The Church of Scientology declares that actor and producer (and Scientologist) Tom Cruise “is like Christ.”
I’d let that pass with a degree of deserved alarm — as one uninvolved in Scientology yet as someone who has maintained a high degree of tolerance for people involved in Scientology (as also the beliefs and practices of others across a range of practices) without compromise to my own Christian beliefs nor any sense of encroachment — I’d let that pass except taht I haven’t heard or read that Tom Cruise as an individual has denounced the titling (of himself as “like Christ”). Meaning, I am curious if that’s not only a description about him by others or if it’s also his assumption about himself.
Having had a number of friends and worked with even more who were Scientologists, my experiences with them have been about as routine — both the good and the bad — as they have been with anyone else. In fact, I’ve had a few very good friends who were Scientologists and they complimented and assisted my life. Yet no strident or declarative line was ever drawn as to their beliefs and mine — these were friendships, not contests.
So I am probably someone who has taken Scientology and a number of it’s practitioners more in stride than some, yet never found it compelling beyond my academic curiosities — I understand why it’s compelling for those involved in it, however, to a great degree, after knowing well a few who were dedicated to it, but my beliefs are other than theirs.
I’ve been tolerant, as much as I have been for other faiths and practitioners of other faiths (as also about a myriad of behaviors that I also do not agree with but which become somewhat familiar in-kind in this multi-cultural, multi-everything nation of ours); and, work in the entertainment industry puts individuals in contact with a lot of people with a myriad of beliefs. There are a lot of Scientologists involved in the entertainment industry; it’s impossible to not work with some of them if and when you work in entertainment — though I’ve never made any effort to separate Scientologists out in any way, is my point. In fact, there are a lot of very creative people who are Scientologists, to make any thoughtful distinction here.
But, as to this other idea (Cruise “like Christ”), at least the Church of Scientology acknowledges Jesus Christ. The concern for me here is that they defame His divinity, like all humanism does — the statement that a human man (or woman) is “like Christ” or even “is Christ” declares there is no belief that Christ is singular, Divine, Savior, is the only son of God. There can’t be two of Him by nature of who He is. Christ is not Divine if he is common, and Christ is not common, but Divine. There are not human souls who “advance into Chirst” or “assume to be Christ” or are otherwise “another Christ” because Christ is singularly present as Divinity.
But that perspective of not recognizing the Divinity of Christ isn’t limited to Scientology. It’s the primary separative assumption of and frequent stumbling block to those who reject Christ’s Divinity and by lack of or refusal of faith, withhold belief in Christ’s Divine, singular presence in perfection with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (the Holy Trinity). However, that decidedly unique belief — Jesus Christ, the only son of God, eternal and Divine — through faith is the primary belief of those of us who are Christians, while it is the primary denigration through rejection of Christianity by those who are not.
Good works don’t make one “Christ,” to state the other obvious point here. I can understand and well appreciate how some can say that someone else is “Christ-like” (and in this sense, that someone would also say that Cruise or whomever may be “like Christ” but the context is very significant here), if and as someone models their human life as completely as possible in the path that Christ walked and asked us to follow.
However, it appears that this statement by Scientology — that Tom Cruise to Scientology is “like Christ” — is based upon measuring Cruise’s good works and exemplary representation of their organization as commendable to the point of divinity. Arguable from a point of group internal dynamics and mutual respect but implausible from a point of who they assume the Divine is.
The film’s completion was nearly prevented due to loss of funding (appropriately), but, as Sundance boasts:
The turmoil over the scene even led to a temporary halt in filming due to funding being pulled. Crisis was averted, however, and filming able to continue once a group of emergency investors were located and brought onboard. Those involved in the project have “circled their wagons” and defend it as an important film telling an important story.
Even more horribly, the consent for this project involved the mother of twelve-year-old actor Dakota Fanning (who “performs” the act of being a twelve-year-old child undergoing rape):
According to all involved, including her mother, the controversial rape scene was “carefully choreographed.”
And, more bleakly, this twelve-year-old child actor, Ms. Fanning, echoes this devastating, corrupt parenting:
“It’s really no different than playing any other character I’m still not playing myself. I get to experience different things people go through without going through them myself, which is no different from watching a news story and learning from that. It’s an emotionally moving movie, and I hope people enjoy it.”
The mother should be evaluated for child abuse, in my view, and whoever these “group of emergency investors” are, they should be revealed in full source by name — if the story here is all this important, then whoever has made this film possible shouldn’t mind letting everyone know who they are. Dakota Fanning, however, should receive counselling before her life careens farther into craziness-set-in-stone while her mother’s parenting capacities are being evaluated.
This is one film that should never have been made, nor should be released.
Film hounded for child rape scene
— from Variety, which captures my sentiments, exactly, as so well said by Andrew Vachss in the following:
In an interview that Fanning gave last week to the New York Times, the actress dismissed the controversy: “The bottom line was, I couldn’t not do it. It’s all I could think about. I knew I was at the perfect age…I think that I should be able to do what I feel is at the right time for me.”
But is a 12-year-old capable of making that decision?
“A 12-year-old girl can’t consent to any damn thing,” said Andrew Vachss, a child protection consultant and attorney who exclusively represents kids. “The process by which the child actor or actress gets to do this…it’s not like a kid wants a minibike or karate lessons. A lot of weight is being put on this child.”
I’m prescient, apparently (note my thread title here)…from THE SMOKING GUN, the rape scene is filmed “in darkness…”