Family Matters

Scientology Parenting: Do Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Disagree on Religion for Suri?

Does Tom Cruise really want to send his 6-year-old daughter off to be raised by Scientologists? Not if Katie Holmes has anything to say about it

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James Devaney/Contributor / WireImage / Getty Images

The announcement on Friday that Katie Holmes had filed for divorce from Tom Cruise didn’t come as a surprise to many who’ve questioned the relationship from its early Oprah-couch-bouncing days. The revelation that she’s seeking sole legal custody and primary residential custody of their 6-year-old daughter Suri? Now that’s news.

Unless a parent feels that a child is in danger, sole custody in divorce proceedings can be a pretty steep uphill battle. Holmes’ filing means she wants to take control of her daughter’s health, education and religion, and that she believes she and Cruise won’t see eye to eye on these crucial decisions. If the chatter is to believed, Cruise’s devotion to Scientology is driving her concerns.

Celebrity websites, including TMZ, are reporting that Holmes was worried that Cruise would spirit their daughter away to join the Sea Organization, a.k.a. Sea Org — a fraternal order of Scientology’s crème de la crème, its most ardent acolytes. Other websites, like PerezHilton.com, said Cruise wanted to board Suri on Freewinds, the Scientology cruise ship that once hosted his birthday bash. The speculation reached fever pitch here:

It’s not our place to judge how someone wants to raise their child … but if you ask us — sending a kindergartner to a military-style boarding school on the high seas, to be raised by people who sign a contract to work for the ship for a BILLION years is borderline abusive.

Alas, the real story is likely not quite as juicy. Freewinds is not a floating boarding school; it’s a pricey destination for Scientologists who want to learn more about their religion. Children are said to be rarely allowed on board.

As for Sea Org, although it’s true that its devotees make a 1 billion-year pledge as a sign of “their eternal commitment to the religion,” children under 14 are not accepted. The pledge is symbolic, but joining Sea Org is still a huge step, perhaps akin to entering a monastery. In the ultimate proof of devotion to the church, active Sea Org members are not allowed to have children.

(MORE: Study: Narcissism and Religion an Unethical Mix)

For other Scientologists who do have kids, however, their religion has some pretty specific beliefs about how to raise them. On the website Scientology Parent, there are plenty of articles on child rearing; some don’t appear to differ much from those on any number of mommy blogs — posts on au pairs and raising physically fit kids, for example. But scroll down — you’ll find a recipe for homemade infant barley formula — and it’s clear this isn’t for your ordinary frazzled mom or pop wondering how to get their kid to stop grumbling and do his chores.

In one post, “Why Parent-Child Relationships Go Sour,” blogger Tad Reeves talks about the principle of “exchange” — in which children give back to their family — and quotes Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard: “Parental-child relationships are sour, really, only for one good reason. And that is because the child cannot contribute equally to the parent contributions. This demonstrates the child to be much less powerful than the parents; it makes him — puts him in a bad way.”

In another post, Reeves rails against the prescription of psychiatric drugs to children, warning thatif someone ever, ever attempts to label the normal behavior of my children and push them onto mind-destroying drugs — Lord help them.” His comments echo the against-the-grain statements that Cruise made in 2005 about actress Brooke Shields’ postpartum depression, which she treated with Paxil. In a contentious interview, Cruise told Today show host Matt Lauer that “there’s no such thing as a chemical imbalance” and that antidepressants only “mask the problem.” Shields, Cruise went on, should have used vitamins and exercise to heal herself:

“Here’s the problem. You don’t know the history of psychiatry,” he told Lauer. “I do … The thing that I’m saying about Brooke is that there’s misinformation, O.K. And she doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry. She doesn’t understand in the same way that you don’t understand it, Matt.”

It’s possible that Holmes, who was raised Catholic, first started getting cold feet as Suri’s due date approached. Cruise reportedly wanted Holmes to have a “silent birth” — a Scientologist’s ideal way to deliver a child. According to Scientology Newsroom, the church’s official media resource center, founder Hubbard stated that “particularly during birth, absolute silence must be maintained” by everyone around the mother (the no-words rule doesn’t apply to the mother herself; the site notes that “it is doubtful that any woman could give birth without making any noise at all.” For sure, there’s little to argue with in that statement). Scientology Newsroom explains:

“L. Ron Hubbard discovered the hidden source of nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets, insecurity and psychosomatic illness — the reactive mind. This part of the mind records all perceptions during times of pain and unconsciousness — which childbirth is for both mother and child. And words, in particular, spoken during these moments, can have an adverse effect on one later in life.”

