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RSS icon Comments on Germany Bans Cruise


What 'ulterior motive' could he possibly have for this film? Don't get me wrong, I hate his guts, but his moronic religion and bizarre behavior has nothing to do with the movie. It's just another self-produced film with a different plot that still involves a close-up of his face in every scene. If they're going to ban him for anything, it should be for what they're actually banning him for. This 'ulterior motive' crap is excusive brouhaha to cover up that they just plain despise the guy.

I can't offer him any credit, though. As of the last two years, he's been behaving like a fucking insane idiot. He dug his own grave.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 26, 2007 12:40 PM

No, not really. Scientologists should be herded up, gassed, and buried in a pit. Germany is letting them off easy, maybe because of that whole PR disaster with the Jews about 65 years ago.

Posted by Slog Slut | June 26, 2007 12:43 PM

It's not like they're banning him from filming anywhere in Germany. They denied him the right to use German military bases. Which seems perfectly sensible and not really censorship.

Would the US military let, say, Abbas Kiarostami make a film on their facilities?

Posted by Joseph | June 26, 2007 12:44 PM

FINALLY!!! Germany has once again found it's back bone!! Back to banning things of a religious nature! Glory will once again belong to the Fatherland!!

Posted by Just Me | June 26, 2007 12:46 PM

Read the story. Germany is banning the filming because the German government believes that Scientology is a criminal organization. a pyramid scheme.

Posted by Scott M Douglass | June 26, 2007 1:04 PM

We read the story, Scott. Thanks for telling us to do so, again...

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 26, 2007 1:08 PM

Yes Scott, we read the story, hence my sarcastic remarks.

Posted by Just Me | June 26, 2007 1:11 PM

This doesn't feel like face-value.

If you were a German politician hoping to suppress a historical-drama about Germany, because of the film's politics or bias or blame-placing or nationalism, it's much harder, politically, to say "Not here! We don't like the film's portrayal of our country!" than "Not here! That crazy culty nut can't come to our country!"

Censoring based on Tom Cruise strikes the world as a funny anecdote. Censoring based on politics seems much more sinister. The German government made a slick choice.

Posted by Christin | June 26, 2007 1:22 PM
Scientology has been monitored in Germany in the belief that its activities are "directed against the free democratic order" in the country.

The phrase "free democractic order" terrifies me more than fascism.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 26, 2007 1:30 PM

The Hamburg and Bavarian governments are forbidden by law from doing business with any company associated with Scientology. I don't know if these sites were in Hamburg or Bavaria, but that gives you a sense of the strong anti-Scientology sentiment in Germany.

Free speech isn't something Europe values to the same extent we do. (You can make your jokes about the repealing of our free speech rights, but we're still way better off than they are.)

Posted by no one in particular | June 26, 2007 1:46 PM

I'm so happy someone in the world is brave enough to call Scientology what it is- a ponzi cult. Over here, the "Church" has badgered everyone into submission w/ the threat of lawsuits.

Just because a group calls themselves a church doesn't mean they get to do whatever they want.

Posted by Big Sven | June 26, 2007 1:54 PM

ummmm all you oflks don't complain when the German de-nazi-fied and banned the nazi party.

I suspect their legal power to ban cults from using army bases is somewhat related to theri legal power to ban nazi's, period.

This would violate freedom of speech in the USA. But they don't have the full freedom of speech we have here.

SO if you think it is fucked up to ban cruise then you have to say it is fucked up for them to ban depictions of nazi's etc. and they have to make the military bases equally available to movie makers who want to shoot Bring Back the Third Reich or stuff like that.

They are being consistent. They're not being authoritarian, they are being anti authoritarian....

PS the USA sort of blessed their constitution inclding de-nazification when giving their nation back to them a few decades ago.....

Posted by unPC | June 26, 2007 2:10 PM

I CAN'T WAIT. Will his German accent be any more absurd than his Irish accent in whatever stupid film that was.

You have to be sympathetic with the Germans over this. They tend to get nervous around really short charismatic people with strongly held nutty beliefs.

