Saturday, October 17, 2009

In Defense of Scientology

Last week during a college football game I saw a commercial for Scientology. I never would have guessed that the College Football crowd were their best prospects. I would have thought the Hollywood elite would be better candidates, but what do I know? I have noticed Tom Cruise has been the butt of Scientology jokes for quite a while now. I usually end up laughing when I hear Conan or Jimmy Kimmel, or others make these jokes, but the more I think about it, I just don't feel threatened by Scientology and I think Cruise gets too much criticism.

I am not a Scientologist and I understand that many of the beliefs associated with Scientology may sound strange to an outsider. Especially after learning that the religion was only founded in 1954 by a science fiction writer. By the way, can you imagine if Gene Roddenberry or George Lucas started a religion? They would overnight outnumber Christians, Jews, and Muslims combined. I can just see all the nerds with light sabers and phasers ready to join their ranks, but I digress.

I decided to do a little research on Scientology so I went to my favorite fountain of knowledge (Wikipedia) and brushed up. I have to admit that after reading a little more, I have even more concerns now and there is a lot more weird stuff going on their besides mother ships, but I am not here to bash other's beliefs. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would consider some of my beliefs to be crazy too.

Celebrities get a lot of attention and are easy targets for criticism, but I think Tom Cruise does less damage jumping on couches and touting a drug free lifestyle than many other celebrities who lead destructive lives. I'd much rather see Tom Cruise acting goofy than see Amy Winehouse stoned out of her mind. I also don't see how his efforts are much different than Sean Penn using his career for political persuasion or Moby using his influence to promote veganism, or Bob Barker telling you to have your pets spayed or neutered.

I guess this post has been more of a defense of Tom Cruise than Scientology. I was just looking for a title that might attract attention. If we are going to make fun of Tom Cruise I think we should do it for the fact that almost all of the movies he has been in feature a scene with him sprinting. Seriously, just try to name one of his movies that doesn't show him running as fast as he can at some point during the film.


Mary Bergfeld said...

Chaka, TC is the one who calls attention to his church. Others have just picked up on it. His appearances on TV last year were bizzare and had nothing to do with his religion. Folks lit into him because of that behavior. Google his comments and much later apology to Brooke Shields regarding postpartum depression. He gives the appearance of being not too tightly wrapped.

LegalMist said...

You're right that many religions espouse ideas that, viewed from the perspective of a non-believer, are downright strange. "Resurrection? Yeah, ok" .... right?

But Scientology's focus on secrecy and exclusivity, and keeping out non-believers and refusing to socialize with non-believers makes it seem, to me, more like a cult than a true religion. Most true religions publish volumes about their beliefs and practices. Scientology reveals its secrets only to those who progress through each "level" - at a great expense for each level, too! - and they are sworn to secrecy about what they learn. That is just wierd. And cultish.

And the whole space ship thing is nuts, like it or not.

Tom said...

Good points from both of you. I didn't want to go into the negative aspects, but they are obvious and I can see why many people are turned off by them. Please don't take this post too serious. I was just trying to come up with a new topic to write about.

Lisa said...


I had always wondered what was the fuss with Tom Cruise acting silly on Oprah's couch. I thought that was a really cute way of expressing love.

And I wondered too what was the big fuss with Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. I did not see anything that I have not seen before on tv.

And I wondered too about which movie that I did not see Tom Cruise sprinting. He did it even in Jerry Maguire. Maybe, just maybe, not in that Samurai movie, which I did not watch.

Eric said...

Did he sprint when he portrayed the crazy kid in the film 'Taps'?

Raine said...

Agreed - Tom Cruise jumping on couches is much better than overdoses. Both concern me, and both I fear for children exposed to them.

George Lucas should totally start a religion! That would rock. I wonder what kind of furniture they would jump upon.

Jeanne Estridge said...

I used to know a woman whose in-laws practiced Santa Ria. She said that she believes in religious freedom, but had qualms about having her 2-year-old son exposed to the sacrifice of live chickens.

That brought a whole new meaning to the concept of religious freedom to me.

So maybe we should let the Scientologists have their own religious beliefs, however bizarre they seem to us.

MikkSolo said...

My wife and I think Tom Cruise has the best "Movie Run" ever and nobody even compares. He looks like he could take any olympian 100 meter runner easily. Best movie for the "run". The Firm.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Tom is a self important jackass. I can't watch a movie with him in it because he takes you totally out of the story and the action. Oh look, there is Tom Cruise in Ancient Mesopotamia, there is Tom Cruise in the future...enough. Scientology is just another new age way to control people obsessed with celebrity and they get what they deserve for putting their faith is basically faithless people. What till Suri grows up. She annoys me already so that will only get worse.