Monday, June 29, 2009

YouTube - Dancing Inmate's Michael Jackson tribute

YouTube - Dancing Inmate's Michael Jackson tribute

I've seen loads and loads of Jackson-related tributes and what not on YT, but this one is mind-blowing.

I actually saw a bit of it already on the Filipino news, as these are inmates of a Cebu prison, but they have not shown the entire video by far, available now on YT.

It almost seems impossible that they could put such a complex arrangement in such a short notice - even though they say it took them 10 hours to create. And where did all these world-flags came from? And how come there seems to be a show setup with a public? I think it probably is a show they were preparing for a long time already, and the timing just makes it as relevant as it can ever be.

By all mean, it is just f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s, and I must admit I had trouble seeing the whole thing as my eyes were blurred with tears.

Update: Apparently these inmates were already famous through a video featuring a choreography of thriller. I saw that video now, and in my opinion, the tribute video is much much much much better than this thriller video. The Thriller video does not have any kind of complex mass movements to it. It is just a bunch of people moving more or less in synchronicity and if they weren't inmates it would be nothing special, on the limit of bad taste even at the end. The tribute video is just a totally completely different kind of show - of total genius, inspiration and spontaneity.

Update 2: What do you know - it turns out that this goes MUCH further than it looks. Just watch this amazing footage. It explains it all, and shows why that clip which I am sure will become even more viral than Thriller is only the beginning of something MUCH bigger to come...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jada Pinkett-Smith : Scientology, a Religion Just Like Other Religions

Jada Pinkett-Smith gets candid | USA WEEKEND Magazine: "Another subject she wants to set straight: persistent rumors that she and her husband are Scientologists, like their good friend Tom Cruise. She emphatically denies it, and she admits she thought it was a weird religion -- until she met Cruise.

'I'm not saying that I'm not a Scientologist because I think something's wrong with Scientology -- I want to be really clear about that,' Jada says. But, she adds, 'In knowing Tom, I realize it is a religion just like other religions. Tom is happy. And he is one of the greatest men I know.'"

Jackson Knew He Would Die Young

AFP: Jackson feared dying like Elvis: Lisa Marie Presley: "'I can't recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Father's Death. At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, 'I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did.''"

I would not be surprised. I suspect that whole spiritual and living purpose of ultra-talented artists is their art. They are out on a sort of mission from heaven. When they see that they cannot perform up to their standard anymore, they must not find many reasons to stay around.

Micheal's come back show due in July must have played a role in this respect. It may be that in spite of all his hard work, he just was not satisfied with his upcoming performance In this respect, to die was the best "solution", if it could be said that way, as he was leaving with his legend intact. The show seemed to have been his last effort to get back to the level he was. Seeing he just could not, he maybe thought, supra-consciously, that it was time to go...

Just a hypothesis, of course, but I have been thinking along that way long before, especially seeing mega-stars die early.

I was a kid when I saw the come-back show of Elvis Presley. Really, for me, it really was not impressive at all, and I was wondering why all the fuss about that guy. He only was the shadow of what he used to be, and all this handkerchief throwing and idolization had little to nothing to do with any form of art anymore. Supra-consciously, he must have felt the same, and then "decided" that there was no more reasons to stay down this earth, and that he had better things to do up there.

For some others, it may not be that dramatic and they may go while still successful, but, likewise, they may feel that they have given enough and that it is time to move on to another level, literally.

Most people, of course, have more mundane goals, and that's perfectly OK as well. But the "mission order" of those who received gifts far beyond the average may not be quite the same. That they would die young, or believe they would die young, is really not surprising to me.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Death of a Fallen Angel

I remember the first time I saw Michael Jackson. It was on TV at home, though at the time I was working in the Scientology Saint Hill organization in England. The clip was Don't Stop and it had some kind of Susan Boyle effect to it in that I was wondering what this guy was doing with this strange look and voice, even though he was the lead singer of the Jackson Five - until he started to dance... The whole thing blew me away and I became an instant fan. I still think it is one of his best clip and dance performance.

