The Master Screenplay: Scientology History from Several Different Eras Skillfully Woven Together - 2012-07-23
Hoffman gets his LRH on. On Thursday, Marc Headley settled things once and for all. In a story he wrote for The Daily Beast, he showed conclusively that Paul Thomas Anderson's script for The Master is about almost nothing but Scientology, providing 22 direct comparisons as proof.
Marc did a great job showing some of the parallels between the script and Scientology history. For example: From 1967 to 1975 Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard ran things from a former cattle trawler he refurbished as a yacht and renamed the Apollo; in the script, Lancaster Dodd ("The Master" character, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the film) runs things from a refurbished cattle trawler dubbed the Alatheia.
Now that I've read the script myself, I can say that the parallells go even deeper than Headley indicated, and in this piece I'm going to talk about how not only the names and dates and places in the script echo L. Ron Hubbard's life, but also how the narrative of The Master explores multiple eras of Scientology's history to paint a compelling portrait of Hubbard and his enterprise (but I'll do my best not to spoil the film itself).