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David Poland

By David Poland

It's Scientology Friday!

Anyone who saw the South Park episode on Comedy Central last night is wondering just how deep the hole in the desert that Parker & Stone will be buried in will be.
And now, there is the question about Chumscrubber, rolling out via Picturehouse. How does a “Psychiatry Kills” poster make it to a teen wall in the valley? What’s so wrong with a few anti-depressants? Is this a secret Scientology movie?
Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

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43 Responses to “It's Scientology Friday!”

  1. LesterFreed says:

    Hilarious episode. My guess is that they won’t be on Cruise or Travolta or R Kelly’s Christmas list.

  2. BluStealer says:

    I can’t decide what was funnier. The R Kelly Trapped in the Closet or the fact that Scientologists really believe in that.

  3. Paul Hackett says:

    “I can’t decide what was funnier. The R Kelly Trapped in the Closet or the fact that Scientologists really believe in that.”
    Well sure, they believe in some pretty odd stuff, but then again, so do Mormons, Buddhists, Catholics, etc. And, okay, maybe Scientology is the most out there, but isn’t that like Star Trek fans telling Star Wars fans that the ‘science’ in their series is more credible?

  4. BluStealer says:

    Odd? They believe in aliens who got put on Earth and then got killed by the aliens that put them there and then their souls went into the early men. Yeah. I think that’s a little odd. And calling it a religion and comparing it to Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, etc is making a huge leap.

  5. Josh says:

    Paul Hackett,
    How much did your introductory class cost and do you worship L Ron?

  6. Paul Hackett says:

    Actually, I’m agnostic. And of course the whole alien thing is a bit odd, but you’re telling me that plenty of things in the other religions you listed aren’t? That’s my point. Any religion involves some seemingly incredulous things, and you must suspend disbelief with regard to those and have faith if you want to believe. Heck, otherwise religion is just philosophy. So, maybe believing that Jesus is the son of God, etc. is less out there than believing that aliens invaded our bodies, but again, without faith, does it really matter?

  7. Josh says:

    Faith requires just that. Faith. Faith in something more. But you can’t honestly be saying that Scientology is a religion. It’s a moneymaker and a scam. Every other major religion actually has principles and major things to believe in. Scientology has alien species, sci fi wars and L Ron Hubbard.
    Now, call me crazy, but L Ron isn’t exactly Buddha, Moses or Jesus.

  8. bicycle bob says:

    i don’t think stone and parker care too much since they just signed a big deal at paramount today.

  9. Crow T Robot says:

    Someone point me to where I can watch the episode!
    please please please

  10. bicycle bob says:

    comedy central repeats them all weekend. check ur local listings.

  11. mysteryperfecta says:

    The funniest part of the episode was the credits.

  12. Paul Hackett says:

    “Faith requires just that. Faith. Faith in something more. But you can’t honestly be saying that Scientology is a religion. It’s a moneymaker and a scam. Every other major religion actually has principles and major things to believe in.”
    Well, I’d disagree that Scientology lacks principles and things to believe in. They’re anti drugs/psychiatry/etc. And instead of believing in immaculate conceptions, turning water into wine, parting seas, etc., they believe in aliens.
    Now, can you say, come on, all of this stuff sounds incredibly stupid, and it was made by a sci-fi writer, and it bilks a lot of innocent people out of their money? Of course. But couldn’t someone else say the exact same thing about all other organized religions? Absolutely.
    I’m agnostic, but I respect people who have faith. I think that religion can do a lot of good. I just hate religion when it leads people to do bad things. I think that this is what a lot of non-believers feel. And, like me, I think a many find it funny when people of the [insert religion] poke fun at others religions b/c they have some or many incredible elements.

  13. Crow T Robot says:

    I don’t have the channel.
    (funny enough, I work for Viacom)

  14. Terence D says:

    This show just keeps getting better and better.

  15. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    If scientology dates all the way back to the origin of man, or whatever, then why did it take a sci-fi writer to take any notice whatsoever of it.

  16. James Leer says:

    Am I allowed to agree with both viewpoints? Yes, Scientology is absurd…but then, a lot of religions would seem absurd if they were new today (although Scientology is probably the campiest, what with its evil alien tax collectors, golden DC-8 jets, and its kooky two-cups-tied-together e-meter).
    However, I’m not willing to cut Scientology a lot of slack. They are THE most money-grubbing religion, and that’s saying something. They don’t practice the “live and let live” tenets of, say, a Buddhist — they are always campaigning against psychiatry (because it competes with their religion, and because psychiatrists once pronounce L. Ron cuckoo for cocoa puffs and he never got over it) and I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of the Brooke Shields brouhaha. But most of all, they go to unprecedented lengths to harass their enemies. Nothing is off-limits, as anyone who’s perused and read about how the church tried to destroy skeptical reporters’ lives and turn suspicious family members against each other would know.
    Personally, I’m sad that Scientology is buying up all the raddest old buildings in LA, and that they seem to be making such inroads in the artsy Silver Lake community (what with converts like Beck, Jason Lee, etc.). It was much easier to dismiss them when their high-profile members were cornball.

  17. Krazy Eyes says:

    CNN has a 3:00 report on the show that has a number of clips. There’s a link to it on the home page.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Time Warner must have remembered that they own half of Comedy Central.

