There are only two things that really get on my nerves (there aren't, there are billions) and those things are religion and shit documentaries. Imagine my luck then last night when I realised that no one would go out drinking with me and I had NO CHOICE but to stay in and watch The Secrets Of Scientology. It really pulled the lid off this strange, weird religion. Did you know that some people who are members of a religion are insane? Well, I never!
The Secrets of Scientology is a follow up to John Sweeney's 2007 documentary, Scientology and Me, which I haven't seen but there is enough clips of it here that got me right up to speed. The Church of Scientology is full of nutters. There, now you're up to speed too.
I lost faith in the documentary pretty much immediately. It started with the usual, incredibly dull reference point that everything to do with Scientology starts with: "The religion of the stars" and then cut to a picture of Tom Cruise. Surely there are thousands more Christian celebrities than there are famous Scientologists? Some Jewish people own chimpanzees. Is Judaism the faith of monkey owners? Of course not. Chimpanzees are apes, not monkeys. Everyone knows that, dick. John Sweeney even goes on to interview three of the 25 million celebrities on Earth and, for reasons I can't figure out, doesn't show the interviews. He just assures us that what they said was zany. When Sweeney finds out that Scientologists believe in an intergalactic warlord who is still living on Earth he confronts the celebrities and asks them what they think about that. They all deny it. Well, Sweeney says they denied it. Although the documentary clearly shows him asking the question it never once shows the celebrities response. That's like the news on 9/11 just showing a loop of the opening titles to Sex And The City and saying "Trust me. They're gone now".
The documentary is full of stuff like this. Five minutes in and Sweeney is complaining about being filmed by the Church. All the documentary proved at that point is that some people in central London have video cameras.
And that was the one interesting thing about the documentary. Every single thing we hear is a second hand story. Bad things happen to some people in this religion but we don't see it. Bad things happen to people when they leave this religion but we don't see it. But the Church of Scientology wouldn't let you see it, would they? They are evil and will destroy anyone who speaks out against their faith. So why did they openly follow and film John Sweeney wherever he went in California? I mean, the documentary clearly showed cars following him, people following him and if he stopped to interview anyone a film crew appeared and shoved cameras right in his face. If the Church of Scientology is so protective and secretive, why would they openly reveal this kind of harassment? Does the documentary answer that one? Nah.
So what secrets have been revealed in The Secrets of Scientology? That it's a closed off cult catering to the weak and a force that uses fear against anyone who decries what it claims it stands for. In other words, it's a religion. In fact, at one point Kirsty Alley gets upset with Sweeney for using the word "cult". "Would you turn around to a jewish person and say that they are in a cult?" she says pointing her big finger in his face. "No", he whimpers.
WHY NOT? It's a cult. Catholicism is a cult. Islam is a cult. Loud Atheism is a cult. Twitter is a cult. What a ridiculous point to make and an even more ridiculous point to shy away from. Stupid bloody religious people and stupid bloody documentary makers. They deserve each other.
But I understand why he whimpered no. Kirsty Alley is proud and protective about her connections to the Church of Scientology and you must respect people's beliefs. And that's my major problem. That phrase. "You must respect people's beliefs". Why? People's beliefs are fucking insane. There isn't a single religion that isn't an affront to humanity. Islam hates women. Catholic Priests fuck children. The Church of England is boring. I don't see a single reason to respect people's beliefs. People are dicks.
And here's my new person-that-I-hate. Yes, yesterday it was George Lucas but yesterday was months ago. Today it's Ching Hai, or to giver her her full name Supreme Master Ching Hai. Ching Hai is a boring bastard who funds her tedious religion by writing books about her dogs and selling jewellery. She has a following of over 20,000 people. She is vegan and loves dogs! I should love her! I dunno though...there's just something about someone who starts up their own religion and calls herself Supreme Master that doesn't sit comfortably with me. I discovered Ching Hai while in a vegan restaurant in Vienna. Her books and poetry were everywhere (Poetry sample: "That afternoon, I too wanted to be a statue") as was her biography. Christ, she's a big headed bitch. I think once you know that her website is www.godsdirectcontact.org surely that should be enough to put you off her. My favourite part of her story is when she met a Buddhist monk, learnt from him but was rejected acceptance into his monastery. Buddhism is all about being open, peaceful and connecting to all living things. If you're not accepted by them you know you're a right cunt. But some people love her. She even owns a TV station that attracts the big time celebrities that the Church of Scientology could only dream of. Eric Roberts thinks we should thank her for everything, including her poetry. That's right, Doctor Who fans, The Master follows the Supreme Master. Depressing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr69r7nlMy4