Michael then resurfaced with his amazing new look in a clip with Paul McCartney, then of course with Billy Jean, and reached the peak of his career with the ensuing Beat It and Thriller. The top for me was seeing him in a Brussels cafe video fly away into his famous Moonwalk, that, in my opinion, best epitomize Michael ethereal, angelic, character...

As early as Beat It, however, I started to become less of a fan. Michael was obviously a kind, sensitive, and angel type - yet, from Beat It on, he tried to be bad, rough, and a devil type - for reasons best known to him alone. This definitely did not fit him well, and he never regained the success he had back then, even though of course, he was still dancing like a God and was from then on a living legend.

That really... beats me... Had he remained true to himself, the way he was rather than trying to become something he obviously was not, his star would have shone much brighter, much higher. It is not for nothing that the best videos and performances from him, apart from Don't Stop, was the live version of Billy Jean and the tektonic dance he performed in Moscow. That was the real Michael, the real genius.

However, his talent was such that even though being a fallen angel, his light was still shining through, and he will remain imprinted in the collective memory in an indelible manner.

Thanks, Michael. In spite of all, you did bring a tremendous inspiration and message to Humanity. It must not be easy to be taken away just when you were ready for a come back after years of hard work, but maybe there is some sort of message in that as well? Rest in peace and may you find up there the match and reward for all your highest aspirations.

Michael was for a time married to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis and Scientologist, and it was rumored that the collapse he had at the time was due to him going through the Purification Rundown. This is most probably true. Would Michael be saved if he had become a Scientologist? We will never know - just like we will never know what would have happened had he gone through his come back-show in London. By all mean, I did share his opinion 100% about Diversity, the winner of Britain's Got Talent, whom he wanted to feature on that show. That was the last I heard from Michael. There may be more, if the album he probably finished before he died would ever come out...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kelly Preston Silent Child Birth

Bizarre Celebrity Birthing Trends - Starpulse Entertainment News: "Kelly Preston, a longtime practitioner of Scientology, endeavored to follow these austere, mum's-the-word guidelines during the 13 hour-long, at-home birth of her daughter, Ella Bleu. But in an interview with 'Redbook' magazine, Preston reports that she eventually cracked and hollered at hubby, John Travolta, 'Throw me in the car. I want an epidural!' Honestly though, who could blame her?"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Violence and Scientology

I am usually cautious about horror stories told by apostates, but in the case at hand, that of Miscavige physically hitting other people, I think there may be elements that point to it being true.

Some of these elements are the fact that there are several high ranking ex-members telling about it and that some of them I consider have an aura of credibility and integrity.

If true, it would be completely at odd with the principles of Scientology itself, that would put emphasis on the power of intention alone. There may be some elements of physical control in the form of reasonable an limited prodding (as in the case of TRs), but nothing like hitting, hurting, restraining, or any other form of actual physical force.

Particularly ominous, of course, would be if that violence was conducted against women, but even just the fact that violence at all would happen would definitely put the CoS in the wrong track, in every sense of the term.

If I was a Scientologist, I would be concerned about this kind of allegations and ask that full light be made on them.

The Associated Press: Report: Violence common among Scientology managers

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Angel Stop-Over in Glasgow

I have been waiting for this for quite some time now: Boyle's performance in her home capital: Glasgow. This one is the first video to appear on YT about it. I am sure that loads more will be forthcoming. The best performance so far, because she is giving her very best, and this voice... really just straight from heaven! It was incredibly magnificent. She seemed to reach a new level, if that was possible at all. I think tonight Susan made her mark down history more than ever. It has just become surreal!

Of course never wilder crowd have I seen, except maybe during the Beatles era, and I hope that some professional team is getting the full sound of her, because sometimes it is just impossible to hear through the crowd's cheers.

