Soreal it Must be True

Blog Grabs and Non Fiction

Cult News.com: What could Christopher Reeve teach Tom Cruise about Scientology?

So the future Superman takes Scientology courses hoping one day he will “go Clear,” which is Scientology jargon for reaching a supposed advanced state of consciousness made possible through their training.

Reeve writes about an exercise called “‘TRO’ (Training Routine Zero)” and explains, “The objective was to empty our minds of extraneous thoughts (‘clutter’)” And “whenever our own clutter tried to come back in, we were…to acknowledge its return and then command it to go away.”

Doesn’t this sound like “brainwashing”?

The actor tells readers that TRO only cost him “a few hundred dollars.” But after that came “auditing,” which he describes as “outrageously expensive.” And Reeve says Scientology wanted “$3,000 in advance” for that service, which was billed at a “$100 an hour in 1975.”

He explains that the “auditor” used an “E-Meter,” which is “a simple box with a window that contained a fluctuating needle and a card with numbers from one to ten. Two wires running out of the box…were attached to tin cans,” which he was asked to hold.

Apparently it didn’t take x-ray vision for Reeve to conclude that the “E-meter was basically a crude lie detector.”

via Cult News.com: What could Christopher Reeve teach Tom Cruise about Scientology?.

The Trollsphere – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast

[B]ecause they are, at their core and like the 12-year-old boys who invented the form on 4chan, desperate for attention, any engagement is a reward. Twitter also allows users to block trolls; but blocking is a form of engagement, and serves as a kind of thrilling encouragement and subject of discussion in the fervid trollsphere. The trolls ultimately turned the comments sections of blogs into scorched earth. Jonathan and I abandoned our POLITICO comments sections during 2007, and our community managers here at BuzzFeed have been startled by the nastiness that comes with covering politics. The trolls destroyed comments sections; they could wind up rendering Twitter close to uninhabitable by the end of this intense election cycle.

via The Trollsphere – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast.

The poor and famous Hollywood Scientologists

AFTER HIS WEDDING TO NICOLE KIDMAN, TOM CRUISE was the guest of honor at a dinner party given by the powerful Creative Artists Agency at the trendy DC3 Restaurant, overlooking the Santa Monica Airport. Cruise sat at a table with CAA kingpin Michael Ovitz, often called the most powerful man in Hollywood. Right next to them sat David Miscavige, often called the most powerful man in the Church of Scientology, the self-help religion that promises “auditing” will “clear” its followers of the fears and traumas blocking them from total success–at a typical cost of $300 to $400 an hour. Nearby were two full tables of Scientologists. According to one of the guests, the Scientologists around Cruise were “like they always are–very direct, very attentive, very protective–hovering over Tom. And shaking a lot of hands.”Across town, a former Scientologist named Nan Herst Bowers was agonizing over a letter shed recently received from her 23-year-old son, Todd. “Dear Mom,” he wrote, “I am sending you this letter to let you know that I have to disconnect from you … I cant see you, the babies, or Jim until this is all over and handled.”A Hollywood publicist, Bowers had been a Scientologist for twenty years, had been married to a Scientologist, and had raised three sons in the organization. Although she had been drifting away for years, she was still officially a member when an article appeared in the Star about Cruises involvement with Scientology. Almost immediately, the tabloid began getting strange calls. The callers “started harassing me to find out who my source was,” says Janet Charlton, the reporter who broke the story. “People in the Tarrytown, New York office, the reporter who worked with me, the front office all got fake calls, trying to find out my source, to get a phone number.” When that didnt work, Charlton says, she got a startling call from the phone company. “They told me there were people calling from different places, from New York and the West Coast, trying to get copies of my phone bill, pretending to be me. Then someone called me pretending to be a lawyer from my own magazine.”Shortly afterward, Bowers says, she also got a strange call–from a man claiming to work for the Star. “He said his name was Alan Goldman and he was with the GP Group, which had recently bought the Star and the National Enquirer. He said he had talked to Janet Charlton, and she said I was her source for the Tom Cruise story, and if it wasnt true, she would be fired.”Bowers insists she wasnt a source for the Cruise story. But Charlton is a close friend. So, Bowers says, under pressure from “Goldman,” she finally made the statement that tore apart her family. “I lied for Janet,” says Bowers. “He said, Did you get paid for it? and I named a figure I thought was right.”It turned out that “Alan Goldman” was lying. In fact, as Scientology officials readily admit, the caller was a private detective working for Scientology attorneys. Three days later, Bowers says, a Scientology official named Philip Jepsen paid her a visit. “He comes with two people in uniforms–very intimidating–and he asks me about Tom Cruise,” Bowers recalls. “It became obvious he knew everything I had told Goldman. He grilled me for two hours. At the end, he handed me a Declare.”

via The poor and famous Hollywood Scientologists.

