Thursday, December 16, 2010

Part 32, Chapter 3 - Talking About Math

Jonnie goes through the old Psychlo personnel records and comes across an engineer named Soth, a 180-year-old former under-professor of "ore theory" who's been relocated every two to four years. Additionally, he'd been "cross-fired" each time he was moved rather than sent through the transit hub of Psychlo.

This raises the point that the Psychlos' insistence on linking every flippin' outpost of their empire to their homeworld slowed their expansion due to limitations of the single teleporter platform there. Jonnie's tried to avoid that problem by doubling up his platforms, dividing the duty into loading and receiving. This confuses me by implying that there are multiple teleporters running on Earth at the same time, or that while one platform is firing the adjacent one is receiving, both of which I thought were impossible due to Hubbard's rules. But whatever.

The reason for Soth's mysterious spree of transfers is a note from "Fla, Chief Catrist, Gru Clinic, Psychlo," declaring that Soth was "unsuitable for teaching profession." Jonnie rages how one "little slip of paper had condemned a being to obvious exile for a hundred thirty years!" Darn those catrists! I hope Jonnie... oh, right, they're all dead.

Jonnie doesn't go to this Soth immediately, and instead runs a test with a miner named Maz who Ker wants to get a tungsten mine started with. Jonnie brings up mathematics, but Maz doesn't try to kill him - instead he spends a long time thinking he shouldn't be talking about the subject, though he isn't sure why. Then Maz rambles about "somebody holding a whirling spiral in front of me," has a vision of his group's old catrist, and suggests that he do the calculations Jonnie was asking about for him. Two days later he hasn't tried to off himself, so Jonnie takes it as a good sign.

Jonnie also looks up the spinning spiral thing in a book called Hypnotism for the Millions and gives us another rant.

What a weird idea world those Psychlos had lived in! Imagine putting a whole population under a mental cloud! But the idea wasn't solely Psychlo's, for there it had been among the spider webs of the old man-library! And it had been a man-book which had led him on to the capsules.

How could any being consider itself so right as to think it should make all other beings into robots to do its bidding? He thought of Lars. Had Hitler been doing things like that?


The scary thing about Hitler was not that he stole people away, held them captive, and proceeded to break their minds until they were unwaveringly loyal to him and his ideals. He just gave speeches. He ranted and raved and promised glory and revenge, and it was enough to make World War II happen. Sure, he tried to indoctrinate the youth and ran a mean propaganda machine, but those weren't his main means of recruitment or even exclusive to his movement. He never needed to brainwash.

Scientology, on the other hand...

Back to Chapter Two

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