When I saw this flyer floating around Sundance a few weeks back, I thought it was funny – not just because former That 70s Show castmember Danny Masterson is a 1) a DJ, who 2) goes by “DJ Mom Jeans” – but also because Masterson is a famously outspoken Scientologist, and one of this year’s most buzzed about Sundance titles was Going Clear, a scathing exposé about Scientology. Which Danny Masterson probably didn’t hear about at the time because he had his big headphones on, jamming on the ones and twos. But strap in, because someone finally told him.
PaperMag caught up with DJ Mom Jeans as he laid a phat bleat:
“I heard about that documentary; the documentary where they interviewed eight people who hate Scientology. Should be pretty interesting. I wonder if Sundance would allow a documentary of, like, eight people who hate Judaism. But you know, my religion’s fair game, I guess, ’cause it’s new.”
Yes, Scientology definitely gets criticized “because it’s new.” Unitarianism is newer than Scientology, weird how they never seem to get criticized as much. I wonder if it’s because Unitarian Universalists don’t ship off their undesireds and heretics to weird pseudo concentration camps on boats and remote ranches. Uh… ALLEGEDLY.
“There’s basically like 200 lies in the book and so therefore he couldn’t even publish that book [in Canada or the UK because the libel laws],” he added, referring to Lawrence Wright’s book, which inspired the buzzed-about documentary.
He’s right that the Canadian release has been delayed and the UK release cancelled as the publishers try to balance the risk/reward of fighting legal action by the notoriously litigious and rich Church of Scientology in the notoriously broadly defined libel laws of the UK. That’s… why people don’t go after Scientology more often. Lawrence Wright’s last book won the Pulitzer Prize, by the way. I’m not sure where the “200 lies” figure comes from, but knowing Scientology, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a special course where you could pay $100 for each lie revealed. Collect them all!
Masterson, who started practicing the religion at age 8, went on to explain that it’s hard to explain Scientology to those who haven’t read founder L. Ron Hubbard’s book Dianetics. Essentially, he says, “Everything in Scientology is just based on logic…the word Scientology means the study of knowledge.”
“There’s nothing else to it,” he adds. “It’s literally just that.” When it comes to his “personal relationship” with founder Hubbard, Masterson candidly added: “He’s a f–king guy who wrote awesome s–t that I love studying.”
“You will not find a Scientologist who does not f–king hate psychiatrists,” he sounded off. “Because their solution for mental and spiritual problems is drugs. So let’s talk about putting a Band-Aid on something that’s just going to get worse and worse and worse…[where as] Scientology handles those things, those mental problems that people have. It gets rid of them. It gets rid of them by that person doing it for themselves. That’s the solution to depression, not f–king Prozac.”
The interview with the magazine was a first for Masterson, who said he had yet to openly discuss his philosophy before. But it likely won’t be the last.
“I love doing it and have no problem doing it,” he concluded. “I work, I have a family and I’m a spiritual being who likes to understand why things happen in the world and want to learn more so that I can have them not affect me adversely. So if that’s weird, then, well, you can go f—k yourself.”
Well, it’s a little weird when your explanation for those adverse affects is the invisible ghosts of alien spirits who got blown into the atmosphere by Xenu, but point taken. Virgin birth and the spirit of a dead guy inhabiting a cracker aren’t exactly un-far-fetched either. But Going Clear isn’t an exposé of Scientologists’ beliefs, it’s an exposé of their practices. Any rebuttal that doesn’t address that is barely a rebuttal at all.
Then again, it doesn’t sound like he’s actually read the book or seen the movie. I’m not surprised though, I hear Danny Masterson has been like really focused on his music lately.