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December 08, 1995 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-12-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

. •


A re Yoll



Why some Jews
are finding happiness
at the Church of Scientology.

or almost 20 years,
Alan Kelman has
been a "clear." His
wife, Ursula, is a
"clear," too.
You and I and
most of the rest of
the world, howev-
er, fall into anoth-
er category. We are
"preclears." We have yet to
get rid of our "engrams" or
experience "auditing" with
an "E-meter."
Alan Kelman was born a Jew and
raised a Jew, but today he has no interest
in Judaism.
"I come from a Jewish family, but my
religion is the Church of Scientology," he
says. He believes Scientology has improved
his professional and personal lives and
has provided him with answers to spiri-
tual questions.
Mr. Kelman is one of thousands of Jews
worldwide who has found happiness in
the Church of Scientology. According to
church estimations, 5.3 percent of its mem-
bership comes from Jewish homes. An-
other 27.3 percent are Protestant, 26

percent are Catholic, and 23.8 say they
have no religious background.
Additionally, there is a Church of Sci-
entology in Tel Aviv (attended by both
Arabs and Israeli Jews) and many of the
organization's books have been translat-
ed into Hebrew.
Officials say they are proud of the fact
that, while Scientology is indeed registered
as a church (and thus holds tax-exempt
status), it is compatible with every other
"Scientology agrees with the spiritual
principles of all religions," says Wendy
Bellinger, the church's community rela-
tions directk in Michigan.
It seems improbable that even the very
mastermind behind all of this himself, L.
(for Lafayette) Ron Hubbard, could have
predicted what would happen when, in
1950, he published an article called "Dia-
netics" in a science-fiction magazine.
"The publication of Dianetics ushered
in a new era of hope for mankind," ac-
cording to What Is Scientology?, a guide-
book published by the church. Thanks to
L. Ron Hubbard, everyone could be cured
of insanity, learn to communicate better,
address problems without all that baggage

from the past and, ultimately, find hap-
piness such as he had never known.
This is accomplished through "audit-
ing," a one-on-one session in which church
members discuss everything from past
anxieties to current phobias and fears. Us-
ing an "E-meter," which officials say reg-
isters emotional reactions, one is able to
work through his "engrams," impressions
that subconsciously affect behavior. The
goal is to become a "clear," to function and
make decisions based solely on one's own
mind, without concern about what any-
one else thinks and without the typical
clutter of negative associations.
John, for example, finds himself curi-
ously averse to blue cars. An auditor traces
the problem to an "engram" of an argu-
ment he overheard his parents have about
a new car. His father wanted a blue one;
his mother preferred red. Soon enough,
John will be "clear" of all negative asso-
ciations about blue cars and even buy one
himself, providing that's what he really
In recent years, Scientology has become
what supporters say is "the world's fastest
growing religion." Most observers are skep-
tical of such claims, but it's impossible to

ignore the church's wide-ranging influ-
ence. Not only are there churches through-
out the world, but Scientology has fostered
such constituent agencies as Narconon, a
drug-treatment program, and Criminon,
which works to rehabilitate prisoners. And
thanks in large part to celebrity endorse-
ments, Scientology has gained althost un-
precedented popularity in Hollywood.
Actor John Travolta is probably Scientol-
ogy's most famous celebrity spokesman,
but Tom Cruise, Anne Archer, musicians
Isaac Hayes and Chick Corea, and opera
star Julia Migenes also have found hap-
piness thanks to L. Ron Hubbard's pro-
Among the organization's Jewish sup-
porters are singer/songwriter David
Pomeranz, actor Jeff Pomerantz and mem-
bers of the Feshbach family, founders of
the international investment management
firm Feshbach Brothers, based in Palo
Alto, Calif.
Mr. Pomerantz, who lives in Los Ange-
les, attended Northwestern University and
the Royal Academy of London. He has ap-
peared on Broadway with Jeff Daniels and
Dianne Wiest and is the founder of the or-
ganization "Hollywood Says No To Drugs."

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