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As I was coming home from dinner, I saw my landlord emptying the mailbox. He handed me three pieces of Scientology mail.

First another pamphlet. This looks like a legal-size sheet of glossy paper folded into fourths. On the cover is a picture of a wall cracking under the combined might of two lightning bolts hitting the same place. I guess this lightning is more jackhammer than electricity. At the bottom of the wall, it looks like there's a faint blue mist of unknown origin. I hope it doesn't turn me inside out.

The cover reads: "UNBLOCKING YOUR ROUTE TO SPIRITUAL FREEDOM [wall picture] with Flag-only Rundowns. Eight technical breakthroughs from LRH to resolve ANY case, delivered exclusively at The Flag Land Base® religious retreat."

Unfolding once, it's Hubbard in his jaunty sailor's hat and a quote about "Rundowns." The attribution this time is "—LRH from LRH ED 301 INT." Hubbard sure had a high intelligence stat.

One fold advertises the whatever like a hotel. It has one picture of someone receiving a key at the front desk and one picture of the beautiful room that awaits.

But most of the pamphlet is descriptions of eight "Rundowns": Case Cracker Rundown™, New Vitality Rundown®, Dynamic Sort-out Assessment, Knowledge Rundown™, Fixated Person Rundown, Int by Dynamics Rundown, Havingness Rundown™, and Profession Intensive™. I'd give a quote from one of them, but I can't make much sense out of them. I do note that every quote attributed to Hubbard is in bold, and that half of the descriptions end with the words "move [or moving] up The Bridge."

Next, we have an envelope. I must say that it's been a long time since I opened one of these, so you're experiencing this fresh with me. Printed on the enevelope is "WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DELIVER THE FIRST ACTUAL OT LEVELS?"

Inside, there are three letter-size glossy pages folded into thirds. One is clearly a pamphlet, the others aren't. The pamphlet says, "OTism by L. Ron Hubbard," and there's another picture of Hubbard in jaunty sailor gear. This is not the same jaunty sailor outfit I mentioned above. This jaunty sailor outfit is new to me. It's much darker blue, and the jaunty sailor's cap is dark blue or black, instead of white. Hubbard appears to be clutching at a spyglass hanging from a lanyard around his neck. He wears sunglasses and is smirking. The picture seems to have been taken on a boat.

Unfolding completely, there's a coat of arms. I wish I knew enough about heraldry to accurately describe it, but the shield is blue and gold. in the lower-left quadrant, there's a commonly-seen scientology symbol. In the upper right, there are two branches forming a U with a star in the middle. Over this, there's a bend sinister with three segulls flying up and to the left. Above the shield there's a cross thing, and below the shield is the word "Revenimus."

The text surrounding the coat of arms is presumably by Hubbard. One choice quote, isolated as a paragraph: "Sex is effect, isn't it?"

The next page is only printed on one side, and it appears to be the testimonial of Sherry Anderson, Technical Secretary FSSO. She wears a jaunty white sailor's outfit and is seen talking on some sort of seaphone, gazing cryptically off the side of a ship while holding (but not using) binoculars, and standing in some sort of classroom holding a three-ring binder and pen. Also, she looks like Maggie Walsh.

The third page may be an application, but it's labeled "Important Questionnaire." Other than the contact information, I present it below as an LJ poll:

[Poll #1011276]

To fit in LJ's requirement's I had to combine the "currently on staff" question into one entry, and I left out the blank space to fill in something next to the "Other" checkbox.

And mailing number three is also an envelope. This one says "INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO YOUR OT® ABILITIES." There's also a graphic of a man standing in an X shape, silhouetted in front of a bright light. Inside, there are again three glossy pages, but they all look like pamphlets this time.

First, it's Hubbard out of the jaunty dark sailor's hat and back in the jaunty white sailor's hat with light blue shirt/jacket. The title of this pamphlet is "Create & Confront by L. Ron Hubbard." Unfolding, there's the same X-man graphic to start, but the rest of the pamphlet is pretty dense with Hubbard writing, compared to other pamphlets I've seen (like "OTism").

The pamphlet begins, "Now, creatingness requires a certain amount of confrontingness." Apparently, Hubbard didn't like the the "-tion" suffix. Later he calls the ability to play the grand piano "grand piansingness," but that was probably a joke. And speaking of jokes, this pamphlet also has the choice quote, "Ha, ha, ha, ha, heh, heh, heh!" though I'm willing to attribute that to an overly fervent transcriber. Later he apparently has some advice for sf writers, but I won't quote it because I can't make sense of it.

In the next pamphlet, the cover is the X-man graphic, and the title is "Greater Responsibility More Cause!" On the back, it says, "DO THE STATE OF MAN CONGRESS COURSE ABOARD THE FREEWINDS." The entire pamphlet seems to be geared toward selling the "State of Man Congress Course," and I just can't stop interpreting that as meaning "a course on the current state of sexual congress between men." I just don't think I'm ready to go on a cruise to find out about gay sex.

