Draw near, infidels, for these are dark days for the Knights of Hubbard. Do not despair entirely – the Church of Scientology remains rich, has excellent lawyers and, according to the International Scientology News, ”every minute of every hour, someone reaches for L. Ron Hubbard technology … simply because they know Tom Cruise is a Scientologist”.
So unless the world’s supply of fools is melting away, they can hold off trying to lure disaffected Kabbalists into their cultish communion. And yet, it has not been the best of weeks for our operating thetans. In France, Scientology was found guilty of defrauding followers after a judge effectively debunked the idea of the church’s trusty E-meter, a crude polygraph used to encourage Scientologists to purchase everything from books to extreme sauna courses.
In Los Angeles, the Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis cut his ties with Scientology in protest at what he branded their tolerance of homophobia, adding that the church’s claim it does not tell people to ”disconnect” from unsupportive family members was untrue – his wife had been ordered to do so. Meanwhile, Scientology’s chief spokesman, Tommy Davis, stormed out of a TV interview with Martin Bashir, after being pressed on ”certain articles of faith”. The alien stuff, basically.
One assumes that the battery that powers the force field that holds the intergalactic tyrant Xenu captive in an unspecified mountain here on Earth is not as everlasting as billed.
And yet the truth is rather more prosaic. It is the internet wot dun it. During his life, the religion’s inventor, L. Ron Hubbard, deemed the chief enemies of Scientology to be tax inspectors and psychiatrists. Even a sixth-rate science fiction writer such as himself would not have been able to predict that it would be the web that would pose the gravest threat to his church, facilitating everything from the circulation of whistleblower accounts and cult-busting advice to videos of Tom Cruise chuckling maniacally while repeating ”KSW! Keep Scientology Working!”
If you haven’t seen the Bashir interview, it’s on YouTube. Challenged on the Xenu chestnut, Davis knows how loony tunes it sounds, and walking out seems less damaging than having the discussion. And so with the French court case. How could Scientologists have argued that the readings from their polygraph machine justified a penny in the collection tin, let alone hundreds of euros worth of books?
[Read the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald]