The American film actor Tom Cruise is in the news, as his wife has filed for divorce. One of the grounds cited in her petition is Tom’s membership of the “Church” of Scientology, which she believes is creepy and strange beyond belief, and she doesn’t want their six year old daughter Suri dragged into the cult. I ask, in passing, how do you come up with a name like Suri? What does it mean, and will Suri thank her parents when she grows up? Suri not! But then, I heard the other day of a boy child being named Paddington, so I suppose anything goes.
Without wishing to appear flippant, I read that the Church of Scientology believes that much of our galaxy was once ruled by a tyrant called Xenu, whose reign lasted eighty trillion years. Some rule! Earth was called Teegeeack, so there you have it! The guardians of this Holy Grail are called Sea Orgs, and no, I’m not making it up. I haven’t discovered yet if Xenu is still around or if he’s been defeated by the Sea Orgs, but perhaps it doesn’t matter.
As western civilisation moves increasingly towards a post Christian society, many of the shibboleths associated with traditional religions are being questioned as never before. This very day we are told that scientists have, or may have, discovered the God particle, also known as the Higgs boson, and frankly, who gives a flying fuck?
I enjoy the occasional outing to my local church, as I am Anglican by birth and confirmation, and I take this outing as an opportunity for a short period of quiet meditation away from the cares of the world. I suppose if Xenu asked me why I believed that the son of a humble carpenter from Nazareth was actually the Son of God, I might be stuck for an answer, as it is improbable in the extreme, or so the Jews thought two thousand and twelve years ago. The answer I would give is that this is my faith and my belief, and the Sea Orgs would give me much the same answer in defence of their Church.
I suspect that the fear expressed by Mrs. Cruise is the controlling nature of the Scientology cult and all that goes with it. Indoctrination is a powerful tool which can be used for good or evil, as history relates. So I’m with Mrs. Cruise. Let Suri grow up in innocence, and when she is old enough to make an informed judgment, if she wants to join the Church of Scientology, then good luck to her.