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Old 23rd September 2010, 11:55 AM   #1
Rrose Selavy
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BBC's Sweeney vs Scientology / Secrets of Scientology

Quote:
Reporter John Sweeney's last investigation into the Church of Scientology resulted in an explosive confrontation with church officials. This time, in a Panorama Special, one of those officials has turned whistleblower to help him reveal the dark secrets of the church, which boasts Hollywood A-listers Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its devotees.
BBC 1 Tuesday 21.00
On IPlayer UK only (and I expect youtube later)

The preview only shows a clip of the usual cat & mouse video intimidation by Cos so I hope the program itself is more substantial.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v1ykr
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Old 23rd September 2010, 01:39 PM   #2
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Looks good.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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Minor correction - it's next Tues the 28th. I've been avoiding Co$ stuff for some time now - just reading into and protesting the buggers was making me a little crazy. I think I'm ready for more now though.
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Old 24th September 2010, 03:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
Minor correction - it's next Tues the 28th. I've been avoiding Co$ stuff for some time now - just reading into and protesting the buggers was making me a little crazy. I think I'm ready for more now though.
Yeah got the time mixed with the day in the thread title. Could a mod kindly correct it if they're around - edit: I reported my OP to request the alteration.

Last edited by Rrose Selavy; 24th September 2010 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 28th September 2010, 02:40 PM   #5
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Well, did anyone else see it (in the UK)?
While much will not be news to those who follow these things regularly I thought it there was more in the prog than the preview suggested, but it would have been easy to fill more than an hour.
Well done to Sweeney for keeping the pressure up.

A Thetan award to the first person to post a link to a version our non UK friends can access.
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Old 28th September 2010, 03:57 PM   #6
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Post deleted.

Last edited by Rrose Selavy; 28th September 2010 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 28th September 2010, 04:03 PM   #7
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i watched it, they're not weird or anything.
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Old 28th September 2010, 04:45 PM   #8
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Working the night shift. I will watch it on i player when I get home. Along with season 5 episode 1 of Dexter.
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Old 29th September 2010, 12:05 AM   #9
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'not available in your area'.
They've been pretty quiet lately.

My wife is completely hooked on Dexter. I'm checking the knife cupboard.
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Old 29th September 2010, 01:32 AM   #10
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It showed them up for the nutters they are.
Does the US not have any harrasment or stalking laws? I'm guessing they would have been on thin ice in that regard here.
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Old 29th September 2010, 05:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rrose Selavy View Post
Well, did anyone else see it (in the UK)?
While much will not be news to those who follow these things regularly I thought it there was more in the prog than the preview suggested, but it would have been easy to fill more than an hour.
Well done to Sweeney for keeping the pressure up.

A Thetan award to the first person to post a link to a version our non UK friends can access.
I thought it was a bit 'choppy' so...good, but could have been better.

They should have shown more clips of L Ron Hubbard - he's creepy enough to turn anyone off. Could have also dug up the interview he gave where he opined (before founding Scientology) that the real money to be made was in starting a religion. Or the differences between his claims of being a naval hero and his actual record.

The stuff on what they actually believe (at OTIII level and above) was fairly well done, especially with the supporting, comic-strip style diagrams, but this should be front and centre. It's by far the most powerful argument against Scientology* (I know, I've used it to great effect) as it's so 'Fifties B Movie' it's laughable. Getting some of the 'Exes' who've split from the church but still believe to confirm that it's what Scientology teaches would have been good as the church itself always denies it. Isn't there something about giant purple squids as well or is that someone's mischievous add-on, 'cos they didn't mention it.

*And then once you've got someone to say 'Ha ha, that's really dumb, I can't believe people fall for that' you can follow up with 'Weeeeelll, at least part of it is theoretically possible (ie people from other planets) so really, mainstream religion, where the main diety is some invisible, sky fairy who can be everywhere at once is even sillier!'. Ta da!
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Old 29th September 2010, 05:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SanityGap View Post
It showed them up for the nutters they are.
Does the US not have any harrasment or stalking laws? I'm guessing they would have been on thin ice in that regard here.
They must single-handedly keep the camera industry going though....
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Old 3rd October 2010, 12:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ethan Thane Athen View Post
Could have also dug up the interview he gave where he opined (before founding Scientology) that the real money to be made was in starting a religion.
Tricky, since as far as anyone knows, he never said anything like that in front of a recording device.

