Scientologists just love copyright laws, because they allow them to demand that YouTube take down their extremely embarrassing internal videos. But when it comes to stealing other people's copyrighted material to make their own motivational cult films—that's different.
This terrifying Scientology motivational video, apparently designed to fire up Las Vegas Celebrity Center staffers to become an "ideal org," encourages members to "play for blood" and wage total war with spears and lasers against psychiatrists and then blast off into space to rid the galaxy of entheta, or something like that. It does so by way of clips from Star Wars, Braveheart, assorted Tom Cruise films, and Independence Day.
We contacted some of the studios that own these films to see how they feel about Scientology using their copyrighted material for weird internal team-building psychiatrist-killing exercises. (We should note that it's not clear from the video, which was leaked to YouTube, just how publicly it was designed to be distributed, so we're not certain that Scientology's use of the clips actually infringed on any copyrights. But given the cult's conservative interpretation of copyright laws in the past, we imagine it would be sensitive to the issues involved.)
A spokesman for Twentieth Century Fox, which owns distribution rights to Lucasfilm's Star Wars series, wasn't aware of the video until we brought it to his attention. "Well, we'd never seen it until you emailed me and didn't authorize it, so we're now investigating with Lucas and will take whatever next steps we have to," he said via e-mail. Not long after, the video was disappeared from YouTube "due to a copyright claim by Lucasfilm Ltd."
UPDATE: The anonymous person who posted the video to YouTube writes:
1 - The video was produced this month as a staff recruitment tool to get people to sign up for staff for the new Celebrity Center that opened in vegas.
2 - The video has never been made public until now.
3 - The video is only shown internally at the Org when some prospect comes into and asks about joining staff.
4 - The video is kept on a DVD that's locked up...when not in use.
[With reporting by Gawker intern Sergio Hernandez.]