Tom Cruise is one of Hollywood’s biggest action stars, but his religious views raised some eyebrows over the years. Can you guess which religion he’s devoted to?
Tom Cruise is a Scientologist. He joined this religious organization in the late ‘80s and became one of its most outspoken advocates in Hollywood. Cruise’s devotion to the Church of Scientology stirred controversy and impacted some of his personal relationships.
What is Scientology?
The Church of Scientology was founded by the science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s and attracted a lot of controversy in the decades to come. Most people are aware that some of Hollywood’s biggest stars follow this system of belief, but what is Scientology all about?
Scientologists believe that a “man is an immortal spiritual being” whose “experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.” Hubbard described Scientology as “the science of knowledge”, but some of its core practices proved to be extremely questionable.
They ask each individual to go through the process of auditing, in order to find the source of their trauma, process it, and work towards a “clear” state of mind. An electronic device called E-meter is used to measure the body’s electric flow as an auditor asks questions in an attempt to examine a person’s mental state.
Scientology’s status as a religion has been disputed, and the medical and scientific community disputed the legitimacy of some of its practices. It’s been especially controversial since it completely rejects psychology and psychiatry, and claims all medical drugs are as disastrous as illegal ones.
Cruise’s Devotion to Scientology
Tom Cruise’s first wife Mimi Rogers introduced him to the Church of Scientology in the late ‘80s, and he’s been an outspoken advocate ever since. The actor repeatedly credited Scientology from helping him cope with a number of personal problems, starting with his dyslexia.
Cruise claimed he used Hubbard’s “Study Technology” to overcome this issue, and later used it to study towards his pilot’s license. He went on to serve on board of the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project (H.E.L.P.) which promotes Hubbard’s study techniques.
Tom Cruise fully embraces Scientology’s anti-psychiatry doctrine and came under fire in 2004 after saying that psychiatry should be outlawed. He made things even worse by criticizing Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants while recovering from postpartum depression, and she described his comments as “a disservice to mothers everywhere.”
Back in 2008, Cruise stirred a lot of controversy after a bizarre video that shows him discussing Scientology leaked online. The Mission Impossible star listed a number of alleged benefits of this belief system and said that Scientologists are capable of bringing peace and uniting cultures.
The Church of Scientology requested for the video to be removed, claiming it has been heavily “pirated and edited”, but the damage has been done. The controversial video can still be found online, and it was viewed by millions of people.
Impact of Scientology on Cruise’s Life
Tom Cruise’s devotion to Scientology didn’t significantly hurt his career, but it’s been rumored that it derailed a number of his personal relationships.
It’s believed that Cruise’s religious beliefs drove a wedge between him and Nicole Kidman, and led to the end of their marriage. The Church leader David Miscavige allegedly wiretapped her phone when it seemed Cruise was considering leaving the organization.
Kidman hasn’t been affiliated with Scientology since their divorce in 2001 and never discussed her experience in detail. Vanity Fair later reported that the organization held audition looking for a suitable girlfriend for Cruise, but they called the story false and threatened to sue the magazine.
Cruise tied the knot with Katie Holmes in 2006, and they welcomed their daughter Suri that same year. They got divorced in 2012, and never publicly discussed their separation, but it’s been speculated that Scientology negatively impacted their marriage.
Insiders claim that Tom Cruise hasn’t seen Suri since 2013, because she’s not being raised as a Scientologist. He’s closer to Isabella and Connor, adopted children from his marriage to Nicole Kidman, because they’re devoted to the same religion.