We’ve suspected for some time that the ferociously grinning Tom Cruise can’t be the full quid. Our worries are confirmed in devastating fashion by this exposé of what can only be described as the wicked ‘religion’ of Scientology. Adhering to the principle that ‘whatever gets you through the night’ is forgivable, I have generally considered that no system of belief is more valid or silly than another – be it Christianity or Islam, Judaism or Aboriginal Dreaming – but this alarming doco is enough to challenge any man’s tolerance. It comes as no surprise that the big-business of Scientology is staggeringly wealthy and holds its followers in a vicelike grip, for the Vatican also plays hand-in-glove with Mammon and those in ISIS unquestioningly behead infidels. What is genuinely astounding – incomprehensible to an outsider – is that so many otherwise intelligent people would sign up to its idiocy and remain committed to it for as long as they do. To me it was a shock to learn that Paul Haggis, writer of Million Dollar Baby and director of Crash, was a longstanding member when making those wonderful movies. He left the organisation in 2009 and is one of a handful of interviewees who throw light in its inner goings-on. Alex Gibney’s documentary follows a standard format of background history (L Ron Hubbard, it appears, was a compulsive and self-aggrandising liar) with archival footage and recent developments commented upon by articulate and, in the case of the actor Jason Beghe, humorous talking heads. It’s a tad over-long but riveting nonetheless, with the ghoulish fascination factor being ratcheted up by the later footage of David Miscavage, the corporation’s current grand poo-bah. This bloke is a creep of the highest order and his embrace with Cruise is terrifying. Deeply disturbing, however, is the reminder that so many people are so desperate to be told by a higher power that they are good and that if they stick to the prescribed ‘word’, everything will be fine. Gullibility rules, okay?
Support The Echo
Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.
Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.