A special essay from Terra Cognita for the holidays.
For any unfamiliar with Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” I include a synopsis from Wikipedia at the end of this post.
A Very Scientology Christmas Carol
David Miscavige would make the perfect Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dicken’s, A Christmas Carol. L.Ron Hubbard would of course play the part of Jacob Marley, his deceased business partner who comes back to haunt him.
I cast Mike Rinder to play the Ghost of Christmas Past; Tony Ortega to play the Ghost of Christmas Present; and Leah Remini to play Ms. Christmas Yet to Be.
A slightly hunched over Guilluame Lesevre will make the perfect Bob Cratchit. Karen De La Carriere will play his wife. A young Chris Shelton has been cast as their son, Tiny Tim.
The Ghost of Christmas Past:
Imagine Mike dressed in Victorian garb visiting DM late one night at the beginning of their journey through the past. We see DM as a boy playing catch with his dad back in some small coal mining community; sitting around the dinner table with his brother and sisters; doing chores around the house; contributing to the happiness and well being of those around him.
Flash forward several years to Davy’s dad reading a new book, Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health. In no time, Davy grows six inches—make that two—has donned the dress whites of the Commodore Messenger Org and is serving on an old date plantation in the California desert running errands for the very author of that book.
At first, Davy reveres the man. As the years wear on, though, the old man deteriorates and the abuses mount. Slowly, Davy takes on the stripes of a suppressive.
Late one night, we see Davy studying one of the old man’s seminal essays on the responsibility of leaders. More years fly by and Davy amasses more and more power, all the while sloughing off his friends, family, and colleagues.
In one scene we catch him jumping over his desk and wrapping his hands around the neck of a cowed junior. In another, we see him signing an executive memo ordering all staff to work through the holidays.
In the final scene of Christmas Past, Mike leads Davy to an old double-wide building on the edge of a California desert. They hear music and peer through a cloudy window. A cadre of half-starved, degraded staff are running around a row of chairs. The music suddenly stops and the people lunge for an open seat…
DM wakes up in his bed in a cold sweat.
The Ghost of Christmas Present:
In the next scene, we see DM sitting behind an enormous desk. Stacks of thick ledger books border both sides. A half-empty bottle of Scotch stands like a sentry guarding one stack. A half-eaten plate of surf-and-turf rests beside the other. A computer monitor sits in the middle, its screen divided into sixteen windows, each showing the latest financial statement from banks spread across the world. Tony stands to one side, smiling down at the small man greedily tapping numbers into a calculator.
Tony waves a finger and the image on the monitor changes from numbers to a half dozen men and women in blue coveralls scrubbing dumpsters behind a large, multi-story blue building. DM leans back in his chair and cringes.
Tony waves his finger a second time and the outdoor scene is replaced by a room crowded with men and women afflicted by old age and disease. DM recognizes them all. A single, caregiver sits downstairs watching a soap opera on TV. None of the people upstairs have long to live.
Tony waves his finger a third time. Three sheriff deputies shift from foot to foot in front of a man standing in the doorway of a modest bungalow in a suburban neighborhood. The document the man is reading states he has until the end of the day to vacate the premises of the house he and his family have called home for the last thirty years. Just inside the door, hanging on the wall is a plaque from the International Association of Scientologists commending the man for having donated a million dollars to helping save the planet.
Tony waves his finger again and the picture on the monitor changes to a mother and father standing in front of a Christmas tree wondering whether or not to put out a present for their son in the Sea Org—who they haven’t seen in fifteen years. The woman is crying; the man stares stoically into the tree’s branches.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:
DM is woken once again, this time by a woman wrapped in a woolen shawl. She stretches out her hand and says, “Come with me.”
DM pushes back the covers and hesitantly reaches out to Leah. The moment his hand touches hers, he’s whisked away to street corner in Asuncion, Paraguay. He knows he’s in the capital because he tried to open an Org there many years ago.
“Many Nazis fled here after World War II,” Leah says.
DM cringes. “No, please. I don’t even speak Spanish.”
Leah smiles. “As you wish.”
The next instant, the two are standing on Cleveland Street in Clearwater, Florida in front of two large buildings connected by a walkway four or five stories up. Men on scaffolding are polishing a new sign over the structure on the right. “Walmart Superstore” it reads.
“No…wait…this can’t be,” DM said. “What happened?”
The ghost of Christmas Yet to Come smiles and waves a hand and instantaneously DM is sitting in the gallery of a large courthouse. The Washington Monument stands proudly outside one of the tall windows covering the wall on the left.
