Posted by: Mark Nielsen | September 16, 2010

Uncle L. Ron Wants You

The Poster Boy In the Plastic Bubble

At the risk of the Scientology goons hammering my humble little blog, let’s look into some of the less-reported aspects of Hollywood hotshots’ private lives. I don’t normally bother, but something here smells too fishy to look the other way.

We all know about pre-Brat Pack teen star John Travolta‘s famous ups and downs, both personally and professionally. Sweat Hog, Saturday Night Phenom, Scientologist, movie gangster, jet pilot, grieving father of autistic son, even AGING father (47-year-old Kelly’s seven months pregnant as of Sept. 2010, and John’s …what? Fifty six! Good for you, old man… unless there’s something else going on here, in which case, shame-shame).

But did you catch the ET/news items about some secret (Scientology?) meeting this past summer –at a restaurant bought out for the day by Tom Cruise (who, with the recent controversies involving Travolta, currently holds down the fort as the leading Hollywood Scientologist). Will and Jada Smith also attended the meeting, plus several other celebrity Hubbardites. I had already read that Will was going to Scientology –ummm… what do they call them? services? meetings? harmonic convergences? But why do they feel the need to slink around like this? Rather convenient that they can dress in the “privacy from paparazzi” excuse. Are they hiding something, though? As Jesus once said, “whatever is done in the dark”… or something like that.

Elsewhere in the news (okay, maybe not so new, but whatever):

Talented but decidedly puzzling musician Beck has also participated in this movement/religion/misc. By his own admission, when he makes a record, he tries to attain this trance-like state in order to improvise a whole song, on the spot. Reportedly he prepares hard for each recording session prior to going in so that he can access… what?  And how does he prepare? What spiritual or other kind of practices are involved?

I wish I didn’t care. But as someone involved in promoting authentic spirituality and healthy practices, I can’t help wondering about these seemingly smart, VERY public people getting involved in such a whacked-out organization. So I ask again… what’s the appeal? Why do such cultural icons go poking their noses into such a shady mess as this pseudo-religion? By way ofr contrast, does Denzel Washington squawk as defensively about being a Christian? Not that I’ve noticed.

I don’t have a decent answer. But for a sampling of their “outreach” materials, you can see for yourself, over here. I don’t have the patience to take on a point-by-point philosophical critique right now. But just glancing at the surface of the thing, something’s not right over there in Hubbardwood.

For instance, I gotta wonder: why are they so interested in tooting their own horn right off the bat, like about how they help the poor and disaster-stricken overseas? Trying to show legitimacy? Security about one’s choices means not having to broadcast your accomplishments, at least in my view of things. (Not that Christians don’t broadcast their charitable work as well… but somehow it doesn’t sound like spin-control when they do it… just encouragement and giving credit for hard work. Or maybe not. You tell me.) Why are both Cruise AND Travolta so chummy with Oprah?

Maybe it’s none of my business. I dunno. But the vigilance that I’ve been taught as a Christian– to be alert for wolves in sheep’s clothing– means that it’s okay if I want to try sifting thru gossip to get at the truth… even if the water’s a little muddy after sifting.

To do your own sifting, try this:  I did a little poking around, and found out about FACTnet, a non-religious, non-atheistic anti-cult support network and website that’s been around since 1993. A good deal more fact-checking about Scientology can be done at their website, since that’s their reason for existing (though Scientology is only one of a number of cults they keep tabs on).

Meanwhile, good luck keeping up with that baby, Mr. and Mrs. Travolta. I don’t envy you, but then again you probably have a half-dozen nannies and assistants to take care of all the little things that tire the rest of us parents out in a given day. Must be nice…


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