MovieChat Forums > The Terminal Man (1974) Discussion > The whole movie is basically propaganda ...

The whole movie is basically propaganda for Scientology


There is the obvious "ad" on the radio for Scientology in the movie, but the whole anti-psychiatric plot is typical of Scientology. That's what that end line "They are coming after you next, stop fooling around" or whatever the exact quote was about.

I'm not saying that it's without merit though, because in the 50s and 60s in particular, there were some pretty horific psychiatric practices going on. I just found it interesting the heavy Scientology angle and realized most people would probably miss it.

reply

[deleted]

Absolutely we should trust psychiatry. Once I was crazy and now I am perfectly sane, I tell you; Perfectly sane...

reply

[deleted]

Very interesting take on this movie. I have not seen it, but now I think I might if I can find it. Freaking cults.

reply

I found the Scientology spot very puzzling, and I also suspect there was an agenda there. Of course, in the '70s, Scientology wasn't nearly as scary as we know it to be today – mainly because it was fairly new and connected with much of the consciousness-raising movements of the time.

Whose voice was that in the ad, anyway? It sounded like Casey Kasem from "American Top 40."

As for whether this whole film was propaganda for Scientology, I'm not so sure. It certainly frowns on psychiatry, but what alternatives does it offer?

reply

Isn't the point though that the 'life control' which Scientology purports to offer, at least in the spot featured in the film, is just as illusory as the 'control' which the scientists believe they can exert over Harry Benson?

Similarly, the priest's belief in the power of prayer does nothing to save him, or Benson for that matter.

reply

Good point. I didn't see Scientology as offering any alternative to cure Harry Benson of his violent tendencies, just as the science wasn't working. (Why exactly do Scientologists take "science" as their root word, anyway? Their beliefs do not appear to be based on science, or at least respected science. I suspect it's for credibility.)

Really, that radio spot may have been added post-production by someone with an agenda ... or not. I just don't know. I wish someone could explain how and why it came to be used in this film.

reply

wtf??



When there's no more room in hell, The dead will walk the earth...

reply

I disagree that the film is anti-psychiatry. One of the most sympathetic characters in it is the humanitarian psychiatrist played by Joan Hackett. The doctors and scientists are frequently portrayed as being smug and overly worshipful of their procedures. She has doubts from the off that the surgery will work.

reply

Scientology is just another system of mind control, and I think the film uses the spot to make us realize that medicine is not the only thing that can dangerously attempt to force a standard of behavior. Thus it is a bit of sarcastic needling, not an endorsement.
--------------------------------------------
If there were reason for these miseries,
Then into limits could I bind my woes.

reply

The Church is notorious for being lawsuit happy and would have sued the filmmakers if they didn't want it in there. It's extremely prominent, and the Church from the beginning had wired itself into Hollywood, so no way it's not product placement. Maybe misguided, but still intentional.

reply

I agree with the poster that identified this as part of the early 70s 'zeitgeist' regarding mind control, psychiatry, and mental illness. If it was an intentional jab at Scientology it was incredibly shrewd, since as yet there has been no protest from the organization.

reply

You don't have to be a scientologists to view this industry with appropriate suspicion.

reply