You've seen the insane video of Tom Cruise blasting Scientologists with his truth beams. You've heard the rumors. But now, you'll get the full story. Over at the New York Post, Maureen Callahan has a fascinating article about journalist Lawrence Wright's new book about Scientology, called Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. There is a lot about Cruise in the book, partly because he's Scientology's most famous acolyte and partly because he is apparently the second-in-command of the church.
He wasn't just a movie star. He was a transformational leader in a church that claims 8 million members globally, a religious figure with true moral authority and the power to save the planet. Cruise came to believe he had special powers, that he was more equipped to helping a woman suffering postpartum depression than the medical establishment, that addicts would be better off consulting him than in rehab.
[Scientology head David] Miscavige encouraged Cruise's grandiosity. Marty Rathbun said that Miscavige told Cruise that they were among a select group of chosen ones, "big beings" who were destined to meet up with LRH on a planet called "Target Two."
Cruise used his celebrity to lobby Bill Clinton and ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair in pursuit of tax breaks for the church, which ex-members say has at least $1 billion in holdings.
Cruise was elated yet distracted by more earthly concerns. He was openly complaining about his lack of a girlfriend, and so once again Miscavige tasked church members with solving this problem. Cruise himself held auditions at the Celebrity Centre, under the guise of casting for his next "Mission: Impossible" film. On his list: Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Garner, whom he found the most compelling.
Also on his list: Katie Holmes. Researchers on the search for Cruise's next wife had come across a profile of Holmes, in which she spoke of a childhood crush on him.
Their first date was arranged in April 2005. Cruise took her for a night flight over LA in a helicopter stocked with take-out sushi - his typical, over-the-top, getting-to-know-you approach. Two weeks later, Holmes had moved in with him and cut off all contact with her friends and representatives. She was shadowed everywhere. In April 2006, Holmes gave birth to a daughter, Suri, and in November of that year, she and Cruise married . . .
For his part, Cruise believes his true aim in life is to convert all nonbelievers into the church, which, according to Scientology, will result in Earth's salvation. "Look," he said, "I wish the world was a different place. I'd like to go on vacation, and go and romp and play, you know what I mean? But I can't. Because I know. I know. I have to do something about it. You can sit here and wish it was different, but there's that moment where you go, ‘You know, I have to do something. Don't I?'
Apparently Cruise's special powers don't extend to meeting women, since (at least according to Wright's book), the Church of Scientology arranged all his marriages for him. Read the full article over at The New York Post.