The net is buzzing with news and views about a Tom Cruise video bite, in which he 'articulates' his beliefs.
[I use that word with extreme prejudice!]
[use the link above, however long it lasts! otherwise, google is your friend]
Over the past 48 hours, give or take, the 'Church' of Scientology has been systematically pursuing any site hosting the video and threatening it with legal action.
Google Video has complied (and, it seems, so has Youtube); it remains to be seen whether or not we bloggers are enmeshed in the same net.
Anyway, here's my (edited) response - posted today - to a thread in my favourite forum …
[Some context for international readers: Kevin Rudd is Australia's new Prime Minister; his informal election slogan was 'Kevin07' - and he's often quoted as saying 'I'm from Queensland and I'm here to help.]
Cruise had nine minutes plus to deliver his message.
I got it: like Kevin07, he's 'here to help'.
However, ignoring the banal 'traffic accident' scenario, what 'help' is he offering?
Now, if you gave Kevin nine minutes of airtime, scripted or not, he'd be able to say what he'd actually done in his first few weeks and what he planned to do in the future.
And whether or not you agreed with him, his policies would be 'out there' for all to see.
OTOH, what concrete policy / reform / vision did Cruise offer?
What has he or his church delivered to real people?
Fer chrissakes, a quarter of the world's population live in poverty and squalor!
How will he or his ridiculous 'philosophy' (a.k.a. indulgent 'gibberish') make our world a better one?
I could only conclude that he was on about 'enlightening' people, not improving their lives.
OK, I'm enlightened: I'm an atheist. Even so, I recognise that most religions and belief systems (warts and all) have some socially useful activities.
Is it just me, or is Scientology-according-to-Cruise a complete wank for rich spoilt brats?
The other thing that's got me baffled is why this 'church' is pursuing and threatening websites who've been hosting the video.
If Tom Cruise Superstar is such a marvellous advocate for the cause, shouldn't they take advantage of the free marketing?
AND spend the LEGAL BUDGET on HELPING REAL PEOPLE?