Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 23:30 PM EDT, 3 July 2012
Tom Cruise is an international superstar who is known for his action packed movies. Less well-known is his wife Katie Holmes, who was a burgeoning actor in her own right, but seemed to have lost her professional momentum after her marriage to Cruise.
The dissolution of their marriage if fodder for tabloids the world over, but what is most interesting is the issue of Scientology.
Called a religion by its adherents, it has a dubious history with overtones of ‘cultish’ practices, and is front and center in the melee surrounding the Holmes-Cruise split.
Suri, who is 6, or more specifically, the religious training of their daughter is a point of contention between Holmes and Cruise who is reportedly emphatic that she become an ardent follower of Scientology. The Church of Scientology’ has been clouded in controversy since its inception almost sixty-years ago.
Started by L. Ron Hubbard in Los Angeles in 1954, it was originally based upon a philosophy he developed for psycho therapeutic purposes. Subsequently, Hubbard applied for a tax-exempt status based upon the fact that he now considered his philosophy to be a bona fide religion and the IRS granted the tax-exempt status in 1957.
Though Scientology is clearly a profit driven organization operating under the guise of religion, it leverages big names like John Travolta, Kirstie Allen, Greta Van Susteren, and Tom Cruise, each fervent Scientologists who by virtue of their high profiles lend an air of credibility to what many call a cult. (View A-List Scientologist Here)
In a December 30, 1997 edition of the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth MacDonald, Staff Reporter wrote an informative article about The Church of Scientology. Specifically, she reported on the outcome of a suit which the Scientologist brought against the IRS for questioning its tax-exempt status. They also claimed that they were being harassed and persecuted by the federal government because they were a new religion.
The federal government claimed that founder L. Ron Hubbard and his family were enriching themselves with church funds and was therefore breaking the financial rules and regulations governing tax-exempt, religious organizations.
The courts also noted that the church makes money from the sale of Scientology books and materials, as well as its “sacrament” of “auditing,” in which members generally are required to pay church-trained “auditors” to hook them up to a device that is supposed to purge negative thoughts. (Source: The New York Times)
The Scientologist subsequently lost their suit and had to pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) $12.5 million for operating as a for-profit organization under the guise of providing altruistic spiritual guidance. This was a hefty sum at that time, but the quick payment to the IRS demonstrated the elitist nature of Scientology then as now, because the funds were easily raised by influential, well-heeled members.
“Operation Clambake,” a website dedicated to debunking Scientology as well as educating potential victims; notes that prospective members must be extremely wealthy to gain the ‘full benefits’ of the program. They go on to state that “The official Scientology organization is composed of a number of ‘levels’. One begins as a “preclear” and then you work your way up.
One must purchase virtually every service crucial to advancement directly from the “church” at staggering prices. “Auditing”, for example, is purchased in 12½ hour blocks, costing anywhere from $750 for introductory sessions to between $8,000 & $9,000 for advanced sessions, with a conservative estimate of $380,000 for the total cost of moving up the Scientology hierarchical ladder.” (Source: Zero Cool and Xenu)
There was public speculation at the beginning of the Holmes-Cruise relationship about what role Scientology would play in Holmes’ life and if she would adopt its precepts. She subsequently ‘converted’ and from the outside looking in, it seemed as if Holmes acquiesced to and accepted a lifestyle with which she was never really comfortable.
It is sad to see anyone, particularly a young woman with so much potential, subjugate her career and her will to that of her partner. Cruise, her juggernaut husband, clearly dominated her in every aspect of their life together, which ultimately diminished her youthfulness, joie de vivre and earning capacity.
Holmes is definitely on losing side of a bad proposition, and one can only hope that the tenacity she lacked in protecting herself will once again reassert itself when it comes to protecting her daughter. A mother is capable of incredible sacrifice and strength in the face of adversity when it comes to protecting their children and in the case of Scientology, Suri needs all the protection she can get.Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report
- Katie Holmes Says Church of Scientology Watching Her (fox8.com)
- Katie Holmes faces Tom Cruise, Scientology in custody battle for Suri (vancouversun.com)
- Holmes faces Cruise, Scientology (lfpress.com)
- Katie Holmes fears Scientologists have hired private investigators to spy on her (thesun.co.uk)
- Katie Holmes Doesn’t Want Suri Raised in Scientology? (celebs.gather.com)
- Church of Scientology keeping tabs on Katie? – New York Daily News (nydailynews.com)