The video: Scientology is a mystery to most outsiders, but a video that popped up on YouTube over the weekend is exposing the group to scrutiny — and ridicule. The clip is believed to be a production of the Church of Scientology itself, dating to the early 1990s. (Watch the video below.) It features "excited-looking Scientologists" performing a "sitcom-esque" sing-a-long called "We Stand Tall," says Amy Rolph in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Scientology leader David Miscavige even appears, singing earnestly in an auditorium full of clean-cut, smiling crooners. Several other former Scientology leaders also reportedly appear in the video, although many have since dropped out of public view.
The reaction: This is some "hilarious kitschy" stuff, says The Huffington Post. Scientology's Hollywood roots certainly show through — this propaganda video has impressive production value for something shot 20 years ago. But it sure looks cheesy when you see it with "fresh eyes." Make sure you watch this guffaw-inducing "pile of fluff" quickly, says Tony Ortega at The Village Voice, before Scientology leader "David Miscavige's minions have it yanked down." Yes, this "silly Scientology sing-a-long would be nerdy fun," says Maureen O'Connor at Gawker, if several Scientology stars who were filmed singing their hearts out — including Shelley Miscavige — hadn't mysteriously disappeared in the years since. When you ponder that as you watch, "it's pretty creepy." Take a look at the vintage video:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 10 things you need to know today: September 22, 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- How U2 became the new Nickelback
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week