So today everyone's reading the New Yorker's article about LA director Paul Haggis and the Church of Scientology. The whole thing is really, really, really long but fairly entertaining and worth reading regardless of how you feel about the Los Angeles and showbiz institution of Scientology. Most of the stuff the New Yorker reveals is your standard skeptical stuff about Lord Xenu, high-pressure tactics, and celebrity gossip. But one morsel of info is pretty shocking. According to the New Yorker, there are twice as many Rastafarians as Scientologists in the US. Could it be true?:
From the article:
[Actress Anne Archer] blamed the press for concentrating too much on Scientology celebrities. Journalists, she said, “don't write about the hundreds of thousands of other Scientologists–“
“Millions of other Scientologists. They only write about four friggin' people!”
The church won't release official membership figures, but it informally claims eight million members worldwide. Davis says that the figure comes from the number of people throughout the world who have donated to the church. “There is no process of conversion, there is no baptism,” Davis told me. It was a simple decision: “Either you are or you aren't.” A survey of American religious affiliations, compiled in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, estimates that only twenty-five thousand Americans actually call themselves Scientologists. That's less than half the number who identify themselves as Rastafarians.
We're still trying to figure that one out. If you work around LA showbiz, doesn't it seem like EVERYONE is (or has slept with, or has played bass for) a Scientologist?
And how about Rastafarians? I mean, isn't every one of them at Dub Club
Punky Reggae Party on Wednesdays? 500, 600 tops, right?
Xenu knows we're confused.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.