Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tom Cruise on a BlitzKrieg

Tom Cruise is on BlitzKrieg, all out promoting his film.

He should attend Jay Leno's new moved to prime time show today (Thursday), he recently was featured in the 10 Most Fascinating people of 2008, gave a series of interview in Toronto, foreseen to appear on the cover of People Magazine Friday (tomorrow), already was featured with Katie on the New York Times T-Magazine, and is also scheduled to appear on the 'today' show next Monday (with Matt Lauer!).


Operation Drop the Masks

I had a quick look to the web page Evolved Rationalist was so angry about.

The web page in fact is not so bad, and quite on the contrary is rather original and interesting, with a lot of good ideas.

I still have to agree with Evolved Rationalist on the opening line, though, because blaming the original anonymous for the failure of Anonymous is, to use a Scientology line, a "wrong target", and AnonymouseHouston indeed should remove or change the opening line of this page.

The real cause of failure, as I explained repeatedly on this blog and on my web site, is because Anonymous made the mistake to fall for the old OG line that proved of little use to counter Scientology over the years. The original Anonymous on the contrary brought in the lulz, the masks, the cake, a very different spirit in many ways. Had they combined this novel approach, springing from the Internet culture, with a different attitude than OG towards Scientology, they may have been much more successful.

In fact, I find that page about the "Operation Internet Love Machine" much better than anything else Anonymous attempted so far. And if they want to prove their non-beligerent approach to Scientologists, they should, as I said, protest when Scientologist are discriminated, in the same way as they protest the CoS. But anyway, they should come to that conclusion themselves, which I hope they will sometime.

This being said, though the intent is good and has many original aspects, I believe it will be almost impossible to achieve that Operation Internet Love Machine successfully, for a series of reasons, of which I can only think two for the moment:

  1. If you want to speak in a friendly manner to a Scientologist in real life, you will have to drop the mask. "Operation drop the masks" may be a good idea.

  2. You can not successfully speak to a Scientologist in order to "deprogram" him, of sort, if you haven't yourself been a Scientologist, at least it just make it so much more difficult.

    Ex-scientologists. OTOH, are not always good either, because, as I explained on my pages otherwise, they often fall in the opposite cultic mindset, that of the anti-cult movement (which by the way is also going through some sort of self-criticism in this respect).

    What you need is a moderate ex-Scientologist, knowledgeable and intelligent enough to go around the many obstacles such an encounter would meet. And it will not be easy to find such a rare beast, because most of them have already been driven away through the OG attitude that aggressively attack moderate ex-members as "cult apologists.

Anyway, all this reminds me of an episode of my own history.

As I tried to enter the UK back when there was a ban against Scientologists, I was caught at the custom because I had a lot of Scientology literature in my luggage. I was subsequently sent back to Belgium.

However, as I was waiting in the UK custom office, an officer came to me with in his hand one of the writings of LRH (I think it was the Creed of Scientology or something like that). He told me "this is very beautiful", something that surprised me a lot coming from him. Then he said "Why doesn't Scientology apply it?".

This was a perfect approach, something that brought me to think and open up, rather than contract in defense. It was non-confrontational, not denigrating, but putting the focus on the actual application of Scientology's own aims without denigrating the belief itself. That's the whole point.

PS - I must say that my web site has been more instrumental in getting Scientologists to think and leave than radical web sites, precisely because I use many of the concepts found on the HoustonAnonymous page. See two examples here and here.

Also check what I webbed two days ago: the "DOs and DON"Ts on How to Help Cult Members", that goes very much in the same direction. (Of course, don't call Scientology a cult in front of Scientologist. Be imaginative, sensitive, moderate, knowledgeable, and most of all try to diversify your sources. Go deeper and beyond the old OG information and tactics. Go out of the OG box to resolve the conundrum Scientology criticism faces. That's what being a true revolutionary critic such as Anonymous is all about. IMHO.)