As the comment below says, there's just something else than just singing happening here. We really are blessed to live through all this as it unfolds!

YouTube - Susan boyle:
"Amazingly, when I listen to Susan sing and watch her, I feel as if I am in the presence of an angel. When she stops singing, she becomes human again."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Toddler Fascination with Susan Boyle

You Tube - My daughter watching Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent

This is an amazing video. Here is a 18 months old toddler watching the famous Susan Boyle video. She claps exactly at the right times, and without being probed into that by the public as it is just at the beginning. There's quite a bit of food for thought in there, both for understanding (?) the mind of toddlers, or maybe some toddlers, and the universal appeal of that Boyle event. Quite fascinating, and the look of that child watching the performance... Well, a video that may go a long way on YT.

I got another demonstration of Boyle's appeal today, as I introduced a friend to the original boyle video, and as so many others around the world, she just started crying genuine tears that lasted long after it was over, then she started to re-watched the video endlessly.

Now I also got on YT and searched for other version of "I dreamed a dream", and, frankly, nothing comes even near Susan's rendition. They are all terrible pale in comparison, even though it's interesting to get other views from that piece, and some of them make me better understand the drama of this song and its power. Nevertheless, there's not a single voice that matches the purity and richness of that 48 years old unemployed cat lady from a tiny Scottish village!

The worry now is whether Susan will sustain what goes with absolute stardom. She gave three mind-blowing performances in the Britain's Got Talent tour but had lapses of memory in Sheffield and had to cancel Manchester.

Well, let's cross fingers... and put that thumb in our mouth too!

PS - I just learn that tomorrow the BGT show is in Glasgow... Now that makes a bit more sense. She wouldn't want to mess that one, so better take a rest than risk a miss in her own capital where the expectation and pressure must be formidable! If the public reaction we saw in Birmingham and Sheffield are incredible, what is it going to be in Glasgow! Really I am not sure I would want to be in Susan's shoe for that one!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wikipedia Has Banned Scientology's More Vocal Friends and Foes

I guess I would be in a good position to edit Wikipedia articles on the basis that I am somewhere on the middle ground, except that I never got the time to get into that, and now with their banning of both sides I really don't feel like working on it at all.

I find Wikipedia stance outrageous and unbearable. It will probably change nothing to the situation. How will they control who edit what? It will only shed a bad light on them and the suspicions that their article are not balanced after all, plus it clearly is an infringement on free speech and as such is frankly objectionable and a real shame.

Hopefully they'll realize they are on the wrong path and lift this shameful and stupid ban.

The Associated Press: Religion news in brief

Carrie Prejean Fired

I was supportive of Carrie Prejean for her right to express her opinion in the contest and not be penalized for it. However, when I watched on YT a press conference she gave, it was not just an opinion anymore, it was outright campaigning. I found it out of place. I don't have time to follow all this in details but based on that impression, I suspect Trump took the right decision again.

I usually like to have pretty babes pics on my blog but every time I see her picture I am reminded of her campaigning and that removes the attraction. Plus anyway I find her plastic with no real sex appeal.

Carrie Prejean fires back after losing Miss California crown | TV, movie and music news | News |

Monday, June 8, 2009

John Brodie

Deadspin - Whither The Scientologist Athlete? - Athletes and scientology: "San Francisco 49er quarterback John Brodie, who was featured in an SI cover story in 1971, was a practicing Scientologist for 12 years, yet there haven't been anymore popular athletes that have come forward since then. It's kind of odd."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Alexander Rybak

I hate the Eurovision, that show that I remember back from my childhood when it had much fewer countries than at present. I really do hate it. But then, when you see a nuclear explosion of talent such as Alexander Rybak, you tend to revise your idee-fixes about it...

Another revelation. Susan Boyle then Alexander Rybak... Where will it end?

YouTube - Norway - Points: 387 - Place: 1st - "Fairytale" by Alexander Rybak

PS - also here in a splendid, hitherto anonymous, rendition of Foolin'

Susan Boyle Lost Due to YouTube Scam'?

