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It’s day two of the Culture bracket in our ever-searching Manliest Workplace in D.C. tournament (See the whole 64-workplace bracket here). Yesterday, the manly Redskins strong-armed the National Museum of Women in the Arts to clinch their second-round spot; today, two of D.C.’s religious institutions, the National Cathedral and the Founding Church of Scientology, duke it out. Which of these churches is made in the manly image of God? Let’s find out.

THE FOUNDING CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY: When I graduated college, the Church of Scientology posted a dozen or so job openings on my university’s student job board, in fields ranging from agriculture to writing. I was prepared to apply for a job (hey, I’m a writer) when a friend of mine suggested that the Church was likely just preying on lost, confused post-grad souls.

If anyone did find a real job with the Church of Scientology, founded in Washington, D.C. in 1955, I wouldn’t know it; beyond celeb devotees like Tom Cruise and Victoria Beckham, Scientologists are pretty cagey about who prays—-and works—-for the spiritual machine. When I called the local office, a guy named “David” told me that the church wasn’t too interested in publicizing a list of higher-ups; he referred me to “Sylvia.” When I called “Sylvia,” I was transferred back to “David.” Figures.

Never mind that the only leaders of the Founding Church of Scientology I was able to find on the Web were a dead dude and a celebrity minister who chairs the board of the Religious Technology Center, the organization tasked with “monitoring and enforcing the purity of technical application” of the religion. The show must go on:

Founder L. Ron Hubbard (Deceased (Male, 10 points))
Chairman of the Board David Miscavige (Male, 9 points)
Phone Answerer “David” (Male, 8 points)
Referenced in Passing “Sylvia” (Female, ZERO)
Celebrity Tom Cruise (Male, 6 points)
Celebrity Victoria Beckham (Female, ZERO)
Alien Ruler Xenu (Male, 4 points)
Operating Thetan Level III (Unspecified, ZERO)
Operating Thetan Level II (Unspecified, ZERO)
Operating Thetan Level I (Unspecified, ZERO)

With the help of a mean-spirited extraterrestrial and the world’s most famous cocktail bartender, the Founding Church of Scientology registers an impressive 37 out of 55 on the manly index. But will that 67 percent manliness push L. Ron & co. over those staid Catholics Episcopalians north of Georgetown?


THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL: This U.S. base for the Episcopal Church claims to welcome “people of all faiths and none.” But does it welcome more men than women? Let us pray:

Cathedral Dean Samuel T. Lloyd III (Male, 10 points)
Cathedral Vicar The Rev. Canon Stephen Huber (Male, 9 points)
Chief Operating Officer Kathleen Cox (Female, ZERO)
Associate Dean for Administration and Finance Andrew Hullinger (Male, 7 points)
Executive Director for External Relations Michael E. Hill (Male, 6 points)
Associate Warden of the Cathedral College Shelagh Casey Brown (Female, ZERO)
Director of Philanthropy TC Benson (Female, ZERO)
Budget and Finance Director Kim Carlson (Female, ZERO)
Director, Visitor Programs & Volunteer Julie Cooke (Female, ZERO)
Director of Music Michael McCarthy (Male, 1 point)

Only 33 out of 55 on the manly scale? Pwned! See you next year, Washington National Cathedral!

Tomorrow, tune in for the contest between the Smithsonian Institution and the National Symphony Orchestra. For now, I leave you with this prescient L. Ron Hubbard quote:

The most neglected friend you have is you. And yet every man, before he can be a true friend to the world, must first become a friend to himself.

Cathedral photo by ~MVI~; Founding Church of Scientology photo by brixton.