It was July 1977. Gold was selling for $161.10 per ounce, Dodgers players Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke had just invented the “high five.” “Star Wars: A New Hope” was released and most critics thought it would be a flop. The population of the world was slightly more than four billion. The top song of the year was “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone. The Yankees won the World Series and the Raiders won the Super Bowl.
Led Zeppelin did a concert over July 4th weekend at The Forum and I was there but don’t remember much of it because I was so stoned. Somehow, I was able to ride my motorcycle home and not kill myself.
I was 23 years old and lost. I was looking for a job, having been fired from my last one just before the July 4th weekend. I went on a bender for almost five days. After that I found myself sitting at the counter at a restaurant that I was the night manager of a mere three months prior glumly sulking over a cup of coffee.
That was the day I walked into a Scientology mission on San Fernando Road in Burbank, California.
You see, a fellow I knew sat down beside me at the counter and said: “Hey Dean, where have you been? Haven’t seen you around here for months.” His name was Bruce and he and I knew each other as only a customer and restaurant manager can—casually and informally.
He inquired why I looked so down and I set out explaining that I was newly unemployed and not very happy about the whole thing and that I recognized that it was my own fault that I was in this condition. I had no way to pay my upcoming rent; I had paid July, but what about August? I guessed I would be moving back in with mom and dad. The coffee was not helping me at all. And I frankly dreaded looking for another job.
Then Bruce made a very unusual comment. He said, “Wow, I bet that if you knew more about yourself you wouldn’t have gotten into this mess.”
I, to this day, don’t know why that comment struck me as much as it did. But looking back, I suppose I should have known why. Maybe because I hoped for happiness and I was not a happy guy. I had not even realized really that I was searching for answers to the riddles that plagued me: “Who am I really? Why do I ALWAYS seem to find myself in trouble—especially just after I am feeling pretty good about myself?” And a thousand other WTF questions about me, other people and the world at large.
Not only would I be dead, I would still be chained up as a spiritual being. I would not now have answers to ALL the questions I had and so many more I had not even thought of back in 1977.
I had no answers. I had tried drugs and they helped for a minute and at a great cost. I tried Transcendental Meditation and more often than not fell asleep. I tried Buddhism and it bored me to tears. I tried self-hypnosis and that also produced no result. I had lots of questions and no answers, but I had always kept all of this to myself.
Did Bruce know something I didn’t? I was intrigued.
I said, “Yeah I suppose if I knew more about myself I would be happier, I guess.” He told me to come with him and do a personality analysis and that might give me some insight. He also mentioned it was free.
So off we went to the Scientology mission in Burbank, where I signed up for and completed a communications course and bought and read a book called Dianetics. I had never even heard of the Church of Scientology before that day.
Now it is 2017, and after 40 years being a Scientologist I have never regretted even one minute of being involved with this Church. It is sad, but typical for any new religion to suffer persecution in its early years. All major religions have. So I will leave that subject for another day.
But one thing I will say is that, had I NOT become a Scientologist back then, I would be dead now. Almost every one of my friends from that time are dead today. But not only would I be dead, I would still be chained up as a spiritual being. I would not now have answers to ALL the questions I had and so many more I had not even thought of back in 1977.
Today the population of Earth is 7.6 billion, gold is $1,278.24 per ounce. The Dodgers are playing their first World Series Game since 1988. The Raiders came to LA and went back to Oakland and are headed to Las Vegas. Pretty much every person on the planet knows how to do a high five and Baker and Burke are long since retired. Dusty Baker lives in Riverside California, Glenn Burke passed away in 1995. There are a total of 12 Star Wars movies now which would take over 14 hours and 45 minutes to watch (not counting potty breaks). Debbie Boone lives in LA and is married to an Episcopal priest. And the Yankees barely lost the Pennant race for the American league.
Today I am a happy guy. I have fun in life. I have a wonderful wife and two awesome daughters and I do not know how I could be better or happier. It is not a new development that I am happy and satisfied with my life. This feeling has pretty much been going on for about 40 years now.
I wish the same for all the people that read this, and in fact all the people of Earth.
Scientology saved my life.
It can save yours too.