Jun 23, 2016

Tom Cruise Opens $50 Million Scientology Movie And TV Studio Complex In Hollywood

JUN 22, 2016

 

Tom Cruise Opens $50 Million Scientology Movie And TV Studio Complex In Hollywood

Forbes

The old Hollywood studio system may be struggling as of late, but you wouldn’t know it by talking to Tom Cruise. The actor was on hand for the grand opening of the Church of Scientology’s massive studio complex in Hollywood last month with images and details finally being released this week via Daily Mail. Located right on Sunset Boulevard, the studio system took five years to renovate and cost approximately $50 million dollars.

 

Church leader David Miscavige aims to use the new complex as a vehicle for Scientology’s star celeb in Tom Cruise and return both Cruise and Scientology to the power and influence they held in Hollywood in the ’90s during the height of Cruise’s stardom. Earlier hits Days of Thunderand Far and Away were filmed partly at Scientology’s Hemet HQ, and the plan is to do more of the same but on a bigger scale now. Cruise plans to film his Hollywood projects at the Scientology complex, which is bigger and more complex than even that of Paramount Studios, Miscavige claims. Paramount famously parted ways with Cruise in 2006 when Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone canceled its contract with Cruise’s Cruise/Wagner production company after 14 years of working together.

 

But regardless of how anyone personally feels about Cruise or his religion, there’s no denying that he still has star power. While he’s not quite the huge blockbuster draw he used to be, he’s learned to stay in his lane of action movies, with franchises like Mission: Impossible and the smaller budget Jack Reacher franchise being profitable. Cruise is poised to extend the power of Scientology by controlling his own movies, using them as propaganda vehicles to reach a larger audience. Along with Cruise’s movies, a 24/7 Scientology “CNN News” is being planned for its followers – and the outside world.

Said Miscavige

Our uncorrupted communication line to the billions. Because as the saying goes, if you don’t write your own story, someone else will.  So, yes, we’re now going to be writing our story like no other religion in history. And it’s all going to happen right here from Scientology Media Productions…The average young adult spends ten hours of every day on the internet, and someone searches for ‘the meaning of life’ every five seconds, while someone else searches for answers about ‘spirituality’ six times per second. SMP will harness the power of every social media outlet imaginable to provide those answers. So for the 95 per cent of the world’s population that listens to the radio every day and the average viewer who spends some 40 hours glued to a TV every week, the obvious answer was: our own radio station, our own TV channel, and our own broadcasting facilities.

 

While the 15-20 heavily armed guards that patrolled the property during the official unveiling and private security inside the event seemed a rather extreme way of dealing with a small group of peaceful protesters outside, it was simply par for the course for the famously paranoid church. The money that flows through Scientology’s pockets is extensive, enough so that the complex is state of the art. Miscavige claims it will boast sound stages, creative suites, visual effects production areas, editing, audio recording and mixing, foreign language translation and dubbing, all connected by 27 miles of fiber optic cable. 

But there are skeptics out there, many of whom feel this grand project is simply another means for Scientology to make money. Many of the images released of the complex were simply CGI rendered concept images – despite the unveiling, most of the complex has yet to be finished. Mike Rinder, who had previously been the third highest-ranking member of the church but left in 2007, has been one of Scientology’s most outspoken critics ever since. Rinder was candid about the fact that he believes it is a false front for Scientology:

This is Scientology’s version of a cross between Paramount and Disneyland. The idea of this thing is not just feature movies, but TV ads, informational videos, TV programs. This is their platform to make their break in Hollywood. They don’t need this new base, so the question becomes why? It’s just a fundraising ploy, to buy real estate, to persuade people to give them money, and if they can come up with the concoction that this is the next great thing to tell the world about Scientology, then all the better. There’s ten of millions now being spent, but it will be just another empty building. It doesn’t matter what goes on there, it makes it look like they’re expanding, so [followers will think] they must be doing well.

Whether or not the complex will actually be utilized or whether it will sit empty, the truth is that either way, Scientology desperately needs to rebrand its image. It has had a very public from grace in the last decade, with more and more top officials and insiders leaving the church and blowing the lid off the shadier, disturbing practices of Scientology. While it reportedly has $8 billion in its reserves, it would be reasonable to believe it is in need of a huge recruiting push as those reserves will run dry if there are no incoming members to refill it.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alishagrauso/2016/06/22/tom-cruise-opens-50-million-scientology-movie-and-tv-studio-complex-in-hollywood/#674ef28262af

 

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