Top Gun’s Tom Cruise as Scientology’s Jesus

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Let us see today’s question: Tom Cruise got a big hit with Top Gun. Now he is being hailed as a Christ-like figure for Scientology. Is this right? 

Good question. Tom Cruise got a big hit with ‘Top Gun Maverick.. The movie already crossed 880 million at the box office and will definitely move past the one billion mark in the next few days. 

In the movie, we see Tom Cruise playing Captain Pete Mitchell serving as a US Navy test pilot. This maverick flies the air force jet at high-hypersonic speed, crossing the jaw-dropping Mach 10. Then he is ordered to train an elite group of pilots who were given the task of bombing a foreign country’s uranium enrichment plant. 

Young pilot Rooster hates Maverick. Rooster thinks Maverick as a stumbling block to his flying career. 

The uranium  plant is located in a deep canyon well protected by surface-to-air missiles and fighter jets. Maverick takes on the mind blowing task of flying through the curvy canyon to destroy the uranium plant. Against all odds, Maverick successfully completes the mission and destroys the plant. While returning to the base, the pilots were attacked by the enemy missiles and aircraft. To save Rooster, Maverick sacrifices his jet to protect him and ejects. Everyone thinks Maverick got killed but he is still alive. But a helicopter gunship attacks Maverick. Then Rooster comes to save him. Maverick and Rooster reconcile and become great friends. 

The movie if filled with many metaphors for human condition. The enemy wants to destroy us with nuclear weapons. Who can save us? Who can cross the barriers to lead us? Who can do miracles? Who can remove the obstacles on our path? Who is willing to sacrifice even his life in the mission? Who can bring reconciliation between individuals who are separated? Who can complete a story with a happy ending? 

Old Hollywood made great movies which inspired people a lot. They were making movies like Top Gun with a hero who leads the team and brings success. Those movies were secular versions of Christianity’s larger story: Satan wants to destroy humanity. Who can save us from sin and slavery to Satan? Jesus came to this world to save us. He sacrificed his life. He pushed the barriers. He performed miracles to show us his power. After his death, everyone thought it was over for Jesus. But then the magic starts. Jesus conquered the grave and came back to life. The Old Hollywood movies were just secular stories of Christianity’s big salvation story. Every hero is a shadow of a Savior from heaven. 

     Then sadly, Hollywood got dechristianized. The influence of Christianity or Judaism  over Hollywood vanished. Now the protagonist is a weakling, smoking pot, suffering from  Chlamydia, injecting drugs into his veins, cursing people, doubting and suspecting his friends. He is not a larger than life figure capable of saving others. The new dystopian movies from Hollywood inspire no one. Tony Scott committed suicide. He was the director of the first Top Gun movie. Hollywood now became synonymous with Johnny Depp style disorganized life, drug addiction, depression, and suicide. So, it is refreshing to see Hollywood producing a movie with a hero who gives inspiration to everyone. 

   When the first Top Gun movie came out, it inspired a lot of young people to join the US Air Force. Hollywood is known for its aversion to the US military. 

   Now, some people focused on Tom Cruise’s scientology. They said, Tom Cruise is going to be a Christ-like figure in Scientology. What is scientology? Scientology is movement that emerged in the 1950s in response to the thought of L. Ron Hubbard. He introduced his ideas in his book entitled Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. He took Buddhism and cloaked it in the scientific garb. It is similar to what Mary Baker Eddy did under ‘Christian Science’. 

    Hubbard said that the basic principle of human existence is survival. Our minds make survival-oriented judgments. But when the mind is not fully functioning, the reactive mind takes over. This reactive mind produces engrams made up of strong negative emotional content. The more engrams you accumulate in your mind, the more negative content you store in your brain. Then you will make a lot of counter survival actions. 

   What is the solution? Hubbard developed auditing. Auditing is a one-on-one counseling process. It might cost you a thousand dollars per hour.  A counselor or auditor will help you to identify these engrams. Auditor uses E-meter, an instrument to identify your stored engrams. The goal is to get rid of the mind of these engrams. 

     Every one has a spiritual self apart from the body. Ron Hubbard called this spiritual self, the thetan. This spiritual self had inhabited other bodies before its present one. It is like Reincarnation we see in Hinduism and Buddhism. The thetans were created billions of years ago. They interact with MEST – Matter, Energy, Space and time. The engrams inhibit thetans from full flourishing. Scientology says that we need to purify the thetan from the engrams. The fully functioning thetan finally unites with God. Who is this God? Scientology is very vague on the nature of God. 

     Step back and take a look at this worldview. Put away the scientific jargon. What do you see? It is Eastern mysticism mixed with Western gnosticism. Buddha said, life is full of suffering. Because of our fixation on this world, we are not able to understand our true spiritual self. Follow the Eightfold path and get nirvana. Then you are enlightened and will become one with the divine. So, Scientology is Buddhism or Hinduism in disguise. 

   Its science is pseudoscience. E-meters are a fraud. No wonder Tom Cruise spoke against psychiatry. As you can expect, that did not go well with the psychiatry community. His fighter jets were developed using Western observational science. Not the pseudoscience of scientology. 

   Also, scientology has no explanation for the existence of evil. The enemy is preparing a uranium plant to destroy your nation. Why are you not sending e-meters to Iran? Why are you blowing up their plant with missiles? 

   Tom Cruise cannot save Scientology because it is pseudoscience and Buddhism like spiritual movement. He cannot be a Jesus because there is no one like Jesus.  He is a Guide who leads you through life and death individually. Buddha cannot be your personal guide. He is dead and gone. Muhammad cannot be your personal guide. He is dead and gone. Krishna cannot be your personal guide. He is dead and gone. Ron Hubbard cannot be your personal guide. He is dead and gone. There is no one like Jesus. He conquered our real enemy, sin and death. As a living Savior, He is leading us as our Guide in life, death and afterlife. 

So, my answer is, Tom Cruise cannot be a Jesus-like figure. Let us hope and pray that he will come to real Jesus, confess his sins and get saved. There is no one like Jesus of the New Testament.

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