Published On: Sun, Jun 9th, 2013

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.

after-earth-jaden-smith photo“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.



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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

Displaying 4 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Dean Fox says:

    Having read the reviews there is no way it was “a small number of self promoters” spreading a false rumour. Pretty much all the reviews said they saw the parallels and if it really was a small number of self promoters who caused this then they must have one heck of an influence. (They’re very much “at cause” as scientologists say).

  2. Red Antlers says:

    I was a Scientologist when Star Wars came out. The members were saying that it was based on George Lucas’ memories of past lives, paralleled Scientology and proved L.Ron’s version of intergalactic history to be true. I would love to hear spokeshole Karin Pouw talk about that.

  3. choocho says:

    All of the Scientology employees have been out trying to “handle” this story on the net so it probably is Scientology propaganda.

  4. The Will Smith led ‘After Earth’ labeled Scientology propaganda and getting killed by critics - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] 09 June, 2013 Breaking News > Movies, Religion, US […]

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