Thursday, January 17, 2008

CSI and the Wrath of Cruise, the beginning



First, let's say that the my fascination with the Church of Scientology and its famous members began almost ten years ago. After a family vacation to Clearwater, FL in 2001 (which was as exciting as it sounds), I had my first real life encounter with the organization. I will limit the details at this point to 1) avoid being sued, 2) avoid being kidnapped and 3) to move the story forward, but basically I watched while multiple white vans pulled up to a insanely beautiful glass building pouring out people and picking them up and dropping them off all over town. Why these people could afford thousand dollar classes on removing aliens from their bodies, but not car payments, I'll never know, but it was one of those very memorable sights in your life that your brain will never squeeze out. I walked into the building all these people ran in to to ask about what was going on there, since I was on vacation and perfected the "duh, what's deal?" look that most visitors have when visiting my fair city of New York. While I was there, I was given a "ticket" to view the Scientology special and got the scary feeling I did not belong. After leaving the building with my mother and grandma, still confused about what goes on there since I saw about 65 people filter in, but not one person roaming the halls, we walked around the Main Street area of Clearwater. If you have ever watched a Twilight Zone episode, you might be familiar with the feeling of being followed for no reason. While there, I have never felt more uncomfortable or on the spot on my life. Later on I would find out why you have the overwhelming feeling that you were being watched from every angle. It was almost like being in "The Truman Show", without the voice over stylings of Ed Harris.


This encounter and the rest of my visit there lead me to devote my senior thesis in college to Scientology and its effect on the Movie Industry (catchy title, I know!). I was a pop culture junkie all the back then and decided that my sociology degree would be put to better usage if I wrote about media and religion. I spent two semesters researching the story and truth behind the religion of Scientology, its very famous and controversial leader L. Ron Hubbard and the many celebrities who could be found on the membership roster of CSI. Tom Cruise stuck out to me back then because of his larger than life personality, which I found interesting that it would be so easily led by a religion, and the many many rumors of his "real" private life. While doing research, which was incredibly hands on, I met with various members of the church, as well as figures within the entertainment industry and it became more obvious to me that Mr. Cruise had a much larger role within the hierarchy of the religion than we were being led to believe. I also found out that John Travolta, Jenna Elfman, Kirstie Alley and Beck were incredibly high up within the inner sanctum of the organization, but I will get to that later. Cruise is the main guy for them and in the next few days, we will get to see why, how and the effect Cruise has had on CSI and vice versa. In the next few days, The Spielster will be on a quest to find out how an up and coming star like Cruise got mixed up in this religion, his various times of questioning his place and the lengths the organization will go to keep him and his family in line. How does the cute star of Risky Business end up jumping up and down on Oprah's couch? You will soon find out.

5 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't wait for the rest! You put a lot of work into this.

truthiness said...

I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Typos: "THAN" not "then. Please.

Good content though, thanks!

Spielster said...

Thanks for the feedback and the grammar help. All updated and corrected my friends.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you continue to read The Spielster.

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