In House of Rumour, Ian Fleming and Aleister Crowley win World War II

World War II is often the go-to historical moment for alternate history novels. But in Jake Arnott's novel House of Rumour it becomes the focal point for a secret history that's stranger and more elaborate than just "What if the Nazis won?" Arnott weaves figures like L. Ron Hubbard and Virginia Woolf into a… » 4/19/13 1:20pm 4/19/13 1:20pm

The strangely true connection between Scientology, the Jet Propulsion…

One of the weirdest historical confluences you can imagine took place in Pasadena, California, in the 1940s. There, a darkly handsome young man and chemistry autodidact named Jack Parsons had just made a bundle of money by inventing solid rocket fuel and selling it to the military. He was part of a group of… » 1/24/13 1:20pm 1/24/13 1:20pm

In new Scientology tell-all book, Tom Cruise explains his "special…

You've seen the insane video of Tom Cruise blasting Scientologists with his truth beams. You've heard the rumors. But now, you'll get the full story. Over at the New York Post, Maureen Callahan has a fascinating article about journalist Lawrence Wright's new book about Scientology, called Going Clear: Scientology,… » 1/14/13 4:54pm 1/14/13 4:54pm

Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology-inspired movie is a weird love story

In Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology-inspired movie The Master, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a self-help guru who's in the process of turning his therapeutic practice into a full-fledged spiritual movement. The Master shows us how Hoffman's character creates the mythology that underpins his new faith, even as it… » 9/19/12 8:00am 9/19/12 8:00am

Full-length trailer for The Master shows what happens to people who…

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master promises to be one of the year's most intense movies, using the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as a jumping-off point to look at post-World War II trauma and people's eagerness to believe in some weird-ass cosmology. After two teaser trailers, here's your first longer… » 7/23/12 8:30am 7/23/12 8:30am

Philip Seymour Hoffman channels L. Ron Hubbard like crazy in new Master

The biggest question mark hanging over P.T. Anderson's The Master has always been: How close to a movie about Scientology is this going to be? Rumor had it that Anderson tweaked the script a lot to take it away from being a straight-up portrayal of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — but the Hubbard vibe is still… » 6/19/12 10:22am 6/19/12 10:22am

How I Helped L. Ron Hubbard to 'Take Over the Planet'

Back when queer activist Kate Bornstein was a boy named Al, she was a leading member of the Church of Scientology. She served aboard L. Ron Hubbard's flagship, and even worked directly with Hubbard on a campaign to control Scientology members more completely. Bornstein's new memoir A Queer and Pleasent Danger explains… » 5/29/12 11:00am 5/29/12 11:00am

First Gorgeous Trailer for P.T. Anderson's Scientology Movie The Master

Joaquin Phoenix is amazingly deranged and sparky in the first trailer for The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson's troubled-but-fascinating movie that's at least loosely based on Scientology. You can already see from this brief teaser that Phoenix's character is going to have impulse control issues as well as a flawed… » 5/22/12 12:30pm 5/22/12 12:30pm

Scientology's 1969 Predictions for Life in 2010... on Another Planet

This is one of the greatest things I've seen this week. Back in 1969, Scientology's magazine Advance! put out an article about how great things would be in the year 2010... but just to hedge their bets a little, the article is set on another planet. Find out how the introduction of Scientology made everything "groovy"… » 3/16/12 4:00pm 3/16/12 4:00pm

William S. Burroughs’ Wild Ride with Scientology

In 1959, the same year Olympia Press published his most famous novel Naked Lunch, the writer William S. Burroughs visited the restaurant of his friend and collaborator, Brion Gysin, in Tangiers. There, Burroughs met John and Mary Cooke, a wealthy American hippie couple who were interested in mysticism. Burroughs… » 5/11/11 9:00am 5/11/11 9:00am

John Travolta Shows Off His Nasal Appliance

No one scene could ever contain all there is to love about the psychotic trainwreck that is Battlefield Earth (based on the novel by L. Ron "Scientology" Hubbard). But this moment is one of the better ones. John Travolta and Forest Whitaker (oh Forest, how could you?) are Psychlons, aliens from planet Psychlon (duh)… » 7/14/08 5:35pm 7/14/08 5:35pm