Where are all the Scientologists?
Scientology claims to have over 100,000 members in Australia. Where are they? Between myself, my husband and friends I have asked, spread across several cities, having attended several universities and worked for assorted companies and large organisations, one would assume in all that time, if there were 100,000 Scientologists out there, someone would have met one of them. No one has. Maybe because the actual number of Scientologists in Australia, according to the 2006 Census, is more like this:
South Australia - 124
Victoria - 626
New South Wales - 1089
ACT - 51
Queensland - 301
Northern Territory - 8
Western Australia - 284
Tasmania - 25
Total - 2508
(And I sure hope the Scientologists in the NT all get along, or it would be pretty lonely for those on the outer). Even those numbers are an exaggeration; people who list their children's religion as "Scientology" even though young children cannot have any real religious conviction at all.
Curious, recently I picked up a copy of Clear Body, Clear Mind, Scientology's guide to ridding yourself of toxins. I tend to avoid toxins - heck, I've replaced chemical cleansers in our house with a vinegar-and-bicarb regime - but who knows? According to Scientology, the whole damn world is toxic.
Well, the regime is very simple; run half an hour a day, then sit in a sauna for another four and a half hours. If that sounds useless (not to mention dangerous) well it is - as the book itself states, "The Purification program cannot be construed as a recommendation of medical treatment...it is not professed to be physical or medical treatment". It's a spiritual thing, and the book should not occupy the position I found it in, the health care section of my local library. I suppose I should be careful what I say, as I've heard Scientologists can be a bit snippy towards those who speak against them. If there are any Scientologists reading this blog, can I just assure you, no one else does?
Now I'm not one to complain about Big Government (actually, this line of complaint hasn't really taken off in Australia at all). There are many things a government can do better than private companies ever could, let alone if we were all left to our own devices. However it's hard to deny that Australia has too much damn government; the point is often made, but consider this. Singleton Council, in the upper Hunter, placed a large ad in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald seeking candidates for Directors of Planning and Regulated Services; Assets and Facilities; Organisation Performance; and Business Support. Four roles, each earning salaries drifting into six-figure territory I'll warrant. All this to service a population of 21,500. What the hell do they need a Director of Organisation Performance for? Performance measured against what? If I was a ratepayer in Singleton I'd be planning to storm the next Council meeting with some fairly pointed questions, unless there was something better on TV that night.