Irving Wallace is a name from the past. If you are a Gen-X kid, you may have grown up in a world where every bathroom featured The Book of Lists, Wallace’s book (with kids Amy Wallace and David Wallechinsky—he had to take the old man’s Ellis Island name, huh?) that updated to The Guinness Book of World Records in the hip 70s. Why, just yesterday, before I wrote this article, I posted for friends Irving Wallace’s mind-blowing 1972 movie The Man, in which a fateful plane accident causes president pro tempore of the Senate James Earl Jones to become the President. A black President?! 1972 America’s collective mind is blown. Halfway between the Dr. Strangelove airplane and Darth Vader, JEJ is, of course, a magnificent voice and a majestic avatar of human dignity. Burgess Meredith—you know, Rocky’s trainer—plays the evil sculduggerous Southern teabagger who plots President Vader’s ruin.
Ask a Westerner what most surprised them about their trip to China. If they were not staying in a five-star hotel in a major city on the dime of a major Chinese corporation, most likely you are going to get your ear bent with stories of people spitting on the floor of, not just a public streetcar, but their own bloody offices!...and also of pollution that makes L.A.’s ring-around-the-collar skyline circa the smoggy eighties look like a Rocky Mountain High by contrast. The brute summary is that this place is colossally productive, and also colossally filthy—and unashamed of it.
Leah Remini once believed in it. Tom Cruise still believes in it. The "it" would be the mysterious and sometimes devious Church of Scientology. Unless you are on the inside, the beliefs system of Scientologists is a curious matter. Try as you might to understand it, some things are better left alone. But, if you would like to broaden your horizons and learn a little something something about what all the fuss is about, take a journey into Scientology. Read on and learn 10 things you most likely did not know about the place that John Travolta calls home.