Title: It's the pow-pow-power of non-original thinking, just do the L. Ron-ron
Source: The Australian, 12/17/2002
Author(s): Stephen Romei
Database: Newspaper Source
It's the pow-pow-power of non-original thinking, just do the L. Ron-ron
Edition: 1 - All-round Country
Section: Features, pg. 009
EXERCISING his oversized brain in this newspaper a few weeks back, my colleague Luke Slattery reduced that most irreducible of writers, Marcel Proust, to one sentence: ``He was a namby-pamby poof who wrote too much.''
Now, that wasn't exactly what Slattery wrote, but he did not disagree with this distillation of his prose when I put it to him. That got me thinking. Wouldn't it be terrific if we could capture all complex characters in a single pithy line?
Moby-Dick, to ride the literary wave, is a very big white whale who sunk ships and floated Herman Melville's homoerotic fantasies.
Napoleon? Short bloke with well-developed breasts and ambitions to conquer the world.
That led me to Jamie Packer. Recently separated junior media mogul who may or may not have joined the Church of Scientology. Although Packer has refused to comment on the rumours, weekend newspaper reports said he has been attending ``auditing'' sessions with the scientologists in Sydney. He reportedly spent three hours in their company on Saturday.
Is this any of our business? Probably not, provided Packer's relationship with the scientologists remains personal. If he decides to donate a portion of his considerable wealth to their cause, good luck to him, and to them.
Trenchant critics of scientology might mention that Packer runs a publicly listed media company, Publishing & Broadcasting, in which thousands of ordinary people have invested their savings. They might suggest shareholders should be concerned about the company being in the hands of someone under the influence of scientology.
I don't know that much about scientology. I do know that some European nations, particularly Germany, have expressed serious reservations about the movement. Were I a PBL shareholder, I'd be concerned by the lack of original thinking on the personal web pages of scientologists from around the world. These potted biographies, linked to the official scientology site, include the member's favourite quote. Every one I checked -- and I bet this would follow for them all -- has chosen a quote from scientology founder and science fiction hack L.
Is there no scientologist who, asked their favourite quote, would opt for Shakespeare, Montaigne or Groucho Marx? Or, if they are business-minded, Kerry Packer?
I'm reminded of Packer's legendary observation following a near-death experience: ``I've been to the other side, and let me tell you, son, there's nothing f---ing there.''
Copyright 2002 / The Australian _____
Source: The Australian, DEC 17, 2002