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‘Strange Angel’ Producers On How Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard Fits Into the Show’s Sex Cult

  • Indiewire
CBS All Access’ new drama “Strange Angel” explores the true, bizarre, dual life of Jack Parsons, a 1930s rocket enthusiast who helped create Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory but also fell into an occult religion than performed magic sex rituals. As he got deeper into Thelema, the religious movement created by Aleister Crowley, Parsons also became tight with L. Ron Hubbard — the sci-fi writer who would eventually create Scientology.

Hubbard doesn’t make an appearance in Season 1 of “Strange Angel,” which mostly focuses on Parsons’ early obsession with rockets and his belief that humans might one day break into space, along with his early curiosity in the occult and what led to him being recruited into that world.

But “Strange Angel” creator Mark Heyman, who adapted George Pendle’s book of the same name, said he won’t shy away from Hubbard and his relationship with Parsons when the time comes.
See full article at Indiewire »

TV Review: ‘Strange Angel’ on CBS All Access

The story of Jack Parsons — the very real rocket scientist upon which “Strange Angel” is based — is a bizarre combination of ego and ambition that quite literally blew up in his face, when a chemical experiment exploded and killed him in 1952 when he was just 37 years old. Parsons was fascinated by all things considered fantastical, whether that be traveling to the moon or the Los Angeles occult scene that eventually became his stomping grounds. His life intersected in weird and fascinating ways with legendary figures like famed occultist Aleister Crowley and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. As his biographer George Pendle puts it,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Allison Mack Isn't the Only Hollywood Star to Join a Cult — These Other Celebs Are Members Too

As more revelations emerge about former Smallville actress-turned-sex-cult member Allison Mack, including her role in allegedly recruiting female sex slaves for the bizarre Nxvim (pronounced Nex-ee-um) cult leader Keith Raniere, bigger questions are raised concerning how the popular actress got involved with a cult at all. After her arrest, it was reported that the 35-year-old actress not only recruited members for Raniere to have sex with, but she also blackmailed them with compromising pictures, and helped hold them down and brand them with a symbol that was a mix of Mack's and Raniere's initials. Raniere and Mack's trial is set to begin October 1, and if they're convicted, they will face 15 years in prison, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Why do celebrities get involved in cults? Mack is certainly not the only Hollywood celeb who is a cult member, but she is among those who joined cults voluntarily as adults. "I
See full article at Life and Style »

Laura Dern movies: 15 greatest films, ranked worst to best, include ‘Wild,’ ‘Rambling Rose,’ ‘Jurassic Park’

  • Gold Derby
Laura Dern movies: 15 greatest films, ranked worst to best, include ‘Wild,’ ‘Rambling Rose,’ ‘Jurassic Park’
Laura Dern returns to HBO this weekend with her film “The Tale,” a big hit in early 2018 at the Sundance Film Festival where the premium network purchased it. Dern’s last collaboration with HBO proved quite successful for both of them. “Big Little Lies” was a major winner during at the 2017 Emmy Awards (her first trophy) and 2018 Golden Globes.

Dern began her career as a teenager more than 30 years ago. Dern seemed to initially aspire to a more normal life but her attempts to finish her college degree at the University of Southern California were continually interrupted by obtaining plum film roles. That she’d eventually settled into an acting career isn’t surprising since her father Bruce Dern is a two time Oscar nominee and her mother Diane Ladd a three time nominee.

SEEEmmys 2018: Could Laura Dern earn double nominations for ‘Twin Peaks’ and ‘The Tale’?

