The Tom Cruise sermon lives on and some of the usual suspects outside the MSM are taking it on. By that, I mean the folks at MTV.
Wait a minute, in this new media dispensation, is MTV now part of the MSM? Just asking.
Anyway, the link to the video is still alive and well at Gawker and MTV.com had reporter Jennifer Vineyard (sounds like a great byline for Charisma) write a kind of Planet Earth tourist phrase book to help outsiders understand what Cruise is saying, since parts of the video are in an unknown tongue and, obviously, the "wogs" do not have the gift of interpretation.
Say what? Here is the lede:
Apparently, non-Scientologists are just "spectators." It's a far nicer thing to call us -- kind of like "Muggles in "Harry Potter" -- than the term they usually use, "wog," which is more equivalent to the derogatory "Mudbloods" in the "Potter" books.
Here is a key word from this list of "Scientologese" basics:
SP: "Suppressive Person." An SP is someone who commits suppressive acts, like murder, criticizing Scientology or altering LRH's teachings, according to former and current members. Journalists are automatically considered SPs because they traffic in bad news and so are barred from entering Scientology. Psychiatrists would also be SPs, so Cruise says, "Crush these guys! I've had it! No mercy! None! Go to guns!" as a call to arms. Since all's fair in war, LRH once issued a policy called "Fair Game" that decreed that anyone who opposed Scientology could be "tricked, sued or lied to and destroyed." The church says it no longer officially practices this, however, it is still a fairly contentious organization.
And if you need help with LRH, then you really need to read this feature story.
But here is my basic, journalistic question, about this issue. When journalists write about Cruise and his life and work, what, precisely, is his "work"? Is this man primarily an actor, these days?
I think that the answer is "yes," but the question must be asked and that is an amazing thing to think about. Cruise may be on the verge of earning himself an entirely new summary "fact graph" in the many stories that are written about him week after week.
I guess this is the journalistic question that I am asking, stated bluntly: Is Cruise now, officially, an evangelist? Is he on the verge of playing a prophet role within his chosen faith?