Isn't It Relevant That the Star of "The Handmaid's Tale" Belongs to a Scientology?

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  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Isn't It Relevant That the Star of "The Handmaid's Tale" Belongs to a Scientology?

    Much of the article is about how everyone involved in the new Hulu series "The Handmaid's Tale," including Margaret Atwood, the author of the book upon which the series is based, strenuously denies that it has anything to do with feminism.

    And then there is the excerpt quoted below.

    Jezebel: Isn't It Relevant That the Star of The Handmaid's Tale Belongs to a Secretive, Allegedly Oppressive Religion?

    http://themuse.jezebel.com/isnt-it-relevant-that-the-star-of-the-handmaids-tale-be-1794667562

    Article by Anna Merlan.

    * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    [SNIP]

    The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the finest dystopian novels ever written, and it is, inescapably and fundamentally, about women’s oppression under an ultra-conservative regime. The much-anticipated Hulu series based on the book doesn’t shy away from the original subject matter; it couldn’t, really, and remain the Handmaid’s Tale. Which is why it’s so curious that in a recent panel discussion, the cast of the show studiously refused to admit that it’s a feminist story. It brings to mind the way Handmaid’s star Elisabeth Moss has, for years, cheerily dodged questions about her lifelong membership in Scientology and the alleged abuses within the church.

    [SNIP]

    But this is, frankly, not a surprising show of cognitive dissonance from Moss, who seems like a nice, smart, hardworking person, and who’s stubbornly refused to talk about Scientology, a deeply problematic religion in which she was raised and reportedly remains a member of to this day. As reporter Tony Ortega points out, Moss completed a course called Expanded Grade III in 1999 that would put her, even then, fairly far along the “bridge” of time and money spent in Scientology.

    [INTERVIEWS IN WHICH MOSS REFUSED TO DISCUSS SCIENTOLOGY SNIPPED]

    That would all be fine, sort of, if the book and documentary Going Clear, a recent A&E series by ex-Scientologist actress Leah Remini, and a growing chorus of personal stories by people who have left the church didn’t contain such disturbing allegations. Ex-members have described patterns of coercion, control, and even physical abuse by church leader David Miscavige (all things that Scientology representatives have denied). Miscavige’s wife Shelly hasn’t been seen publicly in years. Disobedient members of the Sea Org are reportedly disciplined at a horrific prison camp known as The Hole, which the Tampa Bay Times described in a 2013 story as a place of “confinement and humiliation.” (Scientology, again, has said that reports of conditions at The Hole are exaggerations and mischaracterizations delivered by embittered ex-members.)

    There’s also the rather confused matter of how Scientology views women: L. Ron Hubbard wrote in the ‘50s in his Scientology: A New Slant on Life that a woman’s place was in the home and nowhere else: “A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out.” More recently, those passages were removed from updated versions of the book. But women who have left Scientology detail a series of abuses against women: a Tampa Bay Times story in 2010 detailed an alleged pattern of forced abortions for women in the Sea Org; a lawsuit against the church by one woman who says she was forced to have an abortion has been mired in complicated court proceedings since 2009. More recently, the public learned that celebrity Scientologist Danny Masterson is being investigated for sexual assault; all three women making the accusations allege that they were pressured by Scientology not to publicize what they say happened to them. (Masterson has denied the sexual assault allegations and a representative for him called them a scheme to boost ratings for Remini’s show.)

    It’s fine that Elisabeth Moss doesn’t want to discuss her religion, or the many alleged abuses within it. (It’s possible that she’s never seen a single unpleasant thing in the church, given that celebrities reportedly receive kid-glove handling.) But it combines in an unpleasant way with her refusal, and that of the rest of the Handmaid’s cast, to have even the most basic conversation about politics or feminism in the context of the show. From here, it starts to look less like making the show “universal” and more like an anxious, fearful whitewashing.

    To promote the show, Hulu recently sent a handful of women reporters, including me, a signed copy of the novel and an enormous sweatshirt, red with a white hood. It reads “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” in black all-caps, the nonsense-Latin phrase of inspiration and defiance that Offred finds scratched in the closet of her room-cum-jail cell. The package also contained an invitation, written by Moss, to join a Facebook group called #Maidez, which vaguely promises to discuss the “injustices” of the day.

    In the letter, Moss refers to the rights of “women, LGBTQ people and those of diverse faiths” being eradicated “by a newly formed theocratic dictatorship,” which is an accurate and—for her, unusually pointed—description of the show. It is, she adds, a “story as relevant now as the day it was first written.” Then Moss invites all of us to talk solutions, in language as carefully stripped of political meaning as anything else she’s ever said: “Our goal is to facilitate positive discussion among solution-oriented people who believe in the power of sharing ideas and personal connections.”

    [SNIP]

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  2. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Isn't It Relevant That the Star of "The Handmaid's Tale" Belongs to a Scientology


    The irony and her utter lack of self-awareness are simultaneously excruciatingly funny, sad, and pathetic.
     
  3. solo

    solo Patron with Honors

    Re: Isn't It Relevant That the Star of "The Handmaid's Tale" Belongs to a Scientology

    Have been enjoying 'The Handmaid's Tale' and just came across the info that Elisabeth Moss, who plays the lead, is the daughter of Ron Moss, who was the former manager of Chick Corea and I believe former Saint Hill public.

    Has she noticed any similarity between the fictional Gilead and a certain cult? Probably not! As mentioned, celebrities only see the rosy aspects of Scientology. Perhaps if she knew the truth about Hubbard's treatment of women and children she might reconsider her involvement.
     
  4. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    Re: Isn't It Relevant That the Star of "The Handmaid's Tale" Belongs to a Scientology

    Here's what wikipedia states about the plot:

    In the near future, fertility rates collapse as a result of sexually transmitted diseases and environmental pollution.[1] With this chaos in place, the totalitarian, Christian theonomic government of "Gilead" establishes rule in the former United States in the aftermath of a civil war.[2][3][4] Society is organized by power-hungry leaders along a new, militarized, hierarchical regime of fanaticism and newly-created social classes, in which women are brutally subjugated, and by law are not allowed to work, own property, control money, or read.[4] Worldwide infertility has resulted in the conscription of the few remaining fertile women in Gilead, called handmaids, according to an "extremist interpretation" of a Biblical account.[4] They are assigned to the homes of the ruling elite, where they must submit to ritualized rape with their male masters in order to become pregnant and bear children for those men and their wives.

    This show is not about feminism and Scientology is not a totalitarian mind controlling cult set up to enrich and glorify L. Ron by sucking every last shred of life and money out of its mark.

    These are not the droids you're looking for.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017

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