Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection

I’ve mentioned before that I love the story of Rainbow Crow, the beautiful Lenape tale of how the crow got its black feathers and hoarse, croaking caw. It’s a terrific story.

But I do not want to see “Rainbow Crow: The Movie.” The story is perfect as it is — as a story that can be told in less than five minutes, 10 if you really milk it. It shouldn’t be turned into a 90-minute movie or into a three-hour epic because it is not a 90-minute story or a three-hour epic. Trying to turn it into one would change the story and turn it into a different kind of story.

Russell Crowe as Noah, Earl of Locksley

And that would be wrong on several levels. It would be as disastrous as an epic movie about “So this gorilla walks into a bar …”

Which is why I think Darren Aronofsky’s “upcoming epic, Noah,” now filming in Iceland, is just a very, very bad idea.

I love the story of Noah. It is epic in scope and in setting, but it is not an epic story. It’s a very short story painted in broad strokes. It is a story that does not work when not painted in broad strokes.

In the Bible, the entire Noah saga is 88 verses long, and those 88 verses cover more than 100 years. Read it out loud, slowly, and it will take you only about 20 minutes. That’s how long this story is: about 20 minutes.

That’s how long it should be. Make it any longer than that and you change it — change what it is and change what it means.

* * * * * * * * *

I generally take a pretty skeptical view toward Scientology, but I’ll say this for them: They have some pretty good actors in their community.

My own evangelical tradition, on the other hand, has Kirk Cameron and this: Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.

Yes, of course it’s a scam. AMTC, that is, not Scientology. It seems to be a Jesus-flavored variation of the old modeling-scout con. (“You’ll be a huge star! You just need lessons …”)

Many people hold that Scientology is a scam, too, with adherents reportedly required to pay big bucks to advance through the levels of the “religion.” But even so, Scientology can point to the careers of, for example, Elizabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi and Beck, as well as Tom Cruise and John Travolta. So unlike Actors, Models & Talent for Christ, Scientology is, at least, a scam that’s given us some memorable performances.

 

  • The_L1985

    I thought it was OK, but then I’ve never read the book.

  • Prankster36

     OK, but comparing Aronofsky to the brain trust behind those NBC TV Movies is like saying “Of course Joss Whedon’s Avengers movie won’t be any good, did you see Albert Pyun’s Captain America?”

    It really seems like there’s a fair amount of potential story there–there’s probably a lot leading UP to the flood, for a start.

  • The_L1985

     The…Watchers?  As in, the Kabbalistic Watchers?

    I am almost tempted to watch the movie just for that.

  • The_L1985

     Re: NBC Noah, you forgot the funniest part–the pirates are run by Lot.  You know, Abraham’s nephew.  A guy who shouldn’t exist for at least another 1000 years or so after the story of Noah.

  • The_L1985

     Depending no how well you handle certain controversial plot points, you may like the manga Angel Sanctuary. The OVA is sub-par and only covers the first 3 volumes, but the manga series is an emotional roller-coaster ride that incorporates just about every religious reference you can think of, from Dante to the Book of Enoch to the Eddas.  There are at least 50 angels, all of whom are named after traditional angels from the Bible and Kabbalah except for Alexiel, Rosiel, and Barbiel.

  • Mark Z.

    That “pillar of salt” was Lot’s TARDIS, when it wasn’t disguising itself as his wife.

  • r2d3

    How does AMTC’s up-front policy fit the definition of a “scam”? They say clearly on their website: “AMTC is not an Agency.”

    A scam is a fraudulent business scheme.     

  • mirele

    Kind of like “Scientology is a religion.” Well, no, it’s an elaborate scheme for separating you from your money.  (Yes, I’m terribly biased on the subject, but I do believe I have good reason to be.)

  • GDwarf

     I’ve heard a bit about Angel Sanctuary, and the basic concept seemed interesting, but I must admit to not being much of a manga fan. It’s just too expensive a hobby (…Says the man who used to play Magic and who still buys anime box sets…)

    I do generally like the obscure/apocryphal/non-canon books of the Bible. They’re generally weird*, but in an interesting way. For some reason, Japanese entertainment seems more cognizant of them than people here-abouts. I’ve seen far, far more anime/manga/games that deal with the Kabbala and such than I have western media.

