February 9th, 2011

RJ White

*xenu saves*

Have any of you read the New Yorker piece about Paul Haggis and his dropping out of Scientology after 30+years?

It's very interesting reading and I was constantly struck by how bizarre it was to me that people could get into this and not find it strange at all.

Then, I started thinking about their cultivation (or, should I say- cult-ivation? HAR) of celebrity members, letting them act as the frontmen, while there are other layers to the pyramid doing grunt work to keep the whole shiny volcano alien operation going, year after year. It's a brilliant strategy- putting forth this wall of success and fame, using that to sell the whole operation.

But- it seems that, every time I find out someone is in Scientology, I feel disappointed. But why? Any other religion or belief- it seems as though it wouldn't matter quite as much. The end work is what matters- film, music, writing, whatever. That COS label, though, for me, casts this odd retroactive pall over their whole body of work. I guess a prime example for me is Beck. Used to enjoy the heck out of his stuff, but once he went back in there, I just have no interest. Does that make me some sort of bigot, in an odd way? I don't know the guy, I'll never meet him- I'm just a consumer of the work he produces.

Is it the work? Is there something about film and music- creative products- because they elicit such an emotional response, we feel more of a personal bond than should realistically be there? Then, you feel as though some old friend has gone a little nuts and it colors your whole response to everything they do.

What do you guys think? Should the artists' work just speak for itself, with no consideration that they avidly believe the words of a hack pulp sci-fi writer? Or, can it not be separated?