(MORE: Losing Your Religion? Analytic Thinking Weakens Religious Belief)

Practices like silent birth, along with adherence to other strict moral and practical guidelines, have prompted critics to label Scientology a cult. “Scientology is a potentially unsafe, if not dangerous, organization,” Rick Ross, a New Jersey–based expert on cults and controversial movements who has served as an expert witness in court cases, told Reuters. “I’ve received complaint after complaint over the years from former members.”

Children raised according to the tenets of Scientology are given a tremendous amount of responsibility and are allowed to make significant decisions; some are even able to decide when to start formal schooling. If finances permit, they attend one of about 50 Scientology schools in the U.S. or receive religious tutoring that supplements public-school education. In theory, parents help construct a self-contained world for children, so all their teachers — including dance instructors and soccer coaches — ideally practice Scientology.

Author Janet Reitman has more insight than most into the beliefs of Scientologists. She wrote Inside Scientology, which was published last July and based in part on her 2006 article in Rolling Stone that focused on the experience of young Scientologists. In this excerpt from the article, she talks about Natalie Walet, whom Reitman met when Walet was a 17-year-old practitioner:

Natalie’s everyday reality is one of total immersion in all things Hubbard. Scientology kids are raised in a very different manner than mainstream kids. Most of them, like Natalie, have been educated by special tutors, and enrolled, as Natalie was when she was younger, in private schools run by Scientologists that use a Hubbard-approved study technique. Most kids are also put “on course” — enrolled in classes at the church that teach both children and adults self-control, focus and communication skills. Natalie was put on course, upon her own insistence, when she was 7 or 8 years old. Between school and church, life was “kind of a bubble,” she says.

Tensions in the Cruise-Holmes household had reportedly been simmering for a while over how central a role Scientology should play in Suri’s life. Apparently, Holmes is not a big fan of bubbles.

MORE: Study: Religious Folks Have a Sunnier Outlook

58 comments
Minami
Minami

Scientology is a cult. Technically, all religions are cults. It's just that bigger and older cults like Christianity and Judaism are more established and have more support than newer cults like Scientology. Anyway, Scientology is abusive and bizarre by any sane person's standards. They cut people off from the family and friend, make followers go bankrupt from the cost of their classes, and they defraud governments out of millions of dollars by posing as a religion.

mamaganoush
mamaganoush

clearly scientology is a cult, but more specificaly it's a cult for wealthy celebs.  the only way to become enlightened in that fruit bowl is to pay more money.  i think tom cruise and say, john travolta are decent people, but their motivations are . strange.  the travolta's could possibly have gotten their son help if they had been allowed to seek treatment for their autistic son. (maybe not enough to make a difference, but how sad that that bunch of pod worshiping loons made them feel ashamed of autism!)  by the same token, tom was his own worst enemy once katie had to put the mental and possibly physical wellbeing of her child first

Yekoz
Yekoz

Sounds like a cult to me!

6Zincstop9
6Zincstop9

Religious with high morals  Mmmm. Don't Cruise and Travolta, although both married, occasionally bat for the other side ?

Talendria
Talendria

You need to look up "libel" in the dictionary.

Namec Nassianer
Namec Nassianer

Anyone who gives a rat's a$$ about what  these two people do in their personal time needs to go shopping for a life.

This article is not worthy of Time.  It should have been  published in one of  those mini newspapers found near grocery check-out aisles.

Christopher Kidwell
Christopher Kidwell

I'm wondering if more the girl (Suri) is rebelling against this stuff, telling her mother and father how insane it sounds and the mother finally realized "Wow.... my daughter has a point here! What does that say about my husband who is still deluded by this Scientologist crap!"

Moriah Bradski
Moriah Bradski

Scientology (no real science uses science in its name) is hilarious. Imagine being stuck in a 1950's style SciFi plot and you could never get out. Spaceships that look like DC10s, space opera.  I don't believe there is an equation with "traditional religions".  I mean, its one thing to believe in ancient tribal mythos that come from the obscure dawn of human consciousness and imbued with 1000s of years of culture. It's another to believe some 2nd rate modern era SciFi author who's beliefs just happen to sound like ... 2nd rate SciFi plots. It's totally funny!

Don't worry, there's a new, much better SciFi religion. It's called "the Singularity". It's got all the classic features of the struggle for immortality and heaven etc.  It's also not true but it's a lot more plausible and might actually at least motivate some real science.

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

I don't think Ray Kurzweil actually qualifies as a religion.

