Help! My doctor's a Scientologist!
August 14, 2006 8:53 AM   Subscribe

I just started working for my chiropractor last week. In the back of the front desk area, I find a huge poster of L. Ron Hubbard's Illustrated Tone Scale in Full, including the Know to Mystery Scale. My question is - should I be freaked out about this?

Here's basically what it looks like.

More details about the doc - he's also a naturopath, he's in great shape, has a good looking family, must make a lot of money (now that I see just how many people come through his office daily), and is friendly with his patients. He does a good job helping keep my headaches at bay, so I have no problems with his abilities. However, now that I'm working for him, and there's the whole power/money dynamic to consider, I just want to know if I need to be wary.

The night after I noticed the poster, I had a disturbing dream about him and his wife trying to convert me. Now, I know that's just me being silly, but I find that I can't just let it drop. I suppose it's entirely possible that he's not a Scientologist at all, and I'm just making a big deal out of nothing. I mean, he could've just seen that poster somewhere and thought it was a motivational thing that would look good hanging up in his office, right? Right? RIGHT? *sigh*

I know this shouldn't be a big deal. I don't really care what faith a person belongs to. That's never been an issue for me. But, my limited knowledge of Scientology leads me to believe that it's a completely different ballpark. For example, when I looked this up before, here's what I found. Hubbard's clearly insane!

Is there a way for me to ask the other office staff about it without seeming inappropriate? Any other advice?
posted by MsVader to Human Relations (31 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
He's a naturopath and a chiropracter. Surely you knew he had some funny ideas before you started working for him?

If I were in your shoes though I'd just carry on as normal until he does anything you're uncomfortable with. After all, now you know you'll be better prepared to spot it.
posted by edd at 8:56 AM on August 14, 2006


You are completely over-reacting.
posted by oddman at 8:56 AM on August 14, 2006


If it creeps you out, find a new job. There's no shame in moving on because your boss is a freaky religionist of one stripe or another.

I wouldn't bring it up with staff.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:58 AM on August 14, 2006


I'd be a little freaked out working for someone who believed in Xenu, but I'm big on rationality. Ask the office staff specifically about the poster and see what they say. You may get some rolled eyes about it and if someone else thinks your boss is a nutbar, but is still a good guy to work for, you might feel better.
posted by meerkatty at 9:00 AM on August 14, 2006


My doctor's a Scientologist!

Your "doctor" is not a doctor. They already believe in one imaginary thing, why not another?

See also: Chirobase.
posted by meehawl at 9:08 AM on August 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just flat out ask. "Hey, what's up with the poster?" You may be preached at, you may find out that nobody knew it was a Scientology thing, you may find out it was just a joke. Whatever happens, you'll get your answer, and then can react appropriately.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:11 AM on August 14, 2006


Hubbard's clearly insane!

I would say the same thing about people that believe in naturopaths ... but if you're ever uncomfortable, leave. Simple as that.
posted by frogan at 9:24 AM on August 14, 2006


Umm... so what if he's a scientologist? I'd only be worried if he actually starts preaching to you, not if you have a DREAM about him trying to convert you. Complete overreaction. Would you be having the same reaction if there was a big poster of Jesus? Or Allah?
posted by antifuse at 9:26 AM on August 14, 2006


He could be a free zoner of some stripe. Their beliefs are basically the same as Scientology, but they're not part of the church apparatus. Since most of the worrying aspects of Scientology come from power dynamics within the church, I find free zone folks viserally less threatening than genuine issue Scientologists.

Even if he is a "real" Scientologist, that doesn't automatically mean you're in trouble. At street level most of them are perfectly nice people, like any other group. They may talk about the church and try to get you to visit, but just asking won't put you on a one way trip to the same kind of hellish experience Lisa McPherson went through.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:26 AM on August 14, 2006


Just say no to any extra-curricular activities, and you'll probably be OK. I would also, in general, avoid talking about personal problems with him, as he may see it as an "in".
posted by doctor_negative at 9:31 AM on August 14, 2006


I agree with most of the posters here; he's a chiropractor and a naturopath and you're concerned he might be a Scientologist? I don't really see the problem; all of them are about equally wacky as far as I can tell.
posted by Justinian at 9:39 AM on August 14, 2006


I have 1.2 for Scientologists, but it sounds like you have some 4.0 about other aspects of the job, so I don't think his putative nuttiness is necessarily grounds for 1.02. If he ever brings the subject up, just act 2.6 and hope he takes the hint. If not, take 20.0 and look for a new job. But who knows, a little zaniness around the workplace might break the 2.4.
posted by staggernation at 9:45 AM on August 14, 2006 [9 favorites]


If you are uncomfortable about the poster and have nightmare about it, then leave.

