poor Tom

Tom Cruise has taken a lot of criticism from a lot of fronts. And now there’s a video of him extolling Scientology viralling around the internet. (There’s no such word as “viralling” but I think it captures the spiraling viral video phenomenon.)
It seems to me that Cruise is, indeed, the poster boy for how Scientology works when it’s successful. He’s confident in himself and his decisions — enough to carry on his purposeful life despite harsh criticisms. He feels a sense of humanitarian responsibility and he acts on that sense. He’s learned to be a positive thinker and the kind of person who actually practices what he preaches. His energy is focused, his goals ambitious, and he has a support system that really does provide philosophical as well as practical support.
Hmm. What would happen if all “religions,” all philosophies, were able to provide that kind of practical and motivating support?
I don’t think that you have to be a Scientologist to achieve those senses of confidence, caring, and contribution. But it’s hard figuring it all out by yourself, hard keeping motivated, hard remaining positive in a negative environment.
Scientology seems like the ultimate support system for individuals serious about attaining their dreams. Unlike many other spiritual approaches, it seems to prod you to get off your duff and DO. Not just contemplate, but ACT. And, more importantly, it gives you the psychological tools to enable you to move ahead in your chosen life’s path.
As a young man, my father read Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking.” and Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Throughout his life, he made good use of what he learned from those books.
From what I’ve read about Scientology, it seems to build on the techniques put forth in those two books, and it puts its own spin on the process of self-actualization.
There are many successful members of Scientology, and many of those are from the fields of the performing arts, which are very competitive and stressful.
I imagine that Scientology’s “can do” philosophy has helped them persevere in their chosen careers, helped them to overcome obstacles to success. No wonder that so many of them have found a psychological and “spiritual” home in Scientology.
My Dad had Norman Vincent Peale and Dale Carnegie and his Polish Catholic parish. Together, they worked for him.
Tom Cruise has Scientology.
Hey, it works for him.

3 thoughts on “poor Tom

  1. Heh..I planned to blog about this too.
    It appears the basic belief and desire of Scientologists is that if enough people gather together, pool their energies/feelings/beliefs together, (and I, too, beleive we are beings of energy), that we can create a world better than this, with compassion, fairness, tolerance.

    My problem w/ Scientolgy is that for one to reach goal and levels of understanding thru them, one must pay thru the nose. So you either turn over your entire life to them, foresaking everything else or be rich in order to become “enlightened”. They are harshly critical of anyone who has joined when they change their minds. I read a terrifying account of an ex-scientologist about the ostracism, threats etc when he decided he didn’t care to continue with them. He became an “SP” (Suppressive Person — someone who speaks out aggressively and vehemently against Scientolgy). THere is a course taught there:
    “Scientology claims the PTS/SP course teaches participants to “detect and handle suppressive persons”. Suppressive persons (SPs) are defined in various Scientology publications as antisocial personalities and people who “violently oppose any betterment activity or group”. Hubbard stated that 2.5% of the population are SPs.”

    Outside the “Group” I guess it seems it’s anyone who questions their validity, condemns them, etc. IN the group it’s someone wanting out. They work very hard to “persuade” that person to stay.

    My problem is while their apparent function and beliefs are noble and ver positive, they are:
    1)only for the rich because courses REQUIRED that may last a few weeks can run THOUSANDS of dollars.
    2)The run it like a cult in terms of those not wealthy can, sure, mortgage their house for them. That’s okay. Anyone who decides to leave has a terrible time.

    I’ve never seen the catholic church (no I’m not catholic) charge someone to learn about them and their beliefs, or to leave their families and bankrupt themselves.

    Nor have I seen other more traditional religions make it so difficult to change your mind.

    I HAVE seen that behavior in cults.

    And has everyone heard the story that Hubbard founded Scientology on a bet? That a friend bet him he couldn’t start a religion and have people follow it.

    Someone out there will slam that, but I”ve read enough in my life about it that it’ll be hard to convince me that it isn’t true.

  2. Here you go:

    Before you go, there’s some food from that site, and I have read information and stories about all of this:

    1: Scientology locks people up.
    There are over two dozen allegations that Scientology has held individuals against their will.These illegal acts were not committed by rogue Scientologists – they were in accordance with Scientology policy.

    Scientology held Lisa McPherson against her will for 17 days, according to Scientology’s own logs. She died in their custody. The state of Florida decided not to prosecute the two felony charges filed against Scientology in her death after Scientology used relentless pressure to get the medical examiner to make a partial change in the cause of death. Her estate sued Scientology for wrongful death and false imprisonment; the suit was settled in May 2004, with all details kept confidential..

    2: Scientology attacks free speech.
    Scientology says that “public statements against Scientology or Scientologists,” “writing anti-Scientology letters to the press,” and “testifying as a hostile witness against Scientology in public” are all “Suppressive Acts” – high crimes, according to ” Introduction to Scientology Ethics.” The book goes on to say that people who do such things “cannot be granted the rights and beingness ordinarily accorded rational beings.”

    So I’m screwed right here and now — I will not be “granted the rights of beingness” and I’m apparently irrationsl.

    Yah — don’t tell me they are not simply an extremely successful and powerful cult and nothing more.

    Too bad because the desire and belief that banded energies can do amazing things — even “alter reality” (or change the world; the belief that we can change our health and our bodies if we could tap into more of our brains and the energy of the universe; believing we can empower ourselves are all great tenets they are wrapped in, smothered by, and completely intertwined by a structure that is nothing more than cult.

    In that, it becomes worthless and harmful.

  3. Points well taken.

    I think it would be a hoot if someone could prove that Hubbard created Scientology on a bet.

    Either way, it goes to show how much so many people need a supportive community that empowers them in the here-and-now, and not necessarily for the hereafter.

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