It is certainly one of the more hopeful possible outcomes for humanity.

Essentially it is just us becoming one with technology, really - One.

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

A brief summary of Scientology.

Possibly the defining tenet of Scientology is intellectual elitism.

People are categorized on an evolutionary scale.

And Scientology can "help" you to evolve to the apex of this scale where you might be declared "Clear".

Pretty much those people who haven't been adherents to Scientological pursuits are unlikely to be considered very evolved.

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

Scientology has rational bits, some cultish bits and a few genuinely weird bits.

Overall it's pretty benign and tends towards reasonable behavior.

But the self involved exclusivity has fostered a separation from mainstream society.

The immersion of devotees children into a Scientology only world leads to the same sort of potential distancing from society as can be found in the Quakers and Amish.

Children are subject not only to their parents desires, but those of society as well.

The ability to isolate and indoctrinate a child is not necessarily a reasonable parental right.

Frank Mondana
Frank Mondana

Good for her. Cruise is a train wreck.

Having said that, why is the couch jumping thing such a big deal? So what, he jumped on a couch on TV. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

Talendria
Talendria

Yeah, I wondered about that too, although I didn't actually see the segment.  Maybe he was giving off freaky weirdo vibes.  From what I understand, celebrities do really crazy stunts on European talk shows, so I don't know why couch jumping is particularly shocking.

I also thought it was bizarre that the media manufactured so much controversy over the Brooke Shields incident.  Newsweek's Sharon Begley published an article two years ago reporting that two antidepressants had been proven no more effective than placebos and were essentially "expensive tic tacs."  In other words, Cruise's beliefs weren't beyond the pale scientifically, but something about the way in which he argued with Matt Lauer was disturbing to people.

I think the bottom line is that he's a religious zealot, and we always find those people off-putting if we don't share their beliefs.

lovingparentof2
lovingparentof2

John Travolta and Kelly Preston are both Scientologists and they have children too and are rich celebrities. What did they do? All I hear is how "crazy" Scientology is, but none of these articles have actually said any of their practices that sounded "crazy" to me. I know the founder, Hubbard, was a womanizer and had his own issues, but we've had many US PRESIDENTS who were also. Ms. Bonnie Rachman, please do some research on Scientology and report on some of these crazy rules. Wanting silent births and shunning drugs doesn't sound crazy or cultish to me. From what I've read, the practices of the Mormons sound more crazy than the Scientology ones. Please give better examples.

Boxingwithangels
Boxingwithangels

 Your right, the article doesn't make it seem very scary.  But dig a little deeper for yourself.  Silent births and not wanting drugs is the least of it.  It's all there on the internet for you to see.  Unfortunately, some of the media are making it seem like a "fluff" religion.

lovingparentof2
lovingparentof2

If this article is supposed to give reasons against Scientology, it didn't succeed. Many people are against drugs and thinking drugs is the answer for all your problems. And as far as "silent birth", so what? Many women would prefer not to have excess noise and negative stimulants during the child birth process. Many women prefer water births, which are about peace, and calmness. Who wouldn't want their child to be born into a calm, peaceful and quiet environment? And as far as the bubble...how is that different from Catholics? They put their kids in Catholic schools, Catholic run sports, etc, etc. Or what about Hebrew schools? I think many religions do that. They want their children raised by like-minded people with the same principles. As far as the barley formula....formula/breastfeeding is a very hot topic right now with a lot of mothers of all religions. As far as the Sea Org, how is that different from the Mormons sending their kids for missions for 1-2 years? Or secular groups sending their kids to boot camps or boarding schools? Many groups do that.

The writer of this article should have added more examples to show how Scientology is a cult, and showed some of its CRAZY rules. These mentioned in this article didn't sound crazy to me at all.

southrnbelle
southrnbelle

This whole thing reminds me of the story of the hunter and the little frozen snake.

A hunter walking through the woods one winter morning saw a little frozen snake on the ground.  He picked it up and put it in his pocket.  The warmth of the hunter's body revived the snake.  Later on in the day the hunter put his hand in his pocket and the snake bit him!

He pulled the snake out and said, "Little snake, you were frozen, near death, I revived you and brought you back to life."

The little snake said, "You knew I was a snake when you put me in your pocket."

I'm glad Katie is getting out for the sake of the child, but if she is so stupid and so naive'.....Well, she knew what Cruise was when she put him in her pocket!

