When an invitation gets creepy

When an invitation gets creepy

I’m still piecing this story together, sparked by the industry discussion of a super bowl television commercial that ran in our nation’s largest cities.  I haven’t delved much into the details behind the church of scientology except the tabloid kind of information that I always hope is invented by wildly imaginative people.

Apparently, an Oscar winning author/screenwriter/ Hollywood/Scientologist named Lawrence Wright did enough digging to find disturbing truths about this odd religion.  Wright made the serious decision to leave the Scientologists “loudly.” So he wrote a book. And his recently released expose has earned him refreshed presence in the media, particularly in coincidental light of the extraordinary investment by the Scientologists to shore up it’s declining membership through a multi-million dollar advertising campaign.

I’m wired to think about this cascading story as a woman of faith as well as a marketer.  Never mind the fact that the commercial is a direct lift from Apple’s Think Different spots (by my alma mater agency!).  The simple fact that the organization is embarking on such a giant and vague marketing campaign is telling enough.  It was either my husband or C.S. Lewis who said, “as soon as a church’s efforts turn away from it’s outward ministry and revert inward with a need to sustain its very existence, the value of the organization has become meaningless.”

I believe this principle applies here.

I suppose there are people who’ve chosen to lean their ladder on a man who has created an outlandish god out of his own science-fiction imagination.  But as in all my reading and learning, I try to figure out what the lesson is for me.  For sure, within this discussion of reportedly bizarre and abominable practices, we can all learn something of our own faith structures and under who’s authority we place ourselves.

If we throw a church party and it’s hard to get people to come, and then if they do come, they are desperate to leave, we’ve made gigantic mistakes much earlier in the process. Locking the door so they can’t get out probably won’t help our cause.  And when word gets out, any future invitations mostly become creepy.  Somewhere along the way, the authenticity of the organization and unmistakable, permanently uplifting value of the experience must thrive on it’s own truth.

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Beeka
    Feb 7, 2013

    I love the “my husband or C.S. Lewis” part!!!!!

    • Suzy
      Feb 7, 2013

      … thought you might:)

      I love you!

  2. Miriam
    Feb 8, 2013

    A thought-provoking read, Suzy. Thanks!

  3. Shane KP ONeill
    Mar 10, 2013

    Good article, Suzy. I’ve never sought to know much about this organisation, or religion, but I’ve always been intrigued at how it has converted some very famous and high profiles names to its doctrines.

    Shane

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