The most recent celebrity to be exposed regarding controversial religious ties is actor Mel Gibson. He is involved in a schismatic “Catholic” group that considers the official Roman Catholic Church, not “Catholic enough,” reports the New York Times.
Gibson’s group rejects modern changes in the church since the second Vatican Council.
Another example of such a group would be the Society of St. Pius X, though it seems to be considerably more moderate than Gibson’s church and the more radical, schismatic group called “The Apostles of Infinite Love.”
Gibson’s father raised his family within this rather strange religious milieu and apparently deeply indoctrinated his children.
His father bragged in a recent interview, ”Mel wasn’t raised in the [official Roman Catholic Church], and he wouldn’t go for it anymore than I would. I’ve got to say that my whole family is with me — all 10 of them.’
The elder Gibson also discussed his belief in various conspiracy theories, which seems to include anti-Semitic themes such as worldwide Jewish plots. He also denies the Holocaust and sees Hitler in a somewhat softer light than history.
Now Mel Gibson is putting up the money to match his mindset and has spent $25 million dollars on an unusual film project. He is producing a movie about the death of Jesus with all the dialogue spoken in the languages of Aramaic and Latin.
Reportedly the film will reflect anti-Jewish sentiments, regarding who is to blame for the death of Jesus.
No doubt the elder Gibson and others on the religious fringe will be happy to see the film released, but it seems destined for a very small audience. It certainly won’t be another “Braveheart.”
Mel Gibson’s commitment to this film seems to reflect his early and intense indoctrination, rather than any business savvy or artistic interest.
However, it should be understood that Gibson, like other children raised within controversial religious groups, had no choice. His parents instead made that choice for him.
In this sense he is not unlike Lisa Marie Presley, who was raised as a Scientologist by her mother.
The actor River Phoenix spent his early childhood within a group called the “Children of God.” And not unlike many other young people with that background he turned to alcohol and drugs, which led to his tragic death at 26.
But none of these celebrities actually initially chose their religion. And the likable Gibson is just one more example of this reality.
Of course parents rarely give children the option of choosing a church, but most kids are lucky enough to have less controversial and perhaps more benign choices made for them.