Scientology has Cruise wacky

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2005

I've always liked Tom Cruise, but lately the 42-year-old actor has been in the news more for his erratic behavior than to spotlight his upcoming movie, Steven Spielberg's "The War of the Worlds."

From bouncing like a rabbit on Oprah, all the while professing his love for now-fianc/, doe-eyed Katie Holmes, to last week's intense interview with Today Show host Matt Laeur, Cruise - a Scientologist - appears, with apologies to head banger Ozzy Osbourne, to be 'going off the rails like a crazy train.'

Controversy has never enshrouded Cruise as it has other celebrities. His closest brushes with the tabloids have been mostly from a number of failed marriages, most notably to actress Mimi Rogers and more recently to Oscar winner Nicole Kidman. But Hollywood divorces are as casual - and quick - as your typical high school boy-girl breakup.

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Following a water squirting incident at the London premier of "Worlds," Cruise attended an interview with Laeur. Genuinely happy and excited about his upcoming marriage, Cruise dropped the smiles when Laeur questioned the actor about criticism he'd directed at actress Brook Shields. Shields recently revealed she'd gone into therapy and took anti-depressants to combat postpartum depression.

As an avowed Scientologist, Cruise doesn't believe in the power of pills, specifically the often prescribed drug Ritalin. When Laeur ascertained that he'd known people who'd been helped by Ritalin, Cruise brushed his comments aside.

"Matt, Matt. Matt, you don't even….you're glib. You don't even know what Ritalin is," said Cruise.

He then launched into a tirade against psychiatry.

"Psychiatry is a pseudo-science," he said. "She (Shields) doesn't understand the history of psychiatry. She doesn't understand it in the same way that you don't understand it, Matt."

Cruise has been a devout Scientologist for years. Scientology, started by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard as an 'applied religious philosophy' considers the field of psychology deceptive and barbaric. Hollywood has embraced Scientology with open arms. Noted Scientologists include John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and Jerry Sienfeld. Charles Manson too. The Church of Scientology has flourished over the last 50 years mainly because of donations from celebrities like Cruise.

Scientology enjoys the same religious protection in the United States as Protestants and Catholics, yet controversy surrounding the 'religion' screams 'CULT'. That includes alleged tactics like brainwashing, criminal activity by church members, and deaths of members at the hands of fellow scientologists. 11 high-ranking scientologists, including Hubbard's wife, also infiltrated the Internal Revenue Service in an effort to eliminate reports detrimental to the church.

And yet they continue to win converts.

Holmes, raised in the Catholic Church and school, has converted to Scientology. When Lauer commented on this during his interview with Cruise, he responded:

"Scientology is something you don't understand. It's like you could be a Christian and a Scientologist."

Only Hollywood, Tom. Only in Hollywood

Kevin Pearcey is editor of The Luverne Journal. He can be reached at

335-3541 or

via email at kevin.pearcey@