    *Not to say that the books that are there aren’t sometimes very weird, but it’s a weirdness I grew up with, so it doesn’t really seem weird any more.

  • heckblazer

    Hubbard founded the church in 1952.

  • Pat B

    I absolutely agree that Scientology is a scam, and that it was created out of a cynical attempt to control vulnerable people and take their money.

    But it gets a disproportionately bad rap; Mormonism, for instance, was created as an equally transparent scam by a literal convicted con-man and now it’s respectable enough that a Mormon can run for president (*sigh*). It even has aliens and named extra-solar planets like Kobol, and this was a religion which predated the idea of the sci-fi space opera.

    If we’re willing to be vocal against Scientology, there are tons of other religions out there who are 1) hurting their own followers through their dogmas (Jehovah’s Witnesses), 2) collecting money for their corrupt pedophilic hierarchies (Catholic Church), or 3) brainwashing followers and teaching them blatant untruths to control them (Insert Religion Here).

    The problem is; Scientology is (rightfully) unpopular, but where do you stop? There isn’t one religion on this entire planet which hasn’t done the same things Scientology has to one degree or another. I would rather Scientology exist and I have my rights than we can just declare any unpopular group not protected under the 1st amendment.

  • Dea Syria

    I’d be interested in know why Fred likes the Noah story, since it shows his god committing genocide. There is no allegory that can make that good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Who said that Scientology shouldn’t be protected under the 1st amendment? Just because someone says something mean about them on the Internet doesn’t mean that their rights are being violated, and it’s not exactly as if groups like the Catholic Church aren’t criticized online either…

  • Mark Z.

    Piss off, troll.

  • SisterCoyote

    Fred points out that this is a story, not to be taken literally, and he does so frequently, and with great care, and repeatedly, and y’ know what, I am getting a wee bit tired of people taking this mythological story used to illustrate a point and going “Aha! So you admit your God committed global genocide!” or “Why do you enjoy thinking about your God as a horrible murderer?” Aside from feeling kind of condescending, this is also kinda frustrating in that it seems to miss the point.

    Look. It’s a story. Fred states repeatedly that he does not believe it happened, but that it exists to illustrate a point. There are a lot of these “global flood, life as we know it preserved by one noble person” myths floating around. My sister’s discovery of them, in her early twenties, was what drew her away from Biblical literalism – the similar themes that Genesis has to every other creation myth out there was too much for her to overlook.

    It’s singularly maddening to see people reacting to this as if Fred had posted something like “I love the story of Noah, because it illustrates humanity’s relationship with God,” or something. Come on. You can love a story without being really excited about all the details. It was a while back in Mark Reads, I think, that someone brought up the different rulers explored, and… argh, I think it was the Sultan who was the example of a terrible ruler, who cares more for himself than his people. The Sultan is a terrible, terrible person. He’s prepared to release demons across the entire world to prove a point, he has torture chambers beneath his palace, and ur npghnyyl QBRF pbzcyrgryl qrfgebl uvf crbcyr – vs abg ol qrngu, guna ol fbzrguvat abg ragveryl qvfgvathvfunoyr. But it’s still a good story.

    Creation myths do not have to paint all the characters in a glowing light of awesome to be good stories. Coyote stories tend to be my favorites, even (or perhaps because) they often end in semi-hilarious disaster, sometimes for just Coyote, sometimes for all concerned. But I doubt I’d get snarked at for talking about a story in which Coyote killed his grandmother, or how much I liked it, despite the fairly terrible implications.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    *headdesk*

    Fred, Scientology illegally imprisons and tortures people, enslaves children, forces young women into early marriage, dictates divorces, forces abortions, runs clinics that kill people, and lies, lies, lies, lies, LIES. They claim children are adults in little bodies. They claim psychiatry and psychology are at the root of all evil, thereby keeping their victims from mental help when they need it. The people you’ve listed would be good actors with or without Scientology, and looking at the lives of people in the entertainment field who have left Scientology, their careers and personal lives would be significantly improved if they’d never seen Scientology. Scientology has never GIVEN anyone anything. Check out the Village Voice and Tampa Bay (formerly St. Pete) Times archives on Scientology please. Or google Lisa McPherson.

