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A Scientology film festival?

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Mark
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« on: June 02, 2013, 08:39:59 am »

A Scientology film festival?

Will Smith’s AFTER EARTH, a $130 million sci-fi adventure he dreamed up and toplines with his 14 year old son Jaden, opened to middling business and some of the worst reviews possible this weekend.  The New York Times snorted that where once upon a time millionaires gave their kids toys, now they star them in a movie, adding that Jaden came off as a spoiled brat.  One critic wondered if it was the worst movie ever made.  But then, he noted, there was always BATTLEFIELD EARTH, John Travolta’s Scientology-themed unintended laugh-producing version of founder L. Ron Hubbard’s sci-fi book that earned instant notoriety for its magnificent awfulness as it crashed and burned when it was released in 2000.

When Will Smith did press at LA’s Four Seasons in 2008 for SEVEN POUNDS there were reports he’d founded a Scientology school for kids.  I asked him if he had converted to Scientology and he emphatically said “No.”  But after SEVEN POUNDS, which did disappointing business as a follow-up to his Oscar-nominated work with the same director on THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, Smith, now 44, took a four year hiatus from filmmaking.  I could never understand why someone who was the world’s top box-office star, who had become a virtual Hollywood hit factory, who could do anything he wanted movie-wise, would just …. walk away.  Was it a midlife crisis?  The awareness that when you’re at the top there’s only way to go and that ‘s down?  Did he just want a break after working pretty much nonstop since he was a kid?  So on the green, not red, carpet at the AFTER EARTH premiere last Wednesday, I asked him what prompted that break.

Smith answered:  “I felt creatively I had hit a ceiling. I got to a place in my life, and even in my family, as a parent, as a husband, where I’d reached the extent of my knowledge, the extent of my abilities, the extent of my capabilities. And I had to study. I had to train. I had to get smarter and become more expansive. Or I had done my best work.”

So while shepherding Jaden thru THE KARATE KID in China which he produced, Smith conceived of  AFTER EARTH where as critics have noted he does very little in the film but sit, injured, in a space cockpit while Jaden carries the burden of the film by running around fighting CGI monsters.  Critics have also noted that the movie’s tagline, “Danger is real, Fear is a choice,” sounds very much like a Scientology slogan.

So for those who see AFTER EARTH as really a Scientology course, I suggest a future Scientology Film Festival where it would be joined by Travolta’s BATTLEFIELD EARTH and Tom Cruise’s WAR OF THE WORLDS. Cruise as you might remember insisted that a Scientology tent be put up on set so crew members would have access to -- lunchtime lectures? -- and where the H.G. Wells’ source story was changed so that aliens came, as in true Scientology doctrine, not from outer space but from within the planet, having been here waiting for a chance to pop up for thousands of years.  And while it may not be equal to the diversity of Cannes, Berlin, Venice or Toronto it sure could be a hoot.

http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/movies/hollywood_mine/2013/06/a_scientology_film_festival

I always wondered why they changed how the martians arrived on Earth in War of the Worlds, now i know.
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 09:53:20 am »

A Former Scientologist Reviews 'After Earth'

Ex-church member Marc Headley says Will Smith's latest contains language, concepts and imagery plucked directly from the L. Ron Hubbard playbook.

I grew up in Scientology and worked at their international Sea Organization headquarters for 15 years. In 2005, I managed a desperate escape, which only succeeded thanks to the local county authorities. I wrote about my experiences in my best-selling book, Blown For Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology.

Who better, then, to investigate the whole Scientology debate surrounding After Earth, the new sci-fi movie from M. Night Shyamalan starring Will and Jaden Smith, than a former Scientologist -- one who's received counseling from Tom Cruise himself? I am in no way “glib” on the subject; I’ve done the research.


I saw the movie After Earth and took notes on any parallels or “coincidental” similarities to Scientology teachings. While most of the movie involves following Jaden Smith’s character as he faces off against apes, a large, angry bird and a leech, (none of which have much to do with Scientology -- besides maybe the leech), most of the Scientology influences play out in the film’s dialogue.

“Fear is a choice.”

Will Smith’s character, Cypher Raige, tells his son, Kitai: “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Now do not misunderstand me: Danger is very real. But fear is a choice”
L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings insist that emotions and fear are triggers and are part of the reactive mind. Through Scientology, one is supposed to “rid oneself of your fears.”

“Be in the present moment.”

Through Scientology training, one learns how to be in “present time,” or PT as it is commonly referred to by insiders. In order to operate as a higher being and be in control over one’s environment, it is considered key that a person exist in present time and not react to the past.

“What do you touch, see, feel, smell?”

While undergoing certain types of Scientology counseling, you are asked to recall what you see, hear, touch and smell. This is part of putting yourself in the moment and observing the moment with “full perceptions.”

Besides the film's dialogue and its direct similarities to Scientology teachings, there are also some other clues in After Earth that cannot be ignored.

Volcanoes

The movie’s climax takes place on a volcano that could have been ripped right off the cover of Dianetics, the look is so similar. In Scientology, the volcano is a common thread through many different teachings. This image was used not only on the cover of Dianetics, but has also been used in many of Scientology’s TV ads over the years.

Then you have the intergalactic overlord Xenu who, in cahoots with the psychiatrists of the universe, imprisoned millions of souls, froze them and then dumped them into -- you guessed it -- Earth’s volcanoes. Of all the places in the galaxy! This is part of the upper-level teachings of Scientology that members only find out about after they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Scientology counseling.

Robotic Emotions

Will Smith’s character is pretty much devoid of all emotions for the entire movie. While this may be part of his character or something that was directed in the script, in Scientology, one goes through great amounts of training and counseling to control one’s emotions and “mis-emotion,” as described by Hubbard. Anyone who has done even the smallest amount of Scientology training will recall sitting and staring at a person for hours on end without being allowed to blink, smile or turn one’s head. Will Smith pretty much masters that for the entirety of this movie.

Few people know that Battlefield Earth, the film adaptation of Hubbard's novel produced by none other than famous Scientologist John Travolta, was meant to be a way to introduce Scientology to the masses. Even the story itself is a veiled reference to the story of Scientology versus the psychiatrists.

We all know how that turned out. Battlefield Earth is considered by many critics to be one of the worst films ever made. After watching After Earth, I would say that Battlefield Earth might have finally met its match.

Two Xenu thumbs down.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/a-scientologist-reviews-earth-guest-561310
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