When I was trained as a journalist, as a race-relations reporter in Nashville covering the end of the civil-rights movement, we were strictly forbidden to use the first-person pronoun. There was kind of an electric charge around it. To come out from hiding and use the word 'I' carried a lot of fright for me.
Hubbard set up the Church of Scientology in Hollywood in 1954 for a reason. He understood that celebrity was increasingly a feature of American public life, and celebrities themselves were going to be worshiped as minor deities were in the ancient world. The idea was: if you could get them, think how many people would follow.
I don't hold America responsible for the largely oppressive governments in the 22 Arab countries. There are repressive Arab governments that are our allies and there are those that are our nominal enemies. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference to what extent we're involved in propping up those governments.
There are many countries where you can only believe more or you can believe less. But in the United States we have this incredible smorgasbord, and it really interests me why people are drawn to one faith rather than another, especially to a system of belief that to an outsider seems absurd or dangerous.