    Tom Cruise’s third wife recently divorced him. (Scientology claims it has the way for people to have perfect relationships and communication, but the divorce rate of Scientologists is in the stratosphere, and not just among celebrities.) She had to use burner phones so she couldn’t be traced while planning her divorce, and surprise him with the divorce while he was in Iceland. He used Scientology slave labor liberally, and took the abusive tyrant who’s at the head of Scientology with him on his honeymoon. He also verbally abused Brooke Shields for getting the help she needed for her post-partum depression. John Travolta has been outed as gay multiple times, but Scientology is homophobic (and misogynistic and racist and ableist and classist and etc.), so he stays in the glass closet. He’s recently been accused of sexual assault by multiple men. Let’s see, who else is a Scientologist… Kirstie Alley. What a great career she’s got now, huh? Then there’s Jenna Elfman, of “Do you rape babies?” fame. 

    Some quotes from celebrities who are former Scientologists:

    Paul Haggis (from a New Yorker article about him and Scientology): “I was in a cult for thirty-four years. Everyone else could see it. I don’t know why I couldn’t.” Also, ““I really wish I had found a good therapist when I was twenty-one,” he said. In Scientology [which does not allow their victims to seek therapy], he always felt a subtle pressure to impress his auditor and then write up a glowing success story. Now, he said, “I’m not fooling myself that I’m a better man than I am.” 

    Jason Beghe (from an interview about Scientology on youtube): “Show me a motherf*ing Clear.”

    Lisa Marie Prestley (from her new album):
    “These roads they don’t lead to anything These people they talk, they say nothing Actors who don’t have a part Heartfelt people with no heart I’ll find a new crowd Make a new start Farewell, fair weathered friendsI can’t say I’ll miss you in the end”

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Scientology does not get a disproportionately bad rap. It doesn’t get a bad enough rap, in fact. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    One of my very favorite stories when I was a child contains cannibalism, burning someone alive, and parents trying to lose their children in the forest, where said children would hopefully starve to death.

    Another contains a big cauldron into which people are tossed unwillingly. They emerge as soulless corpses, ready to do whatever the person who tortured them and their families to death tells them to do. The cauldron is only destroyed when someone jumps into it willingly to destroy it, destroying his soul as well in the process. (I believed in an immortal soul then.)

    Harry Potter’s parents were murdered when he was a toddler, by a man who wanted to murder him. He has nightmares about this. Harry Potter was then heinously neglected and emotionally abused by his caretakers until he was 11 years old. Well, he was still emotionally abused and neglected by them afterwards, he just got a respite. That’s far from the only terrible thing in the books.

    I have never understood the idea that children’s stories should be happy happy joy joy all the time. Kids can take horror. Kids seek out horror, in fact.  

  • Ben English

     Thank you, so much. I needs to be said. Scientology, as a religion, as an organization, and as a cult, is guilty of every sin of every religion in the world is guilty of and carries none of the benefits. There is no escape, no love, nothing human. It isn’t a good idea corrupted by bad doctrine or wicked teachers. It isn’t a collections of myth and legend that explains an ancient societies’ view of the world or a promise of hope for the future. It is a corrupt cult of harmful, dogmatic brainwashing designed by its progenitor with the express purpose of fleecing people of their money.

    It ought to be dismantled.

  • Lori

     

    Why would making a movie about Noah change the story? 

    I obviously don’t know what Fred is thinking, but if I had to guess I’d say it has something to do with the fact that in order to be movie-length that story will have to be extended and given a lot of extraneous detail and generally treated as a Thing That Could Happen. Fred doesn’t think the flood literally happened or that that’s the point of the story.

