Religion: Cruise (Un)Coltrolled
Like what the hell is Tom Cruise talking about?
Okay, for all the rich, popular celebrities out there who are reading this (and you know who you are, Gazetteer) a piece of advice: DON'T HIRE YOUR SISTER AS YOUR PUBLICIST. Cruise fired his long-time publicist Pat Kingsley and hired one of his sisters instead.
It doesn't seem to have worked out too well just yet. For instance, Ms. Kingsley probably would have mentioned not arm wrestling Oprah.
But besides that, Cruise has been openly talking about Scientology. He's done that before, certainly, but Ms. Kingsley kept a very solid lid on anyone printing anything too critical of Cruise and his beliefs, being the CEO of agenct PMK/HBH. If media folks ever wanted to interview Conan O'Brien, or Ron Howard, or Woody Allen or anyone else that worked with her agency, they'd have to soft pedal her entire stable.
That protection's gone now.
So again: what the hell is he talking about?
He's talking about Scientology, a church started up by an indifferent science fiction writer who was well known to have said "If you want to make a fortune, start a religion".
Must be a coincidence.
One thing Scientology is is very, very expensive. And wants to replace psychiatry, what with psychiatrists being sexual deviants, mass murderers, and war mongers. But you knew that, right? Well, at least they're not blaming the Jews; unless the Jew is a psychiatrist, I suppose. The reason is that they use some basic psychiatric techniques and call them part of their own discovery ("Dianetics"), and it also provides them with a "them" to set themselves against, which all cults need when they're starting out. It's usually the government, or the gnomes of Zurich, or (sigh) the Jews. So at least they're original.
In any case, they are trying to get governments, specifically those that exempt official religions from paying taxes, to consider them a religion. One difficulty they have is their insistence on keeping their beliefs private, as holy documents. This is much like the Catholic Church hunting down folks who tried to translate the bible into anything readable by the masses way back when.
Well, gosh: I think the Christians were wrong to supperss knowledge back then, and I thing the Scientologists are wrong now. So, without further ado, here's what approximately $300,000 US will buy you:
There once was a mighty ruler named Xenu. Xenu was one of the leaders of the Galactic Marcab Confederation of 76 planets, founded ninety-five million years ago. He performed a tremendously evil act, trying to cure the overpopulation of the Confederation Worlds by bringing everyone in for a tax audit, freezing them with an injection of alcohol-glycol solution in their lungs and shipping them in giant DC8s to the planet Teegeeack.
The DC8s had rockets instead of engines, ‘natch.
Then, terribly, he dropped them into volcanoes in Hawii and the Canary Islands and blew them up with hydrogen bombs, all 13.5 trillion of them – don’t ask me how they fit. Xenus evil was discovered and he was overthrown by the loyal Marcab Confederation members, who have him imprisioned with force fields inside a mountain on (presumably) one of their 76 planets. Teegeeack was so devastated by this destruction, that it became known throughout the galaxy as “The Evil Place”.
It's now known as ... (dramatic pause) ... Earth!
As the Thetans ascended to the heavens, they were captured by force fields and electronically packaged into clusters, millions of beings smooshed together, and shown 3-D movies which made them believe in the reality all around us even now. Why the Wachowski Brothers ("The Matrix") haven’t been sued yet, I don’t know.
Anyhow, 75 million years later, when the planet had recovered enough to show signs of life, these Thetans were wandering around in clumps of a thousand or so, and they inhabited one of the local types of fauna of the planet, sparking their evolution into a dominant species.
So the objective of Scientology is to get us “clear” of “Body Thetans”, of which we are dragging around 2,200 and they are what make our lives miserable.
Oh, here's an image of what the Earth looked like 75 million years ago. Amazing how they found Hawii and the Canary Islands way back when.
So, all told, does Scientology qualify as a religion? Personally, until they come up with a creation myth as to how the universe appeared, I don't think they qualify. Other than that, they demand total loyalty to their beliefs; attacking their enemies; regular cash payments; and they teach that all other gods and religions are "false memories". So why not?