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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Acclaimed director sets sights on Scientology

(Caroline Gamble)

Scientology’s lawyers and the late Isaac Hayes’ devotion to Xenu led to the early departure of the iconic character “Chef” from the television show “South Park” in a gnarly and gruesome death at the hands of a bear and mountain lion.

Finally, a film director not affiliated with the belief system will take a satirical crack at a thinly veiled Scientology, exploring the extremely odd stuff they believe.

The acclaimed director of instant classics such as “Boogie Nights” and “There Will Be Blood,” Paul Thomas Anderson, finally has the funds to tackle the elephant on Hollywood’s back — Scientology.

Anderson’s film, tentatively titled “The Master,” has received from a private benefactor the necessary $35 million — a price that Universal Pictures “balked at,” according to

Since Scientology has played such a crucial role in the success of many actors, actresses and directors in Hollywood, very few people that make their living in the movies have been willing to set their sights on exposing the weirdness that is Scientology.

There are troubling accounts of Scientology “essentially conscripting members into slave labor to build Tom Cruise an airport hangar, a luxury SUV, and a trailer-style bus where Katie Homes could undergo purification rituals — all ‘for the betterment of mankind,'” according to, an online pop-culture magazine.

However, Scientologists have the right to fight how their beliefs are represented in the public eye, but other, actual mainstream religions, such as Judaism and Islam, have not had much luck either.

Jewish people did not appreciate their portrayal in “The Passion of the Christ” by director Mel Gibson, whose racist, misogynistic rants are best never heard in the first place.

“South Park” also courted controversy when the show featured the Prophet Mohammed in an incredibly censored episode that, nonetheless, led radical Islamists to post pictures and the address of the mansion “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker share.

Scientologists rallying against the show probably led to the many episodes “South Park” aired making fun of the cult. And yes, Scientology is a cult. The public-at-large did not know of the truly insane and cultish views of Scientology hold until they were aired on the Comedy Central show.

A recent article in The New Yorker about Oscar-winning director and producer of “The Facts of Life” Paul Haggis maintains that he did not know about lizard god Xenu and the other things in the religion that really show Scientology was created by a science fiction writer when he entered it.

Haggis just thought that Scientology was a cool outsider philosophy for a better life that would also help him move up in Hollywood circles.

Then Haggis moved up the “levels of study” to Operating Thetan III, which is when they unleash in a flurry the odd beliefs that Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard dreamed up when he was in the Navy.

Haggis defected because he could no longer take Scientology’s toxic stance on homosexuality. There are rumors that a major purpose of Scientology for John Travolta and Tom Cruise, especially, is to cover up their homosexuality. It seems their careers would be fine if they came out of the closet, though.

It was stated best on when they jokingly claimed that, “revelations of the various facets of Scientology’s far-reaching plan to install Suri Cruise as our future-and-eternal despot have already forced its leaders to fight back.”

Scientologists’ many efforts to dissuade anyone from discussing the religion have made it a more enticing target for satire. Scientology’s disturbing practices involving alleged slave labor and the high monetary price to move up the ranks make it hard to believe Scientology is anything but a cult that warrants investigation to ensure no one drinks the Kool-Aid to meet Xenu sooner.

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