He probably did say it to somebody, however;

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/scientology...-religion-faq/
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Old 3rd October 2010, 01:10 PM   #14
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Just watched a re-run. Sweeny was top notch, and I thought the programme did an excellent job of discerning between Scientology as a religion with the potential for benefit, and the Church of Scientology.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 01:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SanityGap View Post
It showed them up for the nutters they are.
Does the US not have any harrasment or stalking laws? I'm guessing they would have been on thin ice in that regard here.
You probably aren't aware of our paparazzi problem here in the US. They take stalking to whole new heights.

I'm not sure how this shows me to be the "nutters they are". Looks like people filming people that are filming other people.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 03:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by fredcarr View Post
You probably aren't aware of our paparazzi problem here in the US. They take stalking to whole new heights.

I'm not sure how this shows me to be the "nutters they are". Looks like people filming people that are filming other people.
Show us a Clear, Fred. A person who has all the magical abilities LRon says they have as a result of applying the techniques described in his book, Dianetics: Nonsense I Made up to Fool the Foolish.

Quote:
"Arthritis vanishes, myopia gets better, heart illness decreases, asthma disappears, stomachs function properly and the whole catalogue of illnesses goes away and stays away." L. Ron Hubbard, DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH, 1987 Ed., p. 72
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Old 4th October 2010, 07:36 AM   #17
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Bummer -- can't watch it in Australia, and no idea when it'll be shown on local telly.


M.
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:54 PM   #18
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It appears to be all here:

Quote:
Video: The Secrets of Scientology
This is a very disturbing video documentary for the BBC programme Panorama, by reporter John Sweeney, that was broadcast on 28 September 2010
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/pu.../2010/sep/29/4
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Old 4th October 2010, 03:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rrose Selavy View Post
Well, did anyone else see it (in the UK)?
While much will not be news to those who follow these things regularly I thought it there was more in the prog than the preview suggested, but it would have been easy to fill more than an hour.
Well done to Sweeney for keeping the pressure up.

A Thetan award to the first person to post a link to a version our non UK friends can access.
I think that could violate JREFF rules wrt copyright. However the episode is on all the usual sites, it's S58E33 and a little Googling should give you links (torrent, RS, Mega, Hotfile or you're preferred download mechanism).

FYI here's the response from the cutists:
http://www.freedommag.org/special-re...a-exposed.html
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Old 4th October 2010, 06:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
I think that could violate JREFF rules wrt copyright. However the episode is on all the usual sites, it's S58E33 and a little Googling should give you links (torrent, RS, Mega, Hotfile or you're preferred download mechanism).

FYI here's the response from the cutists:
http://www.freedommag.org/special-re...a-exposed.html
This is comment on the previous (2007) show. It is made reference to in the new one. What it did is permit the new one to show the Hollywood nonothings responding to questions about XenuWP because, after being recorded by the BBC, they had withdrawn their permission for broadcast. Some of the footage as shot by the "Church" was in the response and can now be shown.
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Old 5th October 2010, 06:26 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Emet View Post

Thanks for the link. I had only tried the BBC site and they're apparently prohibiting viewers who aren't in the UK from seeing the program via their site.

Good program, the more who see it, the better, imo.

M.
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Old 5th October 2010, 06:32 PM   #22
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Good show overall.

The only thing I found a bit annoying was when he didn't challenge the ex scientologist on his hocus pocus explanation of the e-meter. I mean its a very crude lie detector, if that, but I guess the program wanted to keep things simple and not get into challenging the batsiht crazy stuff that the ex scientologists still believe in.
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Old 5th October 2010, 06:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by fredcarr View Post
You probably aren't aware of our paparazzi problem here in the US. They take stalking to whole new heights.

I'm not sure how this shows me to be the "nutters they are". Looks like people filming people that are filming other people.

Really?

I mean you dont think its unusual for a church to employ private investigators to carry out overt surveillance on journalists?

Its not strange that you have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to access levels up the bridge?

There's nothing wrong with forcing people to disconnect from their families?

If you are as I suspect a scientologist then are you an OT? Do you have power over mest?
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Old 7th October 2010, 02:49 AM   #24
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LOL, paparazzi. British journalists are swarmed by the paps every time thy hit American shores. They weren't paparazzi!
@bencg: Some Hubbardoids sign a contract for a billion years. Link. If fredcarr has signed he may have to wait till this contract expires before giving you, or anybody else, a reply that makes sense. You have just got to be patient.

Billion may refer to 109 rather than 1012 so we may not have to wait for as long as had originally thought.

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Old 7th October 2010, 03:36 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by fredcarr View Post
You probably aren't aware of our paparazzi problem here in the US. They take stalking to whole new heights.