The last pamphlet has a boat on a cover, the Freewinds apparently, which is just offshore of a tropical island. You can tell it's a tropical island because there are palm trees peeking in from the top of the photograph, and you can tell it's just off shore because you can see the white sand just underneath the water at the bottom of the photograph. In fact, the boat appears to be so close to the shore that I think either the image was Photoshopped or the boat is in the process of beaching itself. The title is "Freewinds Upcoming Congresses & Conventions 2007," and that's what it is.

Of note is the "Future OT® Convention," which says, "Send your young adult to the Future OT® Convention. We'll send them back to you as a Scientologist who uses the tech!" Beneath it is a testimonial from D.M.:
The simply stated sucess of the Future OT Convention was that we sent a 14 year old girl who was only moderately interested in The Bridge and received back an unbugged, clear eyed, dedicated Scientologist, here on the same basis as the rest of us, demanding The Bridge. . . . Service and product was way, way beyond the expected.
The cost of the conventions vary. The Man Congress one seems to be $1,375, while the Future OT Convention Package is $3,304.60. Most convetions are apparently $1,730.

And that's it for today. After typing all of this up, I'm adding a new tally two new tallies, but I'm not making them retroactive. Deal with it:

Pieces of Mail: 5
Celebrity Name-Checks: 1
SJAs (Scientology Jargon Abbreviations): 17
Hubbard Sightings: 5
Typos: 0
Cute Girls: 0
Yellow Ties: 15
Trademark symbols: 8
Jaunty Sailor Outfits: 4
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New mail. See, I was serious.

This one's a pamphlet, folded into sixths. The cover: "Here is the simplicity of FSMING FOR THE FLAG." The picture is of two blonde women in their late 30s, early 40s sitting at a laptop. Apparently they're in a cafeteria, because in the blurry background, there are some glass-doored refrigerators that look like they have drinks in them.

Unfolding once, I see a black-and-white picture of a bunch of people in front of a window painted with "616 Hubbard Association of Scientologists." Underneath, there's a quote from Hubbard, but what's more interesting is the citation, "From HCO PL of 12 December 1979R, AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL FSMs." I may start adding letters to all of my dates too. If anyone asks, I'll pretend it's from the Mayan Calendar.

Nothing strikes me much after unfolding the pamphlet fully. However, the three non-Hubbard pictures all feature one of the women from the first page. Apparently, going through the pamphlet means following her through her path to . . . whatever.

Pieces of Mail: 2
Celebrity Name-Checks: 1
SJAs (Scientology Jargon Abbreviations): 7
Hubbard Sightings: 2
Typos: 0
Cute Girls: 0
Yellow Ties: 15

(I'm counting "1979R" as an SJA, not a typo.)

WedNYTX: 8:30.
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I got a lot of mail from the Church of Scientology. I don't think I am ever able to adequately express how much mail I get.

What's weirdest about the mail is that it doesn't really seem to be proselytizing literature. It seems to be literature aimed at people who are already Scientologists. Perhaps this aspect of "accidental in group" is a technique, but I don't think so.

So I'm going to start making a note of every piece of Scientologist material I receive in the mail. I'm going to briefly describe it, and maybe give some notes. But don't expect anything too detailed. I've long run out of time to keep up with everything they send me. While I do love studying religions, I've found Scientology to be a bit boring.

Keep in mind that I don't check my mail every day, so if I occasionally mention two pieces of mail, they might have appeared on different days.

Today, I start with a single piece of mail:

Source, Magazine of The Flag Land Base, Issue 191.

The cover story is "Flag Services: the Best on the Planet." The cover art is pretty boring, and unnoteworthy. I guess it's a building that has something to do with whatever flag services are. Except there is kind of a phantom light flare/comet/rainbow that looks like the The More You Know logo.

In the corner: "INSIDE: Marisol Nichols shares her wins from auditing on Solo NOTs." See, that's part of what I'm talking about. That a whole lot of religion-specific jargon for one sentence. How'm I supposed to know what any of that means? You just sent me a magazine.

Though, I suppose that if I'd been keeping up with the mailed material, I would actually know by now.

At the bottom: "Standard Tech by L. Ron Hubbard."

Quick flip-through: There are a whole bunch of people wearing dark suits with white shirts and yellow ties. I don't know what's up with that.

There's an "ad" that says, "I AM AN IAS PATRON." So, of course, I read it as "I AM HAS PATRON." Somebody put that on a picture of a cat covered in paint.

Hey, how about I start some tallies, too.

Pieces of Mail: 1
Celebrity Name-Checks: 1
SJAs (Scientology Jargon Abbreviations): 2
Hubbard Sightings: 1
Typos: 0
Cute Girls: 0
Yellow Ties: 15

Tally counts are based on the summary, not the actual magazine. No, I'm not going to go through the whole magazine to find and count cute Scientologists. If you have tally suggestions, get the in now, so the count will be complete!

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