Church of Scientology opens huge movie studio


#1

The “Church” of Scientology, which is not very large and has a select group of wealthy benefactors, has opened a $50 million dollar movie studio.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3629275/Scientology-s-50million-Hollywood-studio-opens-religion-promises-reach-virtually-person-Earth.html

So, if a small group like the Scientologists can afford to get involved in film to “evangelize,” why hasn’t the Church been involved in this most influential artform in the world? If a tiny group like the Scientologists can afford to do it, we easily could.

If the Bishops actually WANTED to do this, they could raise $50 million through a national or international collection within a week.

I just don’t get it. The Church goes on and on about a “New Evangelization,” yet the very means that we should be using to evangelize are (mostly) completely ignored. Yet tiny groups like this can somehow still pull it off.


#2

I think your problem is that you confuse “The Church” with “The Hierarchy”. How are YOU evangelising?


#3

You’re right, I do mean the church heirarchy. The scientology churches heirarchy can afford to build and use film/media to “evangelize” their message, then certainly our heirarchy could afford to do the same.

The churches heirarchy funded the art of the counter reformation. It evangelized the world at that time. The cathedrals of yesterday are the films of today. You can say that it was a different time when the church could afford to support the arts, but it no longer can. But this development from a tiny group like the Church of Scientology shows that it’s very possible.

As far as my efforts to evangelize; I’m a professional artist, I work in the studio of the biggest name fine artist in the world. It’s all secular art though. I’m hoping to transition to doing sacred/liturgical art.

But frankly, as said above, fine art doesn’t evangelize like it did during the counter reformation. What evangelizes today is mostly narrative filmmaking, which the church doesn’t seem interested in using. I’ve brought up the idea of using film and video for evangelism to various people, but usually am told it’s too expensive and we should basically just forget about it, or am told that it’s a nice idea but with no real zeal to seriously do it.


#4

I think it’s prudential. Nowadays, anything put out for mass consumption, such as a book or a film, is subject to the rash judgments of the vox populi.

Mel Gibson puts out The Passion of the Christ, a perfectly orthodox Catholic movie and “Vox” says “Anathema to you, you evil Anti-Semitic traditionalist alcoholic!”

Anti-abortion activists release “The Silent Scream”, and “Vox” says “YOU’RE JUST MAKING IT UP! BABIES CAN’T SCREAM! EXCEPT MINE AT 2 AM!”

Pope Francis writes a book about the Year of Mercy, and “Vox” says “Anathema to you, you anti-pope and blasphemer against the Holy Spirit!”

The Apostles didn’t need a movie studio, and we don’t need to be jumping on the bandwagon with the secularists, Rapturists, Scientologists and God knows who else. To quote Bob Marley, down with da -ism and schism game. :slight_smile:

Footnotes (because Pope Francis likes them :)):

  1. I am not saying that Catholics should never make movies, write books, etc. That is absurd. But I’m just questioning the wisdom of sinking $50 million into an apostolate that might not recuperate its costs either financially or in terms of saving souls.

  2. If you think the examples I gave above are absurd, Google is your friend. :slight_smile:


#5

This is the exact attitude that I’m talking about. All of those arguments could have been used against building churches or printing novels at one time. The apostles used none of them, yet they were the popular media of their day, and they were all incredibly expensive in their time period.

Using that logic we should have never built st peters basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Renaissance or baroque art periods, etc. And say goodbye to Shakespeare and the great literature of the past which shaped our culture for 1,000 years.

Just dismiss it and hand over all of the evangelism to Satan. That’s effectively what we’ve done!

Yet vatican 2 called for the church to be involved in using the media to evangelize, even though it’s expensive. It said every effort should be made to do so. Yeah, that’s really being followed! LOL

Here’s the exact quote from Vatican 2 to ponder:

"It is quite unbecoming for the Church’s children idly to permit the message of salvation to be thwarted or impeded by the technical delays or expenses, however vast, which are encountered by the very nature of these media. Therefore, this sacred Synod advises them of the obligation they have to maintain and assist Catholic newspapers, periodicals and film projects, radio and television programs and stations, whose principal objective is to spread and defend the truth and foster Christian influence in human society. At the same time, the Synod earnestly invites those organizations and individuals who possess financial and technical ability to support these media freely and generously with their resources and their skills, inasmuch as they contribute to genuine culture and the apostolate.

In addition, there should be an effort to see that the noble and ancient art of the drama, which now is diffused everywhere by the media of social communication, serves the cultural and moral betterment of audiences."

I don’t mean to hammer you personally, yours is the common attitude of catholics today, it seems. No wonder the world is falling into apostasy. We’ve become culturally silent. Letting Satan do all the evangelism is what seems nonprudential to me.


#6

This is the Year of Mercy, so: :rotfl:


#7

Okay, that was a bit flip, so let us reason together, friend KEP1983. :slight_smile:

  1. Nowhere did I say that we should not write books, make movies, build churches, etc. Heck, Saint Luke was a painter and a (probable) painting of Our Lady by him resides in a parish near where my parents live. :thumbsup: Footnotes, thou hast failed me! :stuck_out_tongue:

  2. I am more concerned about a monolithic effort on the part of a large group or institution. Large-sized institutions often breed waste, corruption, procrastination, inefficiency, and a reluctance to speak the truth rather than give in to a common consensus. How do I know this? By working for a large institution (a hospital) which also gets millions in funds each year, but still cannot seem to spend them on such simple things as laying roads or providing basic medications from time to time.

