Thought-Stopping on Steroids
Just listened to a bit of David Miscavige’s speech at the Seattle Idle Morgue opening (I can only take so much). It relates to the recent post on thought-stopping. It occurs to me that one of the Church’s thought-stopping techniques is these event speeches. They go on and on, full of cliche after cliche, saying absolutely nothing, and all delivered in a rhythmic, almost hypnotic cadence. Here are Miscavige’s opening remarks:
“I am genuinely honored to join you on this day when Scientology comes of age in Seattle; not that you haven’t long maintained a presence in this town, not that you haven’t long ago sunk roots into this city, and not that you haven’t long carried the torch of this great Northwest, but only now is all the majesty and subtlety of booming this Church made manifest, because only now can we appreciate the deeper meaning of those campaign slogans which drove your new civilization builders to this moment: leading the way; delivering the future; taking Seattle to greater heights, only now is it clear those weren’t slogans at all, they were a prophecy, so while we’ve long marveled at your unbridled creativity and elaborate events, the many parts you’ve played, the many stages you’ve trod, and the myriad costumes you’ve donned, only now is it obvious when you were told giving your best, you took it to mean the best of the best.”
Yes, that’s really what he said. Can you believe it? It’s one sentence, one hundred and sixty-four words. And all saying absolutely nothing. How many cliches can you count? “Comes of age.” “Sunk roots.” “Carried the torch.” “taking Seattle to greater heights.” On and on. And what does it mean? Beats me. What does “the majesty and subtlety of booming this Church” mean? And what does it mean when you take that meaningless phrase and “make it manifest”? And all that talk about how the PR slogans were really prophecies. What?
And the people cheer at all the right “applause points.”
This is “thought stopping cliches” on steroids.
Added note: Normal people don’t talk like this, even when giving a speech. Only people who have nothing to say talk like this. Only people with something to hide talk like this. That’s why DM has Danny Sherman, a writer in love with the sound of his own words. It doesn’t matter to Danny if the speaker has anything to say or not, he’ll spin it up into a gossamer web of meaningless phrases and clichés. That’s what he does.
A normal executive would show up and say something heart-felt and honest. But of course “heart-felt” and “sociopath” don’t go well together. Miscavige doesn’t feel any real gratitude to these local people (and in fact, much of the audience is not local people at all; they were bused in from Portland – a fact that became embarrassingly obvious when he mentioned Portland Org and a huge cheer went up). He feels no real empathy for the local people who sacrificed and contributed – in fact, some of the biggest contributors were not even allowed to attend as they refused to toe the Miscavige line.
And honesty? Well, if he were to give an honest speech, it would go something like this:
“I’m happy to be here today with my personal camera crew from Gold. This is a big photo opportunity for me. We’re going to show this footage at the Auditors Day Event so I can take full personal credit for all of your hard work and donations. It’s always amazing to me that our Ideal Org campaign slogans actually work, and no one sees through the scam. Because of course, I’m not only taking personal credit for all this, I’m taking the building. That’s right, it doesn’t belong to you, even though you paid for it, it belongs to the International Landlord Office, which I control utterly. So thanks, suckers. And don’t expect any help from Int Management in filling up this white elephant – I’ve got all those losers on lockdown. Oh, and don’t put away your wallets just yet, I’ve got plenty of other cons coming down the pipeline. I’ve repackaged a bunch of LRH stuff so I can force you to buy it all again. You want to complain about all this? Go ahead – I’ll declare your ass so fast it will make your head spin. Well, I’ve got more important things to do than hang around this hick town with a bunch of disaffected peons. Lou, is my private jet ready?”