Hollywood: Stumbling Block for the Soul

How Hollywood arrests the development of human potential. Hollywood is damaging humanity far more than we realise.

Zoom in on Los Angeles: See a city rampant with envy and malice, where cash is king, where each person fixates on the care and grooming of his own ego. See the world’s densest population of cosmetic surgery and liposuction clients, faces stretched into parchment grimaces. See the slavering devotion to stardom by its cult following, and hear the lies of cowards. See the brutal violence in slums ruled by gangs, and hear faked moans emanate from collagen-injected lips, where porn is mass-produced on an assembly line. See the unabashedly self-absorbed hunt for a slice of what heaven is believed to be: fame, celebrity, status, wealth. The City of Angels, decayed into a city of castaways and in thrall to profit—lifeless, meaningless, and eternally self-obsessed.

And this monstrous metropolis is today’s Olympus of the Gods! People yearn to be in this horrifying city, a destination in the dreams of millions throughout the world!

Something must be rotten on planet Earth, if mankind thinks this desert—this barren, soulless city of illusions—is all there is: a Promised Land, where ultimate happiness can be found.

Hollywood: The Bad Dream Factory

Hollywood itself created this grotesque deception. Because Hollywood destroys people’s dreams, and injects them with false hopes. Every human being is born into this world with his or her own individual “dream”, a unique, divine blueprint of what he could become. His purpose in life is to live out this plan. Whether that means being a deep-sea researcher or devoted mother, farmer or teacher, tradesman or senior manager, a person should dedicate him- or herself to the earnest pursuit of this dream, because therein lies the greatest fulfilment. Yet Hollywood, with its cult of stars, has created a glittery world that captures the attention of many minds at an early age. So the girl who might have become a kindergarten teacher instead decides she wants to be a model—only to wind up a drug addict, ultimately discarded by an artificial world that just wants bodies, not real persons. In the words of Octavio Paz, “In the past, people had vision. We have television.”

Hollywood’s cult of stars puts the idea in many people’s heads that an anonymous life without celebrity—in other words, real life—is a failed existence, a banishment to a deserted, lonely isle. And people, therefore, will do everything possible to get at least fifteen minutes of fame, which they believe will make them immortal and give them a reason to live. Like moths to the flame, the light of fame beckons them to the new heaven on earth—no matter that it frequently leads people onto false and lonely paths instead of toward happiness and inner peace. Because the celebrity will one day come to the painful realisation that the “love” one gets from millions of fans is stifling, not fulfilling—and indeed no substitute for the self-love that he or she (perhaps) never developed within.

Hollywood gives human emotions an adrenaline rush. Only powerful thrills lure people into the cinema—so audiences are boosted with a mixture of love and pain, horror and violence, terror and deliverance. The viewer’s emotional life becomes addicted to these excesses. True happiness, however, can only be found when an individual experiences a steady infusion of good emotion. Yet getting the emotional body calm enough to express such positive feelings is as daunting a task as helping a drug addict to kick the habit. Because of the addiction, an emotional existence without the rush seems unbearably dull. All the more so, because Hollywood does everything to rob the individual of his soul—indeed more—so that it can get him to forget about the divine spark within. Hollywood’s goal is for the individual to be fixated on his external appearance, searching incessantly for pleasure and distraction (which his emotion­­­al body craves with now-unbridled passion). Everything is done to keep him from taking the inner journey, to keep him from discovering that he is not just an empty jar to be filled with whatever passes by, but is rather filled deep within with brilliant gems—eternal and indestructible—just waiting to be found and to shine forth the light that lives within.

Hollywood doesn’t just propagate immorality—the smartest wins, by whatever means—and it’s not just a place that constantly ridicules Christian values—by portrayals of moronic priests and long tirades of anti-Christian swearwords—it is also the one place in the world where the most lies are told. To quote the respected Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung: “People lie in the film industry. David Shaw (media critic for the Los Angeles Times) described the phenomenon as the ‘culture of dishonesty.’ Film studio representatives freely admit that they lie. A few even boast about not telling the truth. Lies are told about film production costs and the box-office take, job offers, layoffs, flops made by colleagues, and business partnerships that disintegrate. Rumours are spread that can ruin a competitor’s career, even if they are usually proven to be falsehoods later on. Experienced Hollywood reporters are unanimous that not even Washington tells as many lies”—a view entirely consistent with the disclosure that Hollywood invents fictitious film critics, who then publish adulatory reviews about mediocre films.