October 27, 2006 -- PERHAPS it's less of a stretch for Scientologists to believe that aliens arrived here in a spaceship, exploded, and stuck bits of their souls on us, than it is for other religions to believe there was a talking, burning bush or a savior who walked on water.
All religions believe they are the, er, gospel truth.
Most religions, however, have withstood the test of some time and were not created by a science fiction writer.
Scientology, which now claims to have 10 million members, and has been the brunt of ridicule (see Tom Cruise), skepticism (see Tom Cruise) and craziness (see you-know-who), now has its own murder. That is the focus of tomorrow night's "48 Hours Mystery."
The story is about the horrific 2003 murder of a gorgeous, upstate, Scientologist mom, Elli Perkins, by her 28-year old schizoid son, Jeremy.
And what a show it is! It will make your hair stand on end.
The unmistakable conclusion is that the burden for her murder (Jeremy stabbed his mom 77 times!) lies with Scientology and its belief that - as one Scientology former bigwig put it - "psychology and psychiatrists are the rats and vermin of our society."
The Perkins family refused to have Jeremy treated with anti-psychotic medications despite the fact that he'd been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic after an arrest for jumping the wall at a nearby college and a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.
He not only heard voices, but thought that John Travolta's character, Terl the Psychlo (I swear), in the Scientologist-backed flick, "Battlefield Earth," was in his bedroom. He also thought that he himself might be turning into Jesus.
Following their religion's anti-shrink tenets, Jeremy's parents took him to an a Scientologist osteopath, who determined that he was just suffering from digestive problems. He ordered vitamin therapy.
On March 13, 2003, the day Jeremy was scheduled to go for an extended stay with natural healer Albert Brown, he went berserk instead - and stabbed his mother to death.
You will hear from many of the principals involved, as well as experts recommended by the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights International, which is a group whose letterhead explains that it was "established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights."
Watch this excellent report and decide for yourself. It will be one of the most riveting hours you'll see on TV this year.
"48 Hours Mystery: Scientology - A Question of Faith"
Tomorrow night at 10 on CBS