Tom Cruise is currently producing and starring in “Valkyrie,” a film about a 1944 failed plot to kill Adolf Hitler. However, shooting in Germany is being made difficult because of the country’s disapproval of the star’s religious affiliations with the Church of Scientology which is not recognized as an official church there. Because of this, they are not allowing the crew to shoot at German military sites. Cruise is portraying Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg who led the operation which exploded a bomb hidden in a briefcase, wounding but not killing the notorious dictator in July 1944. The film is set to be released in 2008 directed by Bryan Singer and co-starring Kenneth Branaugh.

The German government disapproves of Scientology because it believes that it is a money making scheme disguised as a religion. According to a Scientology website, the word means “the study of truth.” It is based on the belief that man is a spiritual being who lives out several lives with unlimited capabilities to solve problems, accomplish goals, and attain happiness as well as achieve high states of awareness. Nothing is based on faith or belief but personal truth. They also believe that man consists of three parts: the spirit or individual, the mind for communication and control, and the body which is not the person.

Scientology follows the command to “Survive!” which is divided into eight dynamics or impulses. They are categories in a hierarchy from eight to one. They include:

Eight: Infinity or God

Seven: Spiritual or anything with a spirit or life source

Six: Physical Universe consisting of matter, energy, space, and time

Five: Life Forms including plants and animals

Four: Mankind as a species

Three: Group Survival ranging from friends to the entire human race

Two: Family

One: Self or the individual

As made widely known by Cruise, Scientologists are against drugs, pollutants and chemicals which harm the human body. Instead, they use different tools and scales to measure their well being to help improve themselves. One such tool is the Electropsychometer or E-Meter which measures a person’s mental state, though it does nothing to treat or cure a person. They are responsible for that on their own. Another tool is the Tone Scale which is also used to rate a person’s well being. The highest rating is a 40.0 meaning Serenity of Beingness or complete happiness, and the lowest is 0.0 meaning death of the body. There are several ratings in between to rate specific emotions and how intense they are. This religion can be confusing to someone who does not practice it making it susceptible to misunderstanding. One would probably have to be an adamant follower in order to really understand what it is all about. This is why hostility arises with concepts that are threatening because they are unknown.

For related articles visit http://www.scientology.org/en_US/l-ron-hubbard/index.html and http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Movies/06/25/cruise.germany.reut/index.html

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