(Above: a grand poster for the movie Making A Killing, as presented within the blessed confines of the NSW parliament).
Ever since a psychiatrist deemed I was madder than a hawk is to a handsaw, which is to say madder than a cut snake, in a north by north west fashion, I've had a healthy disdain for psychiatry (and psychologist snake oil salesmen and women can also retreat to some Jungian mandala for all I care).
But when you weigh the mind shrinks up against some of the opposition, they look a lot more healthy. Especially Opus Dei, with its dedication to the ritual pleasures of mortification, including that handsome implement of BDSM love play, the cilice. Or scientology, with its strange tales of Xenu, aliens and volcanoes. Not to mention the strange weirdness of the Mark Super VII Quantum E-meter, which you can see here. In fact it's so weird, it's worth a few more adjectives like strange exotic peculiar bizarre surreal weirdness.
But even stranger is the notion that Opus Dei and scientology would consort together, perhaps on the basis that secular humanists are a mutual enemy and therefore the two religions can somehow manage to be friends.
Thanks to Jason Whittaker's story in Crikey - The Libs and the Scientologists - the film they're happy for you to see, we now learn that it was the recently pre-selected right wing Liberal member of the upper house in New South Wales, David Clarke, who was the generous sponsor of a documentary Making a Killing making its NSW premiere in the NSW parliament's viewing theastre, to be presented by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
According to the story, Clarke didn't know the CCHR is a front for scientology, which suggests he's either remarkably ignorant, delightfully vague, or incomprehensibly silly. How he managed to retain his pre-selection must be considered a triumph of the Catholic maaates.
Still, once Clarke heard about the connection, he withdrew the sponsorship, and another Liberal, Jonathan O'Dea, stepped up to the plate, and made the booking so that the screening could proceed. Who knows, it might still be happening tomorrow, and you can rush in to town - if you live in Sydney, centre of the unknown universe of hopeless public transport - and sit amongst the sweaty, fearful scientologists as they agonise over the ways psychiatrists are ruining western civilisation as we know it, with only perhaps a decade left before the final rapture all takes us off to Xenu and the volcanoes.
Well you can learn more than you need to know about Jonathan O'Dea by trotting off to his website, here - we always had a suspicion Lindfield people were divorced from reality - while you can discover more about the Citizens Commission on Human Rights by visiting its heroic website here. Where you can see the flurry of books that a generous tithing system can help fund.
You might struggle to actually find references to scientology on the site, as say opposed to ways that psychiatry creates racism, or ruins artists, or assaults women and children with psychiatric rape, or spreads chaos and terror, or commits unholy assault on religion, but if you look at the end of the "Citizens Commission" press releases you will often find the following:
For further information please contact CCHR, which was co-founded by the Church of Scientology & Professor of Psychiatry, Dr Thomas Szasz in 1969 to investigate and expose psychiatric violations against human rights.
As for Making A Killing, it's been been around for some time, and has its own Australian website here. It's not much of a website and the news that Sunrise mentioned the film as sending shock-waves across Australia's medical establishment, and that it was mentioned on Eddie Mcguire's 3mmm radio breakfast show, didn't send a chill down my spine. Not when it comes to Avatar showing how a planet can be reduced to rubble, in 3D!
But of course, next time the show could be promoted as 'having been screened in the NSW parliamentary theatre, thanks to the generous bi-partisan support of the NSW Liberal party", as a way of urging you to dust the redbacks out of wallet or purse and spring for the DVD at a cool twenty five smackeroos.
Of course all the usual arguments about the usual right to freedom of speech and to be as nutty as you like, in your own time, and on your own dime, have been trotted out, and you can understand why supporters of Opus Dei would be strong supporters of the right to be nutty.
But as one wise comment on Crikey noted, the chances of a film praising medical marijuana, or cat worship, or even simple old paganism, witchcraft and atheism getting a screening inside the sensitive walls of parliament house would likely be pretty slim. Come to think of it, it would be tremendous fun to think up all the many subjects that might not make the cut - perhaps a revival of the Mayan religion, requiring the ritual human sacrifice of NSW politicians would be an obvious starting point, but I dare say even a poker machine convention might be a little too close to the bone.
So what makes scientology so special? Or at least its front? Because if you look at the stuff they peddle, under the guise of religion, it's as demented as fundies peddling Satan.
And even though we don't have a clear division between state and religion, in the way of the United States, why does the NSW Parliament offer up its status when its supporters could run the film in a church hall somewhere?
Unless NSW Liberals think that acting as spruikers and facilitators for scientology is a handy way to garner a vote or two ...
Well I guess if the e-meter doesn't work for you, the next logical step is to don the cilice ...
(Below: one of any number of works explaining how psychiatry is ruining lives and bringing about the end of the world, while L Ron Hubbard's dreams of Xenu will surely save it. I was particularly moved by the suffering of artists, as Van Morrison, Beck and Tom Cruise have done so well, thanks to the church's invaluable help. What's that? Van Morrison gave it away? No guru, no method, no teacher. Amen to that brother. It helps explain why both the NSW Labor and the NSW Liberal parties in their current condition).