The Chief Justice clears his throat and says, “And finally, I declare that all assets belonging to the Church of Scientology, the IAS, Author Services, the Religious Trust, and all other legal and verified subsidiaries shall be placed in receivership under a jurisdiction as yet to be determined.”
DM turns to Leah, “What about the Freewinds?”
“After all the countries in the Caribbean banned the ship—something about blue asbestos—it hit an iceberg and sank while on its way to Patagonia.”
“And St. Hill?”
“East Grinstead townspeople rioted and burned it down.”
Before he can finish, Leah waves her hand and DM awakens from his bed in Hollywood. He glances at the calendar on the wall. It’s Christmas day.
He throws back the blanket, jumps out of bed, and grabs a copy of Introduction to Scientology Ethics from the bookshelf. Five minutes later, he assigns himself the condition of Confusion.
Two hours after moving on up to Treason, he hands a single sheet of paper over to a messenger and says, “BPI. Now.”
The bug-eyed girl rushes out of his office, barely trusting the declaration of amnesty in her hands.
Two days later, the IAS is disbanded and a special task force composed of ex-church members is assembled to distribute all the money it’s collected over the years. Later that day, DM declares that all Ideal Orgs shall open their doors to the homeless if temperatures dip below sixty-five degrees. Or if they’re hungry. By the end of the week, he disbands Able, Narconon, Wise, and all other ancillary Scientology organizations.
As for Guillaume and family, they moved to France and opened a small restaurant in Brittany. Karen runs the front of the house and Chris runs the kitchen after having graduated first in his class from Le Cordon Bleu.
Still not Declared,
A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843. A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.
Dickens was inspired to write the story following a visit to the Field Lane Ragged school, one of several establishments for London’s half-starved, illiterate street children. The treatment of the poor and the ability of a self-interested man redeeming himself by transforming into a more sympathetic character are the key themes of the story.
Dickens divided the book into five chapters:
- The story begins on a cold and bleak Christmas Eve in London, seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge, an old miser, hates Christmas and refuses an invitation to Christmas dinner from his nephew Fred. He turns away two men who seek a donation from him in order to provide food and heating for the poor, and only grudgingly allows his overworked, underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, Christmas Day off with pay to conform to the social custom. At home that night, Scrooge is visited by Marley’s ghost, who wanders the Earth, entwined by heavy chains and money boxes, forged during a lifetime of greed and selfishness. Marley tells Scrooge that he has one chance to avoid the same fate: he will be visited by three spirits and he must listen to them or be cursed to carry chains of his own, much longer than Marley’s chains.
- The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of Scrooge’s boyhood and youth, reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. The boyhood scenes portray Scrooge’s lonely childhood, his relationship with his beloved sister Fan, and a Christmas party hosted by his first employer, Mr. Fezziwig, who treated Scrooge like a son. They also portray Scrooge’s neglected fiancée Belle, who ends their relationship after she realises that Scrooge will never love her as much as he loves money. Finally, they visit a now-married Belle with her large, happy family on a recent Christmas Eve.
- The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner and celebrations of Christmas in a miner’s cottage and in a lighthouse. Scrooge and the ghost also visit Fred’s Christmas party. A major part of this chapter is taken up with Bob Cratchit’s family feast and introduces his youngest son, Tiny Tim, a happy boy who is seriously ill. The spirit informs Scrooge that Tiny Tim will die soon unless the course of events changes. Before disappearing, the spirit shows Scrooge two hideous, emaciated children named Ignorance and Want. He tells Scrooge to beware the former above all and mocks Scrooge’s concern for their welfare.
- The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge a Christmas Day in the future. The ghost shows him scenes involving the death of a disliked man. The man’s funeral will only be attended by local businessmen if lunch is provided. His charwoman, his laundress, and the local undertaker steal some of his possessions and sell them to a fence. When Scrooge asks the ghost to show anyone who feels any emotion over the man’s death, the ghost can only show him the pleasure of a poor couple in debt to the man, rejoicing that his death gives them more time to put their finances in order. After Scrooge asks to see some tenderness connected with any death, the ghost shows him Bob Cratchit and his family mourning the passing of Tiny Tim. The ghost then shows Scrooge the man’s neglected grave, whose tombstone bears Scrooge’s name. Sobbing, Scrooge pledges to the ghost that he will change his ways to avoid this outcome.
- Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning a changed man. He spends the day with Fred’s family and anonymously sends a large turkey to the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner. The following day he gives Cratchit an increase in pay and becomes like another father to Tiny Tim. From then on Scrooge begins to treat everyone with kindness, generosity and compassion, embodying the spirit of Christmas.