  • mirele

    I don’t care what Scientologists believe–really, I don’t. In fact, one of my huge objections to the so-called “anti-cult movement” is that a lot of their complaints are based on religious dogma. That is, Scientology is wrong because it doesn’t line up with My Religious Belief Which Happens To Be The One Jesus Smiles Upon.

    That said, there are many reasons to criticize Scientology. I would direct you to (easiest, off the top of my head) the Village Voice, where editor in chief Tony Ortega has been doing yeoman’s work over the past few years documenting the evil that is Scientology. 

    For example, Scientology refused to let a mother (Karen de la Carriere) see her son (Alexander Jentzsch) after he died. That’s because Karen’s been kicked out of Scientology and under the terms of the “church’s” disconnection policy, she is a non-person. 

    Then there’s the fact that Scientology has a location just north of Hemet, California (called Gold Base) that has a couple of temporary buildings, which is known as The Hole. Dozens of Scientology’s top administrators are being held there in degrading conditions. 

    Also, Scientology has a drug rehab outfit called “Narconon.”  It’s a scam, it’s not a proper drug treatment facility. People have died at Narconon–three in the last year alone at Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma. (NBC’s Rock Center will be doing a telecast about Narconon on August 16). 

    I could go on and on, but my point is this–an organization that has a fake drug rehab (as in NO established studies proving its efficacy and based totally on the work of L. Ron Hubbard), holds its highest ranking “Sea Org” members incommunicado and isolated, and won’t even let a grieving mother see her child…well that is just the tip of the iceberg. And none of that involves belief.  These are actions. That’s where you stop. You’re harming people with your actions? STOP.

  • Lori

     

    I don’t know that I can ever forgive Scientology, simply because of the mere existence of Battlefield Earth.  

    That’s the one thing I feel like a sort of owe Scientology for. Living in LA I received many an annoying offer for an introductory audit and the Celebrity Center got on my last good nerve on multiple levels, but Battlefield Earth was a couple of very amusing hours.

    Of course, it was amusing because I watched it on DVD with some friends and we gave it the slightly tipsy MST3K treatment so maybe I don’t owe Scientology as much as Jose Cuervo.

  • SisterCoyote

    “I’ve got a children’s book, too! It’s called F— it, We’re All Going to Die. Newberry, please!”

    (Reference: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/221843/march-16-2009/neil-gaiman)

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    I know kids can take horror.  I enjoyed my fair share of dark tales when I was a kid.

    But I do think that decorating a baby’s room with cartoony pictures of animals floating on a boat, and pretending that it’s some happy, fuzzy story of lambs and lions hugging, is more than a little grotesque.  The story is about millions of people drowning, and that isn’t changed by painting smiles on the faces of a pair of hippos.

  • hidden_urchin

    Kids seek out horror, in fact.

    It’s really funny you should mention that.  I was just thinking the other day how much I loved horror as a kid.  There was one book I checked out from the library every couple of months in grade school.  It was a horror anthology.  I read DRACULA in the third grade.  (I was a strange child.)

    At some point I lost my interest in horror.  I am only just now rediscovering that love.  It was, and is, cathartic for me.

  • Wingedwyrm

    It’s worth noting that the ones burning people alive, shoving people into cauldrons, murdering parents and trying to murder Harry Potter were all considered bad guys.  Putting Noah’s Ark up on children’s wallpaper is delivering something of a different message with context.  “You, too, can be complicit with genocide.”

  • Lori

     

    If we’re willing to be vocal against Scientology, there are tons of
    other religions out there who are 1) hurting their own followers through
    their dogmas (Jehovah’s Witnesses), 2) collecting money for their corrupt pedophilic hierarchies (Catholic Church), or 3) brainwashing followers and teaching them blatant untruths to control them (Insert Religion Here).  

