The Master

 September 14, 2012

Throughout the build-up to The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson has been adamant that his movie about the charismatic founder of a new religion in the wake of World War II was not explicitly about Scientology. So here's the film's final trailer to reiterate just how not about Scientology it is. Over various scenes of Joaquin Phoenix's alcoholic drifter acting out, Philip Seymour Hoffman's not-L. Ron Hubbard evokes The Elephant Man by declaring, "Man is not an animal," suggesting instead that the human body is a vessel for something otherworldly, and that man must use the power of his mind to unlock and use it to his advantage. (Dianetics, page 28…) Soon, a Doubting Thomas expresses concerns that what Hoffman is talking about is "the basis of a cult;" Hoffman's son, played by Jesse Plemons, further scoffs that his dad is "making it all up as he goes along." Hoffman's wife, played by Amy Adams, pledges to attack aggressively anyone who scrutinizes their religion. So for the last time, any resemblance to the origins, basic tenets, actions, or criticisms of the Church of Scientology is clearly coincidental. And hey, Hoffman hasn't said anything about spaceships or volcanoes yet… 

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