Copyright 1999-2000 South Bend Tribune
May 21, 2000
'Battlefield Earth': Sci-fi hoo-hah or Scientology hoo-hah?
Between the Lines - WHY CAN'T SOMEONE BASE A RELIGION ON THE WRITINGS OF HENRY MILLER?
John Travolta denies it. The Church of Scientology denies it. But still, curious filmgoers have to wonder: Is "Battlefield Earth"--which is based on a book written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and stars Travolta, a known Scientologist--a not-so subtle attempt at proselytizing the masses to the joys of Scientology?
It's not that wild of an idea, considering how well religious-themed entertainment is doing these days. Last summer's "Omega Code," which was produced by the Christian Trinity Broadcasting company, did very good box-office for an independently financed film. Just last week, the TV miniseries "Jesus" toppled the "Millionaire" juggernaut.
So we at Between the Lines decided to see for ourselves. We slapped down our non-comped, paid-out-of-our-own-pockets tickets and endured the space epic. This is what we found out about Scientology thanks to the film:
Don't let your elders stop you from chasing after your dreams; even if your dreams, are to be choked incessantly by a 7-foot John Travolta.
Breathe RiteTM strips help to reduce the power of the reactive mind. And they help accessorize anything, from buckskin to leather.
Infidels of Scientology are those who are intent on making people eat rats and green Play-doh.
The concept of leverage is very important in Scientology. Why else would you help control the purse strings of John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Jenna Elfman?
Apparently, the best way to reach the state of clear--the ultimate state in Scientology-- is by overthrowing your alien masters and becoming conquerors of a dead planet.
That which is good for an organism may be defined as that which promotes the survival of that organism. That which is bad for an organism may be defined as that which promotes "Battlefield Earth" as a good film.
Scientology is built on the backs of guys named Carlo, who are courageous and loyal to the cause but ultimately inept when it comes to handling explosives.
It's OK to trust the Jon Bon Jovi lookalike with the tactical nuclear device.
We want to know what religion is sponsoring "The X-Men" because that trailer, which ran before "Battlefield Earth," was 10 times better than the feature film.
L. Ron Hubbard can't write a good story; what makes anyone think he can establish a decent religion?
(includes two pictures: 1. Travolta and Kelly Preston in "Battlefield Earth" costumes with caption, " What we learned from 'Battlefield Earth': That John Travolta and Kelly Preston, his wife (top), have more money than God, and they're willing to spend it on a cockroach spittle like 'Battlefield Earth.' "
2. Picture of Barry Pepper in "Battlefield Earth" costume with caption, " Also, Barry Pepper has a promising career ahead of him--as a valet." )
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