I don't have a TV and after checking with my happy TV-owning friends, they did not have the British channel ITV, so I was left with the Internet to follow the Britain's Got Talent final. Luckily I did find a stream and could follow the whole amazing thing.

Of course it did not surprise me that Diversity came first. But what surprised me was why the third place came to that saxophonist or what. There clearly were much better contenders.

Now I may start to understand the reason if the article below is right. Indeed, after the stream, I followed the news on Youtube and I remember people who through comments urged people to vote for Susan at a certain number,and that number was probably fake. It supposedly directed to Diversity and that saxophonist. That's what I think the complain of the Pro-Susan is, not that it was wrongly posted on an edited photo of the TV screen.

Well, here's for the conspiracy aficionados - thought it may not be that far fetched this time:

Susan Boyle 'lost Britain's Got Talent votes due to YouTube scam' - Telegraph

From an Earthly Vessel Comes Music from Heaven

Magnificent article that translates best of all those I read why Susan Boyle has become such a phenomenon. For once, one of my off-topic blog entry is remotely related to what articles on this blog should be about, i.e. Scientology - and "that's transcendence. That's the assurance of things not seen":
"Sermons are hit or miss. Theology, though intriguing, can get messy, confusing and contradictory. People fight over it. But music can bring us together and raise us up in some mystical manner that defies explanation."
From an earthly vessel comes music from heaven - Kalamazoo, Michigan Living News - The Kalamazoo Gazette –

Some excerpt:

I'm sitting at my home computer in tears -- I've just watched Susan Boyle's first performance on "Britain's Got Talent."

I know the whole world's been talking about her for weeks, but I just hadn't made time to listen to her sing.

[...] I google her name, and there she is, in all her dowdiness. I know, from news reports and conversations, that something magnificent is about to break forth. Still, when she opens her mouth to sing "I Dreamed a Dream," and that rich, resonant voice comes pouring out, I'm overwhelmed.

From this antithesis of a superstar comes music straight from heaven.

I begin to cry. Not a lone tear sneaking down my cheek. But a torrent. A deep-hearted weeping that rises up and spills over like a river in springtime.

What's causing this? Is it the lyrics, the melody, the voice, or the fact that this simple 47-year-old woman from a village in Scotland has been given this amazing gift that she's finally sharing with the world? Or is it the fact that she's overcoming all of the world's petty prejudices about her? Is it her triumph over our ignorant idea that only the beautiful and the model-thin have the right to share their talents onstage? Or is it all of these things?

I suspect it's all of them. But it's the music, I think, that pushes my emotions over into tears.

What is it about music that is so intense? That can throw us to the depths or take us to the gates of God?

[...] Music has always been the most direct route to God for me. Maybe it was for my father too.

Sermons are hit or miss. Theology, though intriguing, can get messy, confusing and contradictory. People fight over it. But music can bring us together and raise us up in some mystical manner that defies explanation.

Just look at the faces of the judges as Boyle begins to sing. Or the audience members as they rise to their feet when she's done.

Moments ago they'd been jeering and mocking her when she came onstage. Trivial human concerns about clothes, hairstyle, body shape, sophistication were all that mattered.

Then music broke through. Shattered Earth's illusions. And struck all of us with awe.

For me, that's transcendence. That's the assurance of things not seen.

PS - on the more humorous side, two great videos from the Corrigan Brothers:

Friday, June 5, 2009

David Carradine’s Scientology Connections

Glosslip rag article on david Carradine's death and its connection to Scientology. Lot's of quick blunt judgments and crass ignorance typical of rag-style Glosslip articles, but nevertheless some interesting information about Carradine's Scientology connections in the mix:

GlossLip » New Details Emerge About David Carradine’s Death, Including His Scientology Connections: "”I’m no kind of Scientologist, but I’ve been around it enough to know it’s a very intelligent thing.”"