April 6, 2015

A Scientologist Walks Into a Bar

And sits down next to us.

This was our Saturday evening. We went out for dinner at a place about 30 minutes north just to get out of Edgewater for the evening. I wanted to watch the Rangers vs. Devils game and enjoy a cold beer on a bar stool.

This man sits down and the first hour we chat with him, he tells us all about his kids (one of them is a fairly famous actor.) He tells us about his younger days growing up in Astoria. He had some great stories. He told us the story behind a screenplay he wrote. The conversation was quite interesting. He misses his children a lot and they are all around our age, so he was so happy to chat.

We ask him about his Easter plans and he informs us that he practices Scientology and also follows the Greek Orthodox calendar which celebrates Easter next weekend. It took my brain a second to catch up. Here I was in the presence of someone that could answer so many questions for me. I had to approach it carefully. How did he get into it? Does he think Tom Cruise is crazy? What level are you on and how much money have you paid?

OK fine, I only actually asked the first question, but he did say that he is friends with Jim Vatrola (sorry, I mean John Travolta.) He told us the basics and was happy to allow our beer fueled curiosity to run a little wild.

I think I'm going to watch that documentary everyone has been talking about. Also, I want to read the book by Jenna Miscaviage about her escape from Scientology. I laugh at my brother for his weird obsessive research, but here I am getting weird. Don't mind me.

In other news from my weekend, we explored Harlem this weekend. It is such a beautiful part of the city. Most of the blocks we walked were quiet and residential, but with beautiful homes. So many churches filled with people singing Easter hymns.

125th Street was a little more lively. You started to see tourists again and people selling perfume and incense and VHS tapes. We met an aspiring rapper and he suckered Justin into buying his CD by telling him that he looked like he could be a rapper. Then because he didn't want us to fight over our new CD, he gave us a second one for free. We listened to it on the way home and it wasn't too bad. Maybe I'll give our extra copy to Ice-T when we see him at the grocery store. You never know.

And we went to the Orchard show and I didn't love it as much as last year. But it was still beautiful.

What I learned this weekend:

  • I want to live in Harlem.
  • Everyone has a story they are want to share and you should listen. Bonus points if it happens at a bar and you learn a few new things.
  • There are so many interesting books, websites, movies, etc about Scientology.
  • Falafel wraps are my jam.
  • Dream big, you never know who grocery shops at the same place as Ice-T.

How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Harlem? Do you know anyone that practices Scientology?


  1. I have heard all SORTS of things about that Scientology documentary, most ending with "you have to watch it!"

    also, I see what you did there with John Travolta.......

  2. I have that documentary on my DVR! I am so intrigued by that religion. Also....who is this guy's son????

    Glad to see you guys had a good weekend!! xoxox

  3. Scientology. Yes! I'm so intrigued. I hadn't heard about the documentary but just did some quick googling and will definitely be investigating asap.

  4. Jared and I have seriously met so many awesome/interesting people in bars/restaurants while traveling. We love to strike up convo's - you never know who you're going to meet!

  5. I love scientology the same way I love any other cult. It fascinates me! Going clear was good, and I actually found the website that scientology uses to refute it, which is just as good. I visited a church here in Minnesota last week and purchased their dianetics book. As utterly insane as some of the accusations are - there has to be SOMETHING keeping people involved and joining. Right?

  6. I would absolutely love to stroll around Harlem! Also, it's amazing the different kinds of people you can encounter just by opening up and asking them some questions. Super fascinating and I'm also down with any person who wants to watch an NHL game. I'm a rare breed in this area.

  7. I am interested in the crazy workings of scientology. I've never met one.

    MFD is king of talking to absolutely everyone. That's why he's called The Mayor in our circles...and he truly wants to BE the Mayor of the borough where we grew up.

  8. My husband always makes friends everywhere we go so I am with you on talking to random people while you are out! And I have that documentary on my radar to watch. SNL did a funny Scientology skit this weekend and I am always fascinated by what crazy stuff people will believe. I feel like some people can be really ignorant about judging a religion simply because they know nothing about it. We should all be curious, it just helps us understand others :) I have never met someone who practices Scientology.

  9. I'm so curious who this guy's son is. I am now going through all the famous scientology actors I know of. I watched that documentary and my mouth was on the floor. Like I had heard things, but that was shocking. I couldn't believe it was real. I didn't know Miscavige's family member left the church and wrote a book. I may have to read that. I'm so fascinated about the subject now too.

  10. I've never met a scientologist, but I'm interested to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. And if Tom Cruise is as cray cray as he seems. Who is this guy's son??Whenever Steve and I travel, we always seem to meet people who know people we know. When we were in San Fran taking in a Giants/Phillies game, the two guys who were both CA transplants that we started talking to lived in the house directly outside of our development. And our town is inhabited with more cows than people, but somehow we got started talking and figured it out. I love talking to new people!


Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.