Back in the 1970's, L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology and author of its basic evangelizing tome, Dianetics, described a process by which he said adherents could heighten their senses and attain greater powers.
Everyone is familiar with what are called the basic Five Senses: Taste, Touch, Sight, Smell, and Hearing. There are other senses that science recognizes, including sensitivity to temperature, pain, balance, and several others. However Hubbard outlined 57 senses that he called "perceptics". According to the St. Petersburg Times, these include:
Time, Sight; Taste, Color, Depth; Solidity (barriers); Relative sizes (external); Sound; Pitch; Tone; Volume; Rhythm; Smell; Touch (pressure, friction, heat or cold and oiliness); Personal emotion; Endocrine states; Awareness of awareness; Personal size; Organic sensation (including hunger); Heartbeat; Blood circulation; Cellular and bacterial position; Gravitic (self and other weights); Motion of self; Motion (exterior); Body position; Joint position; Internal temperature; External temperature; Balance; Muscular tension; Saline content of self (body); Fields/magnetic; Time track motion; Physical energy (personal weariness, etc.); Self-determinism; Moisture (self); Sound direction; Emotional state of other organs; Personal position on the tone scale; Affinity (self and others); Communication (self and others); Reality (self and others); Emotional state of groups; Compass direction; Level of consciousness; Pain; Perception of conclusions (past and present); Perception of computation (past and present); Perception of imagination (past and present); Perception of having perceived (past and present); Awareness of not knowing; Awareness of importance, unimportance; Awareness of others; Awareness of location and placement (masses, spaces and location itself); Perception of appetite; Kinesthesia.
Hubbard had a dream that one day all - or at least the well-funded among - his Scientologist followers would be able to be trained in how they could hone these superpowers and lead the world of mankind into a new age of wonder.
Now that day has come.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Church of Scientology has unveiled a new 377,000-square-foot building in Clearwater, Florida that purports to be the center for superpower training in these perceptics areas. The new structure is called the Flag Building, and everything about it is a secret. Reporters have not been allowed inside to take pictures. But plans submitted to the city for building permits reveal a cafeteria, offices and hundreds of rooms for "auditing", the basic routine procedure by which people are inducted into Scientology.
The fifth floor of the building is dedicated to developing these super powers. There is a giant gyroscope-like wheel, and a device that Scientology leaders say will allow visitors (Scientologist only) to experience "zero gravity".
The sixth floor has a circular track for Scientologists to traverse until they attain a moment of enlightenment. Apparently you just run for an extended period of time.
The Church had estimated that the facility would cost $100 Million to build. They launched a fundraising campaign among the faithful and took in $145 Million.
image via: wikimedia commons