Brad Moyer
Brad Moyer

Tom Cruise is nuts. I will never see another Tom Cruise movie! This Scientology cult is scary and should be investigated.

digitalbeachbum
digitalbeachbum

I stopped watching his movies when I learned he was a Scientologist. He's crazy and a warped individual in a warped, freakish cult.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

In the beginning , Ron knew what he wanted . Now the ' church ' just wants your money .

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

Come on , people , she's got to be brainwashed .

Brad Moyer
Brad Moyer

Scientology is a dangerous cult that needs to be seriously investigated by both the IRS for posing as a church to get tax exempt status and by Child Welfare for making children work.

Boxingwithangels
Boxingwithangels

 It does, but it seems as if everyone is turning a blind eye.  Thanks to articles like this that  make scientology appear as if it's just a "little" harmless.  I'd expect true facts from Time, but I guess not. 

DR76
DR76

So does the Catholic Church, Protestant churches, the Mormons, the Muslims  and just about every other organized religion.  Want to know why these religious organizations are dangerous?  They're operated by human beings.

Thomas Bird
Thomas Bird

$cientology is a vile cult that steals money from its members and rips apart families. They conned my brother's wife's mom out of her house before she died. Tom Cruise is a disgusting little pig and I hope Katie keeps Suri as far away from that creep as possible!

eetom
eetom

A cult is a religious organization which has no political power.

D_Coder
D_Coder

A cult is a religious group that kills its own members.

A church is a religious group that kills other group's members.

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

So, does this mean an Atheist - or Pagan - can stop a former spouse from indoctrinating their child in one of the traditional religions?  I mean, EVERY RELIGION was a "cult" at some point.  Christians hate Scientology simply because it's not Christian.

I'm of the opinion that indoctrination of any minor into any religious belief should be outlawed.  But all of the "big three' religions mandate indoctrination into their dogma.  What separates a "cult" from mainstream when their goals are identical even if their tenets aren't?  It may be popular to bash Scientology (after all, it was invented by a science fiction writer), but none of the mainstream religions can claim to be above the "indoctrination" of children as part of their dogma.

The bottom line is that unless Katie decides to let her kids make up their own minds when they're adults (an unlikely, though incredibly enlightened scenario), it's more likely that she'll indoctrinate them into another former "cult" herself.  Which makes her no better or worse than Cruise and his views, from a strictly objective point of view.

I DARE anyone to rationally refute this.

lovingparentof2
lovingparentof2

 I completely agree with you Fatesrider. Katie was Catholic before she switched to Scientology. IMHO, Catholics are a much bigger cult than all the other religions put together. Why should she be allowed to raise their child in her cult instead of his cult?  Afterall, they BOTH AGREED to Scientology. They didn't both agree to Catholicism. I think this is just another case of divorce where people change their minds after the fact. This needs to be outside of "cult" religion lingo since every religion is a cult, IMHO. If she is to get sole legal custody, it needs to be more about safety, ability to make better decision, of Tom being crazy and a bad parent....not just Katie's opinion that his religion is nuts.

cjvg
cjvg

Agree, why should a carpenter be a better inventor of religion then a scifi writer? It is just the patina of ages past (regardeless of how bloody and violent they were) that gives them an aura of legitimacy. All of us have met a (reasonable normal seeming) catholic or two in our life time, however many have never met a scienthologist. Familiarity makes everything seem less scary. However when it comes down too it all religions are cults that maintain that their believers are superior to the unbelievers and as such are better then the rest of us.

Thomas Bird
Thomas Bird

$cientology is  not a traditional religion either. By that logic, are the Branch Dividians, Heavens Gate and New Life Church legitimate religions as well?

Nikki Pons
Nikki Pons

Parenta alienation is a serious form of child abuse as it results in emotional trauma to the child.  Any religion that advocates for child abuse is a threat to that child.

Thomas Bird
Thomas Bird

You can't just lump every single wacko cult into the same category as the world's major religions because they may have some things in common. Should the Branch Dividians and Heavens Gate cult be considered religions as well? For one thing, no other religions force their members to pay the obscene sums of money required to be a member of $cientology. They also don't spy on and harrass critics, nor do they sue for copyright infringement over their religious texts. I am an Atheist, but I also understand the difference between a cult and a religion. To claim they are all the same is intellectually dishonest and just as kneejerk reactionary as religious extremism. 

