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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tom Cruise and Scientology

I just wanted to briefly mention a couple things from a book that I just finished a while back. The book is entitled, Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography by the acclaimed biographer Andrew Morton. Since I have maintained an interest in the bizzare world that is Scientology, I decided to see what Morton would have to say about Cruise's involvement with the controversial "Religion." Choosing to write about this highly contentious actor/Scientologist advocate has brought Morton a tremendous amount of media hype and scrutiny. Morton even alleges that he received death threats from Scientologists prior to the book's publication.

The book itself gives a semi-detailed outline of Tom Cruise's life, with a special emphasis on Cruise's Scientology practices and beliefs. The book alleges that Cruise has climbed to second in command of the organization, and is actively campaigning for the spread of Scientology into other nations (which currently ban the organization from practicing).

Morton alleges that the "religion" is extremely intimidating, corrupt, and littered with a history of criminal misdeeds (in particular regarding Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard). As Morton states:

"Scientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to our communities medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally ill...it dominates its believers completely...no other world view or even point of view is tolerated. It is the North Korea of religion."

Morton also points out that the success of Scientology should be accredited to its policy of celebrity recruitment. He alleges that Scientology has catered to the celebrity, in an effort to lure them to the fold:
"For those working in a profession that is utterly self-involved, the notion of following a faith where the object of devotion and reverence is the self, where a man becomes his own god, is terribly alluring. Scientology strokes the ego as it lightens the wallet."

Despite the insight into the life of "Tom Terrific", the book is not without its critics. The New York Times and Washington Post have questioned the research done by Morton, claiming that critics of Scientology (including many former members) are hardly unbiased sources. The Church of Scientology itself has released a fifteen page rebuttal of Morton's book, calling it "a bigoted, defamatory assault replete with lies." Morton argues that many of his sources are undocumented because they have requested anonymity. Morton argues that if they were to come forward, the Church of Scientology would destroy them through lies, deceit, and scandal. Morton argues that this is a common tactic of Scientology. As L. Ron Hubbard himself wrote, "The only way you can control people is to lie to them." Immediately following the release of Morton's book, a controversial Scientology video of Tom Cruise was released. Here is a segment of that video:

2 comments:

Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

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Brad Hart said...

Thanks, Tessa! Sorry it took me so long to reply.