So Beck is a Scientologist. Maybe I’m incredibly late coming to information like this, but it’s new to me. This article comes from a virulently anti-Scientology site and it makes Beck sound like a serial killer, but there is still something disappointing about it and maybe not that surprising.
Let me just say that I love Beck’s songwriting. But I don’t put it on all the time because I also feel there’s something sort of mechanical about it. Very damn clever and good but also kind of unemotional. I liked his record "Sea Change" which tried to be very emotional, but he seemed to be acting the part of a depressive, as if saying, this is my dark record. I remember listening to "Mutations" around the time I saw Todd Haynes’ "Velvet Goldmine" about the fake David Bowie character--and the record seemed like a soundtrack to a movie about a fake pop star, not entirely real. He even sings with a fake British accent. So do Guided By Voices, but it’s different somehow. That’s a whole lot of criticism about a songwriter who I like and respect. In some ways, he’s the best thing going, which is why I'm inspired to write this. I’m not saying that Beck’s lack of emotion is tied into Scientology. Or maybe I am, I don’t know.
I’ve read a lot about Scientology: L. Ron Hubbard Messiah or Madman which exposes Scientology as using a lot of torture tactics--putting people in basements until they "believe"--like any cult. It’s a demented non-religion. It really does seem like the work of a science fiction author. Here’s a random slice of Dianetics: "Any ally computation may have included the loss of the ally. And the loss of the ally may be the trigger which will start chain fission. For what we are going to try to do is blow off or discharge as many life force units as possible from the reactive engram bank and weaken it…" (p. 300) Dianetics is just pages and pages of this stuff. Like a lot of cult speak, it twists up your mind in such a way that you don’t know what’s true anymore.
At first I thought Beck was pulling a Bob Dylan. Dylan became a born again Christian at some point. Burroughs tried Scientology as well--but then, he tried everything. But apparently, it’s deeper rooted than that. Part of me wants to think that’s it’s OK if it helps with someone’s personal growth, especially if he was raised with it, but Scientology bothers me.
There does seem something cultish about it. I looked up the Beck/Scientology connection and came across this: "The drug-rehabilitation programs have the highest success rate of any in the world. If you actually look at the things that have come out of it, it kind of blows away this kind of criticism."
In an interview about "War of the Worlds" Tom Cruise said this: "I'm a helper. For instance, I myself have helped hundreds of people get off drugs. In Scientology, we have the only successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. It's called Narconon."
That sounds awfully close to indoctrination. It sounds like something they were told to say. It’s really kind of sad and depressing. "The only successful drug rehabilitation program"??? This man has been programmed. Never mind that Tom Cruise is a megalomaniacal weirdo. Although, he probably has healed hundreds of people. Millions of people adore him and will listen to anything he says: it has to make you start feeling like a Christ figure. I wrote about this in my novel "North of Sunset"--a celebrity who so devoutly believes in his elevation above the human race that he starts killing people. He gets addicted to the power of celebrity and needs to go to the next level. Interesting, IF ONLY IT WOULD GET PUBLISHED. Anyway.
This all started with a post about handjobs from Violet Blue (nsfw). All right, enough links.
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