IQMinusOne
IQMinusOne

I agree with you any religion is sort of a cult but are you saying Tom is better than Kate? It's not about which cult. I bet the little girl is better off away from Cruise, who reportedly alienated his two other kids from their mother.

lovingparentof2
lovingparentof2

Not saying that Tom's is better than Katie's. But Katie AGREED to Tom's religion when she switched religions for him. They agreed to raise their family with Scientology. So the religion was ok when they got married, but not ok now? Katie agreed to his religion. He never agreed to hers.

Guest
Guest

suri doesn't have to go through the rubbish put forth by the crap of the scientologists. i am really glad for her. i am glad katie is smart enough to drop tom and his crap cult for the sake of

her daughter

Winston Blake
Winston Blake

Scientology is the gay marriage of the NAZIs with Aleister Crowley's O.T.O.

Guest
Guest

Wouldn't Tom Cruise's kids he adopted with Nicole Kidman be an indicator of how he would want to raise Suri? Were his other kids raised in a strict Scientologist manner? 

lovingparentof2
lovingparentof2

 Exactly! Katie saw what was involved. Travolta's kids are raised Scientology too. It's not like Katie was kidnapped and forced to have a kid with Cruise. She knew what she was getting into. I think this is no different than many other divorces. You make a decision to marry someone without doing all your homework and looking into the future, and then you change your mind (or your eyes open up) mid-way. While it's normal for most people to not talk about the specifics of child raising, especially if you're of the same religion, or not very religious at all, but I can't imagine that Katie and Tom didn't discuss this before they got married since they are both completely different religions. Plus, as you say LL826, Katie saw with her own eyes how Tom's older kids were being raised.

I think that this Scientology excuse is not enough for Katie to use to win sole legal custody. She knew what she was getting into. It's not like Tom switched religions after they had Suri and after they got married. He didn't change. She did. You can't marry a Jew, switch to their religion, agree to have your marriage and raise your kids like that, and then change your mind when your kid is 6 and expect the court to grant you full legal custodial rights and completely cut off the other parent. If anything, you look like the crazy one because you're the one flip-flopping.

Beth
Beth

Yes and they were also taught not to associate with Nicole Kidman, their mother.   Katie has perfectly legitimate reasons to obtain primary custody of Suri.    However, the "org" will put tremendous pressure on Suri to join and will use powers to help Tom get custody.   Suri is an heir to Tom's wealth and the Scientologists want all the tax free wealth they can get their hands on.

Everytime you go to see a TC movie, you are donating to this "cult."

Thomas Bird
Thomas Bird

I agree. I will never pay to see another Tom Cruise movie ever again as long as he remains a member of that vile cult. 

Guest
Guest

That's really sad and unfortunate. 

Marilyn Reichard-Saeger
Marilyn Reichard-Saeger

Yes it is.  That is proof in itself that Suri needs to be away from Cruise.  I never, ever liked him; don't think he's that great of an actor.  Do the children associate with Nicole at all?  Seems they weren't permitted to form their own opinions.

Danielle
Danielle

WHO CARES?? 

Two celebrities get a divorce and you use the end of your relationship to discuss a religious group?  Really?  My God!  When on earth will this country give up on Scientology bashing?  You might as well be bashing every organized religion in existence or the idea of religious beliefs.

To me, Scientology is no better or worse than any other religion.  Is the Western world really incapable of realizing this, or do they have this need to bash anything that doesn't relate to them?

Frank Mondana
Frank Mondana

 Because Scientology is an obvious scam to anyone with 2 brain cells. Hubbard once said that to become rich, create a religion.

I've had the "pleasure" of working with them in the past. I hated it. Every single time we had a meeting the first 1/2 hour was a recruiting session. They made us watch video and read pamphlets that they said were important in order to do the job but they weren't.

Anytime we left their board room to go to the toilet, 2 guards went with us. Anytime we went anywhere in the building we were escorted "because it's easy to get lost".

Then there's the underlying alien overlord aspect. That is the strangest story ever but, Hubbard was a terrible writer and it shows.

digitalbeachbum
digitalbeachbum

Actually, all religions are cults.

People bash all religions, all the time. Scientology isn't being singled out. It's just another stupid opinion made up by a freaky old man with a warped and sick mind.

jenny5000
jenny5000

I agree. I think people just listen to the media which is always so negative.

Diana Maras
Diana Maras

Your ignorance is a choice but you don't have the right to push that ignorance on others. Western world? In what part of the world is your "religion" welcome? Nice try, cultist. 

therantguy
therantguy

I am no fan of religion but to argue that a cult like Scientology is somehow the same as the Catholic church is absurd. The Catholic church may well be out of touch...may well harbour pedophiles...but they don't follow people around...keep tabs on ex members...require donations in the hundreds of thousands for "auditing" and on and on...the Catholic church is bad...the Church of Scientology is evil...there is a difference.

lovingparentof2
lovingparentof2

 I agree with you Danielle. All organized religions have the cr*p. Scientology is no more or worse than any others.

