The Not-So-Magical Magic Kingdom

Let’s start with a little history. In 1996, Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC Inc. and rebranded the holding media conglomerate as Disney-ABC Television Group. At that time ABC owned 37 1/2% of the shares of the Arts and Entertainment (A&E) network and it came under the umbrella of this group at that time. Since then Disney and the Hearst Corporation became 50-50 joint venture partners in A&E.

The Disney Corp’s revenue was $18.5 billion from its theme parks and resorts in 2017. Guess where they made the most income? Its media and networks brought in $23.5 billion last year.

And who is the biggest advertising spender on their media outlets, including A&E? Well, that would be Big Pharma.

Pharma spent 3.5 billion dollars advertising its merchandize in various media outlets last year and is set to spend even more this year.

And who is one of the biggest thorns in the side of Big Pharma? Might it be CCHR, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights sponsored by the Church of Scientology that exposes the dangers of its merchandize to the public?

Why “family friendly” Disney would risk its reputation by sponsoring a hate show against a religious group begins to make sense when you measure it against the reward that would be obtained if it could destroy a group that was causing pain to one of its major income sources.

What Disney does not understand is that while they may consider Scientology to be a mere fly in the ointment of their financial power, this religion continues to expand its own considerable reach and influence.

What frustrates Disney and has frustrated every detractor since 1950 is the fact that Scientology has no other interest than to provide the individual with the knowledge necessary to make a better life for himself and all his fellows. Disney could hardly envisage that anyone or any institution could have such an altruistic purpose.

All the magic in the Magic Kingdom cannot hide the real motivation behind Disney’s attempt to stop a religion that simply will not be stopped.

John Pantermuehl
Husband, father, grandfather. Reflections on 50 years loving life, friends and family as a Scientologist.