Long Live South Park
Scientology vs. Psychotherapy is truly one of US pop culture’s most delicious ironies. Stealing a phrase from Mark Russell referring to Democrats and Republicans, this really is a case of the “Brain Washed leading the Brain Dead.” In Politics however it is hard to determine who is which. In the war of these two dominant US pop religions, Scientology and Psychotherapy, it is clear that the, uh well, perhaps it is not too clear which is which here either. Both could be as easily the brain dead or the brain washed and likely each is both. Clearly the brain disorders of scientology and psychotherapy are equally pseudo-scientific responses to the death of God that has been troubling the West since Nietzsche made that proclamation just prior to the twentieth century.
The death of God in the West is an historical fact. But it is not at all a statement about the existence of God. Whether or not God exists is a mystery beyond human certainty. But the death of God is a factual certainty about Western Culture. By the beginning of the twentieth century God was nowhere to be found in any advanced thought outside of theology and to a lesser degree philosophy. God is nowhere a part of any legitimate science. Simultaneously the beginning of the twentieth century marks a period of genocide like nothing the West could ever have imagined. This is exactly why Nietzsche’s proclamation was so trenchant.
Nietzsche warned us that the death of God was the beginning of a period of nihilism that would sweep across Europe. And it did just that: From the mass killing of the Armenian genocide through the horrors of Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot, no less than 100 million human beings had been systematically annihilated in the name of the post-god religions. Our twenty-first century lunatic ululating murderers seem pretty tame by the standards of the twentieth century. Of course the twenty-first century is young, and Islamo-fascism is just beginning to build momentum so who knows. Maybe Wahabist stupidity may turn out to be the genocidal equal of Marxism or Nazism. When God is dead perhaps not actually anything is possible but wholesale genocide seems certain.
Nevertheless, I find sheer pleasure in the conflict between psychobabble and Thetan babble. Both scientology and psychotherapy, like communism and for that matter PC feminism, are post-god religions. Thetans Thetans everywhere and not a drop of sense. Thychotherapy and Thientology. Yes it is the new Yahweh Superego vs. the new evil Prophet Xenu. But lest one thinks this comparison specious, merely remember both varieties of babble refer to the influence of past lives on present lives. Freud and his followers in numerous works ground the Oedipus complex in the pre-historic Primal Scene. Yes indeedy when man was young, according to Freud et al, the sons got together murdered and ate the Primal Father in order to have primal Mom and her daughters. And this remains the source of our difficult object relations around Mommy and Daddy. As Freud writes in The Ego and the Id we inherit past unconscious memories. In L. Ronny land there is the Xenu incident and various other horrible events from our past, the memory of which we genetically inherit, and for all but the most enlightened Thetans, like all but the most enlightened psycho-therapized, these memories remain submerged in, yet again, the Scientologist’s version of the UNCONSCIOUS. Ooo ooo ooo, ghostly weirdness everywhere.