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Have you watched a film called 'The Master' as yet? It is a fictional piece, but it explores these themes quite effectively. I often feel sad about how humanity opens itself up to be fooled. People seeking purpose and self-preservation often find themselves being drawn into circles of self deceit and torture, which has been formed to gratify the needs of some other individual's inner chaos. It isn't just L Ron, it is people like Meryl Dorey from the Anti-vaccination network, along with homeopathy operators. Members of the AVN have been known to call and harass parents of babies that have died due to vaccine preventable diseases, claiming that the parents are spreading lies about their own child dying in order to drum up support for vaccines. Dylan Avery who was made famous by the 'loose change 9/11 conspiracy, along with David Koresh of Waco fame. Osama Bin Laden of Al Queada isn't that far removed from Ann Hamilton-Byrne of 'the Family' infamy. We seem prone to believing in psychopathic causes that offer easy to understand - but wrong - solutions of things, often to the detriment of ourselves. In fact, these people play on the fact people are more willing to hurt themselves to believe in comfortable or fashionable lies, than to do the hard work seeking complicated facts.
Scott - cheers, yes, I did see the Master. A complicated and unusual film, but perfectly oblique in talking about a certain kind of cult. With just enough veracity to keep it interesting. That scene in the prison, where he smashes up the toilet, was perfectly tensed and dual. I find cults of personality so interesting, because of the parallels with celebrity culture and religious zealoutry and all that nuttery at the extreme ends of the human dial. That reminds me of a Bill Hicks routine about Waco, frustrated rock musicians with a messianic complex...
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