Saturday, December 31, 2005

Tom Cruise's Science

I kept hearing that Tom Cruise and Matt Lauer shared a tense moment in a Today interview, but I had never seen it, so I went to MSNBC.com to look. From there, as I'm sure Cruise and others had hoped, I went to some Scientology websites to see what's going on.

It didn't take long to find the appeal of Scientology to people like Cruise and John Travolta.

I should say first that I know a little philosophy, and I have one of my own, which I was able to put together and refine without the help of L. Ron Hubbard or others who put conclusions before the evidence. I was actually surprised that Scientology appears to be part self-help (in the pop-culture manner), part dubious medical conclusions (like the one about vitamins having a measurable effect on health of the average person, which has never been established scientifically), part bio-feedback (with the help of an electronic device, no less), part eugenics, part elitism, and with a purposeful avoidance of those tenants of conventional religion that would tend to turn off individualists and egotists. Like all other religions, there are things in it that are true, though usually not for the reason they tell you, and there are most certainly tenants that are demonstrably in error. I suppose it's no worse than Christianity in that regard.

But I discovered early on what I suspect is the real appeal of Scientology for celebrities like Cruise and Travolta; it's best explained by the following passage from the official Scientology website:

"We instinctively revere the great artist, painter or musician and society as a whole looks upon them as not quite ordinary beings. And they are not. They are a cut above man. He who can truly communicate to others is a higher being who builds new worlds."

Gee, do you think Tom Cruise might believe this crap? Of course he does.

When are people going to realize that true freedom of the mind comes only from rejecting the very concept of rigid, arbitrary belief systems, especially those that embrace the idea of a God who, in some way or another, is limiting that freedom with his supposed desires?

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