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.
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