Dern would
See full article at Gold Derby »

Allison Mack Isn't the Only Hollywood Star to Join a Cult — These Other Celebs Are Members Too

As more revelations emerge about former Smallville actress-turned-sex-cult member Allison Mack, including her role in allegedly recruiting female sex slaves for the bizarre Nxvim (pronounced Nex-ee-um) cult leader Keith Raniere, bigger questions are raised concerning how the popular actress got involved with a cult at all. After her arrest, it was reported that the 35-year-old actress not only recruited members for Raniere to have sex with, but she also blackmailed them with compromising pictures, and helped hold them down and brand them with a symbol that was a mix of Mack's and Raniere's initials. Raniere and Mack's trial is set to begin October 1, and if they're convicted, they will face 15 years in prison, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Why do celebrities get involved in cults? Mack is certainly not the only Hollywood celeb who is a cult member, but she is among those who joined cults voluntarily as adults. "I
See full article at In Touch Weekly »

Leah Remini Sets Development Pact With New A+E Networks, ‘Scientology’ Renewed for Season 3

A+E Networks has set a first-look development pact with Leah Remini and renewed her “Scientology and the Aftermath” docu-series for a third season.

The production deal comes on the heels of A+E’s launch of an unscripted production unit dubbed A+E Originals. The plan is for Remini to develop a range of documentary content, beyond the subject of Scientology, for A&E, Lifetime, History and other in-house A+E platforms.

“I am so incredibly proud of this show and the movement that has started around it which continues to grow each and every day,” said Remini. “I’m honored
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Scientology Unveils Network Launch Set for Monday

The Church of Scientology on Sunday surprised the media business by unveiling its plan to launch the Scientology Network on platforms including DirecTV, Apple and Amazon starting Monday.

Scientology distributed a “network countdown” video Sunday afternoon via social media touting the launch of “a new voice, a new network” at 8 p.m. Et on March 12. The two-minute video obliquely references Scientology’s battered reputation after numerous exposes about the church’s practices and tactics in dealing with those who leave their orbit.

Actress Leah Remini and filmmaker Paul Haggis are among the former industryites who have sounded the alarm about the organization and its leadership.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

How Scientology Has Affected Tom Cruise's Life

He may be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, but these days, Tom Cruise may be best known for his ties with the Church of Scientology. The actor has become the poster boy for the Church, and despite dozens of rumors, he hasn't quit Scientology — though the controversy surrounding the religion has only increased. Scroll down to learn more about how Scientology has impacted both his personal life and career. His first wife introduced him to the religion Tom didn't discover Scientology on his own — it was first wife Mimi Rogers, a Scientologist herself, who encouraged him to join, and he did so in 1986. Over the years, Tom has become the religion's most famous face. The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Los Angeles. (Photo Credit: Getty Images) He's a proud member "It's something that has helped me incredibly in my life. I've been a Scientologist for over 30 years,
See full article at In Touch Weekly »

Paul Thomas Anderson movies: All 8 films ranked from worst to best include ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘There Will Be Blood,’ ‘Phantom Thread’

Paul Thomas Anderson movies: All 8 films ranked from worst to best include ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘There Will Be Blood,’ ‘Phantom Thread’
With eight Oscar nominations to his name Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the most celebrated filmmakers currently working. However, he has yet to actually win one of those little golden statues. He earned his latest pair of bids this year for Best Picture and Best Director for the romantic drama “Phantom Thread.” Will it finally be his ticket to victory? And how does it compare to the rest of his filmography? Tour through our photo gallery above of all eight of Anderson’s films ranked from worst to best.

See Paul Thomas Anderson (‘Phantom Thread’) earns 7th and 8th Oscar nominations on 20th anniversary of his 1st for ‘Boogie Nights

Anderson made his feature directing debut with “Hard Eight” (1996), made when he was just 26-years-old. He earned his first Oscar nomination the very next year: Best Original Screenplay for “Boogie Nights” (1997). Another Best Original Screenplay bid followed just two
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Phantom Thread’ Review: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Riveting ’50s Romance Is a Screwball Comedy In Disguise

‘Phantom Thread’ Review: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Riveting ’50s Romance Is a Screwball Comedy In Disguise
Paul Thomas Anderson’s filmmaking swings between ambitions — sweeping riffs on history (“Boogie Nights,” “There Will Be Blood,” “The Master”) and peculiar, enlightening character studies (“Hard Eight,” “Punch Drunk Love”). His ambling Thomas Pynchon adaptation “Inherent Vice” tried to merge those modalities, but “Phantom Thread” really pulls it off, with his most concise, endearing works in years, one that plumbs dark and mysterious Andersonian depths to unearth a surprising degree of warmth lurking within.

It also surprises with his strongest female lead in two decades of movies. Though some of the hype around “Phantom Thread” stems from Daniel Day-Lewis’ announcement of his retirement after this role, the world’s most revered Method Actor meets his match alongside stunning discovery Vicky Krieps. There’s no doubt that Anderson has crafted a memorable finale for his “There Will Be Blood” collaborator in British dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, a stern perfectionist in his mid-
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Phantom Thread’: Everything You Need to Know About Daniel Day-Lewis’ Final Movie

‘Phantom Thread’: Everything You Need to Know About Daniel Day-Lewis’ Final Movie
The Oscar race isn’t over until the last movie screens, and this year one of the final contenders to be unveiled will be “Phantom Thread.” The drama marks the hugely anticipated reunion between Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis, who last worked together a decade ago on “There Will Be Blood.” The Upton Sinclair-inspired drama earned eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, and gave Day-Lewis his second trophy for Best Actor (he’d make history and win a third for “Lincoln” five years later), so anyone would be foolish to underestimate just how big “Phantom Thread” will be this awards season.

Focus Features has been keeping a majority of the details surrounding the movie under lock and key, although the official trailer was finally released on October 23, teasing a gorgeously shot drama about the romantic obsessions of a self-destructive artist. “Phantom Thread” seems to operating
See full article at Indiewire »

'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' Investigates Church's Treatment of Children

The latest episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath focused on the treatment of children in Scientology, something the show has touched on before. 

In Scientology, children are viewed as equal to adults, and therefore responsible for their actions in the same way adults are. "A child is a man or a woman who has not attained full growth," L. Ron Hubbard wrote in The Scientology Handbook. "Any law which applies to the behavior of men and women applies to children."

But the stories from two former students sent to a Scientologist-run reform school allege corporal punishment, manual labor...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' Explores Celebrity Ties

The sixth episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath's second season focused on the Church of Scientology's effort to recruit celebrities — and what happens when those celebrities leave. In addition to Remini offering her personal experience, she and partner Mike Rinder interviewed a former Celebrity Centre recruiter along with one of the Church's most high-profile ex-members: Paul Haggis.

The Church's efforts to focus on recruiting celebrities began with L. Ron Hubbard back in the '50s. In 1955, the Scientology-run publication Ability Magazine ran an article titled "Project Celebrity," which detailed plans to recruit stars. That's why the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Jada Pinkett Smith Refutes Leah Remini's Claims That She's a Scientologist: 'I Practice Human Kindness'

Jada Pinkett Smith Refutes Leah Remini's Claims That She's a Scientologist: 'I Practice Human Kindness'
Jada Pinkett Smith is clearing up her alleged ties to Scientology.

“I have studied Dianetics, and appreciate the merits of Study Tech,” the actress, 46, tweeted on Tuesday, referring to terms invented by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who created the controversial religion.

“But I am not a Scientologist,” she continued, adding, “I practice human kindness, and I believe that we each have the right to determine what we are and what we are not.”

Her comments come after former church member-turned-activist Leah Remini claimed that Smith was Scientologist in an interview with The Daily Beast.

I practice human kindness,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' Investigates David Miscavige's Rise to Power

The fifth episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath season 2 focused on David Miscavige, head of the Church of Scientology since L. Ron Hubbard's death in 1986, and his rise to power.

Remini and her partner, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, alleged that Miscavige has spent the years following Hubbard's death pushing out all high-ranking Church officials, including the creator's widow, Mary Sue Hubbard, and an entire executive tier of more than 20 people (Rinder included).

