Scientology And Hollywood: What's The Real Score?

Most people only got to know about Scientology because of celebrities. You know the names: Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, John Travolta, Will Smith, and a slew of others who either openly declare their affiliation with the controversial religion or have chosen to keep it under wraps. But one thing's for sure, the Church of Scientology has targeted celebrities to increase their influence on the society at large, and so far it has been very successful.

Truth of the matter is, Scientology has fed off the glitz and glamour of its celebrity members and has built quite a reputation. It might have been mired in bad publicity, but as we all know, bad publicity is still publicity. In one time or another, people can get curious and might eventually take the plunge. After all, Tom Cruise, who is arguably one of the most popular actors on the planet, has expressed his all out support for the religion. Associations can mean everything whether we admit it or not.

From the documents seen on the internet and interviews made by Nightline on former members of Scientology, one can glean that the Church of Scientology has a specialized wing that aims to reach out to celebrities. This is called the Celebrity Centre, and based on what we've seen in media reports, this parcel of the Church has made a lot of progress in the indoctrination of many celebrities not just in the United States, but all over the world.

While it's true that it's not exactly a crime to use celebrities to inculcate the general public how Scientology can help the people live better lives, one still has to think about the underlying facts behind the practice. I, so far as I'm aware, have not heard of any other religion that has formed a subsidiary organization catered to the involvement of celebrities. Only Scientology has done this, and this is a giant red flag if I ever saw one.

This practice reeks of desperation, a show of low esteem on the credulity of the general public.

Whether it's a calculated risk or not, using celebrities as success stories for Scientology has backfired. If you Google the word 'Scientology', most of what you'll find are criticisms and biting commentary regarding the subject. It's a type of circus we internet pundits would like to read while we sit back and munch on our Cheetos.

Former members of Scientology have also been reported to give huge amounts of money in exchange for more Scientology literature. This heavy spending, they say, was necessary to get their hands on more profound truths. Current Scientology practitioners refuted these allegations and claimed that the money given to them were "donations". This, to me, is a blatant lie. For one, achieving complete "enlightenment" in Scientology involves many steps. The first one is auditing, and when you advance, you need to get your hands on specific books to educate yourself, and so on.

That's well and good, but what boggles the mind is why the Church has to limit the availability of its more advanced literature. Last I heard, "donations" are given without expecting something in return.

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