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“He would roll his eyes and say, ‘Jeez, can you believe it?’”
September 28, 2012 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Cruise post-Cruz was apparently tired of having ... ecclesiastical pillow fights interfere with his sex life: he needed a devout Scientologist to sleep with. Thus began an elaborate auditioning process ... to find him a drop-dead-beautiful true believer to share his life
Maureen Orth charts the rise—and fall—of a celebrity marriage.

[Previously 1, 2, 3, 4]
posted by Sonny Jim (95 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Some of the sourcing for this seems opaque or dodgy, but here's something that got past the New Yorker legal department/fact checkers that echoes how crazytown Miscavige, and Sea Org, is.
posted by availablelight at 8:22 AM on September 28, 2012


Everytime I read a scientology article I get bored and pissed off at the same time and never finish the damned things.
posted by Xurando at 8:29 AM on September 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


Bronson Pinchot on Tom Cruise
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 AM on September 28, 2012 [25 favorites]


I liked the detail of Katie's multi-volume pre-nup.

I think Suri will be all right.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:33 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This all assumes that Tom's wife isn't really just a Beard.
posted by MikeWarot at 8:34 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's funny that, though people think of Scientology as being helped by its celebrity influence, it's probably the fact that they are so starstruck as to jump at Tom Cruise's every whim* that will probably bring it down even faster.

* Even if this story isn't true, the jumping, I'm sure about.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:35 AM on September 28, 2012


I guess what I meant was that crazy ass cults that damage 'regular' people all the time don't get Vanity Fair write ups.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:35 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This all assumes that Tom's wife isn't really just a Beard.

" I wish! If I were gay there'd be no problem. No, what I have is a romantic abnormality. One so unbelievable that it must be hidden from the public at all costs."
posted by The Whelk at 8:38 AM on September 28, 2012 [36 favorites]


I read the Vanity Fair story earlier this week. I still prefer New York magazine's An Inquiry Into the Very Public Private Marriage of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise.

Also interesting to note that Vanity Fair was the lucky winner of the Cruise family photo shoot on which we all finally laid eyes on Suri. How times have changed.
posted by purpleclover at 8:40 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, and the New York mag story I just linked has a somewhat convincing skepticism about the gay rumors.
posted by purpleclover at 8:41 AM on September 28, 2012


The Whelk: "Bronson Pinchot on Tom Cruise"

That's a fantastic interview. Thanks for sharing it.
posted by zarq at 8:43 AM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


bukvich:

From Nazanin Boniadi's Wikipedia entry under "Personal Life":

In September 2012, Vanity Fair magazine published a story written by Special Correspondent Maureen Orth alleging that Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, headed a secretive mission to find a suitable Scientologist girlfriend for Tom Cruise. Boniadi was allegedly selected in a screening process conducted by top Scientology official Greg Wilhere. Orth reports that Boniadi was lead to believe she had been selected for a top secret project to help the world and further her religion and that she would be meeting with "world leaders". She also reports that as part of the month long preparation for this secret mission Wilhere demanded that Boniadi darken her hair, remove her orthodontic braces, and that she break up with her long term boyfriend, also a Scientologist, with whom she was very much in love. When she refused, Wilhere allegedly showed Boniadi her boyfriend's transgressions against her in his confidential parishioner files, causing Boniadi to end their relationship. Boniadi was then allegedly flown to New York where Wilhere introduced her to Cruise, who swept her off her feet. Boniadi was allegedly made to sign a confidentiality agreement. Boniadi and Cruise were romantically involved from November 2004 until January 2005, during which time she lived with Cruise. Orth reports that there was a great deal of control over Boniadi's life by Church officials and Cruise's handlers during their relationship and that she fell out of favor with Cruise after unintentionally insulting Miscavige by saying "Excuse me?" and asking him to repeat himself more than once, apparently an indication in Scientology that one is not a good communicator or listener. Upon ending the relationship with Boniadi, Cruise allegedly sent her away to the Scientology facilities in Clearwater, Florida, where Boniadi was later demeaningly punished for telling a friend about her ordeal. Orth reports that Boniadi was made to clean toilets with a toothbrush, scrub bathroom tiles with acid and dig ditches in the middle of the night as part of her punishment. The Church of Scientology and Cruise's representative denied all allegations. Writer/director and former Scientologist Paul Haggis issued a statement confirming that Boniadi had indeed been used in this way by the Church of Scientology. He also stated that Boniadi "quietly and privately" resigned from the Church of Scientology around 2010 after "several years of trying to handle this injustice internally, to no avail".
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:44 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


This all assumes that Tom's wife isn't really just a Beard.

When I was younger I imagined that Tom Cruise was gay, but now I can't imagine him being sexually attracted to anyone. Sexuality is complex and time-consuming, and it seems to me that he can't devote any more effort to it while spending all of his energy trying to hide the seams in his human suit.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:51 AM on September 28, 2012 [33 favorites]


Also, I know the Whelk was making a Simpsons joke, but I seriously do think of Tom Cruise, not Richard Gere, when I watch the Troy McClure marries Selma episode. When/If the truth about Tom Cruse does come out, I seriously pray that he's not gay; a more "out there" overwhelming fetish is the only thing that makes his life choices make sense to me.

Scientology-being-real makes more sense to me than Tom Cruise's life choices

(Yes, I know the episode is called "A Fish Called Selma"; I'll never understand why my first impulse is to pretend not to know these things, though it keeps happening.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:52 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Follow me to the Springfield aquarium!
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I know the episode is called "A Fish Called Selma"

How sad is it that I just now caught that double-entendre.
posted by AugieAugustus at 8:56 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bronson Pinchot on Tom Cruise

I really want to know the backstory on that Denzel comment, but not enough to google it and trawl some ghastly celeb gossip sites. Sigh.
posted by elizardbits at 8:56 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


so basically what i am saying is that someone else needs to do it for me
posted by elizardbits at 8:56 AM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


One more link (sorry, it's mobile; I'm on a phone): Katie Holmes 'Biggest Nightmare' in Scientology History, say Experts. That story published on the Fourth of July, includes a link to an anti-Scientology message board that is a rabbit hole of crazy.
posted by purpleclover at 8:59 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Get an intern to do it elizardbits
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM on September 28, 2012


ooh true they are not really doing anything now that the sterek poll has closed.
posted by elizardbits at 9:00 AM on September 28, 2012


The existence of Penélope Cruz is a powerful theistic argument that there is a God and that She loves us. To reject Penélope's love is therefore not merely an act of insanity, it is a rejection of God Herself. All that has befallen Tom Cruise since this - the erratic behavior, the ridicule, the flops - are clearly the result of God's wrath at this rejection.
posted by Blue Meanie at 9:00 AM on September 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


I mean I AM VERY BUSY AND IMPORTANT WITH LEGITIMATE WORK RELATED TASKS
posted by elizardbits at 9:00 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Filing down the girlfriend's teeth may be on one of the strangest Scientology factoids I've encountered yet -- and when I was in junior high, I read all ten volumes of Battlefield Earth.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:07 AM on September 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Suri Cruise is Tommy Davis's daughter.

Tommy Davis is head of the Celebrity Center and a Scientology spokesman.

I seriously don't get what the hell Katie Holmes was thinking getting onto Cruise's spaceship in the first place.
posted by discopolo at 9:12 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


To massively oversimplify the whole thing: I understand that it is important to have similar values to your spouse and that religion is often an important part of that, but if you can't handle the occasional debate with your wife then maybe your problems extend beyond a mere difference of religion.
posted by asnider at 9:16 AM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


both Kidman and Cruz had been found wanting in their embrace of the organization and therefore unsuitable for the highly prized Cruise

Highly prized? By whom?! It sounds like Cruise and his machinery grind up every woman he gets involved with, and that most women have the sense to know it's a bad situation for them.

The details of how Connor and Bella were brainwashed and made to see their mother as evil really hurt to read. Good for Katie Holmes for bailing as soon as she did and taking her daughter with her.
posted by orange swan at 9:24 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holmes needs to join a competing religion. I propose she convert to LDS. Some sort of PR war between scientology and the LDS would be the most entertaining thing ever.

Alternatively, she could start her own religion, maybe set up a kickstarter? I would kick in a couple bucks.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:24 AM on September 28, 2012 [16 favorites]


Call me when he makes prospective partners pass a quiz on the '59 Colts.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:26 AM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


We build a religion around Go, basically.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I read this last night as soon as I saw it on Longform. It felt icky, but I can never read enough dirt on Cruise. Now I also want to know what makes Denzel Washington so reprehensible.

Thank you fellow mefites for not making me feel so alone.
posted by readery at 9:27 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Has Rosie O'Donnell ever made any comments about her I-have-a-crush-on-Tom-Cruise schtick from her pre-coming-out talk show days?
posted by psoas at 9:28 AM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


she embraced the church’s motto “Think for Yourself”

It is to lol.
posted by cereselle at 9:31 AM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Suri Cruise is Tommy Davis's daughter.

Nah, I think Chris Klein is her daddy.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:39 AM on September 28, 2012


So, am I right in assuming that Boniadi was the "knowledgable source" referred to repeatedly in the first half of the article? No quotes from her are qualified as "alleged", and there's no "Boniadi declined to speak with Vanity Fair" that I could see.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:39 AM on September 28, 2012


Oh, and I loved the interview with Bronson Pinchot. It's so rare that you really feel like you're getting the truth about what actors are really like to work with. And I completely understand why it is that way, because one just can't trash one's co-workers in public, but it's so gratifying and interesting to hear an actor just tell it like it is now and then anyway.
posted by orange swan at 9:40 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


We build a religion around Go, basically.

I'm not going to say that I'd immediately tithe 15% to a religion whose founding text was told out-of-chronological order and whose sacraments involved Ecstasy, gay soap stars, and a shirtless Timothy Olyphant in a Santa hat.

But I'm not not going to say that either.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:40 AM on September 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


I'm surprised Scientology doesn't campaign for same-Sex marriage; then they could marry Tom Cruise to John Travolta, get a shload of good p.r. for once, and continue to make money hand over fist.
posted by Renoroc at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


I remember reading Bronson Pinchot talking about Denzel, does he maybe say more in that AV Club piece? Basically he felt completely abused by Denzel Washington, and it wasn't until some other actor told him that he didn't have to be abused like that that he realized it was true. But I, too, need an intern to help me find that thing.

Stories are fascinating, almostly Moreso the ones we make up with almost no facts about real humans who seem Very Different (and pretty).
posted by ldthomps at 9:47 AM on September 28, 2012


Bronson Pinchot on Tom Cruise

Bronson Pinchot as Tom Cruise
posted by mrgrimm at 9:47 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised Scientology doesn't campaign for same-Sex marriage; then they could marry Tom Cruise to John Travolta, get a shload of good p.r. for once, and continue to make money hand over fist.

No, man, being gay means that you've got too many body Thetans. We can't have that!
posted by asnider at 9:52 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


We build a religion around Go, basically.

I'm not going to say that I'd immediately tithe 15% to a religion whose founding text was told out-of-chronological order and whose sacraments involved Ecstasy, gay soap stars, and a shirtless Timothy Olyphant in a Santa hat.


These are not the rules I'm familiar with.
posted by DU at 10:04 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


We build a religion around Go, basically.

What, the board game with the little stones? Like Othello/Reversi but harder?

No gray areas, just black and white. But the duality, the duality... *lengthy bong hit* Man, deep, dude.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:07 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jinx, dammit!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:07 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


all ancient games are improved by adding a shirtless Timothy Olyphant.
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 AM on September 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Highly prized? By whom?!

My memory of the article (I read it a week or so ago) is that Cruise earns about $75 million per year, so I think he's at least somewhat prized. The funny part is that a guy that people seem to think is good looking and love to watch in movies should have zero trouble attracting women; his being batshit insane seems to largely counteract being a movie star in terms of sexual attraction.
posted by Forktine at 10:17 AM on September 28, 2012


all ancient games are improved by adding a shirtless Timothy Olyphant.

Ooh, yes, especially that mesoamerican basketball thingy in which the losing team is sacrificed.
posted by elizardbits at 10:19 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you google Bronson and Denzel, you find BP was interviewed a couple times after that specifically to ask about the Onion interview. But he doesn't really elaborate much.
posted by DU at 10:19 AM on September 28, 2012


But he doesn't really elaborate much.

He does say the abuse was physical and mental, however.
posted by zippy at 10:30 AM on September 28, 2012


I was tempted to make use of that coupon for a free audit that nice Scientology guy gave me on the street corner the other day, but now I'm worried one of the questions will be "What do you think of Tom Cruise?" and I'll get the giggles and they'll brainwash me out of spite by singing "Nana-nana-nana-nana-LEADER!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:36 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having gone down the Denzel Washington rabbit hole, here's an interview he did in 2008 in which, at the most generous interpretation, he is having a bad day and not suffering perceived fools; he glares at the interviewer rather than answer some pretty damn innocuous questions.

We now return to the regularly scheduled discussion already in progress.

posted by zippy at 10:42 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm as skeptical as possible about Scientology, and I usually enjoy Maureen Orth's writing, but this article was disorganized and unfocused. It read like a draft.
posted by The Sprout Queen at 10:57 AM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


The funny part is that a guy that people seem to think is good looking and love to watch in movies should have zero trouble attracting women; his being batshit insane seems to largely counteract being a movie star in terms of sexual attraction.

I think it is that he is kept virtually isolated by the COS. Surrounded by COS operatives at all times. From the article, he seems to fully expect COS operatives would simply bring him women.

Hitler had a girlfriend. Cruise my be pants-on-head crazy but he is no Hitler.

I would say Cruise is a victim himself. But now that he is the defacto second on command, he is now a perpetrator himself. Does being a victim of bizarre COS mind control and indoctrination excuse him? Are we victim blaming here?
posted by Ad hominem at 10:59 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Suri Cruise is Tommy Davis's daughter.

Nah, I think Chris Klein


Suri has Tommy Davis's face and temper tantrums. Plus, Katie Holmes wouldn't want that loser's baby. She broke off their engagement and then he became an alcoholic. She wanted to be a huge movie star, which is why she got on deck w/Scientology and Cruise.
posted by discopolo at 11:10 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: may be pants-on-head crazy but is no Hitler.
posted by cereselle at 11:31 AM on September 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


My next door neighbors claim to be Scientologists. It doesn't look as though their chosen religion has done much for them. Kind of strange too, because the wife of the couple is someone I use to shun on the drag across from UT back in the day - she was one of the "want to take a personality test?" people. I never understood how people got sucked into that. The worst part in all this is now I can't even secretly like Tom Cruise movies. They're all ruined for me because every time I see his face on the screen my brain sends out a deafening CREEPY FUCKING WEIRDO alert.

I think Katie Holmes maybe thought she could ride the wild ride to her advantage, but I'm glad she got the hell out of there. Lesson learned. Stay home and raise your kid and be grateful.
posted by PuppyCat at 11:39 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Denzel Washington career assessment. (I have today off and want to indulge in shallow celebrity gossip and can google shit.) I dunno, if I were black and had an interviewer imply to me that I was a great black actor but not necessarily a great actor (separate from ethnicity) I would feel annoyed too. But the "38!" thing does seem unnecessarily nasty.

All in all, I could find some evidence for dickishness but nothing conclusive.
posted by A dead Quaker at 11:50 AM on September 28, 2012


he seems to fully expect COS operatives would simply bring him women.

Man, Cruise needs to get in front of that Mars Needs Women remake.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:53 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having googled around after reading Blown for Good, I discovered another known name tied in with COS: Doug E Fresh
posted by dr_dank at 12:18 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guys, it's entirely possibly that Bronson Pinchot is also an asshole.
posted by cell divide at 12:28 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Appropriate Soundtrack

(Cheapt Shot, I know.)
posted by Hactar at 12:30 PM on September 28, 2012


guys, guys, guys, you're all wrong.

joshua jackson is suri's father.
posted by nadawi at 12:48 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holmes needs to join a competing religion. I propose she convert to LDS. Some sort of PR war between scientology and the LDS would be the most entertaining thing ever.

Actually, there may be something even more entertaining: as purpleclover's first link notes, Rupert Murdoch has fired an anti-Scientology tweet, in what seems like the start of a full media broadside. He wouldn't be doing that unless his minions had some very red meat on Scientology. He may even see this as an opportunity to clean up his company's image after the phone hacking scandal. In any case, a Scientology vs. News Corp mudfight is going to be very, very entertaining. Grab the popcorn.
posted by Skeptic at 1:08 PM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


(excerpted for posterity)

Bronson Pinchot on Tom Cruise
BP: We didn’t know it was going to be a big hit. We thought Tom [Cruise] was the biggest bore on the face of the Earth. He had spent some formative time with Sean Penn—we were all very young at the time, Tom was 20, I was 23. Tom had picked up this knack of calling everyone by their character names, because that would probably make your performance better, and I don’t agree with that. I think that acting is acting, and the rest of the time, you should be you, but he called us all by our character names. He was tense and made constant, constant unrelated homophobic comments, like, “You want some ice cream, in case there are no gay people there?” I mean, his lingo was larded with the most… There was no basis for it. It was like, “It’s a nice day, I’m glad there are no gay people standing here.” Very, very strange.
Years and years later when people started to torment him with that, I used to think “God, that’s really fitting, because he tormented a lot of people as a 20-year-old.” He made such a big deal about it. Same thing with Eddie Murphy—I remember somebody calling and saying, “You’ll never guess who was just caught with a transvestite!” [Laughs.] And I remember thinking that seemed fitting, because there are certain people in showbiz who make it an agenda, every third sentence has to have something knocking that life choice, and you think, “What are you doing?” Like, these women came up to me in a restaurant—I was wearing a bright red shirt, and I was with some friends, and they said, “Would you like to join our club? We wear red.” What kind of choice is that? If you spent many years in the theater, and then you show up in movies, and people have on their to-do list for the day that they’re going to make a comment every third sentence, it strikes you as very strange. I just thought it was very funny that years later, that became his bugaboo. Which is a nice 1930s term I thought you’d enjoy.

AVC: Do you think he was just insecure? Or that he was young?

BP: I really don’t know. It is what it is; there’s nothing I can add to it. If someone’s 20 years old and every third line out of their mouth is anti-something specific, then draw your own conclusion. I thought it was very weird. Similarly, there’s a certain type of middle-aged woman that will tell you within 20 seconds of meeting you that she can’t find anyone to take her to bed. And that really strikes me as strange, too, like, “Why are you telling me that?” I don’t like any kind of conversational agenda; it makes me uncomfortable. I just think it’s weird. Unless you’re with your very best friends and you’re being silly. Then you can do whatever you want.
posted by ennui.bz at 2:17 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holmes needs to join a competing religion. I propose she convert to LDS. Some sort of PR war between scientology and the LDS would be the most entertaining thing ever.

I'm not sure there's any reason to believe the LDS church would engage in any overt or obvious PR war like that, particularly in light of how little (or not at all in most cases) it mentions its various members who happen to also be celebrities. I suppose if you had a time machine and could pit the mid 1970s Mormon church PR department (in league with the Osmond family) against the 2012 Scientology PR department, you could have a fairly amusing yet somehow boring battle. But, notwithstanding Mormonism's myriad peculiarities, the really funny/horrible stuff is all decades or more in the past.

Which makes me wonder: Are there any Scientologists on MetaFilter? I would love to know how much of the characterizations of Scientology in the media and in MeFi posts are hyperbolic distortions of the truth. Surely there's got to be somebody here who can speak to the issue, no? If there are no Scientologists on MetaFilter, I would think that fact alone would say something fairly significant about Scientology as differentiated from other oft-mocked religions.
posted by The World Famous at 2:26 PM on September 28, 2012


I'm not sure there's any reason to believe the LDS church would engage in any overt or obvious PR war like that

Sorry, don't mean to mock them, I should be more sensitive. I just think of them as a religion that doesn't take any shit about it's members.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:39 PM on September 28, 2012


Guys, it's entirely possibly that Bronson Pinchot is also an asshole.

Relevant Spaceballs video.
posted by zippy at 2:47 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


a religion that doesn't take any shit about it's members.

i have a lot of problems with the lds church which i'd talk at length about in memail if anyone were dying to know, but as someone who was born into it and eventually left partially because of how i was treated, i think that statement is misguided. i think they have a funny way of showing it and i certainly don't agree with how certain groups of members are treated, but i think the church (as an institution and as a collection of members) cares deeply for its members. their internal support of each other is really something to behold. it ends up coming across as all very paternalistic to be sure, but that's different than not giving a shit.
posted by nadawi at 3:15 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


but that's different than not giving a shit.


What? I didn't say "doesn't give a shit" I said "doesn't take any shit" as in they are very protective of members.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:29 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just think of them as a religion that doesn't take any shit about it's members.

Off the top of my head, I cannot think of an example of the LDS church stepping up to publicly defend one of its members in the way that I assumed was suggested in the jokey idea of Katie Holmes converting to Mormonism and some sort of public PR battle taking place. The LDS Church's PR arm seems to be pretty focused on turning the other cheek these days, including putting advertisements for the actual Book of Mormon in the playbill for The Book of Mormon musical. But it's Friday afternoon, so I may just be blanking on some obvious example that you're thinking of.

There are quite a few famous and/or prominent public figures who are Mormon, and I've never seen any of them - except maybe Mitt Romney - get the kind of crap for it that celebrity Scientologists get about their religion. And, other than maybe the Osmonds, I haven't seen the Mormon church actively engaged in trying to keep one of its members famous.

I guess my question is whether you're thinking of some specific example of the LDS church being protective of its members in terms of PR efforts.
posted by The World Famous at 3:31 PM on September 28, 2012


Ok, I guess they don't protect their members. I had the mistaken impression they were very community oriented and tightly knit. Perhaps mainly due to that documentary about Romney's family in mexico being at war with drug dealers. They all seemed to take care of eachother. I figured if Holmes was a memeber and COS launched a battle to get Suri, they would gto to bat for her in a way say the Roman Catholic church wouldn't.

Sorry, didn't mean to spread any misinformed ideas about the LDS.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:39 PM on September 28, 2012


Suri has Tommy Davis's face and temper tantrums.

I don't know why I feel protective of Suri Cruise but I kinda do - -I hate all these comments about her supposedly shitty personality. Kid's been swarmed with photographers every day of her young life. It has to be annoying.
posted by sweetkid at 3:47 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


The LDS church is certainly a close-knit community, and people do look out for each other, with the organization providing such services as low-cost need-based family counseling and food and shelter for needy members, and that sort of thing. I suspect, however, that Katie Holmes would not fall within the category of impoverished members in need of institutional welfare support, though.

The support that she could expect to receive from the Mormon community would likely take the form of the Ward Relief Society arranging to have a different member of the Ward bring her a casserole each night if she or Suri were ill, assigning a visiting teacher and home teacher to make monthly visits to check in on them to make sure their needs are met and that they're doing OK, and lots of invitations to Ward picnics and the Christmas dinner.

If that's the sort of support that Scientology provides in its community, and breathless Vanity Fair articles are merely distorting that to make it seem sinister, I'd love to hear about it from an actual Scientologist.
posted by The World Famous at 3:50 PM on September 28, 2012


I'm going to restate once more for the record before I am suddenly the guy who said that the LDS doesn't give a shit about it's members. In fact, I said the exact opposite. I may be misguided but for an entirely different reason.

I'd really like to know the truth about COS as well. Naturally all the people who have left are not going to say nice things.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:55 PM on September 28, 2012


I grew up with a lot of Mormons and they're generally very nice people who are not very pushy about their religion. I still see a lot of them on Facebook and while conservative they are not posting Romney Romney Romney stuff all the time and some support Obama. Some of my Mormon FB friends do a remarkable job of relating to my single girl in the city life even though they have five kids and are housewives.

If I ask a question about Mormonism they always answer it thoughtfully, although I really respect religion despite being agnostic and doubting myself, so they know they're not walking into any traps.

I don't know Scientologists but from everything I've seen and heard they are NOTHING like Mormons.
posted by sweetkid at 3:55 PM on September 28, 2012


oh sorry. that sentence was hard to parse.

i would agree that the mormons are tight knit, but i also agree that it doesn't translate to the church fighting the members battles. i'm pretty sure that the pr department for the church is in contact with some visible members, but they don't publicly go to bat for anyone. if anything, i think they turn their focus on the everyman rather than the celebrities.

i think romney gets a lot of shit for being mormon, but i also think that has happened to a smaller degree in other places - i remember during the heyday of steve young there were sports guys that were critical of his faith and wrote some wacko columns. at the same time, i remember some tut-tutting at church about when he took off and put back on his garments (which i was reminded of a day or two ago when i stumbled upon things like this). if i thought about it more, i know i'd remember more examples.
posted by nadawi at 3:57 PM on September 28, 2012


Yeah, sorry for the derail. I really am perplexed that there's not at least one resident Scientologist here who can step in and give us at least some of the straight story.

Come on, MeFi Scientologist! Let your voice be heard!
posted by The World Famous at 3:58 PM on September 28, 2012


The World Famous - i agree with you about wanting the members to speak for themselves.

for me i always have this problem with scientology - i know that like 75% of what non/ex lds focus on is either untrue or exaggerated, but 25% is pretty spot on and then there's this hidden percentage of stuff that no one brings up and is pretty damning. i wonder if scientology is the same.

i do think there's some truth to the extreme procedures that result in a death occasionally and i think their stance on psychiatry is actively harmful. i think they are an enemy of free speech who tries to hide under religious persecution. i don't really know if i believe that there were auditions for tom cruise's wife, but i do think the leader of scientology is enamored (in a star struck way) with tom cruise and probably does silly things to keep their bond strong.

beyond all of that i don't really think scientology and lds are comparable at all except for people who have little direct interaction with either or who lump everything outside of mainstream protestantism as other and weird.
posted by nadawi at 4:09 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe try this The World Famous.

It is a reddit ask me anything where the guy claims he is a Scientologist. It is the top google search result for reddit scientologist iama. I read a couple pages of it and I might go back and read a few more.
posted by bukvich at 4:12 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


direct interaction with either or who lump everything outside of mainstream protestantism as other and weird.

Well I don't know if I should continue the derail but what do you guys think about the story of Kolob from the Book of Abraham. To many outsiders, the idea that there is a star or planet that god actually lives near and that earth was created near Kolob and moved to our current location is pretty foreign. I accept that every religion has teaching that may seem bizarre from the outside and that this teaching is no more bizarre than any other. Is the story of Kolob taken literally by the mainstream?
posted by Ad hominem at 4:31 PM on September 28, 2012


Ad hominem, I'll send you a MeFiMail with a longer response, since I don't want to continue the derail. The short answer is that we almost never mention it or hear it mentioned in church, it's not in the temple liturgy, and we take it literally to the extent that we believe God has a physical form and, therefore, a physical location. Mormons believe a zillion different things, many of which can be considered to be "mainstream" even if they contradict one another, so you'll find Mormons who believe it in the kookiest imaginable way and Mormons who believe it's a metaphor, and they're all "mainstream." Since it's not part of our mainstream church experience or discourse, it's not all that relevant to most Mormons.
posted by The World Famous at 5:12 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Awesome thanks. I only know it is the inspiration for Kobol in Battlestar Galactica. You guys have been too kind.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:21 PM on September 28, 2012


Gosh, Suri looks exactly like Tom. Even her nose resembles his.

And yeah, I'm of the mind that we ought-not be picking apart the daughter here, she's just a little girl and has no power in any of this.

Really we ought not to be picking apart anyone, it's not like they're Mitt Romney.
posted by Malice at 5:21 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Scientology Chooses an Odd Time to Open a "National Affairs" Office in DC
posted by homunculus at 6:27 PM on September 28, 2012


i would second everything the world famous said about kolob.
posted by nadawi at 6:32 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the reddit Iama if you scroll down to:

Most (if not all) of the answers from MrJohnDee (updated: Jun 30, 2012 @ 05:53:38 pm EST)

you will find a digest of the Scientologist Iama.

The guy came across to me as fairly forthright. In particular the question of the money was answered pretty well. I am not saying it was answered truthfully. These guys can be slick. But he does answer the question pretty well. He also has an answer to a question about harassment.
posted by bukvich at 8:15 PM on September 28, 2012


Scientology has never been a huge religion in terms of member numbers, and has recently been experiencing a decline too. So I'd be very surprised if there were any who were also MeFi members, although I agree it'd be very educational to be able to discuss these things with a believer.
posted by harriet vane at 3:51 AM on September 29, 2012


The New York Times fashion page suggests it was a five-year plan all along. Cynical.
posted by bukvich at 6:19 AM on September 29, 2012


Has there ever been an article referencing the COS that didn't contain multiple instances of them denying statements by former members and/or calling them disgruntled liars?
posted by tommasz at 6:54 AM on September 29, 2012


I am not a scientologist, but I have read both one of their books (not dianetics) and the book of Mormon. I can say with confidence that, while there's no chance of my believing what the book of Mormon says, it's just a standard-issue religious text. The Scientology book, on the other hand, is deeply, deeply disturbing - easily one of the most troubling things I've ever read.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:57 AM on September 29, 2012


From what I have read about CoS over the years it is not your garden variety "church". One reason they so resent psychiatry/psychology is that is it in competition with "auditing". Most religions encourage tithing a percentage of your income to support the church. CoS has a price list and some pretty aggressive "fundraising" programs.

I don't know if they have changed much since LRon died but my first impression of CoS was the story of Paulette Cooper.
posted by whatever at 8:34 AM on September 29, 2012


A real scientologist would be out ethics if he/she hung around a bunch of SPs like us.
posted by dr_dank at 9:20 AM on September 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


psoas: Has Rosie O'Donnell ever made any comments about her I-have-a-crush-on-Tom-Cruise schtick from her pre-coming-out talk show days?

Rosie O'Donnell was out during her first talk show. Her crush on Tom Cruise wasn't about sex or gender. I'm a heterosexual woman with a girl-crush on Rachel Maddow, Same thing.
posted by QuakerMel at 10:40 AM on September 29, 2012


Just wondering, what would it take for the church's tax-exempt status to be revoked by the U.S. government?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:13 AM on September 29, 2012


rosie wasn't out until her talk show was two months from ending. i have non-sexual crushes all the time, but she absolutely used her tom cruise crush as a sort of public beard (which might have been why she chose him for it - the funniness of a gay woman using a rumored gay guy as a beard without his input).
posted by nadawi at 11:40 AM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


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