Celebrity Magazine is the celebrity magazine of choice for Scientologists everywhere. A recent issue features a lengthy interview with longtime believer Laura Prepon, who talks unguardedly about the religion/cult in a manner that is usually shrouded from outsiders.
The interview begins with Prepon explaining how she first got into Scientology, and she very quickly serves up a steaming ladle of Scientology proper noun gumbo:
So when I first got into Scientology, I did Personal Values and Integrity and then Overcoming Ups and Downs in Life. These courses touched on the observations I was aware of when I was younger. It was right there in black and white. It was amazing, and I felt that finally something was speaking my language. It totally connected with me.
Pretty soon after that I got onto the Purification Rundown, and I started moving up the Bridge.
The next question asks Prepon to describe the process of “auditing”—essentially Scientology’s version of therapy. She talks about having a “cognition” in which she discovered that a decision made long ago was still haunting her:
Honestly, I’ve become more me. The auditing has stripped away all of this charge, false ideas, decisions and mis-emotions that were affecting me. I recently had one of my biggest cognitions in a New Era Dianetics session. I spotted this decision I made a long time ago that was affecting me to this day. It was a huge realization. At the time of the incident, you make a postulate as a “pro-survival” decision, you know? Then to spot it years and years later, after peeling away these layers and then—boom, there it is—it’s mind blowing! To think of it just hiding there in my bank, affecting me.
Next, Prepon discusses progressing further in the religion—what Scientologists refer to as “moving up the Bridge.” Prepon says that the process of auditing has made her so relaxed that other actors are begging to find our her secret:
When I was doing my Objectives, I was handling some intense stuff—as everyone who has done Objectives can relate to. I remember talking to my Supervisor about how my auditing was going. I told him the wins were so amazing. I kept pushing through and confronting things. The LRH data he showed me totally changed my viewpoint on auditing. It explained that in session, you’re supposed to turn on things that at times aren’t easy to go through. You’re supposed to be restimulated and uncomfortable at times, because you move through it in session, so that when you are out in the world things happen, you’re not affected. It was like this eureka moment for me. I’d never thought about it like that. And that’s exactly what happened.
In my life, things have become much easier, I’m not affected like I used to be. Things don’t bother me that had before. I don’t react like I did before. I remember I was doing a show with an amazing actor, and we were waiting to hear the fate of our show. He turned to me one day and asked, “How are you always so relaxed? Nothing seems to bother you. I want to know what you are doing...”—I take that as such a compliment and testament to the auditing I have done.
Another thing I really noticed from all the auditing I had was that I can move so freely up and down the Tone Scale. I used to have this funny idea that the higher I went up the Bridge, I wouldn’t be as emotional about stuff. And I was worried because I’m an actress and as an artist, I need to tap into my emotions! What soon started happening was that the higher I went on the Bridge and the more auditing I had, I could move so much more freely on the Tone Scale. My emotions were so much more tangible and easy to access.
Scientology, Prepon says, heightened her emotions, but she also returns several times to the notion that auditing has actually made her blissfully emotionless:
I remember when I was directing this pilot for a show I co-created called Neighbors. I showed up to our biggest day of shooting, where we had children, student teachers, all the cast, big scenes—I remember thinking when I looked at the schedule, “Once I get through this day the rest of the shoot will be a breeze.” Well, I showed up in the morning and we had lost our locations. I was so shocked. Everybody was scrambling. But instead of getting into the worry or any previous mis-emotion slamming in on me or getting me stressed out, I just turned to my producer and said, “Okay, we need a solution. What are our other options?” And we quickly got to work on Plan B. The fact that I had no irrational counter-emotion or reaction and just went into solution mode, I feel, is definitely a testament to my auditing.
Next, the interviewer asks Prepon how auditing has helped her deal with rejection. Part of her answer once again makes it seem as if auditing more or less brings one to the same conclusions that any average therapist might. Then, in what might be the most jarring moment of the interview, she abruptly slips into some deeeeeep Scientology brainwash lingo (emphasis mine):
Another big realization I had in my auditing is that there is a bigger picture. This is my career but it does not define me. I am so much bigger than this career and industry. It’s my job and it’s very important to me, but, when I have huge wins in session, and when you really cognate that you are a thetan and you have a mind and body, and that the MEST universe does not control you—it puts things into perspective. It takes the weight off you and things become very easy.
The interviewer asks Prepon about the “Basics,” which are a series of books written by L. Ron Hubbard that are the intellectual foundation of Scientology. (All 18 texts can be purchased online for as little as $35!) Prepon explains that the books helped her so much that she was effortlessly able to convince a show creator that Scientology was right for him. What an incredible success story:
The Basics are great. Science of Survival is a great book and it has data that is so vital to being an artist. Training along with the auditing is so important.
When you study the Basics, you get all these tools that you can apply immediately. As I mentioned earlier, I work with a bunch of different personalities. I work very long, intense days with them. Having these tools makes my job so much easier in dealing with things that will inevitably arise. I did a show years ago and the creator of the show was wonderful, but he is a total cynic. He had heard about Scientology, but had some altered viewpoints about it. After he worked with me, he came up said, “If you’re a Scientologist, I want to know about it, because you’re an amazing representation of what you’re doing over there.”
That was a huge compliment to me, because changing a person’s mind like that, changing his viewpoint just from working with him, that’s a huge win for me.
Lastly, the interviewer asks Prepon if there is “anything else” she wants to say. After some quick babble about Orange is the New Black (“I love the character I play”), she launches into another paean to auditing.
I feel a lot of the auditing that I’ve had helps me to be willing to go there and be free and vulnerable and really jump into these scenes wholeheartedly. There are days where it’s like, okay... let’s do this! And you have to drop all of your pre-conceived ideas, or mis-emotions, or being uncomfortable and just go there. It’s so gratifying and fulfilling as an artist to be able to really be there in present time, creating, with no vias. Auditing has helped so much in getting me to this place. I have more to go, and can’t wait for what’s to come.
(Here is how scientologymyths.info defines the “vias” mentioned by Prepon: “vias: relay points in a communication line. To talk via a body, to get energy via eating, alike are communication by-routes. Enough vias make a stop. A stop is made out of vias.”)
Prepon concludes her exuberant gibberish sermon with what is perhaps not the most convincing argument for her ostensibly science-based religion:
It’s magic, it really is.
Scans of the interview are below:
[photo via Getty]