Foes of Scientology are wasting no time battling John Travolta's "Battlefield Earth."
The Web site Scientology-kills.org urges a boycott of the sci-fi flick, claiming it sends subliminal messages luring people into the fold of L. Ron Hubbard, the late "Battlefield Earth" author and Scientology founder.
Another Web site contends that Scientologists are set to buy scores of tickets to assure it atop spot on the box-office charts.
A Warner Bros. exec scoffs, "The only subliminal message is 'Buy more popcorn.'"
If there are Scientological messages encoded, they don't seem to be converting early viewers who've blasted the flick on the Ain't It Cool News Web site. Some sneak-peekers call the film a "boorish vanity film," "a career-threatening mistake" and a "big, expensive flop." And in today's News, critic Jack Mathews gives the film zero stars. Still, an Entertainment Weekly poll found that the space opera was the most eagerly awaited film of the summer.
Meanwhile, the sect keeps attracting new talent. Giovanni Ribisi, of "Saving Private Ryan," tells W magazine: "Without Scientology, I'd be in an alley somewhere, looking for dope."