Monday, December 15, 2003

Lauryn Hill Attacks Vatican

Delectable former Fugee Lauryn Hill, the demure little songbird that inspired a million crushes (The Corsair scribler's heart included), made a somewhat strange, but not totally off-the-mark criticism of Vatican child sex abuse policy at a benefit for that organization where she herself was scheduled to perform.

A few Italian newspapers yesterday ran translations of Hill's English statement. She is quoted as saying there is "no acceptable explanation for defending the church."

"I realize some of you may be offended by what I'm saying, but what do you say to the families who were betrayed by the people in whom they believed?" La Republica newspaper, quoted Hill.

Those quotes would not sound so odd if the fog surrounding Lauryn Hill's own strange religion weren't so thick. Thicker than a Haitian Lambi en Sauce, toujours la?

Towering cumulous clouds surround the petite former Fugee in the form of her very own religious guru, Brother Anthony, who is regarded by many in the music press and hip hop community as a dangerous svengali who has salted the songbirds tail. The Corsair tends to have a problem with religious gurus named "Brother Anthony" that keep their charges in isolation ... it just doesn't sound kosher; it sounds voodoo. It also sounds a bit pimpy as Lauryn has several dozen million dollars.

Lauryn's got a cult-like attatchment to Brother Anthony that kind of reminds me of Tootie Ramsey's intense passion for Jermaine Jackson in the "very special" Facts of Life episode Star Struck, where Edna Garrett gave an incoherent speech about how girls go crazy over musicians. I never did get the meaning of that episode ...

Anyhoo: about Brother Anthony:

"I don't speak about him publicly," Hill told MTV Online, "because he is a good friend of mine. He's not an ambitious person. He just shares, and people want truth. I believe God will make a way and he is going to identify [the man] ... I saw somebody living what he was saying. It wasn't a bunch of jargon. His life was a living testimony of faith and of passion and systematic rebellion ..."

In Toure's infamous -- smouldering, really --2003 Rolling Stone expose of Hill, he wrote:

"In 2000, Hill became close with Brother Anthony, a shadowy spiritual adviser, then abruptly fired her management team and the people around her. In 2001, she recorded her MTV Unplugged 2.0. Few bought the album, but many talked about how she could be heard on the record breaking down in tears and saying, 'I'm crazy and deranged. . . . I'm emotionally unstable,' and repeatedly rejecting celebrity and the illusions that make it possible. 'I used to get dressed for y'all; I don't do that anymore,' she said on the album. 'I used to be a performer, and I really don't consider myself a performer anymore. . . . I had created this public persona, this public illusion, and it held me hostage. I couldn't be a real person, because you're too afraid of what your public will say. At that point, I had to do some dying.'"

It continues (Corsair is munching on pocorn, eyes stuck on the screen):

"'Brother Anthony was definitely on some other shit,' Pras says. 'I had a tape of [his teachings]. That shit is ill. Fucked me up. I can't really explain it. It was some weird shit, man. It was some real cult shit. When I heard the tape, I couldn't believe that this dude was really serious. He was sayin', 'Give up all your money.' I don't know if that meant 'Give it to me' or whatever, but on the tape he said, 'Money doesn't mean anything.' "

Seth Fenn has responded to the RS article. Ms. Hill�s production coordinator, Fenn's job, "which included everything from organizing auditions, handling logistics, and managing studio inventory. I also helped her design her own personal studio and occasionally would even watch her kids."

On Brother Anthony, Fenn writes: "A lot was made of the Brother Anthony bible studies and the brainwashing effect on Ms. Hill. Aside from the inaccuracy of the suggested 3-times-a-week lessons (it was my job to drive Brother Anthony from the airport and I did this once a week), we�re talking bible study here! That�s it! Since when is it a bad thing, or a crazy thing to want to explore the teachings of God?! Ms. Hill is her own woman and does what she wants to do. She was not brainwashed into anything!"

Okay, fellow Raelian!

But seriously, its not the once a week bible sessions that bother The Corsair so much, it's that whole MTV Unplugged 2.0 album with "only three chords being played on every song;" it's that whole breaking off from old friends; it's that whole Columbia has cut off her recording budget; it's that whole "quoting Scripture, fanatically religious" -- knowwhatImean?

Please come back to earth Laurence Hill (oh, that Sir Paul McCartney, what a pip!), we miss you.


Anonymous said...

I'll say this, I've read and listened to lauryn for a long time. She's not crazy, she's blessed beyond measure. Our world is so perverted with everyday things. Its rare that some hear the voice of God and respond. What she has is a relationship with God.

I too have cut off friends, but it was because they were a hinderance. From what Pras and Wyclef are talking, i wouldve booted them too.

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