Sunday 8 July 2012
Crackpot cult leader Hubbard was the third person in TomKat's marriage
Actress's fears daughter would be 'brainwashed' by Scientology seem well founded, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
THERE were three in the marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes -- and no, I'm not referring to John Travolta, despite fevered speculation that he and Cruise are secret lovers. Listen, you evangelical gays, women are sick and tired of your insistence that any good-looking man claiming to be straight is really in the closet. Get over it.
The late ghastly crackpot L Ron Hubbard and his earthly minions, however, have been ever-present in the Cruise-Holmes relationship from the moment when she agreed to undergo brainwashing -- sorry, enlightenment -- so she could be a suitable wife to Scientology's poster-boy.
Tom is so senior in the cult that he is thought to be in possession of its most advanced revelations about Xenu, the tyrannical ruler of the Galactic Confederacy, who has a starring role in the hogwash invented by Hubbard to gain control of vulnerable people and extract money from them.
About 75 million years ago, Xenu transported billions of people to Earth and stacked them in spacecraft around volcanoes where bombs were then set off. Then the Thetans -- who are "individualised expression of the cosmic source, or life force" -- clung to the survivors and began their cycle of being reincarnated, or "assumed" into new bodies.
Enough already! I can't take any more of this drivel. Look up Wikipedia for yourself if you're curious.
The key point about Scientology is that it targets troubled people, persuades them that psychiatry is evil and promises to heal them though spiritual rehabilitation which will put them in touch with their true selves. Through counselling, study courses and prescribed reading, which require generous donations, these victims are drawn little by little but steadily into the net.
Katie was 27 and a successful actress when she began dating 44-year-old global heart-throb Tom and agreed to swap Catholicism for Scientology.
She would have gone through the process of auditing -- that is, answering questions with a view to having her brain cleansed of trauma and negativity -- with the help of a counsellor and an E-meter, which is a kind of lie-detector. They married in 2006; she had given birth to Suri earlier that year. There has been much criticism of her from celebrity-watchers because Suri has a multi-million-dollar wardrobe and has often been spotted wearing heels and lipstick. However we now learn that in Scientology a child is simply a man or woman who hasn't yet attained full growth and so should be treated just like an adult. Tom treated her that way: Katie wanted her to be a child.
Tom had an abusive father, disrupted schooling and was much bullied, so one can see why emotional demons might have made Scientology attractive to him. Katie comes from a stable family and is well-educated, so it's hardly surprising that she began to chafe against the nonsense within a few years.
Tom was, allegedly, a control-freak, there were rows over how Suri should be educated and Katie stopped going to her Scientology classes. The speculation is that what made her sue for divorce was that Suri was shortly expected to have her first audit and answer such questions as "What has somebody told you not to tell?" or "Do you have a secret?"
Tom has joint custody of the two children he adopted with Nicole Kidman, a Catholic who didn't want them raised as Scientologists. However, both are members of the cult and have little to do with their mother.
Katie was fortunate to have a father who is a divorce lawyer and knew his way around. Hence, instead of staying in kooky California, where Scientology is respectable, she high-tailed it to New York, where they think it's weird, to ask for sole custody of her daughter. She is now said to be under observation by members of Sea Org, the cult's uniformed military corps.
Last night by chance at a dinner I sat beside an ex-Scientologist who told me his estranged wife was still a member and he was trying to get access to his daughter. "I get to see her once a week," he said, "and it has to be in public. There are always at least two men in white shirts and uniform trousers sitting close by."
Rupert Murdoch, whose son Lachlan Tom Cruise once tried to recruit, tweeted last week that Tom was either second or third in the hierarchy. "Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people."
He's right. This is a greedy, controlling, secretive multinational corporation that uses the money it extracts from the gullible to buy the lawyers and thugs who intimidate and threaten its critics. Read all about its Irish activities and you'll be cheering Katie on.
Ruth Dudley Edwards