BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Steelers V. Vikes

Dear Jesus,

Need a Steeler victory today.

Thanks,
Brando

(P.S. Appreciate you helping the Giants defeat the Chiefs: That really helped our cause.)

*

Now...

For some "silly reason," the LA Times has decided to bust out a piece on Tom Cruise and Scientology (At Inland Base, Scientologists Trained Top Gun).

ARE YOU PEOPLE CRAZY?! Your phone is gonna ring 'til January!

It's a pretty awesome story, though, and includes some interesting info on Scientology and their compound near Hemet, CA.

But first, "Our Kid" is gonna adress "the nation" this evening re: all things Iraq.

Just another battle in the War on the War on the War on Terror.

"We're doin' all we can!"

No need to tune in to the speech - I've got an advance copy:
"On September the 11th, 2001 terrorists brutal attack Saddam Iraq terrorists Saddam I'm fighting a war on terror making progress September the 11th brutal attack Iraq freedom democracy Iraq terrorists attack doin' everything we can Saddam safer war on terror September the 11th terrorists September the 11th war on terror central front war on terror Saddam they hate our freedom Iraq September the 11th brutal attack terrorists evildoers safer September the 11th terrorists brutal attack we're doing all we can since September the 11th evildoers hate Saddam safer brutal this is no time to cut and run terrorists terrorists hate our September the 11th, September the 11th, September the 11th."
Got that?

Back to the Cruise-expose.

Methinks the LA Times just bought themselves a massive headache.
The vast majority of Scientologists train at the church's better-known facilities, including those in Hollywood and Clearwater, Fla. Cruise also has trained at those locations, but for much of his studies in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he headed to Gilman Hot Springs (CA).

He stayed for weeks at a time, arriving by car or helicopter, according to ex-Scientologists who saw him there on repeated occasions.

The former resort, 90 miles east of Los Angeles, was an ideal place for Cruise to get out of the spotlight while focusing on his Scientology training, ex-members say.

Described by ex-members as the church's international nerve center, the property is largely concealed from outsiders by tall hedges and high walls. The complex's barbed-wired perimeter and driveways are monitored by video cameras, and motion sensors are placed around the property to detect intruders, ex-members say.

Some also remember a perch high in the hills, dubbed "Eagle," where staffers with telescopes jotted down license plate numbers of any vehicle that lingered too long near the compound.
Cool.
Behind the compound's guarded gates, Cruise had a personal supervisor to oversee his studies in a private course room, ex-members say.

He was unique among celebrities in the amount of time he spent at the base. Others visited, they said, but only Cruise took up temporary residence.

*

Maureen Bolstad, who was at the base for 17 years and left after a falling-out with the church, recalled a rainy night 15 years ago when a couple of dozen Scientologists scrambled to deal with "an all-hands situation" that kept them working through dawn.

The emergency, she said: planting a meadow of wildflowers for Cruise to romp through with his new love, Kidman.
Outstanding.

This makes me SO happy.

We should all be so lucky.
"We were told that we needed to plant a field and that it was to help Tom impress Nicole," said Bolstad, who said she spent the night pulling up sod so the ground could be seeded in the morning.
God, I hope this story is true.
The flowers eventually bloomed, Bolstad said, "but for some mysterious reason it wasn't considered acceptable by Mr. Miscavige. So the project was rejected and they redid it."
"Mr. Miscavige" is the head of the "Church."

Burrito numero uno.
Cruise has made no extended visits to the complex since the early 1990s and has done 95% of his religious training elsewhere, Rinder said. Miscavige, he said, spends only a fraction of his time there and divides the rest of his time among offices in Los Angeles, Clearwater and Britain. He also stays aboard the Freewinds, Scientology's 440-foot ship based in Curacao in the Caribbean, Rinder said.

*

In his own spiritual life, Cruise has continued to climb the "Bridge to Total Freedom," Scientology's path to enlightenment. International Scientology News, a church magazine, reported last year that the actor had embarked on one of the highest levels of training, "OT VII" — for Operating Thetan VII.

At these higher levels — and at a potential cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars — Scientologists learn Hubbard's secret theory of human suffering, which he traces to a galactic battle waged 75 million years ago by an evil tyrant named Xenu.
HUGE info.

Be careful, people: Your untrained wog-brain is supposed to...kinda...melt with exposure to this knowledge.

Or something like that.
According to court documents made public by The Times in the 1980s, Hubbard espoused the belief that Xenu captured the souls, or thetans, of enemies and electronically implanted false concepts in them to keep them confused about his dirty work. The goal of these advanced courses is to become aware of the trauma and free of its effects.
Pretty good run-down of the program: Sign up if you want the rest.
The most striking building is a mansion that sits on a hill — uninhabited. Dubbed "Bonnie View," ex-members say, it was built for the church founder, who died in secrecy on a ranch near San Luis Obispo amid a federal tax investigation that was dropped after his death.

The mansion has a lap pool and a movie theater and was completed in 2000 at a cost of nearly $9.4 million, property records show.

Former members say they were told the mansion was built for Hubbard's return.

"The whole theory of that house was that before Hubbard died in 1986, David Miscavige told us, Hubbard told him he was going to come back and make himself visible within 13 years," (Karen) Schless Pressley said.
Don't know if LRH "made it back," but I do know that his "Winter Wonderland" is open for business.

Currently. Near Hollywood & McCadden.

Just a few yards away from Micelli's (Hollywood's oldest Italian restaurant) and the Pig & Whistle.

Finally...

Military knew of propaganda blitz

Old story, new twist:
WASHINGTON — U.S. military officials in Iraq were aware that a Pentagon contractor paid Iraqi newspapers to publish positive stories about the war and made it clear that none of the stories should be traced to the United States, according to several current and former employees of Lincoln Group, the Washington-based contractor.

In contrast to assertions by military officials in Baghdad, Iraq and Washington, interviews and Lincoln Group documents show that the information campaign waged in the past year was designed to cloak any connection to the U.S. military.

"In clandestine parlance, Lincoln Group was a 'cut-out' — a third party — that would provide the military with plausible deniability," said a former Lincoln Group employee who worked on the operation.

"To attribute products to (the military) would defeat the entire purpose. Hence, no product by Lincoln Group ever said 'Made in the U.S.A.' "

*

Disclosures that the military used a private company to plant stories written by U.S. troops in Iraqi newspapers have drawn widespread criticism.

The Pentagon has ordered an investigation, led by Navy Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk.

On Friday, Army Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said he expects a report "in a week or so."
I think we can assume that Rear Adm. Buskirk will find "no evidence of wrongdoing," but will take steps to "make sure" that something "like this never happens again."

Septeber the 11th terrorists freedom safer brutal attack Saddam September the 11th.

We're doing all we can and we're making good progress.

Saddam.

September the 11th.

"Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma!"
"The church's belief in the power of celebrity to promote Scientology dates to its earliest days when, in 1955, the church issued "Project Celebrity," a call to arms for Scientologists to recruit show business "quarry" such as Walt Disney, Liberace and Greta Garbo to help expand the religion's reach.

Although the church failed to enlist those famous figures, it has been successful in attracting many others in addition to Cruise, including John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Juliette Lewis, Isaac Hayes, Anne Archer, Jenna Elfman, Beck and Chick Corea."
If they promise to give me my own sitcom (as an EP, not an actor) within the next few years? I'm ready to go.

More later...

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