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Operation Clambake is one of the funniest and creepiest looks at Scientology's deep dark sci-fi cult insanity. Scientologists believe that according to L. Ron Hubbard, people were once incarnated as clams and that ancestral memories of this Incident cause people to freak out if you make clam-like opening and closing motions. I think it is more likely that we were previously "incarnated" as ignorant superstitious peasants who believed this kind of farcical nonsense and when someone flaps their gums and spouts this kind of far-out loony bin embarassment to the brain, it causes us to freak out because we are confronted with our ghosts of flat-earthers past. It defies belief that this sort of thing continues.
I attended my first clambake when I was 15 years old. I was at a luxurious Hilton resort on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. There was a seaside restaraunt set up on a pier-style platform. Everything was set up like a buffet except all of the food was top notch.
I remember being in pain from the severe sunburn I had acquired the day before. We had just arrived and I hadn't seen the beach in nearly two years. There was no time for sunscreen. There was only time for the beach.
I roughed out the pain to attend this clambake. I didn't want to miss it. I'd never had clams on the half-shell before and I was determined to try it. I remember walking up to the buffet and piling on the clams in their little barnacle crusted shells. When I got back to my table I was disgusted. I found little slimey morsels of boogery meat soaked in mucus. I was sure that this was a bad one but as I looked around people were scarfing them down like they were addicted. Curiousity had the best of me and I tried one. The texture was horrible and made me want to gag but the flavor was delicious. Oh what a strange contradiction of the senses it was. I never got over the texture and never ate them on the half shell again after that point in time. I've since eaten them fried and sauted in pasta but never again will I do the half shell.
Since I've grown older the meaning of clambake has transformed from a food-oriented event to a drug term meaning to smoke in a enclosed area with no ventilation causing the room to become dense with smoke. I don't really understand why it's called clambaking.