The media’s unrequited love affair with (relevant) celebrities has long been an exercise in shameless, soulless pandering, but the wet kiss it planted this week on Tom Cruise marked a new low.
Just three months ago, Cruise was hit with allegations that he profited from slave labor provided by the Church of Scientology and sanctioned the humiliation of an auditioning girlfriend who, after she displeased the cult’s self-appointed messiah, was forced into menial labor.
Cruise has not responded to the allegations. Worse, the media hasn’t asked.
On the web site Grantland, Cruise has received Lifetime Achievement Award treatment, with glowing articles (“Which Tom Cruise is the Best Tom Cruise?”) about his overrated performance in one of the most overrated flicks ever, “Magnolia,” and his campy turn in “Tropic Thunder.”
Jon Stewart turned into Jimmy Fallon when Cruise visited “The Daily Show,” praising his resume, fitness and hair. Starfucker Fallon eagerly played along with the most impossible mission — making Cruise seem human — by engaging him in a lip-syncing contest.
At the very least he could’ve had him sing “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
At the very least, Cruise is the highest-profile advocate for an institution that’s been repeatedly charged with human-rights abuses over the past few decades. If Wright and Gibney’s accounts are accurate, he’s the second most-powerful person in Scientology, and he’s completely insulated from even the most irreverent television personalities in the country asking him questions about it.
That’s unlikely to change — as long as he’s profitable.
I’m sure the serfs who detailed his private jet are happy master wasn’t challenged.
Apparently Will Smith and son have been spending too much time in the Scientology-informed private school the popular actor runs along with his wife, Jada. What follows may be the most insufferable interview you’ll read this year.
I’ve read that you believe life can be understood through patterns.
Will: I’m a student of patterns. At heart, I’m a physicist. I look at everything in my life as trying to find the single equation, the theory of everything.
Do you think there is a single theory to everything?
Jaden: There’s definitely a theory to everything.
Will: When you find things that are tried and true for millennia, you can bet that it’s going to happen tomorrow.
Jaden: The sun coming up?
Will: The sun coming up, but even a little more. Like for Best Actor Oscars. Almost 90 percent of the time, it’s mental illness and historical figures, right? So, you can be pretty certain of that if you want to win—as a man; it’s very different for women. The patterns are all over the place, but for whatever reason, it’s really difficult to find the patterns in Best Actress.
Do you see patterns too, Jaden?
Jaden: I think that there is that special equation for everything, but I don’t think our mathematics have evolved enough for us to even—I think there’s, like, a whole new mathematics that we’d have to learn to get that equation.
Will: I agree with that.
Jaden: It’s beyond mathematical. It’s, like, multidimensional mathematical, if you can sort of understand what I’m saying.
No, 14-year-old Hollywood actor, I can’t comprehend your depth.
Maybe M. Night Shyamalan, director of the Smiths’ upcoming flick “After Earth,” will make a movie based on their theory of patterns. That Shyamalan is allowed to direct anything is a sad commentary on the state of cinema, although to hear him tell it critics fail to understand his “European sensibilities.”
I think it’s safe to assume Katie Holmes isn’t a very smart gal.
Katie Holmes believes Scientology now views her as a threat to the organization and has put a team on her tail … sources close to the actress tell TMZ.
Hard to have sympathy for someone who either knew she was marrying a gay cult leader or was somehow naive to the whole charade.
Will Smith has gotten plenty of mileage out of being non-threatening, but before you plunk down $10 for the “Men in Black” threequel consider how he spends his money (oh, and his movies mostly suck):
Smith donated $1,235,00 to the school in 2010 from his WSJ Trust, not from his publicly scrutinized foundation. That’s why it never showed up before.
Basically, Smith’s donation almost covered the $1.4 million non specific salaries listed for the school. Under salaries, NVLA lists just two educators, both with Scientology backgrounds. The head of school is named Franca Campopiano, but the school confirmed that she is also known as Piano Foster. She was paid $200.000 in 2010. As Piano Foster, Campopiano has been listed as a past student of Scientology. She’s married to a Darryl Foster, also a past student of Scientology. Foster/Campopiano succeeded the school’s original head, Jacqueline Oliver, who left in a dispute with the Smiths over the Scientology teaching at the school.
The other educator listed is Carol McGuire, listed not as a teacher but “Technology Specialist.” She was paid $120,000 in 2010. McGuire also goes by Carol Ann McGuire. On the NVLA website she’s listed as a “employee/teacher” but on the form 990 it’s quite specific. And that’s important because Scientology’s basic curriculum is something called Study Tech. On its website, NVLA stresses “technology” as one of the most important parts of its lessons.
Now, a clip from one of Smith’s worst flicks, “Seven Pounds,” in which he commits suicide by getting into a tub along with his pet jellyfish.
The random accusations are disturbing, of course (child molester, wife beater, etc.), but the Hubbard lexicon never fails to amuse — 4:23 mark.
A word which was made up by the late L. Ron Hubbard (the former leader of a crazy cult called Scientology), and the word does NOT exist in ANY real dictionary. But in the brainwashed scientologist mind, it has the meaning of: interfering, interferance with members of the church.