The first person interviewed was 32-year Scientologist John "Jb" Brousseau, who left the Church in 2010 after serving as L. Ron Hubbard's personal...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Leah Remini takes on Scientology, but taking on Anthony Bourdain at the Emmys may be even tougher

Leah Remini takes on Scientology, but taking on Anthony Bourdain at the Emmys may be even tougher
Actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini sets out to expose the controversial religious organization in her A&E series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” which has been nominated for an Emmy for Best Informational Program. But if she thinks it’s tough taking on the house that L. Ron Hubbard built, wait until she faces Anthony […]
See full article at Gold Derby »

What ‘The Master’ Tells Us About Scientology

A closer look at Paul Thomas Anderson’s handling of religion.

Throughout his filmography, Paul Thomas Anderson has covered a myriad of highly specific topics. Whether it’s Hard Eight’s focus on the gambling underworld, Boogie Nights’ portrayal of the pornography business, or There Will Be Blood’s handling of the oil industry, Anderson rejoices in exploring the nooks and crannies of the lives that exist within these strange worlds. His 2012 film The Master was no exception to this, and is perhaps the most dangerous example of them all.

Based heavily on the teachings of Scientology — as well as the life of its founder, L. Ron HubbardThe Master explores the cryptic relationship between the unstable, primal sailor Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix) and the intellectual Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). This relationship is dissected and observed in many ways throughout the film, but never as engrossingly as during Freddie’s “processing” scenes with Dodd. These
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Believer with Reza Aslan asks if Scientology is undergoing a reformation as some hold true to Hubbard

CNN Believer host Reza Aslan looks at the controversial Church of Scientology which some claim is undergoing a reformation. Reformists inside Scientology believe their faith was taken over by a self-appointed megalomaniac in the form of David Miscavige. A public figure famously aligned with actor Tom Cruise, reformationists believe he has perverted the intentions of the faith created by novelist L. Ron Hubbard. The epicenter of Scientology is Los Angeles, also the home of Reza Aslan. “I have a confession to make, I have a soft spot for Scientology,” Aslan opens as he walks Hollywood Blvd. near the Scientology Celebrity Center. Aslan notes all religions have...read more
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Louis Theroux (Justin’s Cousin!) on His New Scientology Documentary: ‘No One Has the Right to Use Religion as a Cloak for Abuse’

Louis Theroux (Justin’s Cousin!) on His New Scientology Documentary: ‘No One Has the Right to Use Religion as a Cloak for Abuse’
Louis Theroux’s latest documentary, My Scientology Movie, posed a unique challenge for the veteran filmmaker: How do you make a movie about a subject that has no interest in cooperating?

The answer, he learned, is you get creative. Theroux’s film has all the hallmarks of other notable Scientology exposés like Paul Haggis’ Going Clear and Leah Remini’s A&E series, including emotional interviews with ex-members and bizarre confrontations with parishioners and private investigators.

What separates My Scientology Movie from its predecessors is Theroux’s use of dramatic reenactments as a way not only to capture a version
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Movie Review: Emphasis is on the “my” in the unilluminating My Scientology Movie

Can there be such a thing as too many Scientology exposés? Given the volume (and nature) of the allegations that have been made against the church over the years—reports of abuse, stories of bizarre behavior and rituals, shocking testimonials from former members—any attempt to tell us more about the inner workings of that organization feels like a public service. Still, after numerous magazine articles, a few books, a television series, a comprehensive documentary, a pretty brilliant episode of South Park, and a boldly fictionalized version of the L. Ron Hubbard story, one would hope that a new film on the topic might possess at least a few fresh nuggets of wisdom or information. My Scientology Movie has very little of either to offer. Instead, this stunt-driven nonfiction project rearranges the well-reported dirt on the church, placing it into the context of something considerably less useful: a documentary about
See full article at The AV Club »
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