17 August 2008

Is Isaac Hayes Really Dead?

Being a bit of a fan of South Park meant that I was familiar with Isaac Hayes' membership of the Church of Scientology or the Cult of Scientology. The Church vs. Cult issue depends on your definition of either church or cult. Nevertheless, Hayes (photo) was a star long before ever signing on to be the voice of Chef in South Park. Hayes was the voice of the theme song of the movie Shaft.

However, this post is not really about Hayes' fame and fortune but whether or not when he was found dead last week crumpled next to the treadmill whether he was really dead or not! Now, if that sounds a little confusing, it should not be. Scientology believes that Hayes simply moved onto another body or as the Scientologists would have you believe, Hayes has gone onto claim his next piece of "meat". Scientologists believe that the human body is just a piece of meat that is inhabited by a spiritual being known as a thetan.

Hayes was a dedicated convert to Scientology, so much so that in July 1997 Hayes and fellow Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley founded the Church of Scientology in Memphis. The thing about Scientology is that it cultivates relationships with the rich and famous by convincing them that they are better than everyone else and in some bizarre way better than the rest of us not so rich and famous people.

I am guessing that Isaac Hayes has not chosen to inhabit my body, although I would not mind being able to sing! Unfortunately, the exact means of Hayes' spiritual being finding a new piece of meat is not entirely clear. However, the means of transfer is apparently an inside secret for those who are members. Therefore, if you want to know how the Scientology version of reincarnation works you will either need to become a member or wait patiently like the rest of us until a convert un-converts and sells the story to the National Enquirer.

For those of us who were not alive or were too young when Hayes hit his popularity peak in the 60's and 70's, our acquaintance with him and his spiritualism came via South Park. The beauty of South Park is that the creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have no shame and are prepared to satire anything and everything without fear. This included a satire of Scientology and in particular the most famous face of Scientology after its founder L. Ron Hubbard, Tom Cruise.

Hayes' main beef with the episode was:

There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs of others begins. Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honoured. As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.

However, as South Park co-creator Matt Stone pointed out:

This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology… He has no problem — and he’s cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians.

So, it would seem that Hayes' had no beef with ridiculing all other religions but got a little upset when his own came under the harsh glare of the South Park sun. To many this would be hypocrisy in a somewhat extreme form.

Yet, those scientologists are a little crazy. It was not all that long ago that Tom Cruise was off on a crusade against psychiatry as being phantom science and medicine. This included some ranting about Brooke Shields and post-partum depression.

Scientology -- A religion or a cult?

As Fox News Channel is fond of saying, "we report, you decide".

1 comment:

pathrecords said...

This can't succeed as a matter of fact, that is exactly what I believe.