Arman Ariane: Claremont clothier’s religion, Zoroastrianism, a good fit for Morgan Freeman


May 6, 2016

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A men’s clothier in Claremont was interviewed by Morgan Freeman for his “The Story of God” miniseries, and somehow did not provide him with a coat of many colors.

by David Allen,

The owner of Xerxes for Gents is an adherent of the Zoroastrian religion and chairs the Council on Zoroastrian Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

Freeman did not visit Claremont, darn the luck, but his crew did.

“In the introduction, unless they cut it out, they will show parts of the Claremont Village,” Arman Ariane told me with a chuckle.


Ariane said he was interviewed at the temple in Westminster he attends, as was Professor Gregory J. Riley of the Claremont School of Theology. The episode, the fifth of six, is set to air Sunday on the National Geographic Channel and concerns the existence of Satan. Ariane provides the Zoroastrian perspective.

“It’s going to air in 171 countries in 46 languages,” Ariane said. But who’s counting?

I found out about this from reader Shirley Wofford, who got in a conversation with Ariane and learned of the taping.

Ariane described Zoroastrianism to me as less a religion than a school of thought that has influenced West and East.

“It is more about self and how to make self a better person, so to become more compatible with Mother Nature, which we call Asha,” he explained.

I appreciated the shorthand, because the religion’s Wikipedia page says mystifyingly that it combines “a cosmogonic dualism and eschatalogical monotheism,” and I’m on deadline here.

More lucidly, Freeman said in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph: “It’s one of the ancient philosophies. It is based on three basic tenets: good thoughts, good words, good deeds. That covers pretty much all of us.”

He later told The Blaze that he was surprised in his research that he aligned most with Zoroastrianism. “That kind of shocked me, mainly because I didn’t know anything about it and when I found out about it, I found out I was one of its followers.”

Having delayed long enough, let me get to the question you surely most want answered: What was it like to meet Morgan Freeman?

“He’s got the voice of God,” Ariane quipped. More seriously, he said: “He is a thinker, a researcher, a discoverer. He is just as likable as most people find him to be on the screen.”

Thank God.