SCIENTOLOGY TV: FALL LINEUP REVEALED!
Last year, the Church of Scientology bought the studios that had been the home for KCET, the public television station in Los Angeles.
Now, news organizations are reporting that Scientology plans to use the facility for its own TV station, and broadcast the way other religions do. So far, however, none of those news reports have explained what it is the church plans to broadcast.
And that's where we come in. We watch enough Scientology TV to know what's going to be hitting the airwaves -- or would be, if David Miscavige just let us be his programmer.
Let's launch things with the naturals for their own Yo! MTV Raps-style show, those infectious performers of the Melbourne Day Rap Battle Team! "That's us, baby!"
And hey, don't laugh -- "We'll win that cup!" they rap about a million times in this video, and this past Birthday Day Game, Melbourne did just that! (If you don't know what we're referring to, just be grateful. We watch way too many Scientology videos.)
Now, let's move on to more programming!
Thursday Night Must-See TV: The L. Ron Hubbard History Hour
Primetime Thursday on Scientology TV, naturally, is the perfect time for some mesmerizing L. Ron Hubbard lore. We can't get enough of these old 1960s Hubbard lectures brought to life by the audiovisual wizards at Golden Era Productions (the church's filmmaking wing).
We'd start off with this epic episode, in which Hubbard explains how he and a Coast Guard buddy managed to save this country from annihilation by a group of rogue Caltech physicists who were planning to overthrow the US government with the use of atomic bombs. (Yes, you are hearing Hubbard's own words, and he did actually claim that this event took place. Linus Pauling, one of the scientists who was supposedly helping to lead this rebellious group of treasonous scientists, heard about Hubbard's tall tale, and actually sent out a letter to a Caltech colleague asking, what is this guy talking about?)
Putting the "Fun" in Fundraising!
A star was born when we first showed Dede from Phoenix frantically raising money for the Ideal Org there (which is open now! We hope Dede got her own wing!).
Now, with its own channel, Scientology will have so much more time to beg its members for cash! We see Dede with her own half-hour telethon-style variety show. You just know she'd love to belt out "You'll Never Walk Alone."
The David Miscavige Show: Standing Tall
As COB of RTC, Scientology leader David Miscavige has a lot of letters to his title. But we think it's time he came out from behind his acronyms and high fences and security details and became the TV star he was destined to be.
We know he's good behind a microphone, and in the video above, we also know he's got pipes for days. Just look at him lead that chorus to "We Stand Tall."
Just think of all the celebrities he could have on his own late-night show!
Love Boat, Scientology Style!
Scientologists have already discovered what a great medium television is for convincing members to fork out huge amounts of money, as we can see from this 9-minute video beckoning people to Scientology's private cruise ship, the Freewinds.
But with their own channel, we see Sharron Weber getting her own show, broadcast from such exotic locations as Aruba and Curacao!
Chill EB, Chill EB, CHILL EB!!
If there's one underutilized superstar in the Scientology stable, it's Bay Area rapper Norman Berry, a/k/a Chill EB.
We've found his videos to be mesmerizing -- even when he doesn't actually appear in them! (That's his song in the video above, brought to life by the energetic kids of the Copenhagen Advanced Org.)
Chill's a triple threat, not only writing and performing his songs, but also providing fascinating interviews, as we learned late one night. We see a full hour variety show, with maybe some guest appearances of the Melbourne Day badasses.
Chill's first rap song for Scientology, explaining the evils of psychiatric drugs...
And a more recent one with the slick type treatment of Golden Era...
Movie Night: Battlefield Earth, The Director's Cut!
When I saw Battlefield Earth when it hit theaters in 2000, I was amazed how much John Travolta camped it up as the villain Terl. I mean, I can't remember any intergalactic baddie who vamped it up quite as much as this alien queen (and what a tongue!). But when the DVD version came out, mysteriously, much of Travolta's scene-chewing had been erased. Sacrilege!
Fortunately, Scientology TV will be a golden opportunity to get those scenes back in for this popcorn epic. Bonus: A pre-show interview of Terl, the action figure, just makes sense.
You Just Can't Get Too Much Tom Cruise, Medal of Valor Winner
Now that the cat's out of the bag and the whole world knows about David Miscavige's respect and affection for his best bud, Tom Cruise, we figure Scientology TV will be inundated with requests for the full, 2004 celebration of Tom as "the most dedicated Scientologist" DM knows.
Just bask in the glory that is Tom Cruise here. Yes, the infamous 9-minute portion is in there, during which Tom talks about SPs and helping at the scene of car accidents, but you can't really appreciate his words until you see how he was presented that night. We figure this will make for a great Saturday night capper to every church member's week!
********** Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at email@example.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.
New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.
As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.
Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.