In the end, Church of Scientology head David Miscavige will most likely view the pimping of Tom Cruise as the fucking blunder of his life.
Since 1950, the Church of Scientology has managed, to well, continue. Despite Operation Snow White, in which they infiltrated the government to destroy documents on their shady dealings. Despite Operation Freakout, in which they saw to destroy the life of outspoken critic Paula Cooper. Despite the death of member Lisa McPhearson, due to extreme mistreatment during one of their treatment alternatives to what they call the evil practices of psychiatry. Despite the documented policy of Fair Game, dictating that those critical of scientology be interfered with, harrased, slandered, and destroyed. Despite a fucking laundry list of abuses.
Extortion, blackmail, criminal negligence? None of this grabs the public's attention.
But a C-Grade actor (generosity hurts no one here) jumping on Oprah's couch?
Celebrity Scientologists rake in millions for the church, as Cruise and Travolta and their ilk have silently been doing in the past both through their own "training," and by recruiting other celebrities. In fact, the successful recruitment of a celebrity scientologist comes with the added bonus of what for want of a better term I'll call the equivalent of all sins being forgiven.
But the recent antics of Tom Cruise, and Miscavige's embrace of him and his antics, are downright baffling. It leads me to wonder if maybe everyone still with the Church actually believes in what they're doing.
And that, my friends, is dangerous. There is no question that this business began as a scam. But what if L Ron Hubbard didn't leave the keys behind? The Church of Scientology is now being run by a man whose parents were Scientologists. What if he truly believes L Ron Hubbard to be a prophet? Then what we have is a scam that's running itself. A still animated husk that, upon finding itself without a brain, grabbed ahold of the closest organ it could get its hands on and gave it a promotion? A bunch of twisted crooks serving their own self-interest can be reasoned with. They can be backed down, silenced, and dissuaded.
But what if these people, including their leaders, all think that they're actually working to make the world a better place?
It would explain a great number of their tactical missteps, like failing to recognize just how fucking insane the general public would find Tom Cruise when he started proselytizing on national TV. All in all?
Thank you, Tom.
You were the inspiration for South Park's "Trapped in the Closet" episode, which introduced much of the public to the now-infamous Xenu teaching
Your criticism of Brooke Sheilds for the use of an antidepressant to treat postpartum depression revealed your organization to be dogmatic and uncaring.
Your appearence in this propaganda video displays for all to see the unstable nature of the de facto second in command of the COS.
And your Church's attempt to suppress that very video may well be its death knell, drawing the collective firepower of the Internet at Large. Secret Chuch Documents leaked. Websites overloaded. Havoc wreaked. Finding 9,000 masked protesters, many taking up the visage of Guy Fawkes, appearing worldwide outside local COS centers on February 10th, Lisa McPhearson's birthday. And again on the Ides of March. And most recently on April 12th. They will continue indefinitely on a monthly basis. Each month, the abuses of this cult will come to the forefront and be enumerated by the media. Scientologists seeking to leave the cult have made contact from members of Anonymous and recieved assistance Already, Jason Beghe a celebrity Scientologist has defected from and denounced the Church. And in the interview he gave soon after, the degradation caused by years as a Scientologist is all too present. This will only pick up in the months to come, especially as the cult's attempts to discredit its detractors have passed neither the laugh nor the smell test. It's late in the clip, but the video below clearly shows footage from a propaganda dvd put out by the COS, wherein a threatening video found on Youtube, purportedly put there by anonymous, is shown--in markedly higher quality than the Youtube version. Which is to say, the Church's dvd contains the source material.
Aw gee. Wonder why that is.
ONWARD - Road To March 15, 2008 - FINAL VERSION from Pelvidar on Vimeo.
The timeline of this video stops at March 15th. On April 12th was Operation Reconnect. Ex-Scientologists were brought into the fold to speak out against the Church's Disconnect policy, which demands that Scientologists refrain from any contact with those the church deems Suppressive Persons-- the Orwell-esque designation given to those critical of the cult-- even if said persons are family members. Anonymous seeks to in the coming months aid in repairing these lost ties. Those with loved ones brainwashed by the COS have emphatically embraced those willing to protest.
May tenth will see the enaction of Battletoad Earth: Operation Fair Game Stop. So named for an awesome video game for the NES, a shitty book by L Ron Hubbard and shittier movie starring John Travolta, and the sinister practice of Fair Game.
From an internal COS memo penned by L Ron Hubbard:
ENEMY — SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
This is the reason those who show up to protest wear masks. And as of now, they remain unmolested by the cult's thugs. But when and if one of Anonymous is attacked in the manner of so many others before them, there is little more certain than that a shitstorm will result.
These are exciting times. A generation raised on the Internet is banding together and making a measurable difference. There may be a glimmer of hope after all