Xenu Meets Yakub

Over at The New Republic, Eliza Gray covers the bizarre dalliance between Scientology and Nation of Islam. At first blush, Louis Farrakhan and David Miscavige might seem like strange bed partners. But as Gray explains, it makes some theo-galactic sense:

[T]here are some striking theological overlaps that might help explain how Farrakhan came to adopt a religion invented by a white man. There is, of course, the attachment to science fiction: Scientologists believe in an alien dictator, Xenu; the Nation holds that the white race was created by a mad scientist named Yakub. More significantly, though, at the core of both religions is a never-ending pursuit of a better self. In the case of Scientology, that best self is “clear” of residual traumas buried in the subconscious. In the Nation, that self is free of the hang-ups of white culture that black people have internalized to their detriment. Scientology, Farrakhan seems to believe, provides a new path toward black empowerment. “I’ve found something in the teaching of Dianetics, of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, that I saw could bring up from the depth of our subconscious mind things that we would prefer to lie dormant,” he said to his Chicago congregation in early summer. “How could I see something that valuable and know the hurt and sickness of my people and not offer it to them?”

While it’s easy to dismiss these ideas and organizations as fringe-whack, we should seriously consider the kinds of psychological, social, and historical conditions that make them possible. In the meanwhile, I’m considering the possibility that Venus harbors alien life:

I’m also wondering whether Barbarella would make for a good deity — her credits are impressive:

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