    One of the things Scientology does that the others you mention do not is straight up charge people for doctrine. Many of the other crimes of which Scientology is guilty are enabled by that sick little arrangement. Once you’ve gotten people to literally buy in they’re a lot less likely to even try to walk away and once you’ve got them hooked like that it’s far easier to abuse them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Was Battlefield Earth intended to be an allegory for/reference to any aspect of Scientology, or was it unrelated?

  • EllieMurasaki

    The Joseph story from the beginning to Jacob’s arrival in Egypt is about three hundred verses. So Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the perfect length?

  • Joshua


    The story is about millions of people drowning, and that isn’t changed by painting smiles on the faces of a pair of hippos. 

    Now Neil Gaiman should have a go at that. Readers would be seeing the aware grin on the hippos’ faces as they desperately try to sleep for the rest of their lives.

  • KevinC

     True, Noah’s Ark is a story, but it’s not just a story.  We can read in Greek mythology about Chronos eating his children, but we are not called upon in our culture to go to the Temple on Sunday and praise Chronos as omnibenevolent and as the One, True Source for all morality.  No one decorates children’s rooms with cute pictures of Chronos wearing a tie-on bib, knife and fork in hand, ready to tuck in.

    The Noah’s Artwork people have been talking about demonstrates the problem pretty well.  These portrayals don’t show the story in a creepy ‘Genesis 6-9, by R.L. Stine’ way, but as lovely and cute.  They tell us to evaluate a global Flood as a wonderfully happy event.  Then there’s the fact that Yahweh (“God”) gets an automatic moral blank check within Christendom, and is upheld as a present moral ideal.  Yahweh is not merely good in a Gandalf-ish sense, he owns the patent and trademark on goodness, or so we’re told.  That just isn’t done in the case of Coyote, the witch in Hansel and Gretel (her house of gingerbread and candy is not a theme for cheerful artwork), the Annunaki, or the Goddess Sakhmet.

    In addition, the story of Noah’s Ark figures in Christian apocalyptic (“as it was in the days of Noah…”), so “Yahweh destroys the world” is not merely a myth about the past, it’s a prediction of the future.  And, especially in RTC circles, this is supposed to be a good thing.  A rather powerful segment of American culture (you know, the people with all the nukes and killer drones) looks forward to a new extermination of all life on Earth, this time with fire.  See, Yawheh only promised that he wouldn’t flood the world again–loophole!

    Maybe in some far-future post-Christian world it will be possible to look at the story of Noah’s Ark the way we look at other ancient myths of primordial times.  “That’s a nice story about how it’s not good to be Nebulously Violent–but not so violent that people can’t have 900-year lifespans.”  In that day we’ll be able to appreciate the comic figure of Yawheh thinking, “Look at all that violence down there!  Grrr!  I hate violence!  So what am I gonna do about it?  Aha, I’ve got the perfect solution!”

    But that won’t happen until Yahweh is just another mythological character, without the kind of cultural, political, and moral heft he now enjoys.  

  • Vermic

    Fred doesn’t think the flood literally happened or that that’s the point of the story.

    That leads me to wonder, I think for the first time: what is the point of the Noah story, anyway?  Reading it as allegory and not a factual account, what is the spiritual/moral lesson we are meant to derive from it?

    Was Battlefield Earth intended to be an allegory for/reference to any aspect of Scientology, or was it unrelated?

    I’ve heard that the Psychlos (the evil alien race in BE) are meant to represent psychologists, to whom Hubbard and Scientology were and are famously opposed, but that BE is not overall an allegory.

  • Lori

    I’m probably not the right person to ask. I wasn’t kidding about Jose Cuervo. I had a couple of margaritas before/during the viewing and my analytical skills were not at their sharpest. I’m also a little vague on the details of Scientology, so it’s possible that even if I had been stone sober any possible references would have passed me by.

    I do know that John Travolta’s make-up, lines and delivery were hilarious, which is a problem for the film since it wasn’t intended as a comedy. 

