"Cruise Control"?...no..."See Cruise"?...no..."Cruising Attitude"?...no..., Dept.
Alright, so the Tinfoil-Hat Spotters are slavering and sputtering at the latest seeming outrage by America's Favorite Celebrity Cult Zealot™, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV d/b/a "Tom Cruise". A video, referred to by Gawker.com as an "indoctrination video", that has surfaced and sunk and resurfaced and resunk shows Cruise waxing enthusiastic about the Church of Scientology (CoS) and its benefits.
Cruise's demeanor in the video will not be unfamiliar to those who have had any exposure to TC in his moments of transport. What may be new--and, choose your term: surprising, disturbing, incredibly-creepy--to readers and viewers is the view of his chosen belief system that Cruise rather vigorously propounds. One set of quotes from the clip gives a wee bit of the flavor:
When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help. We are the authorities on getting people off drugs. We are the authorities on the mind.... We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures. Now is the time.
Unsurprisingly, online commentators are interpreting this as another unwitting-if-revealing peek into the box of crazy that is Tom Cruise. The supposedly-clandestine nature of the video's contents being underscored by the fact that the clip has been pulled from YouTube and other venues several times "at the poster's request". Which most take to mean that the CoS' lawyers have threatened to sink their teeth deep, deep into the offender's ass.
But watch the video here and indulge your sobsister in a bit of speculation. What if this video was not inadvertently leaked but intentionally released under the guise of an inadvertent leak? The usual frenzy of media attention and Schadenfreudlichkeit that accompanies such mask-dropping incidents (whacked-out Britney on a gurney, glassy-eyed Paris on Rick Salomon's cock) is currently in full froth, with everyone from the New York Times to the gossip blogs featuring this latest apparent slip. Which just happens to follow on the heels of the release in the United States of Andrew Morton's unauthorized and unflattering bio of TC himself.
Walk with me here: the Morton bio is released and gets tons of media play; in return, TC/CoS accidentally-on-purpose let slip a promotional video that shows the charismatic worldwide movie star, in a setting where he controls the tone, tempo, and topic, speaking forcefully and persuasively about the power, the prestige, the mission of Scientologists. Now, let me conjure up a parallel scenario: Will Smith, in comparable full-on star charisma mode, featured in a "leaked" video talking about how fucking cool it is to be in the U.S. Army blowing jihadist heads off. Sure, some people would shout "outrage!" and some people would tut-tut the Hollywood crazy...but lots and lots of people who would otherwise never watch a U.S. Army propaganda video might say to themselves, "Hellz yeah, that shit sounds great!".
So, how many people, having watched one of America's Biggest Stars speak supposedly-secretly about how fucking cool it is to be a Scientologist, are saying to themselves, "Wow, this Scientology thing rocks!? The CoS has managed to get tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans to watch a Scientology promotional video and maybe forget all this Morton coverage. If only ten percent of the viewers don't think "eewwww!" and check out their local CoS outlet, then that's "game" for L. Ron's children.
You just have to know how to ride the froth.
Now, this is not to say that the content of this video is not four-ply fatuousness trimmed with sweeping vagueness and textbook smugness. But all you need is ten percent. And, Christ, scads of people watch Doctor Fucking Phil and think he's the second coming of Sigmund Freud and Ann Landers. So, ten percent is a totally achievable figure. Which gives me a Golden Glow of Wonder™ that we've survived this long as a species.
Apropos of all things Cruisean, I found this fascinating entry on a genetics blog regarding both a possible reason for TC's behavior and appearance, as well as the censorious cloud that floats above any discussions of TC that threaten to turn unflattering.