Author Topic: Scientology in Cannes  (Read 1175 times)

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Scientology in Cannes
« on: May 19, 2011, 17:46 »
Scientology Is Officially Recruiting at Cannes-Popeater
By Jo Piazza  Posted May 19th 2011 01:15PM

Hollywood has imported more than film and celebrity to the Cannes Film Festival in the south of France. It's also brought along its pet religion, Scientology.

Yes, a Scientology recruiting outpost has been set up just off the festival's main drag, a couple blocks from the Palais des Festivals, since the start of the film orgy last week.

This center has a crew that speaks five languages, consisting of Scientologists flown to Cannes from around the world. They mainly seem to spend their days hollering on the sidewalk, asking passersby if they can "show them something" inside the center, which is festooned with a sign boldly declaring 'La Dianétique,' or 'Dianetics,' the religion's leading text.

Scientology, for those unfamiliar, is a religion based on the teachings of science fiction writer and global adventurer L. Ron Hubbard. The religion boasts a loyal celebrity following including Tom Cruise and John Travolta and is often maligned for somewhat unorthodox beliefs about the creation of humanity.

In Cannes, after three separate incidents of being accosted by representatives with wide smiles even brighter than their flashy red shirts, I acquiesced to a visit and was personally escorted into the center by Gregory (who refused to give his last name) from the Celebrity Center in Paris (there are approximately 45,000 Scientologists in France, I was told). Gregory handed me two cylindrical metal panels hooked up to one of Scientology's gadgets, the e-meter, which purports to measure the conductivity of electricity in the skin to determine where you have stress in your life. One of the tenets of Scientology is auditing, a process meant to cleanse the auditee of his or her stress triggers and demons.

Gregory told me many celebrities have visited the Scientology outpost during the festival but declined to name any by name. Then the pretty blonde Frenchman asked me a series of questions about people who stress me out in my life, my job and my finances. He finally just flat-out asked, "What bothers you in your life?"

"Nothing really," I told him. "I'm in France ... doing work. That rocks."

Having given up on finding my stress trigger Gregory tried another tactic -- recommending I purchase the Hubbard tome 'Self Analysis' for 16 Euros and visit the Celebrity Center in New York City when I get home. I told him I had been there. That's probably when they decided to Google me.

Once the Scientology staffers realized I was a reporter they chased me down the street, demanding I give them my contact information so that a PR representative could contact me to tell me more about their operation.

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The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama