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Home > Culture and Society

Michael, Michael, Michael. You've done it again.

Like flies round a turd (or turds round a fly?) the Scientologists always seem to crop up when celebrity money is sloshing around...

13 November 2003

Whenever you're looking at someone who's involved with some flannel-merchants, the question you have to ask, but often can't answer is: Is this guy a shyster, or is he just nutso?

You may have heard about Michael's charity single, 'What more can I give?'. His old track that wasn't good enough to be a b-side, that's now being asked to try and cure child poverty / illiteracy / malaise?

Well, it's available for download now, featuring contributions from Beyonce, Shakira, Usher, Celine, Gloria and other people who can be identified by a single name. Also Hanson, who it's a shame aren't participating in the forthcoming Marilyn Manson / Shirley 'Garbage' Manson collaboration.

And you're guaranteed that 'a portion of all proceeds' will find its way to some Designated Charities. Like the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation. And The International Child Art Foundation. And The Church Of Scientology.

Well, not officially. But the official website, http://wwwwhatmorecanigive.com, was registered by a senior parishioner of the Church, and had a link to HELP, an organisation aimed at improving child literacy by encouraging children to read the turgid ramblings of Chief Dead Scientologist L. Ron Hubbard. Michael's people insist that this was all carried out by his employee Valerie B. Whalin without his say-so.

Oops. Clear Channel, who also employ Val, have denied that the single may as well carry a sticker saying '23c from your purchase will go towards efforts to revive L. Ron's corpse using the power of positive Engrams'.

And so the question comes up: shyster or buffoon? This time, though, the answer is a cakewalk. It might help to imagine yourself in the position of a superstar whose ex-wife has suggested that you divorced because you weren't Scientological enough for her. Who knows that people are going to leap on your back every time you do anything slightly smelly.

If you wanted to support the confusing and profitable activities of a hated organisation, what would you do? Would you send them some gold and cheques and Bentleys from your personal fortune? Or would you publicly declare that you were releasing a single to fund one of its subsidiaries, then hastily remove all references to this from your website in a fit of embarrassment?

Sadly, it looks like Michael, as he was in the Bashir interview is not a sneaky villain but just a mentally-ravaged man surrounded by an army of loon-users.

The silly old sod.



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