In my previous blog I discussed the Anonymous banner and what it’s used for. The event that changed their status from ‘trolls on 4chan’ to the group they are nowadays was the attack on Scientology, where they claimed removing the Tom Cruise Scientology interview was censorship.
This is a pretty famous interview, and if you’ve seen it, you know why. If not, you should really check it out.
I want to start my blog with some inspirational words that were said in the interview:
“It is the time now, now is the time, okay, it is being a Scientologist, so people are turning to you, so you better know it, you better know it, and if you don’t, go learn it.”Tom Cruise
Tom knows his way with words, huh? Let’s give this interview some context. In 2008, Cruise received the Freedom Medal at the International Association of Scientologists. This interview is part of a pre-recorded video that was made for that occasion.
From aScientologist’s perspective, it’s understandable you’d want this interview removed.The actor is not making any sense whatsoever. His sentences are unfinished andthe occasional maniacal laughter does not do him any favors. People were even speculatinghe was on drugs, since this was just such an insane situation.
He is far from the only celebrity involved with Scientology. John Travolta, Laura Prepon, Catherine Bell, Beck and many more are members of the controversial church. They play a massive role in the church’s fame. The version of the video I linked is just one example, but has over 13 million views. And there’s so much more.
The idea of Scientology is widely known, and I think celebrities and their public statements are mainly responsible for that. Through their gifts and their connections to various (digital) media they spread awareness and make the church of Scientology known among the people. Founder L. Ron Hubbard put it this way:
“Celebrities are very special people and have a very distinct line of dissemination. They have communication lines that others do not have and many medias to get their dissemination through.”1L. Ron Hubbard
He didn’t just hope that celebrities joined his church: there was an active recruitment program called “Project Celebrity”, where Scientologists were urged to reach out to famous people and convince them of the Scientology ideas.2
And as we know of today, his approach worked. Celebrities use digital media to reach out to others and spread the word of their Scientology church. It’s hard to estimate the exact amount of members. The church has claimed it has eight to fifteen million members worldwide. This number is not only extremely unspecified, but also from a biased source. In 2007, Der Spiegel (a German magazine) reported about 8 million members worldwide. 3 Numbers that are more up-to-date only report about specific countries, rather than international numbers. It will remain a mystery.
Let’s end this Scientology blog with the inspirational words of the marvellous Tom Cruise:
I’d like to go on vacation and go and vlog, but play, just do that, in order, I mean, that’s what I want it to be. There’s times I’d like to do that, but I can’t, because I know. I know, so you, but you know when you just, I have to do something.Tom Cruise
B. 2006. The A-listers’ belief system.
The New Statesmen.
2: Shaw, W. 2008. What do Tom Cruise and John Travolta know about Scientology that we don’t?. The Daily Telegraph.
3: The Church of Scientology Wikipedia page. Visited 26-11-2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scientology#Membership_statistics