By "ewsnead" more
30 April 2005
Here Cruise illustrates the nub:
"SPIEGEL: There is a difference between hate and having a critical perspective.
Cruise: For me, it's connected with intolerance."
As a cult, Scientology inculcates among its membership the inability to
distinguish between critical vision, the ability to discern differences and form
personal opinions, and hatred, the inability to tolerate differences between
oneself and others. Obfuscation and clarification, hatred and critical acumen
are conveniently confused and conflated in the interests of maintaining the
status quo. In this instance, the status quo concerns maintaining the deferred
idyllic illusions with which the Scientology cult has breast fed Tom Cruise for
the past twenty years.
I say "deferred" because, as most critics are aware, the therapeutic promises
of Scientology remain perpetually out of reach. I'm gradually coming to the
understanding that many of the long-time adherents prefer their rewards
postponed indefinitely because then the pleasant reverie that comes from the
idealization of "what is to be" may be maintained. Indeed, actually reaching the
promised land or heaven or OTVIII no longer becomes the point. Because then
someone must face the oftentimes unpleasant reality of "what is" as opposed to
the blissful fantasy of "what is eventually to be." And any sort of critical
perspective implicitly casts an unpleasant light upon the directness of "what
is," chasing away the romantically elusive shadows of "the way things should
be." The harshest and most extraordinary aspect of reality is its obtrusiveness.
Whereas a life of fantasy mires a person into reiterative recycled sameness,
reality is jarring and (harshly) transformative. In fact, it is downright
revolutionary. And I think critical vision provides unique access to this
obtrusive reality that is always there and yet hardly ever seen.
Hatred distorts, and in so doing occludes reality. When Cruise reduces
criticism to intolerance, he inadvertently admits his failure of faith in the
real. This urge to take flight from reality is probably the greatest source of
intolerance and evil in human affairs. The oftentimes jarring discomfort
afforded by criticism remains our only protection against such evil.