Katie Holmes’ decision to divorce Tom Cruise made headlines over the weekend. The couple was married in an Italian castle five years ago, seven months after the birth of their daughter Suri. As recently as June 18, the couple was seen together in Iceland, where Cruise is filming a movie. Ten days later she filed for divorce, hiring two well-known attorneys to help her gain sole custody of their daughter. Her decision was made in part because of Cruise’s commitment to Scientology. She reportedly wanted more freedom to make her own decisions, and also wanted to remove her daughter from the Scientology-influenced school she attends.
John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), Greta Van Susteren, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, Isaac Hayes, and even Jerry Seinfeldhave all been connected with Scientology over the years. What does their church teach?
“Scientology” was founded in 1952 by L. Ron Hubbard, an American fiction writer. Scientologists believe that we are immortal spirit beings known as thetans. We have lived through many past lives and will continue to live beyond the death of the body.
Now Hubbard’s teachings get even stranger. He claimed that Xenu, an alien ruler of the “Galactic Confederacy,” brought billions of people to Earth 75 million years ago in spacecraft resembling DC-8 airliners, stacked them around volcanoes, and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. Their souls attached to the bodies of the living. Alien souls continue to do this today, creating many of our problems and diseases. Through “auditing” (one-on-one communication with a trained Scientology counselor), followers unburden themselves of specific traumas and bad decisions, many of which are connected with these alien souls.
The church claims more than 10 million members. Its continuing popularity demonstrates the urgency of living and sharing God’s word. In Jeremiah’s day, Baal worship was as problematic as groups like Scientology are today. On one occasion, the Lord instructed his prophet to bury a linen belt, then retrieve it days later after it had been ruined. God then said to him: “In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless!” (Jeremiah 13:9-10).
Note the order: if we refuse to listen to God’s word, we will follow our own stubborn hearts and will inevitably worship false gods to our ruin. Is your life aligned with God’s truth today?
Dr. Denison’s cultural commentary originally appeared at http://www.denisonforum.org. It has been reposted here with permission of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture.