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December 08, 1995 - Image 35

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

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Inside the Royal Oak church, Hubbard's books are everywhere.

Scientology, and in fact it wasn't until the
two decided to divorce that he took a look
at what the church had to offer.
Mr. Kelman enrolled in a beginners
course at the Church of Scientology in Roy-
al Oak. He decided right away it was what
he needed.
"I knew instinctively that I would get
my questions answered," he said. Central
among these: "I wanted to know whether
I was a spiritual being."
Through "auditing" sessions that fol-
lowed the introductory courses, Mr. Kel-
man said he was able to begin healing. A
longtime knee injury disappeared as he
found himself free of "old emotional trau-
mas still hanging around, prohibiting me
from going forward." Mr. Kelman knew
Scientology was regarded by some as con-
troversial. "But I didn't give it much
thought. If Scientology answered my ques-
tions, so be it. I wasn't going to be dis-
suaded by the fact that it was a little out
of the mainstream."
Within six months of his first course,
Mr. Kelman was identifying as a member
of the Church of Scientology. His parents

never spoke against his decision, "though
in their private moments I'm sure they
wondered about it."
Immediately, Mr. Kelman began to see
the effects of his new religion. He felt more
confident and his communication skills
improved dramatically, he says. He:went
on a job interview and found his listening
and speaking skills were top notch.
By 1976, two years after he first walked
into the doors of the Church of Scientol-
ogy, Alan Kelman was "clear." As a "clear,"
he says he's always "in the here and now,"
without "emotions of the past clouding"
his view.
The same year he became a "clear," Mr.
Kelman was in London where he met his
future wife, Ursula, a native of Switzer-
land who was raised a Protestant. Ursu-
la also was "looking for answers, for a
higher sense of being than what I typically
found in my religion." She learned about
Scientology from her brother.
Both Alan and Ursula wanted a spouse
they loved, but it also was vital to each
that this partner was a member of the
Church of Scientology.

"An Operating
Thetan is
knowing and willing
cause over life,
thought, matter,
energy, space
and time."

Mrs. Kelman, who describes herself as
"a very practical person," was a computer
programmer when she met Alan. She ap-
preciates the fact that Scientology is "an
applied religion. It's not all about going to
church" but how to live one's life each day.
"To me, that is what religion is."
Mrs. Kelman still puts up a Christmas
tree and enjoys Easter, but the holidays
hold no connotations of Christianity for
her. Similarly, Mr. Kelman goes each

Passover to a seder, describing it simply
as a chance to be with family.
Mr. Kelman says he has seen a decrease
in the number of media and other "at-
tacks" on Scientology in recent years,
though he's not surprised when they sur-
"It's a new religion on the block," he ex-
plains, "so it's not unusual to find the es-
tablishment is going to question it."
And while his own family was amenable
to his decision to join the LRH camp, he
recognizes that many other Jews have
been outspoken against the church. (A
number of Jewish organizations were ac-
tive in the now-defunct Cult Awareness
Network, probably Scientology's most vo-
cal and relentless critic.)
Mr. Kelman says he knows why Jews
speak out against the church, and it has
nothing to do with Scientology and every-
thing to do with the critics' own lives.
"Jews who don't come from homes
where Judaism is practiced may be en-
ticed (to the Church of Scientology)," he
said. "That's why they (Jewish leaders)
object. They see this as a threat." D










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