Sunday, January 20, 2013

Eyes Wide Shut

Irony writ large prevails here with Tom Cruise, a major player in Scientology, staring in Eyes Wide Shut, a flawed but visually stunning flick by Stanley Kubrick to a NYTimes book review of the same name describing Lawrence Wright's nuanced book Going Clear - Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief detailing a "religion" based on the jumbled rantings of  L. Ron Hubbard, who created the Church of Scientology in order to avoid paying taxes.

We are all thetans, spirits, trapped temporarily in our current particular lives. Elsewhere, though, Hubbard says that when a thetan discovers that he is dead, he should report to a “‘between-lives’ area” on Mars for a “forgetter implant.”

Oh dear, oh dear. So what are poor thetans to do, where are they to go, when they find themselves between lives? Left to Venus or right to Mars? For sure, they can’t stay here. “The planet Earth, formerly called Teegeeack, was part of a confederation of planets under the leadership of a despot ruler named Xenu,” said Hubbard, who was a best-selling science fiction writer before he became the prophet of a new religion. To suppress a rebellion, Xenu tricked the confederations into coming in for fake income tax investigations. Billions of thetans were taken to Teegeeack (you remember: Earth), “where they were dropped into volcanoes and then blown up with hydrogen bombs.” Suffice it to say I’m not hanging around Earth next time I’m between lives.

To get another viewpoint on religion, of which Scientology is but one of many, George Carlin's a good place to start. :)

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