A sampling from the Scientology collection:
Their favorite “interviewer” is Fox “News” “personality” Greta Van Scientologist.
1. He’s annoying
2. His movies suck
3. He was in “Top Gun”
4. I’m increasingly convinced he’s more Jim Jones than Kool-Aid drinker.
Freewinds‘ laborers decorated the boat with posters from Tom Cruise’s movies, and the entertainment was Cruise-themed. Paris continues,
“The band did all the songs from his movies, except the one he did with Nicole.” And she says three young women from the IASA—the administration of the International Association of Scientologists—were disciplined after the party. “They were trying to get Tom’s attention. So they were put in the engine room.”
No one should be surprised that Sarah Palin’s chief media mouthpiece and BFF failed to disclose her husband was good friends with Herman Cain before interviewing the candidate’s wife.
Greta Van Susteren is no journalist — never has been, never will be. She’s an annoying media personality and cult member who just happens to score big interviews with political figures advised by her husband.
Tom Cruise plays an aging rock star in the oh-so-cleverly titled “Rock of Ages.” Turns out he really liked doing a musical.
What a surprise.
The Cult of Scientology, true to form:
Another interesting revelation at Marty Rathbun’s blog this morning: Rathbun released what he said was an internal Scientology document which suggests that the church targeted Trey Parker and Matt Stone for a classic OSA investigation in retaliation for the infamous South Parkepisode that exposed the religion’s bizarre upper-level teachings.
Rathbun tells me this initial document is just the beginning of a trove that describes how Scientology investigated Parker and Stone over a significant period after the duo deeply embarrassed the church with its 2005 episode, “Trapped in the Closet.”
The Village Voice has the backstory on this vintage Scientology propaganda video. Cult honcho David Miscavige (“[the little dude] wearing weird Hermes/goatse shirt”) has a glassy-eyed cameo.
Enjoy this 1996 profile of Scientology from the late, lamented Spy magazine.
After devoting only five hours of my life to this cult, somehow I have already signed my name, address, and phone number to all kinds of seemingly irrelevant paper work. Tomorrow, I am informed, my coursework will begin. In a collegiate daze, I amble out across the parking lot, noticing troops of zoned-out, militarily outfitted men and women marching around acres of Scientology real estate with a malevolent glare in their eyes as jarring as the afternoon sun.
When they’re not building custom-made motorcycles for Scientology cult leader David Miscavige’s gay lover, these pot-bellied zombies are assigned to shadow and harass former members.
The New Yorker has a fascinating account of Oscar-winning writer and director Paul Haggis’ divorce from the Cult of Scientology. I found the following passages particularly revealing.
“How dare you compare [Scientology leader] Dave Miscavige with Martin Luther King!” one of the officials shouted. Haggis was shocked. “They thought that comparing Miscavige to Martin Luther King was debasing his character,” he says. “If they were trying to convince me that Scientology was not a cult, they did a very poor job of it.” …
Miscavige’s official title is chairman of the board of the Religious Technology Center, but he dominates the entire organization. His word is absolute, and he imposes his will even on some of the people closest to him. According to Rinder and Brousseau, in June, 2006, while Miscavige was away from the Gold Base, his wife, Shelly, filled several job vacancies without her husband’s permission. Soon afterward, she disappeared. Her current status is unknown. [Scientology spokesman] Tommy Davis told me, “I definitely know where she is,” but he won’t disclose where that is.
Then there’s Tom Cruise.
Brousseau says that his defection caused anxiety, in part because he had worked on a series of special projects for Tom Cruise. Brousseau maintained grounds and buildings at the Gold Base. …
In 2005, Miscavige showed Cruise a Harley-Davidson motorcycle he owned. At Miscavige’s request, Brousseau had had the vehicle’s parts plated with brushed nickel and painted candy-apple red. Brousseau recalls, “Cruise asked me, ‘God, could you paint my bike like that?’ I looked at Miscavige, and Miscavige agreed.” Cruise brought in two motorcycles to be painted, a Triumph and a Honda Rune; the Honda had been given to him by Spielberg after the filming of “War of the Worlds.” “The Honda already had a custom paint job by the set designer,” Brousseau recalls. Each motorcycle had to be taken apart completely, and all the parts nickel-plated, before it was painted. (The church denies Brousseau’s account.)
Brousseau also says that he helped customize a Ford Excursion S.U.V. that Cruise owned, installing features such as handmade eucalyptus panelling. The customization job was presented to Tom Cruise as a gift from David Miscavige, he said. “I was getting paid fifty dollars a week,” he recalls. “And I’m supposed to be working for the betterment of mankind.” Several years ago, Brousseau says, he worked on the renovation of an airport hangar that Cruise maintains in Burbank. Sea Org members installed faux scaffolding, giant banners bearing the emblems of aircraft manufacturers, and a luxurious office that was fabricated at church facilities, then reassembled inside the hangar. Brousseau showed me dozens of photographs documenting his work for Cruise.