  3. To this, you may object that an initiative by Catholic Bishops is quite different from that of a secular government. Quite true. But even then is the Church today free of financial irregularities, people with their own agendas, and a tendency to soft-pedal uncomfortable truths? Suppose you wanted to make a movie about a gay man who converted and renounced the gay agenda, but got shot down by a Council of Bishops telling you that you were being “uncharitable”, “traditional” and “unmerciful”? (Yes, in some circles, “traditional” is a term of abuse.)

  4. Putting a work out and letting it become a media circus (as with two of the three examples I gave - The Passion and the Pope’s interviews / writings - not so much with The Silent Scream) means that your work is essentially dead in the water, because the “public magisterium” has already judged, condemned, and polarized itself over it before it can even reach your target audience. It might still work, but not as well as you dreamed.

  5. The way to go, then, is to create your work without a bureaucratic structure that could always stifle you, silence you or cast you away, and rely on good old word of mouth. Think of things “going viral”. Think of mega-successful (or even just successful) independent ventures or crowdfunding efforts. Think of Protestant films like Fireproof which clearly did not need or use big budgets, and yet became both successful and influential. Sitting and waiting for a Pontifical Council on the Family to make such a film is idealistic, but not practical.

So: Make your movie! Write your book! Sing your song! The Church and the world need people like you, who are clearly passionate about your mission. (I’ve taken the liberty of looking up an earlier thread of yours here, forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=13872544#post13872544, so I’m not talking through my hat.) Only, don’t expect that a giant monolith and lots of mainstream publicity is the way to go. In today’s world, the opposite is often true.

In other words:
*
“[31] Another parable he proposed unto them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. [32] Which is the least indeed of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof. [33] Another parable he spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened.”*

God bless you,
R.


#8

I wasn’t trying to attack you personally, as said, yours seems to be the common view of catholics today. I would say my position is reasonable though, as it’s backed up by the documents of Vatican 2.

  1. I am more concerned about a monolithic effort on the part of a large group or institution. Large-sized institutions often breed waste, corruption, procrastination, inefficiency, and a reluctance to speak the truth rather than give in to a common consensus. How do I know this? By working for a large institution (a hospital) which also gets millions in funds each year, but still cannot seem to spend them on such simple things as laying roads or providing basic medications from time to time.

I half agree with this. I get that large efforts can lead to waste, corruption, etc. But large scale efforts are often the only way to get something done. We usually think of artists as geniuses who just sit in their studio by themselves radiating works of beauty and greatness. Not true though.

Michelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel by himself. He didnt build the dome of st peters by himself either. The church gathered the funds for it, and Michelangelo hired a large team of assistants to help him get it done. This is true of many many many old works of art that influenced the world at their time. Even novels take a team of people to produce, even though people simply identfy the novel with the author.

  1. To this, you may object that an initiative by Catholic Bishops is quite different from that of a secular government. Quite true. But even then is the Church today free of financial irregularities, people with their own agendas, and a tendency to soft-pedal uncomfortable truths? Suppose you wanted to make a movie about a gay man who converted and renounced the gay agenda, but got shot down by a Council of Bishops telling you that you were being “uncharitable”, “traditional” and “unmerciful”? (Yes, in some circles, “traditional” is a term of abuse.)

This is the best argument against what I’m saying, for sure. Bishop Rene Gracida has talked about this publicly as well.

So +1 for you here.

  1. Putting a work out and letting it become a media circus (as with two of the three examples I gave - The Passion and the Pope’s interviews / writings - not so much with The Silent Scream) means that your work is essentially dead in the water, because the “public magisterium” has already judged, condemned, and polarized itself over it before it can even reach your target audience. It might still work, but not as well as you dreamed.

Now I completely disagree with you here. A media circus is a good thing if you’re preaching truth.

Yes, the media crucified Mel Gibson when he did the passion film. But the media isn’t the same as the people. It turned out to be the biggest indie film ever, as well as one of the highest grossing films ever.

If I could see a media circus over a well produced catholic film on a regular basis… that would be great.

  1. The way to go, then, is to create your work without a bureaucratic structure that could always stifle you, silence you or cast you away, and rely on good old word of mouth. Think of things “going viral”. Think of mega-successful (or even just successful) independent ventures or crowdfunding efforts. Think of Protestant films like Fireproof which clearly did not need or use big budgets, and yet became both successful and influential. Sitting and waiting for a Pontifical Council on the Family to make such a film is idealistic, but not practical.

Fireproof is a great example, actually. That was put together by fairly small group of independent protestant congregations, right? Why are there no Catholic equivalences?

And a film like Fireproof still takes a group effort. Certainly not on the level if a Pontifical Council or usccb. But why couldn’t an individual bishop like Cardinal Burke, when he was in St Louis, do this same thing? Certainly his diocese is larger than the congregations that made Fireproof.


#9

KEP1983: in my opinion, your idea is a good one, and, believe me, you’re not the only person to have had it. So why doesn’t the church do anything like it? I think the church is in a state of decline, and the hierarchy is more interested in managing the decline than reversing it. Fear of criticism, as RPRPsych suggests, stopped no serious evangelist ever.

practical-management.com/Organization-Development/Organizational-lifecycle-and-decline.html


#10

This is better than the atheist propaganda that Hollywood currently produces.


#11

Lol,

This YouTube video promotes atheism, but most of its material was from a Scientology advertisement.

The original says, at the end, “the one thing that is true is true… for you” as opposed to “the power of logic”.


#12

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