Idol Chatter

While most recently associated with a certain couch-jumping movie star, Scientology has had a long history of recruiting celebrities. But now the L.A.-based religion is turning its sights to the massive demographics of NASCAR, which has, as of a 2004 estimate, 75 million religiously fervent followers. The Associated Press reports that “Kenton Gray, a 35-year-old Californian, will attempt to make the field for a late model race Saturday night at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway” in a Ford Taurus sponsored by Bridge Publications, publishers of “Dianetics.”

But Gray’s car is not just a blank billboard–he’s a believer and success story and hopes to spread the word to those at the motorway. “Dianetics is a book that helped me in many ways since I first read it many years ago,” Gray said in a statement released to the AP. “It helped me get better control over the obstacles I had to get through to reach goals I was passionate about. It’s a great honor to have a sponsor relationship that’s so directly related to my making it this far.”

Having religious imagery on a NASCAR vehicle isn’t something new. Driver Bobby Labonte plastered an advert for “The Passion of the Christ” on his car, but Lord only knows how many bad jokes will be made if a Viagra-sponsored auto and the “Dianetics” car–with it’s exploding volcano–ever take the same track.

In other Scientology-related news, it seems that outspoken liberal comedienne and Air America radio host Janeane Garofalo has alienated her co-host of “Majority Report,” Sam Seder. Often cynical and subversive in her stand-up routine, the star of “The Truth about Cats and Dogs” and “Mystery Men” has in the past few months been seemingly endorsing, on her show, a controversial Scientology detox program for NYC firefighters who were involved in 9/11 cleanup. According to’s “The Scoop,” Garofalo and Seder recently “had a heated argument over her continued promotion of [the program], that ended with Seder storming off the set.”

Perhaps, Janeane should take the motto of her political-action group to heart and just Move On before she losses her comic cred.

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