  • ray thor

    We all love a good spooky story.  It could be the inner child in us that still
    fears the dark.  I wrote a series of
    spooky stories for my grandchildren. 
    They are intended to be read around the family camp fire (the
    fireplace).  Moral lessons are also
    contained within these stories.  My
    grandchildren loved the stories so much that I decided to publish them in ebook
    form on the KINDLE bookstore under the title SPOOKY MOON STORIES by RAYMOND
    THOR. Click here:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_i_0?rh=k%3Araymond+thor%2Ci%3Adigital-text&keywords=raymond+thor&ie=UTF8&qid=1344014633

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    That’s fair enough. Hippos scare me way more than the story of Noah’s Ark ever did.

    I’ve heard that the Psychlos (the evil alien race in BE) are meant to
    represent psychologists, to whom Hubbard and Scientology were and are
    famously opposed, but that BE is not overall an allegory.

    Well, that’s Hubbard for you. As subtle as a screaming, ravenous hippo crashing through your bedroom window at night.

    I’m probably not the right person to ask. I wasn’t kidding about Jose
    Cuervo. I had a couple of margaritas before/during the viewing and my
    analytical skills were not at their sharpest.

    That was probably an incredibly wise choice. The movie is awful when sober; it just drones on and on and 95% of the actors aren’t even interesting to watch in a so-bad-they’re-good way; they’re just boring in the same way that listening to a bored kid listlessly read Shakespeare lines from an index card is boring. Oh, and the writing is mind-numbing too.

    It’s like if Left Behind had attempted to do crude world-building by introducing tedious and unimaginative science fiction concepts (like having the heroes all use “zap-guns” instead of “guns” and drink “stimu-shakes” instead of “milk-shakes”) — or some crap like that; it has no meaningful effect on the world and doesn’t even look coo

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Battlefield Earth actually doesn’t have much of anything to do with Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard named the evil alien Psychlos because he hated psychiatrists, and there’s an alien race that seems to exist to impart wisdom to everyone else called “Clinkos”* (whom iirc were called “Chinkos” in the book), but that’s about it. It’s just a crappy sci-fi book, though the movie supposedly actually has an even crappier plot than the book. I’ve never seen any credible source say it has anything to do with Scientology, though Scientologists were told to go see it.

    *I should explain that L. Ron Hubbard was massively racist, as is the con he created, and he said “the problem with China is that there are too many gooks there”. He also claimed to have gone deep into the hinterlands of China to learn secrets from mystics who had never seen a white man before, which is, of course, bullshit, and racist Orientalist bullshit at that. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Except genocide really isn’t how it’s taught, neither to kids nor to adults. I’m not saying that’s right, just that lots of people really do see it only as a story of happy animals on a boat. Plus, every Christian isn’t even taught that God caused the flood. I was taught that there was a flood and God helped this dude save enough animals so that they wouldn’t go extinct, but that God did not actually cause the flood. Also that the whole thing was either completely made up or grossly exaggerated. 

    Lots of Christians do not actually believe all the stuff that’s written in the Bible, even the stories they like. 

  • Wingedwyrm

    Nobody’s saying that anybody has to take the flood story literally.  But, there is a massive amount of dishonesty to editing it to either be A. just a bunch of cute animals with smiling faces on a boat or B. God helping one guy out (which, in itself, still has a huge problem).

    And, for the most part, children are taught that God caused the flood.  There are childrens’ books that talk about how wicked humankind was that God felt the need to pour his wrath out.  Speaking as a former Methodist, I was, indeed, taught that God caused the flood (though not taught that this had to be literal) and simultaniously presented with the happy-fuzzy-animals-on-a-boat imagery.

    The common presentation of this story, as well as the story of the 10 Plagues, as well as the story of Genesis, all involves, even with non-literal interpretations, a heavy amount of handwaving to look away from and not even notice problematic elements.

  • The Guest That Posts

    As far as I’m concerned, Scientologists can believe whatever they want (though I’d be happy if they stopped denigrating psychiatry), but their leadership are horrible, exploitative people with their subordinates’ blood on their hands.