I'm not sure how this shows me to be the "nutters they are". Looks like people filming people that are filming other people.
Scientologists complaining about paparazzi and/or stalking problems is a level of irony i'm new to.
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Old 7th October 2010, 07:28 AM   #26
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I wonder when the penny will drop for dear old Fred.


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Old 7th October 2010, 03:16 PM   #27
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If Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun can not only leave the cult, but actually speak out on national TV, hopefully not much longer.

You can still practice your beliefs outside the crushing influence of the 'church' Fred. The likes of us might think you're daft to do so, but it's quite possible.
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Old 16th October 2010, 02:55 AM   #28
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Looks like someone was watching.

Quote:
Eric Pickles urges 'no tax breaks' for Scientology

The Church of Scientology has opened several of its centres in the UK
Councils have been urged by Eric Pickles not to give special tax breaks to the Church of Scientology.
The communities secretary said he did not believe most voters would want their councils togive favoured tax treatment to the organisation


More here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11554738
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Old 16th October 2010, 01:34 PM   #29
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Lamentably, I see the "church" advertising itself on Sky News on cable and on FTA channel 9. Oddly enough, the ads don't look like they're advertising any type of church. More reason to remove their tax-exempt status.

M.
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Old 17th October 2010, 12:27 PM   #30
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I watched the videos. They are skillfully done and moderately entertaining IMHO. However, the one thing I would note, as a person that read his first Scientology investigative report about 40 years ago (In the Saturday Evening Post I think), this is nothing new.

I'm a little surprised that Scientology has managed to survive this long, but the combination of community, woo-woo stuff and intimidation seems to be enough to have allowed the organization to survive.

One question I have had is whether the top leadership of the organization is completely cynical. They may not be. Perhaps they believe what their organization brings to the members is beneficial enough to justify the costs to the members.

The use of celebrities is interesting. I would have guessed that it wasn't possible. I thought that the organization could not produce enough benefit to entice celebrity shills and that the organization was so transparently bogus that it would not have been able to entice true believer celebrities. Once again I have been proved wrong.
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Old 17th October 2010, 01:06 PM   #31
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But income aside, why should "celebrities" be expected to be any less likely to be taken in by this woo than Joe Bloggs. The only other difference is that they are in the public eye. Look at Kaballah etc.
Actors are mostly not intellectuals.
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Old 17th October 2010, 01:21 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Rrose Selavy View Post
But income aside, why should "celebrities" be expected to be any less likely to be taken in by this woo than Joe Bloggs. The only other difference is that they are in the public eye. Look at Kaballah etc.
Actors are mostly not intellectuals.
Well clearly my ideas were wrong on this, but I will list what I think is the thought process that led to a wrong conclusion:
1. There is loads of information about the problems with Scientology. I thought a celebrity would be likely to either know of it or would have a large enough circle of contacts that would point them in the direction of the information before they got involved.
2. I do think that celebrities are somewhat brighter on average so the idea that a celebrity would fall for this load of crap struck me as somewhat less likely.
3. Connection with wacky organizations may be harmful to a celebrity's career.
4. The apparent cynical nature of Scientology would make it unlikely that a celebrity would put himself in the position of being a shill for the leadership. This is a kind of noblesse oblige idea. If you're well off you would be unlikely to use your resources to harm other people (unless the source of your wealth is screwing people over).
5.Allowing private thoughts and actions to be known by any organization, let alone Scientology, could be very troubling for a celebrity and I would expect that by itself that would be enough to prevent most celebrity involvement.
6. Celebrities are surrounded by would be sycophants and I thought any effort by Scientology to pander to celebrity egos would be laughed at by celebrities who already have enough suckups in their lives.

So the above is why I thought it wouldn't happen. The fact is that it doesn't happen that often so perhaps there is still something to my ideas, but clearly my ideas about the nature of outlier celebrities was wrong.
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Old 17th October 2010, 01:47 PM   #33
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Quote:
2. I do think that celebrities are somewhat brighter on average so the idea that a celebrity would fall for this load of crap struck me as somewhat less likely.
I have known quite a few because my nearest neighbors is a film producer and invite all sort of film, song, party, mode, and assorted celebrity. Granted we had only few conversation with 'em (they would rather understandingly be left alone) but over 20 years I came to understand something : "celebrity" have the same gaussian profile as the average human group. Some are dumb some are very bright. The BIG difference is that most celeberity have good manager to lead them. Now if you take a SUBGROUP of celebrity, like theater actor, those are much brighter, than say, film actor or singer.

