Scientology's Free Pass
In his column this week, Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media discusses how actor Tom Cruise used his recent media blitz to promote not only his new film War of the Worlds, but his "religion," Scientology, as well.
Kincaid writes: . . .
Can you imagine Mel Gibson being given these opportunities to promote his own brand of conservative Catholicism? Gibson is such a pariah in Hollywood that he had to finance the production of his own film on Christ. And can you imagine if Gibson had announced he was marrying a young actress - 16 years younger - and that she was leaving her religion to join his? Hollywood and much of the rest of the liberal media would be in an uproar.
Of course, Scientology has a lot of Hollywood under its spell, but it also has had some powerful influence in Washington. Kincaid reports that it was under President Bill Clinton's watch that Scientologists finally succeeded, after many years of trying, in persuading the IRS to recognize their group as an official religion. One possible reason: President Clinton was the recipient of many donations from Tinseltown. But Kincaid offers this additional tidbit:
Now it gets more interesting: Clinton helped the Church of Scientology in return for John Travolta, a member of Scientology, softening up his portrayal of the Clinton character in Primary Colors! Clinton and Travolta cut a deal. Travolta agreed to go easy on Clinton in the movie Primary Colors and Clinton reportedly agreed to use his influence to get the German government to leave Scientology alone.
OK, that explains Scientology's hold over Hollywood and Hope, Arkansas' favorite son, but why does the media give this group such good press, especially in comparison to how it portrays Christians and Christianity? Kincaid offers:
One ex-Scientologist told me, "The reason the press treats them better than Christians is because Scientology will sue at the drop of a pejorative and they don't care if they lose the suit. They do it to punish detractors with the hassle of going through a lawsuit. The media knows this. Christians don't sue, so they are fair game."