Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tom Cruise's Responsibility for Scientology's Abuses

The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) is bestowing its humanitarian award on Tom Cruise at a swank dinner in Los Angeles on May 5.

The award has provoked controversy. SWC is a high-profile Jewish human rights organization devoted to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and promoting tolerance, and there has been a stream of reports on violence and abuse in Scientology, and in some cases, criminal activity in the mainstream media. Lawrence Wright's revealing article in the New Yorker on Scientology-defecting Oscar-winner Paul Haggis is the most recent.

A key question is: What is Tom Cruise's responsibility for Scientology's violence and abuses?

Danielle Berrin at the Jewish Journal spoke with SWC Board Member, film director Brett Ratner:

“Tom Cruise cannot be responsible for an entire religion,” film director Brett Ratner, who sits on the Wiesenthal’s board of trustees said to me by phone last week. “You can’t say he’s the reason the religion is doing what it’s doing. That’s like saying, ‘The Jews killed f———Jesus; why am I a Jew?’”

Ratner is flat-out wrong. There is one man who is responsible for the entire religion, or as it is known in Israel, the cult of Scientology: Tom Cruise's best friend, "ecclesiastical leader" David Miscavige, who pimped out motorcycles for Cruise and himself using Church (slave) labor - arguably a case of innurement.

Scientology is quite small, having to shrunk to around 25 - 30,000 active adults. Tom Cruise is the second most powerful figure in Scientology after Miscavige. Arguably he is its most powerful member since Miscavige lives in fear of displeasing him.

Cruise is the mega-promoter of Scientology and its main ambassador to The Wog World as Scientologists denigratingly refer to billions of us living on planet earth: He is Hillary Clinton to Miscavige's Barack Obama; Condoleeza Rice to his George Bush.

Everyone knows two things about Cruise: He is a film star, and he is a Scientologist. Over four million people have viewed the now infamous video "Tom Cruise on Tom Cruise Scientologist." Scientology claims he has spread Scientology teachings to 1.1 billion people.

There is no Jewish or Catholic celebrity that has remotely this much power in relation to their religions.

Tom Cruise's responsibility is to speak up about the abuses in the Church he loves.

Surely he doesn't want it stained by the violence and abuse now reported by over 1450 first-person accounts from former Scientologists, some of which have been read into the proceedings of the Senate of the Australian Parliament.

Tom Cruise is not slamming teenage girls into walls to coerce them into abortion or interrogating Scientologists for weeks driving them to psychotic breaks - that is Miscavige's work and his responsibilty.

After citing hair-raisingly hateful statements from L. Ron Hubbard, the astute Sarah Green asks What does Tom Cruise Stand For? She writes:

Perhaps Tom Cruise should be given the award. First, however, I would ask that he give a “yes” or “no” answer to this question — without any equivocation or evasion: “Tom, do you reject these statements of L. Ron Hubbard’s?” (followed by a selection of hateful writings such as those presented above).

It would be interesting to hear his response.

Tom Cruise is not responsible for L. Ron Hubbard and David Miscavige's violence and abuse. If he is guilty of anything he is guilty of "willed myopia", as Paul Haggis describes it. Like many Scientology celebrities he simply refuses to see Scientology's abuses. Perhaps he actually believes the party line that all victims of Scientology are nothing but liars.

Tom Cruise has enormous responsibility to use his great power to acknowledge and end Scientology abuses. Let us hope that he will soon join Paul Haggis in doing so.


Danielle Berrin and director Paul Ratner have a history. She wrote a profile on him which Jewish blogger Luke Ford called "her best article yet."

Ratner put the moves on her. Luke Ford expands on what Danielle has called her sordid past with Ratner. Danielle and Brett have buried the hatchet. Here is a picture of them together at last year's Wiesenthal Center award dinner.

Photo credit: The Jewish Journal


Anonymous said...

Tom Cruise took Larry King on a private tour of Scientology's Psychiatry An Industry of Death Museum which is largely about making the claim that psychiatrists are responsible for the Holocaust.

EHot Buzz said...

Almost everything in Hollywood is at least slightly ironic, and decidedly modern or post modern in sensibility. Outright racism or misogyny is now rare in Hollywood. Hollywood is basically far more socially conscious. Bollywood is almost entirely about money, much more so than Hollywood. Often mob money. One highly visible motif is the highly problematic rise of "item numbers."

tom cruise upcoming movies