But even if celebrity , in average, were somewhat brighter (which I contest from my anecdotal stories) , that does not stops that even bright people fall for sect and all sort fo woo.
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Old 17th October 2010, 03:30 PM   #34
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Yeah, the "auditing" and the confessions that arise from those are a hostage to fortune but also its likely that some are very driven and ambitious and looking to bolster what many might regard as a early or flagging career. By any means necessary . Even VooDoo if it just might work. Look as the mixed career of Travolta and his early introduction to CoS, a couple of years before the role that made his name.
Quote:
Travolta has been a practitioner of Scientology since 1975 when he was given the book Dianetics while filming the movie The Devil's Rain in Durango, Mexico.[35]
Or they somehow attribute their rise to fame with an earlier involvement with CoS whereas it's only a coincidence (and a hindrance).

There are a few obviously prominent celebrity members but given the list below, you could say that they haven't really recruited that many - nor that many really big "stars" - but they'll sure as hell let us know which ones they have ( a deliberate policy since the 1950s) so they appear disproportionately represented in Hollywood.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scientologists
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Old 18th October 2010, 08:51 AM   #35
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I was introduced to the powerful brainwashing techniques of Scientology through Sterling Management Sysytems in the early 90's, IIRC.

Back then, if memory serves, they hid their connections to the CoS. Many veterinarians signed up for their services to improve their practice management procedures.

After some time, letters to the editor at JAVMA started pouring in--about vets who found themselves trying to improve their practices, and getting sucked into the cult. It was heart wrenching to read the letters from survivors.
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Old 24th October 2010, 11:30 AM   #36
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I went through the Wiipedia list of celebrity scientologists and picked out the ones I had heard of. My list:
Kirstie Alley
Karen Black
Sonny Bono
Jeff Conaway
Tom Cruise
Katie Holmes
Isaac Hayes
Lisa Marie Presley
Greta Van Susteren

As an aside, I also found out that Isaac Hayes was dead.

The list was larger than I expected. The biggest surprise was Greta Van Susteren. There were a few more surprises about her when I looked up her Wikipedia bio.

My wild ass guess is that I've heard of around 400 somewhat famous living entertainment celebrities which would suggest that the percentage of somewhat famous entertainment celebrities that are members of Scientology is about 2%. Once again a number that is far higher than I would have guessed.
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Old 24th October 2010, 01:29 PM   #37
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A lot of those "celebs" into Scientology , i'd never heard of. I had to google "Greta Van Susteren" for a start. If you compare the ones who are actually internationally well known the percentage is much lower.
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Old 27th October 2010, 06:04 PM   #38
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I can't remember where I read it or exactly how substantiated it was but there is a convincing case that Travolta turned to CoS to 'cure' him of teh gay. Scientology looks on homosexuality as a (entheta related) disease, and if he is in the closet then no doubt they have embarressing details to blackmail him with, although what could be worse than battlefield earth??


Neither he nor Cruise ever struck me as that bright anyway.
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Old 27th October 2010, 06:48 PM   #39
davefoc
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Originally Posted by Rrose Selavy View Post
A lot of those "celebs" into Scientology , i'd never heard of. I had to google "Greta Van Susteren" for a start. If you compare the ones who are actually internationally well known the percentage is much lower.
Without more effort, I still think the number is about 2%.

There were two people in the list that would be classified as movie stars by most people. My wild ass guess is that there are about 100 people alive that would make my personal, they are a movie star list so 2 out of 100 still equals 2%.

That's not to say I'm a Tom Cruise fan. He probably wouldn't be a movie star if humanity was more davefoc like. Fortunately for davefoc, perhaps the rest of humanity and certainly Tom Cruise that is not the case and Tom Cruise is a movie star.

ETA: I tried to get a little better idea of how many people would make my personal "movie star" list. I came across something called the Ulmer list. Ulmer is a media journalist that ranks the stars based on their ability to make money for a movie. His top ten list and top ten female list are here: http://ulmerscale.com/Mainarticle.html. Unfortunately, the evil capitalist is trying to make money and expects you to buy his book to find out who else is on his list and what their ranking is. But based on the two lists he publishes I think my estimate of 100 people that would make the davefoc movie star list is about right. There are probably a few I don't know about because I'm an old fart and tend not to go to movies.
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Last edited by davefoc; 27th October 2010 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 28th October 2010, 02:14 AM   #40
Undesired Walrus
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How come the e-meter moved when he thought of the pinch? I thought that was impressive, but then again I am easily impressed.

And no, I'm not going to convert.
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