If you can overcome that, my suggestion is to continue to work for him until he brings up something or trying to convert you, then you can quit at that time.
posted by teapot at 9:46 AM on August 14, 2006


Yes, yes, I know the whole chiropractors-aren't-real-doctors crap, and I don't really buy into the whole naturopath thing myself, but as I said, his work helps alleviate my headaches where nothing else has helped, so enough with that stuff.

I also clearly stated that I've never had any problems with religion, so calm down there, antifuse.

And yes, I am aware that I'm overreacting at this point, especially since I don't really know anything one way or the other, but that's why I wanted some opinions on it.
posted by MsVader at 10:00 AM on August 14, 2006


maybe he just doesn't give a crap about Scientology, they just pay him to put their ad up in his studio
posted by matteo at 10:03 AM on August 14, 2006


Assume you've conducted the 'hey what's with the poster' exercise, discovered he's regular issue, and decided you don't want to join the program.

Now you're working for a guy you don't respect. You respect his money but not him.

In terms of your own mental health, it not good to compartmentalize like that and it's not good to support what you think is wrong.

Yes, he can always find someone else, but it doesn't have to be you.
posted by scheptech at 10:03 AM on August 14, 2006


If you get on his bad side, his "religion" allows him to ruin your life without guilt or remorse, including murder. I would not trust any employer who is a Scientologist of any stripe, and I strongly suggest you quit as soon as possible, and make sure to come up with an excuse other than "you are a dangerous psychopath."

I have worked for both Christians and Muslims, and although I do not agree with either ideology, I do not consider them to be dangerous simply because of their religion. Scientology is a special case. Get out.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:04 AM on August 14, 2006


You could learn to stop stereotyping and hating those of an unorthodox faith. The scientology stories you've heard are pretty isolated and assuming the lay practitioner is an evil mastermind is really pushing it. That's like assuming every Christian you meet is an Inquisitor. Or every Muslim a terrorist.

Even if youre a scientologist bigot, you probably have nothing to worry about. The homeopathy/allpathy/naturapthy crowd often have a hodgepodge of practices. A little dianetics here and little Bach's flower therapy there. I doubt he's a member of the CoS.

Hubbard's clearly insane! And Jesus, the Buddha, and Muhammed were hard-nosed skeptics of course.
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 10:04 AM on August 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


From the article I linked to...

"There are only two answers for the handling of people from 2.0 down on the tone scale, neither of which has anything to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of their acts. The first is to raise them on the Tone Scale by unenturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow. Adders are safe bedmates compared to people on the lower bands of the tone scale."

I'm sure Jesus, Buddha and Muhammed would agree with him, right?

Also, I never said I hated anyone, never said anything about him being some evil mastermind, and admitted that I don't really know much about Scientology. Yes, I probably went overboard with my statement about Hubbard, but to call me a bigot is just silly.
posted by MsVader at 10:31 AM on August 14, 2006


For about a year a couple of years back I had to work in the local Scientology building. It was creepy as hell (no glamor at all - never got on Travolta's dance card nor did I get a ride on Tom Cruise's Ducati) and a lot of times very sad (particularly seeing children using e-meters) but the people were harmless and honestly believed they were helping themselves. I was never pressured to join at all.

In short, I don't think you've got anything to worry about. It's silly but it's not dangerous.
posted by ChuckLeChuck at 10:58 AM on August 14, 2006


...but as I said, his work helps alleviate my headaches where nothing else has helped, so enough with that stuff.

You know, I've heard this from dozens of individuals. Thankfully you're all completely incorrect, the internet is here to prove just how wrong you are, personal experiences be damned. Hurf Durf Chiropractors Are Insane!
posted by prostyle at 11:10 AM on August 14, 2006


Religion does not belong in the workplace. You are not entirely free to ignore it, and the presence of the poster is subtextual. He's recruiting YOU and advertising for like minded (sic) patrons.