Posted by kinaidos | June 26, 2007 2:18 PM

#10 has it right - and in all of Cruise's contracts he requires the film production to host Scientology "assist tents" (recruiting stations) on the sets. That cash goes directly to CoS.

I'm just sorry the Bryan Singer has to deal with all of this to get his movie made - I'm a huge fan and even with Cruise in the lead, I'm very excited to see what he does with this story.

Posted by Soupytwist | June 26, 2007 2:24 PM

That stupid film was Far and Away... and I loved it. I should watch it again and see if it's still as good as my 11 year old self thought it was. heh

Posted by Carollani | June 26, 2007 2:27 PM

They're under no obligation to allow the film company to use government property for their movie, and if they did allow it, it would amount to a subsidy on the film, since they'd save so much in set construction.

And it really is no different than what happens in the US. The military must be given the final say over the film in order to use military property for a production. Anything that makes the military look bad, they force you to cut, or you have to cut and reshoot every scene that involved military property.

Posted by Gitai | June 26, 2007 2:28 PM

The French government also denied Cruise access to their military bases. They didn't have any objections to Scientology, but, according to their press release, felt any film associated with Cruise would be "really lame".

Posted by SteveR | June 26, 2007 3:04 PM

From what I've heard, Tom Cruise always runs a fairly heavy scientology PR department - like having a tent and all that - at the films he works on. My guess would be that the proselytizing is more the issue than Cruise's actual religious beliefs.

Posted by wench | June 26, 2007 3:07 PM

It's not even really a free speach issue. Germany will allow Tom Cruise's films to be shown, they've just chosen not to do business with him. He's allowed to travel the country and talk all the smack he wants (unless he says he's a Nazi).

I don't feel bad, Germany wouldn't even give most of us work visas, and most of us (probably) aren't even fronting for a bizarre cult.

Posted by Dougsf | June 26, 2007 4:24 PM

Germans have a strong negative reaction to anything cult-like, ever since that unfortunate period in the 1930s and 40s when a cult took over the government (more or less legally, to boot). Thus, they are very protective of the current republic, which is only just under 60 years old. Their only other republic between the wars did not fare that well, so call it the nervousness of a young democracy with a troubled history.

However, if you read up on and learn about Scientology and its methods, you quickly understand that the Germans are really quite right to be suspicious of this organization--which is arguably far more fascist than any other element in German society nowadays. German court rulings have found that Scientology is really a commercial organization and not a religion; although these rulings remain controversial, actually there is widespread agreement in Germany it is *not* a religion just because it says it is.

The Jehova's Witnesses have also been denied status as an organized religion in Germany, but in that case it is because the belief system of the JHs is antidemocratic in that they refuse to participate in elections, etc. Again, Germans are suspicious of antidemocratic organizations. For instance, they also ban the use of National Socialist symbols and hate language in a way that would not pass muster in the United States because National Socialism is antidemocratic (among other things).

The Germans are actually much more in tune with their European neighbors, *all* of which place stricter limits on the freedom of speech/religion than do Americans.

Posted by ebsur | June 26, 2007 4:36 PM

Any plans on adopting this policy with other cults, such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism?

Posted by Tiffany | June 26, 2007 5:00 PM

I suspect that if an American movie star wanted to set up a tent revival next door to his trailer while he filmed, the German government might also deny him the use of their military facilities...

Posted by Darcy | June 26, 2007 5:51 PM

Ebsur (post 20), you got it right. The German military refuses to let Cruise film at the actual site -the Bendlerblock, once headquarters of the Wehrmacht, now of the Bundeswehr - where Stauffenberg and the other members of the conspiracy to kill Hitler were executed. This has to do both with the fear of this chapter of history being trivialized by making a Hollywood flick out of it and the cynicism of Stauffenberg being portrayed by an actor who's the PR face of an organization whose attitude towards freedom, human conscience and authority is contradictory to Stauffenberg's.

Posted by Suryo | June 27, 2007 1:57 AM

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