:00 PM on October 17, 2016


It took me way longer than it should have to realise that the thought bubbles weren't humourous inserts but part of the original material. The objective switch from "well I don't know this is all that clever but I can kinda get the absurbist vibe" to "what the actual fuck? Wha? Thank you?!?!" might have actually broken the language processing part of my brain.

Also that Scientologist dad (?) is a total dick.
posted by arha at 2:16 PM on October 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


I can vouch for the getting down on your knees part.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:39 PM on October 17, 2016


are we supposed to notice that the "Become curious about that" man is Mark McKinney, because I did. you can really hear him saying it, too.
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:05 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The picture of the guy being upset about a fight, then the next picture of him snorting coke off a mirror, is a reaction .gif waiting to happen
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:08 AM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The cringing nerdiness of Scientology continues to astound and baffle me. I mean, who in her right mind would be attracted to this?

Reminds me of the time I learned an old friend had gone to divinity school. I asked him what drew him into it as a field of study, and he started (trying) to explain the holy trinity to me. After fifteen minutes and a bunch of Greek words, I found myself trying to keep a straight face while inside I was all WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS HUMAN TALKING ABOUT.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:01 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


The objective switch from "well I don't know this is all that clever but I can kinda get the absurbist vibe" to "what the actual fuck? Wha? Thank you?!?!" might have actually broken the language processing part of my brain.

I suspect that is a large part of the whole point. Like, perhaps they deliberately befuddle you with nonsense (like so), which they then 'explain,' but you still have no idea wtf anything means, because it doesn't really mean anything. All of which leaves you feeling like you are stupid and they are smart, so you pay them a jillion dollars just to (ahem) clear up your confusion and regain your self-esteem. But each new lesson is filled with new confounding nonsense and jargon to keep you on the hook for the next lesson. Lather, rinse, repeat, coatrack.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:42 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Brilliant! It has a Hipgnosis feel.

It certainly does, though my immediate reaction was more SubGenius and SubGenius-adjacent material like the music videos of Devo and Talking Heads.

Realistically, though, it just looks like the slick (but square) commercial style of the late '70s through early '90s, which is what all of that was aping in the first place.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:03 PM on October 18, 2016


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