If that doesn't matter to you, then you are ahead of the game.

But like it or not, folks looking at YOU at work will see you in front of the poster and likely assume that you concur. If that is not an issue for you, there is probably no harm staying. It's a paycheck, not a marriage.

I'd find another job, myself. I pretty much detest intrusive religion and it wouldn't be long before that ugly entity "Reason" crept into my daily routine and made me unpopular with the boss.
posted by FauxScot at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2006


I have seen that poster in many dental offices. The Church of Scientology owns a management consulting company called MGE, which is also based in Clearwater, Florida. This poster is a tool used by MGE to help employers determine the fit of employees and (usually) patients within an office. Individuals determined to be "down tone" are helped to become more "up tone" or dismissed from the office. Which makes sense - grumpy assholes have a negative impact on happy responsible folks.

No one I ever spoke to in any MGE capacity ever let on that they were in any way affiliated with Scientology, and they certainly didn't try to convert me. It's a company that Scientology owns. Also, there are some folks who will tell you that Scientology is primarilyhere a management orgasm (that might be offensive, sorry) and that many members belong to other religions. I wouldn't know.

I didn't particularly care for all of the paperwork, and the insistance on dealing with patients in a way that I felt ignored some real financial concerns, so I left the office that employed me briefly (ok, I got fired, but I was planning to quit) and declined a job with another MGE office.

I do think you should have a conversation about the poster with your boss, but I doubt he's a scientologist. He may not even be participating with MGE anymore, but he may have some interesting ideas about running a business. It might be good to stick around and find out how they work for you.
posted by bilabial at 11:25 AM on August 14, 2006


Also, Hubbard is dead, but it's pretty well touted outside of Scientology that he was nuts. Nuts and good ideas are not mutually exclusive.

And, FauxScot, I'll bet ten dollars to a donut that this poster is in an office or a closet that staff has regular access to, but that patients will probably never see unless they are doing some serious snooping.
posted by bilabial at 11:28 AM on August 14, 2006


> I also clearly stated that I've never had any problems with religion, so calm down there, antifuse.

Scientology isn't a religion. It's organized blackmail, and it's well documented. Much much more inside the book on the topic written by Hubbard's son, who saw most of it from
posted by baylink at 12:45 PM on August 14, 2006


Oh, and while I have no brief for naturopaths, anyone who, in this day and age, says a chiropractor is not practicing medicine is themselves the kook, IME.
posted by baylink at 12:47 PM on August 14, 2006


As far as the spine goes: perhaps.

When a chiropractor ventures into reflexology ( ie. claiming they can cure non-joint-related health problems through spinal manipulation) , or starts advising patients against vaccination they are way outside "practicing medicine" territory.

If (IF!) your chiropractor is a Scientologist, he's a member of a "church" that would ruin your life without remorse, if they could gain by it.

He may be nice guy, but the organization he (maybe) belongs to makes Enron look angelic.

Operation Clambake has a lot of information about the behaviour of the Church of Scientology that is in a word, chilling.
posted by Crosius at 3:12 PM on August 14, 2006


anyone who, in this day and age, says a chiropractor is not practicing medicine is themselves the kook

Maybe you're thinking of osteopaths? They are licenced to practice medicine (in the U.S., anyway).

Show me the subluxations!
posted by meehawl at 4:00 PM on August 14, 2006


Scientology is evil, and Scientologists are either morons or accomplices. I would not work for one, nor would I would not hire one. I am an atheist and do not feel this way about any other religion.
posted by evariste at 4:06 PM on August 14, 2006


On the other hand, maybe there's something to it. Tom Cruise uses Scientology to aid car crash victim.
posted by evariste at 7:36 PM on August 14, 2006


Well, Crosius, I dunno, but a friend went to a local chiro after *4 months* of assorted traditional medicine failed to even find a cause for, much less cure, chronic diarrhea...

2 treatments.

Gone.

Didn't come back, and she hasn't gone back, either.

'Medicine'? Maybe not.
posted by baylink at 8:42 PM on August 21, 2006


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