One of Hollywood’s most-famous power couples, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, are getting divorced.
That’s a bummer. No one likes to see formerly happy couples break up, especially when kids are involved.
But the news will obviously leave a lot of people asking, “why?”–especially because Holmes’s divorce filing is said to have “blindsided” Cruise.
No one has yet reported the reasons for the breakup. But a lot of people have wondered from the beginning whether religion wouldn’t ultimately get in the way.
Specifically, Tom Cruise’s religion, Scientology, which many outsiders (and some former Scientologists) regard as a cult.
Last year, Lawrence Wright of the New Yorker wrote a devastating expose on Scientology. Given that Scientology will likely be back in the news again in the wake of the Cruise-Holmes news, we’ll again share some highlights.
Wright’s article centres around the story of one of Scientology’s most famous “defectors,” a Hollywood screenwriter named Paul Haggis. It also draws a profile of Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige, who was Tom Cruise’s best man at his wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006.
The article describes how Scientology targets and uses celebrities like Cruise to raise money, recruit adherents, and spread its “technology” (teachings).¬† And it also explains why some of these celebrities, including Cruise, swear by it.
In 1950, Hubbard had published a self-help book called 'Dianetics,' which immediately became a best-seller.
'He offered his findings to the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association but was spurned; he subsequently portrayed psychiatry and psychology as demonic competitors.'
For decades, the resident acting coach there was Milton Katselas, and he taught hundreds of future stars, including Ted Danson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and George Clooney.'
Katselas was paid a 10% commission by the church on any money donated to Scientology by these celebrities.
Paul Haggis, a screenwriter who recently quit Scientology, estimates that he spent $100,000 on the courses required to progress through Scientology's levels, and $300,000 on other Scientology initiatives. Other former Scientologists say the courses can now cost half-a-million dollars
Haggis now calls Scientology a 'cult.'
Scientologists are often forced to 'disconnect' from their families, in order to avoid being suppressed.
The church denies this and says anyone who says otherwise is a liar.
L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986, at the age of 74. Two weeks later, Scientology's new leader appeared...
One Scientologist who says Miscavige assaulted him, Jeff Hawkins, explained to Wright why he didn't call the cops...
Sea Org volunteers say they painted Tom Cruise's motorcycles for him, customised a Ford Explorer for him, and renovated an aeroplane hangar for him
Scientology's top leaders often disappear, usually after running afoul of Miscavige. According to the New Yorker, Miscavige's wife made some decisions Miscavige didn't like. She disappeared.
Paul Haggis eventually quit the church after doing an online investigation into it (basically, he read the articles and and watched the videos that Scientologists aren't supposed to read and watch). Haggis's daughters are gay, and the last straw for him was when the church refused to issue a statement saying it was fine with homosexuality
The reason the church refused to issue this statement, perhaps, is that early versions of L. Ron Hubbard's books described homosexuality as a perversion. The books no longer say this. Church spokesman Tommy Davis says this is because they have now been returned to their original state.
Those are just some of the amazing things you'll learn about Scientology and Tom Cruise in Lawrence Wright's New Yorker article...
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