Blog entries in this series:

Where is the Lulz?

In a blog entry yesterday, I wrote:
Anonymous 2.0 may be more concerned with ethic, but they have become more like stratefied Old Guards, all the while having lost some of the revolutionary aspects that appeals to young people, like the systematic questioning of every established concepts.

As for the original Anonymous, it seems that they have taken some distance with the anti-Scientology protest, as is rather evident through the crashed protest statistics, and through the fact that they apparently DDOSed their former venues: and WhyWeProtest.
Now we have a blatant illustration of this, in an article written by Anonymous 1.0, and in which he states, among quite a few other things with which I personally agree:
Instead of becoming lulz you have become the anti-lulz


Fuck you, 'new Anonymous'. In more ways than one, you have become as bad as the dangerous cult of Scientology.
Anonymous 2.0 does not seem indeed a real upgrade of Anonymous 1.0 - or, if you want, the "upgrade" is of the sort of that backup software (sorry I don't remember the name) years ago that dominated the market and that released a major upgrade with an "improved and modern" interface so bad that they could sell it out separately as a labyrinth game - and which lead them losing the market over night.

Top Search Terms for 2008 Include "What is Scientology"

Google has released its year-end list of the most popular terms searched on the Web site.

In the United States, Barack Obama came in at No. 1.

In search queries prefixed by the words "what is..", "What is love" tops the list, while Scientology is sixth.

I doubt the prank pulled out by Anonymous in July to put "Scientology is a cult" on top of the supposed search list had much an effect in this context, since the stats are drawn out of the whole year and, in this category, pre-fixed by "what is..". I blogged about this prank here and here.

PS - reports that top of the "how to" questions on Google this year is "how to draw", while web-users have also been typing "how to kiss" into their Google search boxes on a regular basis. The web site then proceeds to offer a titiling video of two girls embarking on a mammoth lesbian snogging session in order to teach watchers how to French kiss.

PS2 - Check also for a more detailed info about the top searches. I observe among other things that Isaac Hayes is 4th on the Fond Farewells category. Interestingly as well, Miley Cyrus is 5th on the Who Is category. I never heard of her until I learned she was the co-star of the new (doubling voice only) Travolta movie.

Double Bind

Scientology will follow him everywhere, it seems. "If I don't talk about it," Cruise said, "it's, 'What is he hiding?' If I do, it's, 'He's proselytising.' "
The sentence comes from Cruise's interview in Toronto, promoting his new upcoming movie, Valkyrie.

Through another newspaper referring to the interview, we learn a bit more about what prompted Germany to change its mind about the movie:
"A lot of the German government resistance was blown out of proportion," maintained Cruise this week. "Understandably, they wanted us to do justice to the subject. And after they read the script, they decided we were going to."

"I feel like I have been through it all before," he said. "And every time, I still think, ‘Well, OK, but I still want to make movies.' "
Reuters also quotes Cruise from various interviews:
Cruise called the incident on Winfrey's show, "My year of jumping dangerously," in a comedic reference to "The Year of Living Dangerously," a novel turned into a 1982 movie.

On the Lauer interview, Cruise told People, "All I want is to help people. I could have communicated it in a way that was better, no question."
People, for its part, features the actor in photos spanning his entire 25 years as a movie star in an issue coming out Friday.

New Spears and Scientology Rumors

According to Heat, Spears told a friend: "I have met Katie a few times, so I called her up and just started asking questions about Scientology. I'm always open to new things.
A few months ago I heard a rumor that big limousines were taking Spears to Scientology orgs. Just rumors, of course, that did not appear to be true. Now, comes the new rumor, at least a bit more plausible, but still only rumors.

We also get to know a bit more about how Katie herself got into Scientology:
"Katie told me she wasn't so sure about it at first either, but once Tom explained it to her and she read the books and took some classes, it really started to work for her.

"Then Tom wanted to talk to me about it, so I did. He was nice and answered all my questions and sent me books."