We review HBO’s documentary film Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Every time you watch a movie with Tom Cruise or John Travolta in the cast, you are indirectly supporting the cult of Scientology.
By Roy Steele*
There have been rumors swirling around Hollywood for over two decades that Tom Cruise is a gay man. Who knows if the rumors are true or not, though it’s indisputable that the controversial cult of Scientology is an anti-gay organization that believes in reparative therapy, and donated heavily to the anti-gay marriage campaign to support Proposition 8.
Isn’t it interesting that the two most visible members of Scientology, Tom Cruise and John Travolta, are two Hollywood actors who have been dodging and running from “gay” rumors surrounding their sexuality, throughout their careers.
I have intentionally avoided watching ANY film or television show with Tom Cruise in the cast, for the last ten years. You couldn’t pay me to watch his work and I’d rather watch paint dry, than see one of his movies. I’ve been boycotting Tom Cruise for his arrogance, stupidity, lack of empathy, and affiliation with a cult that does irreparable harm to many of their members.
In 2005 Cruise publicly derided and criticized Brooke Shields, in more than one television interview, after she was treated for postpartum depression. Cruise and his Scientology “cult” doesn’t believe in psychiatry or mental illness, and he said “When someone says (medication) has helped them, it is to cope, it didn’t cure anything. There is no science. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever.”
He apologized to Brooke Shields for his insane comments, though anyone with half a brain could see right through the apology. Cruise’s views didn’t change, he apologized for being an asshole. Whoop di do.
If it talks like a duck, and walks like a duck....
I know there isn’t a “cure” for major depressive disorders, and I also know that depression can be successfully treated with the appropriate medication and talk therapy. It doesn’t matter what I know, Tom Cruise doesn’t know a thing about psychiatry or mental health, and it’s patently obvious that this poor excuse for a Scientology mouthpiece, only knows what his cult taught him.
Tom Cruise is the most visible member of this cult, and he features prominently in the film.
I’ve thought for a long time that “Church” of Scientology is a misnomer, and “cult” of Scientology is a more apt name. A cult is considered a “devotion directed toward a particular figure,” and “excessive admiration for a particular person,” and a “group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange.”
In Going Clear we see Cruise publicly saluting or genuflecting before a photograph of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. It’s alleged in the film that the actor has given millions of dollars to the cult. He also pays Scientology regularly to have unwelcome “aliens” living in his body removed. The film documents the pressure that the cult exerted on Cruise to end his marriage to Nicole Kidman because she’s Catholic, and has a father who is a noted Australian psychologist, which the cult found to be threatening.
I found the interview subjects in Alex Gibney’s documentary to be credible and trustworthy, and in most cases, extremely sympathetic. These individuals spoke freely, knowing that the full force and wrath of the cult’s army of devotees, would be deployed to defame and intimidate them.
Any organization that forces members to “disconnect” and shun family members, friends, and neighbors, who don’t share their beliefs, is problematic on multiple levels. What is Scientology afraid of? The cult warns members to stay away from the internet, and any source of information, that might call into question the cult’s authority.
Any group that consigns members to hard labor in a prison, isolated in the California desert, to intimidate and demoralize possible defectors or detractors, is most definitely a criminal enterprise as well as a cult. These defenseless people are imprisoned by cult leaders without an impartial hearing or due process. They’re forced to perform menial tasks, and in my book that’s slavery.
A business with assets in excess of a billion dollars should be paying taxes, and fair wages to their employees. Scientology pays workers 40 cents an hour - to keep them from defecting - which is further evidence that they enslave people.
The government and law enforcement needs to fully investigate the allegations that this film raises, and monitor the cult of Scientology closely.
I’m adding John Travolta to my personal boycott, and hope that you will join me. Every time you watch a movie with Tom Cruise or John Travolta in the cast, you are indirectly supporting the cult of Scientology. I’m weighing whether to expand my personal boycott to other Scientology members. In the meantime, check out HBO’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. The members of this cult are being held prisoner by their alleged religion, while being held hostage by their beliefs.
This great documentary film is based on the award-winning book of the same name by Lawrence Wright. Kudos to Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright for crafting a film with a compelling narrative, that will stay with you for a very long time.
jiveinthe415.com straight talk in a queer world.
(*Note: Scientology will label me a “Suppressive Person” when this is published. Yawn.)