Scientology: your questions unanswered
No 149: SCIENTOLOGY
It fields a variety of people ("Family of Man"), one by one, back-lit against a swirly, marbly, bad-wallpaper background. Everyone has one word to say - "trust". We get a pale 15-year-old Afro-American (Michael Jackson before he overdid it), a young Barry Manilow type, a dark black girl, a long-haired possibly South American boy, lots of Chinese people, a fair few Indians, a couple of Barbies, etc.
Despite the apparent variety, this absolutely isn't a representative group of naturally occurring types. Everyone is considerably neater, cleaner, cuter and more user-friendly than is entirely normal. And an interesting extra element is that a number of the participants bear that look of having been stolen away by the fairies.
We then move to another increasingly common device, the camera roving along a row of happy, engaged and unconcerned people (cf cK1, etc). Here the event looks to be the on-stage finale of a pyramid-selling convention. And as the all-purpose soft-rock backing track swells towards something modestly anthemic, a south-London voice-over (it must've been re-voiced) says: "On the day when we can fully trust each other there will be peace on earth." This incontrovertible (and operationally meaningless) sentiment gives no clue - no hostage to fortune - about the Scientologists.
But the ad also offers a brochure, a book called What is Scientology?, with a Watchtower-ish bright mountain cover and a telephone sales number - which, should readers of the IoS care to find practical wisdom for a happier and more fulfilling life, is 01342 324571.
Grace Dent on TVtv
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Nineteen-year-old student left gifts for parents before taking her own life
- 4 Deliberately urinating before sex can increase risk of urinary tract infections
- 5 Winston Churchill: From accusations of anti-Semitism to the blunt refusal that led to the deaths of millions
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
David Cameron says anyone criticising Eric Pickles' letter to Muslims 'really has a problem'