His superstar status gave Scientology invaluable influence in Hollywood, but with a nasty-looking divorce looming, is Tom Cruise now a liability to the controversial Church?
In an age of Gawker, YouTube and hundreds of anti-cult blogs, all of Hubbard’s revelations – plus allegations of serious financial mismanagement by rogue Scientologists – are available to any would-be recruit with access to the internet Photo: Rex Features
Tom Cruise is 50 years old today. Actors and actresses who trade on their looks rarely enjoy passing this particular milestone, and Cruise has plenty of other reasons to feel miserable.
He’s stuck in rainy Iceland, filming a thriller, while his third wife, Katie Holmes, files for divorce and sole custody of their six-year-old daughter, Suri. At the weekend, his spokesman asked the media to respect the couple’s privacy. The tabloids thought about this for a split second before splashing with “TOM AND KATIE TO DIVORCE – more details pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, 21.”
Why the hysteria? Cruise is one of Hollywood most bankable stars, but he’s in the twilight of his career as a leading man. There used to be rumours that he’s gay, but no one has ever stood them up. If showbusiness reporters wanted to “out” A-list stars, which they don’t, then there are more obvious candidates.
But here’s another headline from yesterday: CULT STALKS KATIE. The “cult” is Scientology, to which Tom Cruise has belonged since his twenties. The headline comes from the Sun, whose owner, Rupert Murdoch, took to Twitter on Sunday to describe the religion as “something creepy, even evil”.
Tom Cruise is not only the world’s most famous Scientologist but also one of its most powerful operatives. Some sources claim he’s Number Two to David Miscavige, the leader of the organisation and best man at his wedding to Holmes.