I'm going to tell you a story about a little man named Tom Cruise. He is a man who has made millions of dollars and is now engaged to 26-year-old Katie Holmes. For the record, Cruise is 43 years old. Cruise is deeply involved in the church of Scientology, and the couple is expecting a child together.
In order to get to the core of this seemingly superficial story, I am going to provide some background information on the "religion" of Scientology. Scientology is "the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life," according to its official Web site, www.scientology.org. The Web site states that man is an immortal, spiritual being.
This is where my problem with Scientology begins. The definition of immortal describes something that is not subject to death. We all know that human beings die. If the creator of Scientology meant to say that it is our spirits that don't die, then that's what he should have said. The church is also assuming that all humans are spiritual, which no one has yet proved.
Since Tom Cruise and his fiancee are so immersed in this religion, they will most likely use the Scientology guidelines of "silent birth" when their baby is born. This means no talking or music during the labor, and definitely no screaming from labor pains. No painkillers, such as an epidural, are allowed. After birth, newborns cannot be prodded or poked for medical tests. No one may speak to the baby for the first seven days of its life.
I find it ironic that the founder of Scientology is L. Ron Hubbard, a man. Hubbard is not a doctor, nor does he have the physical capacity to give birth. Where did he get the audacity to decide that a woman should not be allowed to use painkillers during childbirth? He is also enforcing that newborns cannot be poked for medical tests. Are the parents supposed to let the baby die? I would never take parenting or lifestyle advice from a man who claims to be an expert on something he invented.
What also irritates me is that Tom Cruise is using his fame to publicize Scientology to his fans. He claims that he has helped thousands of people using Scientology. Celebrities just haven't realized that they aren't useful for anything other than entertainment. Tom Cruise hasn't helped people, unless it was to make them laugh in a movie theater. But unfortunately, many Americans are stupid enough to believe that a celebrity is a good source of trustworthy advice.
The lesson to be learned here is threefold. First, celebrities should be used as entertainment and perhaps role models of fashion, but nothing more. Second, there are a lot of crazy "religions" out there that are gaining publicity and celebrity endorsement. These are to be avoided. Finally, Tom Cruise is insane. I wouldn't take lifestyle advice from any celebrities in Hollywood. But I would like to know what drug he's on that makes him jump up and down on couches on national television.
The next time you're idolizing your favorite celebrity, do a little research to find out what type of person he or she really is. It can also be fun to research Scientology and other bogus religions. Upon visiting the Scientology Web site, you will be subject to "soothing" music and all the positive aspects of the so-called church. But if you do your homework correctly, you will learn the deeper truth. What saddens me is that many of the richest people in America are celebrities, like Cruise, who have done practically no work to earn their power.
Megan Schulz is a sophomore technical journalism major. Her column runs every Tuesday in the Collegian.