Church of Scientology responds to ‘After Earth’ comparisons, calling it ‘silly nonsense’
In addition to poor reviews from critics, the failure of After Earth at the box office has made headlines as many fans are making alleged connections to the Church of Scientology.
Responding to the coverage of reports, the Church of Scientology made a response to The Global Dispatch.
“The film and its story line contain themes common to many of the world’s philosophies, not unique to Scientology,” said Karin Pouw of Church of Scientology International.
The official statement reads: “The myth launched by a handful of self-promoters that After Earth is about the Scientology religion and its tenets is silly nonsense. After Earth has as much to do with Scientology as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Moby Dick, King Arthur, Homer’s The Odyssey or countless other stories about protagonists overcoming fears and opponents. The Church’s website, www.scientology.org, contains accurate information on the Church and the many social programs it supports.”
“Scientology is not alone in addressing unwanted emotions such as fear and this topic is hardly unique to any one religion when you consider overcoming fear has been a universal theme in stories for thousands of years as well central to countless film plots. For example, the dialogue “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” using this same logic would seemingly make Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace a “Scientology-themed movie,” Pouw added.
The story has hardly stopped since the opening weekend. The New York Observer story was headlined “Cheer Up, Will Smith! Scientologists Love After Earth” with a parody video linked to cheerupWillSmith.com.
Whether the connections are legit or just an excuse to attack the Church of Scientology, the church will carry on while the film continues to bomb at the box office.