Random Shots: The Truth About Scientology
— R.F. Kampfer
IN REGARD TO the long Internal Revenue Service investigation of Scientology, a lawyer for the cult states: "This is a church organization that has been subjected to more harassment and more attacks certainly than any religion in this century and probably any religion ever." Some perspective, please: We must have missed it when they threw L. Ron Hubbard to the lions.
The Scientologists are a gang of blatant swindlers dedicated to extracting large sums of money from insecure people in exchange for pretentious nonsense. Therefore, the IRS has decided that they fully qualify as a church.
A few years ago on Christmas morning, some Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door. They asked me who I thought the greatest man was who ever lived. Lenin, I told them. They haven't been back since.
Speaking of religion: Too bad no records survive of Jesus' years as a carpenter. It would be interesting to know what He said when He hit His thumb with a hammer.
Professor G.A. Wells, of the University of London, commenting on the shortage of hard evidence and the proliferation of dubious trendy theories about the "real Jesus," comments: "We will not wait much longer for a Jesus who left Nazareth, age eighteen, the victim of child abuse in a dysfunctional one-parent family, to find his real identity among other Jewish boys forced to live a lie in the homophobic backwater of Empire . . . This is less a frivolous comment on the direction of current scholarship than a scenario waiting to be played."
THE STRONGEST ARGUMENT against the Labor Party running candidates at this time is the experience of Canada's New Democratic Party. When the NDP put people into office in the country's largest province, Ontario, without the rank-and-file organization required to keep them honest, they tore up the public workers' union contracts, shooting
themselves in the foot and opening the gate to a conservative backlash. It was C.S. Forester who pointed out that, for an untrained army, victory can be more disruptive than defeat.
It tells you something about Ireland that when you mention Bloody Sunday, you have to specify which one.
Notes on Politics
ACCORDING TO STRIKING Detroit journalist Susan Watson, politics is like limbo dancing: Whoever can go the lowest will win.
New Gingrich is blaming his lawyer for his financial improprieties. It will be the computer next. In any case Gingrich's punishment hardly fits the crime; but where are you going to find wa working guillotine these days?
Since the Democratic National Committee has displayed so much ingenuity in extracting money from rich people, why not have them take over the IRS?
DESPITE ALL THE hysteria about cloning humans, one can see no profit motive for doing so<197>except, possibly, rhino-human hybrids for professional football teams.
Spartan children were discouraged from excessive drinking by being subjected to the antics of drunken helots as dinner-time entertainment, the inspiration no doubt for the "Dean Martin Show."
A recent biography of John Wayne reveals that the patriotic Duke went to a lot of trouble to dodge the draft during World War II.
Post-Hunchback: Disney has a new cartoon in production about the Princess Anastasia. Watching the Romanovs get wiped out is entertainment the whole family can enjoy.
Hollywood predicts the future:
Lou Costello: "I'm a union man. I only work sixteen hours a day."
Irate customer: "A union man only works an eight-hour day."
Costello: "I belong to two unions."
ATC 68, May-June 1997