This morning’s post by Jen Graves about the poor, confused couple who killed themselves because they thought Scientologists were hunting them gives me, as they say, much pause. And then even more much pause. And then maybe even a little more. Much pause.
But even more importantly than all the pausing, the story puts its finger quite firmly upon a bizarre seeming Scientology-and-crazy-people connection that has truly puzzled me for centuries. Is there some unfathomable connection between Scientology and the paranoiac ravings of the mentally ill? Is there?
Let me paint a picture:
Me, bright and bubbly and fresh from college, cooling my heels in a nice mindless job as a devastatingly sexy graveyard bellman at a fabulous Portland five star hotel. (Can you see me? Tight black single-breasted suit with red accents, gold buttons, and some sort of blondish surfer-hair thing going on? That’s me. Shut up.) In my rather short but highly eventful tenure at the hotel (the sex! The drama! The Whitney Houston hairballs! Jesus, I am SO not kidding!), I was fated to experience separate and unlikely adventures with two of the CRAZIEST women ever to set crazy toe in this crazy, crazy world.
These two women had an alarming amount in common. Both of them were paying guests in very expensive rooms. Both of them looked to be in their late 30s-early-40s and traveled alone. They were both really quite lovely, and they both dressed beautifully. (Someone much less gay than I might even say they were “entirely fuckable”.) They both were also—-and pay attention here this part is important—irredeemably INSANE—-legitimately, lock-her-ass-up-in-a-rubber-room, CRAZY. Totally and utterly. Mad, mad, MAD! (I’m telling you!) But the oddest commonality between these women haunts me still, and it is this: BOTH of these women insisted (INSISTED!) in their madnesses that SCIENTOLOGISTS WERE PLOTTING TO DESTROY THEM.
I repeat: THAT SCIENTOLOGISTS WERE PLOTTING TO DESTROY THEM.
Indeed. Here’s how it all went down:
Crazy Lady #1, Mrs. David Letterman
When I clocked in, security was already as they say “on alert”. The guest in room 527 (I’ll never forget it) had already caused several disturbances in the hotel. I was informed by the head of security that the lady was quite seriously batshit, there was nothing to be done about it, that she was hounding the desk, that she had already requested help from a bellman for something, and she was waiting for me. Oh, joy. I was also told that I must under no circumstances go to the woman’s room alone, nor at any point ever enter the room, and security was to stand on either side of the hallway, out of sight, watching me, just in case. Fabulous. So. Two security guards and I set off.
My knock on room 527 (with two guards on either side of the hall, peeking around the corners) was answered immediately by a lovely woman with long brown hair. She wore a sleeveless black velvet dress and a very calm, but very intense gaze that demanded steady eye-contact. (It actually gave me a headache.) Of course, she immediately insisted that I come into her room. No, I can’t, I told her. Not allowed. She asked again. Nope. Come on in! Uh-uh. Okay. She pointed to the threshold of the door, where the room service food she had ordered earlier lay neglected on its tray at my feet. “See that?” Yes. “Have them take it away. I can’t eat it. The Scientoligists poisoned it. They poisoned it with poisoned shit. The Scientologists are following me. They are trying to kill me. Come, in, I want to show you something.” Oh. No. Fucking. Way, lady. “Okay, just a minute.” She retreated into the room for a moment, and returned with a piece of paper covered—-every fucking inch of it!!!—-with very tight, deep writing …sideways, vertically, in spirals, looking like English, totally indecipherable. “My husband is David Letterman. Do you know who David Letterman is? He’s my husband. You have to send this fax to him. He’s my husband. Do you have the number? He has to get this—-the Scientologists are trying to kill me…” She pointed to the room service tray again, “They shit in my oysters!” Of course they did. I took the tray. I took the fax. I had a migraine for the rest of my life.
And then, several months later….
Crazy Lady #2, Mrs. Jesus
A completely different woman. Around 1:00AM, she left her room and came the lobby. It was a Saturday, so the lobby, with its lounge and restaurant and piano bar, was still rather off the hizzle. She dove into the crowd and began to engage other guests in quiet conversation. Then she turned and approached me at the desk. “Can you help me?” Of course! What can I do for you? She paused and put her fingers urgently to her temple. “Okay. Okay. Okay…” She said…but not to me. “Alright. Alright. Look,” (she’s talking to me now) “My husband is CIA. I talk to him with a transistor in my brain.” She began talking to her brain again, forgot me and wandered back into the mulling heard of guests. I was then approached by one of the other guests, who wore a concerned expression. “Excuse me,” said the other guest, “That woman? Is she a guest here? Well, she says she is talking to someone in her head, and that she has to blow up a Delta flight tonight. I’m wondering if maybe we should call somebody.”
But just then, the crazy CIA-transistor-in-her-brain woman rushed back up to the desk where I stood still gossiping with the other guest about her and not really calling anybody. Crazy-pants regarded us, then paused with her fingers to her temple, in conversation with the voices in her head again. Finally she said, “The Scientologists are trying to kill me. Don’t listen to what this woman says. She’s a Scientologist. They follow me. They want to kill me and my husband.” Then she wandered over to the elevators, and presumably back to her room. But that was not the last of it. She emerged again two hours later, when the lobby was much emptier, but not so empty that a dozen people didn’t get an eyeful when she, in a fit of excitement, lifted her shirt, exposed her pendulous and un-bra-ed boobs, and screamed, “I FUCKED JESUS CHRIST! THE SCIENTOLOGISTS ARE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!” and rushed out the front door.
So. These events (and at least two other crazy-people-think-Scientologists-are-after-them tales that I won’t get into just now) leave us with some dark and disturbing questions. Does some inherent and undiscovered element of madness lend itself to cumpulsory delusions of murderous Scientologists somehow? Or, more simply and possibly most obvious…have these poor crazy souls had some kind of horrible brush with a shadowy something you and I know nothing about? A shadowy something that touched their minds and made them insane? Are these people merely reaching up to us dimly through their madness to warn us about…something? Is there something we should know about this so-called “Scientology”? And what the hell does David Letterman have to do with it?
Only Tom Cruise knows for sure.
No, wait. So does this asshole…