Friday, August 27, 2010

Is Tom Cruise a Whacko?

Day two of seven words in seven days. My newest word bestowed on me by my sister is - Scientology. What I find interesting about this subject is - my reaction to it.

I stopped. I sat straight up. I said.. "Ugh."

I judged. Something I have screamed and yelled about others doing to the BIG religions.

No - I am not in favor of Scientology. Not in the slightest sense. But do I believe followers/believers have a right to study/worship/live according to their teachings - yes.

I decided to track down a few facts about this "movement/religion" and share them with you -

1.Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by pulp fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey.

2. Scientology teaches that people are immortal spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature.Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counseling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects.

3. Scientology sponsors a variety of social service programs.These include a set of moral guidelines expressed in a brochure called The Way to Happiness, the Narconon anti-drug program, the Criminon prison rehabilitation program, the Study Tech education methodology, a volunteer organization, and a business management method.

4. It has often been described as a cult that financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services.

5. Scientologist  believe that souls ("thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth. Former members say that some of Hubbard's writings on this remote extraterrestrial past, included in confidential Upper Levels, are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology.

6. Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished.

I began to wonder, just how many Scientologists are out there? In 2005, the Church of Scientology stated its worldwide membership to be 8 million, although that number included people who took only the introductory course and did not continue on. In 2007 a Church official claimed 3.5 million members in the United States, but according to a 2001 survey published by the City University of New York, 55,000 people in the United States would, if asked to identify their religion, have stated Scientology. In 2008, the same survey team estimated that only 25,000 Americans identify as Scientologists.

Now let's get down to the basics - what EXACTLY do they believe?
Body and Spirit
Scientology beliefs revolve around the thetan, the individualized expression of the cosmic source, or life force, named after the Greek letter theta. The thetan is the true identity of a person – an intrinsically good, omniscient, non-material core capable of unlimited creativity.
In the primordial past, thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure.The universe has no independent reality, but derives its apparent reality from the fact that most thetans agree it exists.Thetans fell from grace when they began to identify with their creation, rather than their original state of spiritual purity.Eventually they lost their memory of their true nature, along with the associated spiritual and creative powers. As a result, thetans came to think of themselves as nothing but embodied beings.
Thetans are reborn time and time again in new bodies through a process called "assumption" which is analogous to reincarnation. Like Hinduism, Scientology posits a causal relationship between the experiences of earlier incarnations and one's present life, and with each rebirth, the effects of the MEST universe (MEST here stands for matter, energy, space, and time) on the thetan become stronger.

Scientology presents two major divisions of the mind. The reactive mind is thought to absorb all pain and emotional trauma, while the analytical mind is a rational mechanism which is responsible for consciousness. The reactive mind stores mental images which are not readily available to the analytical (conscious) mind; these are referred to as engrams. Engrams are painful and debilitating; as they accumulate, people move further away from their true identity.

To avoid this fate is Scientology's basic goal.

Dianetic auditing is one way by which the Scientologist may progress toward the Clear state, winning gradual freedom from the reactive mind's engrams, and acquiring certainty of his or her reality as a thetan.

Sooooo.. when my sister gave me the word Scientology one picture came to mind - Tom Cruise. Yes, he is the unofficial celeb representative of Scientology. Which made me think - who else out there is a famous Scientologist?

Kirstie Alley 1951– Actress
Anne Archer 1947– Actress (mother of Scientology spokesperson Tommy Davis
Jennifer Aspen 1973– Actress.
James Stacy Barbour 1966– Broadway actor.
Lynsey Bartilson 1983– Actress
Beck Hansen 1970– Musician
Catherine Bell 1968– Actress
Karen Black 1939– Actress
Sonny Bono 1935–1998 Entertainer and congressman (R-CA 44th)
Nancy Cartwright 1957– Voice-over actress
Kate Ceberano 1966– Actress and musician. Ceberano is a third-generation-Scientologist; her grandmother worked as a governess for the children of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Erika Christensen 1982– Actress, raised Scientologist
Jeff Conaway 1950– Actor
Chick Corea 1941– Musician
Tom Cruise 1962– Actor
Tom Constanten 1944– Former keyboardist for the Grateful Dead.
Sky Dayton 1971– Founder of EarthLink
Doug Dohring Ex-owner of Neopets
Jason Dohring 1982– Actor, raised Scientologist
Bodhi Elfman 1969– Actor
Jenna Elfman 1971– Actress
Richard Elfman Writer and director
Doug E. Fresh 1966– Musician and actor
Peaches Geldof 1989– Celebutante
Kenton Gray Car and motorcycle race driver
Josephus A. Havenith –1980 Scientologist whose controversial death occurred at the Fort Harrison Hotel
Isaac Hayes 1942–2008 Musician and actor
Katie Holmes 1978– Actress (raised Catholic), introduced to Scientology by Tom Cruise while they were dating
Nicky Hopkins 1944–1994 Musician
Jason Lee 1970– Actor
Juliette Lewis 1973– Actress
Christopher Masterson 1980– Actor
Danny Masterson 1976– Actor
Lisa McPherson 1959–1995 American woman whose death has been a source of controversy for Scientology
Bijou Phillips 1980– Actress and model
Priscilla Presley 1945– Actress
Lisa Marie Presley 1968– Singer
Kelly Preston 1962– Actress and wife of John Travolta
Leah Remini 1970– Actress
Giovanni Ribisi 1974– Actor
John Travolta 1954– Actor

And in Forrest Gumps famous words... "That's all I have to say about that." ;-)


Robin said...

Well... you can believe whatever you want to believe, but in the end, you will only know the truth of the matter when you are dead. And that is that!

rebecca said...

Gee, that reincarnation part sounds a lot like Battlestar Galactica where the Cylons (man-made machines in human form) are reincarnated aka "downloaded" over and over again. Methinks one of the scriptwriters might have been reading Hubbard.

And, not for nothing, his whole belief system sounds a lot like my current sci-fi WIP. Maybe I'll rename it Scientology Redux, wadda ya think?

Michelle Faith said...

Holy load of crap Batman, I think I just felt Jesus roll his eyes. Wow you really put alot of work into this post, I understand it a bit more and still think its bunk. :)

Bloggin in PA said...

You had me at Whacko.

and that is a LOT of information about Scientology!

Bossy Betty said...

Hey--whatever floats your boat. I try not to judge and let people be who they need to be.

Anonymous said...

I knew you could handle this one! I give you something thought-provoking... you still give me "corndog" (and no- I'm not over that one, lol!)

Gaston Studio said...

I completely agree with Bossy Betty.


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