  19. TJ Smoov says:

    Of course there are similarities and differences between Scientology and religion. The problem is that Scientology preys upon people and has created a cult-like atmosphere. People have lost everything to be a part of this group. Time did a great article about it more than a decade ago that is still incredibly relevant. I found a link to it here where you can read it without subscribing to Time (their website only offers a tease of the article):

  20. lindenen says:

    From your Hot Button, a small nit to pick:
    “The circumstance was not unlike the internet boom making up for the Reagan deficits, the economy expanding so much because of something that had nothing to do with the tax changes that created the deficits, that people and markets forgot that deficits were a dangerous thing.”
    This is just not true. The economy expanded precisely because of the tax cuts. And it wasn’t the tax cuts that caused the deficits in that case. The tax cuts worked so well, that the government was pulling in more than enough money to cover the taxes. The problem was Congress and spending, which is really the same problem we have now. Without the tax cuts, there would not have been massive venture capital funds providing millions for start-up businesses like Google, Yahoo, Ebay, etc. Companies would not have had the necessary money for research and development without tax decreases… Also, while the boom helped, the deficit was largely balanced in the 90s on the backs of the military, intelligence services and public diplomacy. There was this crazy talk about a “peace dividend” and now we’re paying the price.

  21. Mark Ziegler says:

    How come you don’t have Comedy Central? That’s basic cable.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    Maybe he doesn’t have cable period.

  23. PandaBear says:

    Not having cable. Hmmmmm.
    It’s 2005!!
    You need basic cable now to even get a reception. Either you’re too cheap to pay the 50 bucks a month or that’s about it.
    No cable! WOW.

  24. Angelus21 says:

    Forget cable. I can’t believe some people are defending Scientology as a religion. I guess they’re everywhere.

  25. Crow T Robot says:

    I have basic cable you smart asses!
    But Adelphia here in Hollywood would rather me watch 20 channels in Spanish and Mandarin than Trey and Matt & Stewart.
    I do have Turner Classic Movies, however, which leaves all the premium cable movie channels in the dust. Letterboxed and uncut, baby.

  26. Hopscotch says:

    I don’t have cable. I don’t think it’s that big of deal.
    Why? I’m cheap. There is no philosophical reason, just that I’m cheap and cable companies are evil and Life is precious, God and the Bible.

  27. joefitz84 says:

    Calling Cruise and Travolta and Kelly closet gays for 22 minutes was beyond hilarious.

  28. The Premadator says:

    “Remember, Kit, you must NOT show it to the Laker Girls.”

  29. David Poland says:

    Lindenen – We’ll just have to respectfully disagree about that.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    Talk about a ‘peace dividend’ should never be considered crazy. Not when defense spending has always remained such a huge portion of the overall budget.

  31. joefitz84 says:

    If defense spending wasn’t so large we may not have a country today. But Liberals like Jeff wouldn’t mind living in a Communist state.

  32. Blackcloud says:

    Talk about a peace dividend was just that, talk. It never materialized. Defense spending did decrease somewhat in the early 90s, but began rising again in the mid-90s and has been climbing since. For FY 2006 it’s $419.3 billion out of a budget of $2.568 trillion. That works out to 16.3% (someone check my math, please). That’s a significant chunk of change, but I’m not sure I’d characterize it as “huge.” Especially when compared to the entire GDP, of which it is only about 4%, a figure which historically is quite low.
    You can see the numbers yourself here:

  33. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I knew something was missing from this thread, and then JoeFitz supplied it. POLICAL BASHING!!! Everyone’s favourite past time [groan]

  34. joefitz84 says:

    It’s not bashing Camel. Just some facts. You gotta pay the price for peace sometimes. You need to get a little dirty and it costs a little money. I blame the Baby Boomers. They don’t have half the cajones the Greatest Generation had.

  35. jeffmcm says:

    It’s true: Baby boomers kind of suck. Spoiled and materialistic. The sad thing is, their kids are even worse.

  36. Angelus21 says:

    The Greatest Generation’s biggest failure? They’re kids.

  37. jeffmcm says:

    You can’t really blame them, though. The baby boomers were brought up as the most affluent generation in world history. They were doomed by their parents’ success.

  38. BluStealer says:

    I blame people. Not parents. They didn’t have to work hard which gives you a warped view of the world.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    That’s what I meant, not blaming parents.

  40. Bruce says:

    Boomers had it easy. Then when things got tough they cut and ran. Then they sold out and did everything they rallied against. All sellouts.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    William S. Burroughs was right. “All agents defect and all resisters sell out”.

  42. Matrixgal says:

    I think to comment about Scientology you need to know more about it (read one book). You may comment that L.Ron Hubbard is not Buddha, Moses or Jesus but if you ask me L.Ron Hubbard is similar to Buddha because they both believe in reincarnation and the Buddhists had a prophecy that Buddha would become a red hair man (as L.Hubbard was) in the West and would continuing his research there. And as for the alien thing, well I have to say if there aren’t any then maybe it’s a waste of space in the universe

  43. Tommy Peru says:

    You caught that poster too! I did some research on The Chumscrubber. Apparently they shopped the script around Hollywood for a long time. Just about everyone passed it up. They eventually got enough for a 10 million dollar budget. I’m sure they pitched their psych-med themed movie to Scientologist investors. The movie was an exaggerated exploitation of suburbanite psych drug abuse…. so I’m sure that was their pitch for funding.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon