Wednesday, 07 June, 2006
Banjos And Scientology
At The Parvenu Slips: Deering God, it's L. Ron!
She bought a Deering banjo and sent in her warranty card to get the user manual. Six months later, the user manual arrived, along with something else:
But ho, what's this? A pamphlet entitled "The Way To Happiness". Being that the banjo is definitely, well, kind of a cracker instrument (seen so these days, at least), I assumed they'd thoughtfully sent along a pentacostal tract or something for my salvation. Flipping through, however, I didn't see references to 'our lord', or 'Jesus' or nothin like that.
But every page had footnotes with definitions of words on that page, like 'pilloried' -wha? There were also scary photos of grinning people ca. 1980, and the subheads were all in a different verb tense and construction which confused me.
Then I flipped the booklet over, and right there on the back -- copyright L. Ron Hubbard. I instinctively reacted as though I'd found a maggot on my hand, e.g., shriek and fling offending object to far corner of room. And I'm not sure I look at my Deering banjo the same way now.
A bit of Googling found these:
- From a review at Musicians Friend:
I was most offended that Deering included cult literature from the Church of Scientology in the package. When I wrote Deering to suggest they keep their religious views out of the banjo business, they sent me more literature! My advice would be to take your business elsewhere and enjoy a better value.
- Donald Zepp, at the Banjo Hangout
When I remember to do so, I tell my customers to expect the Scientology literature from Deering. I had two customers who were surprised to recieve it and who genuinely cared...one was mildly annoyed, the other (who had not purchased his Deering from me, BTW) was absolutely furious with them, and swore that he would not only never buy another of their banjos, but that he would tell everyone he knew to eschew them.
The entire Banjo Hangout thread is pretty interesting. Even Janet Deering drops by to defend her cult. She says:
If this means that you won't buy my banjos because I study and appreciate Scientology. So be it.
If I had known Deering was pushing Scientology, I would have had second thoughts about buying one of their Old Tyme Wonder banjos. She's certainly free to join any cult or religion she likes, but if she wants to promote her cult via her business, she should be more upfront about it. How about putting a big ole Scientology banner on the Deering home page, Janet?
- By another larry. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @10:09am:
- By nisucy. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @11:41am:
- By MikeK. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @11:56am:
- By 12-stringer. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @12:08pm:
- By J-Walk. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @12:53pm:
- By Jug. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @12:54pm:
- By major_danny. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @01:18pm:
- By 12-stringer. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @01:21pm:
- By another larry. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @02:17pm:
- By major_danny. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @03:15pm:
- By another larry. Comment posted 07-Jun-2006 @03:39pm: