All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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Scientology, the California-based religion with ties to the entertainment world, seems to be making a push for even greater mainstream acceptance. In the past few weeks, both Fox News and Hard Copy, the Paramount-produced tabloid news show, have run strangely upbeat pieces about the new Scientology center in Kansas and the group's recent benefit concert at Isaac Tigrett's House of Blues in Hollywood. The hooks for both pieces were the newly accessible Scientologized celebrities John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston and Kirstie Alley and hubby Parker Stevenson. In the Hard Copy piece, correspondent Barry Nolan interviewed the group's leader, Heber Jentzsch—whom he described to us as "the pope of Scientology"—on camera for the first time. Though Nolan's piece dismissed all negative feelings about the group as "prejudice," he now concedes that he's taken a lot of flak for the spot and regrets not including criticisms of the group from the Cult Awareness Network. "I'm a Zen Quaker with no religious background," the Hard Copy man admits. But I [understand] that addictive or inadequate personalities may need some kind of attachment." Nolan goes on to equate the Scientologists' notoriously successful fund-raising among its members with his wife's job as a steward in the Episcopal church. "All religions ask for money," he says. As for the stars involved in Scientology, Nolan grudgingly admits, "There's no question they're using these celebrities."