    From what I’ve heard, there are some Scientologists who have broken free of the hierarchy, while retaining their religious beliefs. More power to them.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    That would be the Free Zone. They keep the talk therapy parts, leave out the space aliens and Hubbard worship. I used to be active on alt.religion.scientology, which is anti-CoS; Freezoners are respected there.

    “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

  • vsm

    I am getting a wee bit tired of people taking this mythological story used to illustrate a point
    and going “Aha! So you admit your God committed global genocide!”

    That’s a fair enough point, that no wicked sinners were hurt in the making of this parable. However, when you’re making a feature-length Hollywood film with Russell Crowe in the lead, you probably won’t be able to use the the Genesis’s detached and mythic tone. Chances are, it’s going to aim for realism (as in, characters with psychologically believable actions, played in a naturalistic style, against a backdrop of real-looking effects), which will not make it possible to write those sinners off as just part of the allegory.

    Anyway, if Aronofsky can pull it off, I’m going to respect him a lot more. If not, it’s going to be a huge mess, and that should make for fun viewing anyway.

  • Mrs Grimble

    The difference there is that Scientology actively recruits people who are already famous.

    Not in the case of Elizabeth Moss, they didn’t.  Her (non-famous)  parents were Scientologists and she was born and raised within Scientology.  Then she got famous.

  • Matri

    Gee, thanks. Did you have to share it? :P

  • Mrs Grimble

    I should explain that L. Ron Hubbard was massively racist, as is the con
    he created, and he said “the problem with China is that there are too
    many gooks there”. He also claimed to have gone deep into the
    hinterlands of China to learn secrets from mystics who had never seen a
    white man before, which is, of course, bullshit, and racist Orientalist
    bullshit at that

    Hubbard was full of it – he also claimed to have been totally self-taught and never have gone to school, to have learned native wisdom from a Blackfoot medicine man as a child and to have decisively repelled an attempted Japanese invasion of California during WWII. 
    I’m quite surprised that he left out his meetings with African witchdoctors and his role in the development of the atom bomb.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    That leads me to wonder, I think for the first time: what is the point of the Noah story, anyway? Reading it as allegory and not a factual account, what is the spiritual/moral lesson we are meant to derive from it?

    Well, according to my current RTC reading, The Secret on Ararat, there are several reasons: the story is a warning not to be like people were in Noah’s time because Jesus Smash, also finding the ark proves the Bible is true facts, also finding the ark disaproves the evil theory of evolution.

    So, you can see that it’s a winner in many ways.  ;)

  • Tonio

    every Christian isn’t even taught that God caused the flood.

    Wow. I’ve never heard that suggestion before. Many fundamentalists apparently believe that the Genesis god’s promise covered only worldwide flooding, and that Earth’s next destruction would be by fire. A mere legal loophole.

  • Jim Roberts

    “The story is about millions of people drowning.”
    According to the oldest writings in the Mishnah, it was less than 10 000. That’s how many people were believed to be alive at the time. And chances are, when the Noah story was written that number was even lower.

    You’re applying the actual numbers in the very real world to a Bronze Age folk tale. You might as well swoon at the risk Jack takes with one endangered species (gold-laying swans) while killing another (the giant).

  • Mike Thetan

     “But even so, Scientology can point to the careers of, for example,
    Elizabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi and Beck, as well as Tom Cruise and John
    Travolta….”

    Scientologists account for around 0.001% of all actors on this planet.  Just start writing down a list of all the brilliant and successful actors who are NOT Scientologists. It could be argued that being a Scientologist is actually detrimental to your chances of being an actor. It’s certainly detrimental to your sanity, your opinion of others, and the opinion of others towards you.

  • PJ Evans

     Is there some reason for why you’re insisting that it be taken literally?

  • Tonio

    The whitewashing of the Flood in art is merely an example of deliberately obscuring gruesomeness. The real issue is the morality involved in the most common reading of the Flood story, as opposed to the story itself. According to that reading, the massive amount of death was a righteous punishment by an omnibenevolent being. Meaning that the entire human race was evil and worthless and got what was coming to them. 


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