Look Down Under for Murdoch’s next move – FT.com

The Australian TV holdings are worth $2bn, and News Corp has just bid $2bn for James Packer’s Consolidated Media Holdings to double its stakes. The CMH bid looks like a move to give the newspapers a cash cushion, and represents a $2bn transfer from head office, even before it decides how much cash to put into the spin-off. The new company will also hold a near-$1bn stake in Realestate.com.au, a property website. These $5bn of pay-TV and online assets will loom large, as Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank values the publishing assets at between $4.3bn and $5.3bn.

Commonwealth Bank notes that even before TV and online stakes, newspapers make up just 39 per cent of publishing earnings this year, with the rest coming from News America Marketing and HarperCollins books. Australia contributes 70 per cent of the newspaper profits. One thing seems clear: valuing News Corp’s publishing company using the multiples that US newspaper groups such as McClatchy or the New York Times trade at, as some analysts are doing, seems woefully inadequate if Australian TV and online assets represent half of its value. Why, then, would Mr Murdoch underplay those assets? Any spin-off poses risks for a family owner looking to keep control. Investors’ dislike of newspapers could make the publishing company “the short from hell”, the Australian Financial Review remarked.

Alan Gould, an Evercore analyst, has noted that conspiracy theorists might think Mr Murdoch could put his own money on the other side of that trade, buying publishing shares that those less fond of newspapers want to dump and locking in family control for generations.

via Look Down Under for Murdoch’s next move – FT.com.

Katie Holmes, Paul Haggis, and Other Celebrities Who Quit Scientology (Photos) – The Daily Beast

n his book Nothing Is Impossible, former Superman Christopher Reeve detailed his brief time as a Scientologist—and his less-than-impressed reaction to the religion. He was recruited, he says, outside a supermarket in 1975, and given a “free personality test.” Soon, Reeve found himself enrolling in expensive training courses and auditing sessions, during which, he said, a crudely made lie-detector machine was supposed to fact-check stories about his past life. Because he had “growing skepticism about Scientology,” Reeve wrote, he instead spun a fictional yarn based on a Greek myth—lies he said that went completely undetected by the machine. “The fact that I got away with a blatant fabrication completely devalued my belief in the process.”

via Katie Holmes, Paul Haggis, and Other Celebrities Who Quit Scientology (Photos) – The Daily Beast.

Katie Holmes, Paul Haggis, and Other Celebrities Who Quit Scientology (Photos) – The Daily Beast

When Californication star Jason Beghe parted ways with Scientology in 2007 after 13 years, he left behind a vitriolic video rant in which he blasted the religion as “self-destructive and a rip-off.” Just two years before, Beghe was appearing in promotional videos for the church. But he did not mince words about why he felt he had to leave the religion. “It’s very, very dangerous for your spiritual, psychological, mental, emotional health and evolution. I think it stunts your evolution. If Scientology is real, then something’s fucked up.”

via Katie Holmes, Paul Haggis, and Other Celebrities Who Quit Scientology (Photos) – The Daily Beast.

Katie Holmes, Paul Haggis, and Other Celebrities Who Quit Scientology (Photos) – The Daily Beast

In a 2005 issue of Interview magazine, Crowe told his Cinderella Man co-star, Paul Giamatti, that he seriously explored joining Scientology. “I read Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard, I got a couple of videos and I took it all in.” He said the appeal of the religion was evident. “It just seems like a religion that is perfect for people who feel like they need a grounding, who feel that the world has run off on them. With any of these religions, as long as the heart and soul is positive, then to me it’s all good.”

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via Katie Holmes, Paul Haggis, and Other Celebrities Who Quit Scientology (Photos) – The Daily Beast.