You're wrong therantguy. The Mormon religion requires MUCH more donations than Scientology. So do many Asian religions, as well as the Jewish religion. They want them supporting their community.  I don't see any Mormon bashing. I think the Catholic religion is MUCH worse than all these put together. Do you know anything about the Catholics? They're not just "absurd". In addition to their male clergy raping boys, the women (nuns) stole the babies of young unwed mothers for DECADES. The Catholic religion is responsible for many of the worst treatments against other people and still TO THIS DAY is responsible for complete brainwashing of their people in regards to pushing their religion as the "only" religion. I choose to not belong to any organized religion, but if I had to choose between the two, I'd pick Scientology over Catholicsm any day.

digitalbeachbum
digitalbeachbum

Are you serious? People bash Mormonism all the time. Have you seen the crazy crap they believe in? The LDS (Mormon's) are freaking crazy. Romney is a Mormon. Remember that when you go to the polls.

cjvg
cjvg

Just give scientology time, they will mature into plain bad just like the rc church did when people start fighting against their tyranny. The rc church was plain evil too in their earlier years, see the slaughter of the catars, the inqusition, the consistent repression and condemnation of science and the murder of scientists if they could get away with it, the crusades, the witch hunts, the slaughter and forced indoctrination of indiginous people were ever they found them etc etc. No difference at all, just time

Talendria
Talendria

Well, let's see.  

As far as weird stuff goes, the Catholic Church has stigmata, immaculate conception, resurrection, and exorcisms.  Isn't that crazier than audits and e-meters?  The Bible says the entire universe and every living organism was created in six days.  That's even less plausible than Dianetics.

As far as the evil allegations, I don't know to what extent those are true, but I do know that the Catholic Church has had some seriously perverted popes, and young girls used to get shipped off to convents much like Sea Lab.  The Catholic Church went through a phase of excommunicating anyone who disagreed with them, and heretics were tortured and/or burned at the stake.

As far as donations, tithing required people to give up ten percent of their income.  Plus, membership in the Catholic Church wasn't optional.

You have to remember that the Catholic Church was once a cult too.  It only seems normal to us now because it's been around for 2000 years, and we've long since accepted its eccentricities.  I'm not saying L. Ron Hubbard wasn't a big weirdo (he was), but imagine what you'd think if you met Jesus of Nazareth on the street corner.  "I can heal you with my hands.  No, really!"

I think you've been prejudiced by the media.  Trust me, if the media had been around 2000 years ago (or 200 years ago), they would've had a field day with Catholicism and Mormonism.  Both of them are equally as strange as Scientology when you stop to think about it.

Talendria
Talendria

The article is ostensibly about two famous people getting a divorce, and the author turned it into a polemic against Scientology.  I find it discriminatory simply because nearly every allegation mentioned in this article could be (and has been) directed at every other religion.  

When my parents got divorced, my mother bitterly resented my father's involvement in the Baptist church.  She felt they had bizarre beliefs (no drinking, no card games), were taking too much of my father's money, and that Billy Graham had "brainwashed" him.  They'd shipped me off to several summers of "Bible Camp" where I was taught (or indoctrinated, depending on your perspective).  After the divorce was final, we stopped going to church, and I never saw my father again.  

The point is every religion strives to create its own bubble with schools, camps, sports, etc, and most religious people prefer to socialize with people from their own bubble.  If and when Scientologists break the law, they should be prosecuted; otherwise, you need to respect their Constitutional right to religious freedom.

NicHautamaki
NicHautamaki

This article is about Scientology.  If the article were about Hitler, would you be here saying, 'Well let's see, Hitler killed 11 million in death camps and started WW2, but Mao killed 70 million and started the Korean War so he's even worse!'

I'm not here to defend ANY religion, but Scientology is currently flying under the radar far too much as the dangerous money-making cult that it is.  Not only does Scientology get tax exempt status, but it also records the audits (confessions) of new members and uses them to blackmail them into staying with and financially contributing to the church forever.  Those who leave the cult or speak out against it have private investigators hired to dig up dirt on them and blackmail them, and also have an endless serious of frivolous lawsuits brought up against them.  Scientology has ruined thousands if not millions of normal people's lives all to enrich those at the very top, like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.  Joining this cult is as deleterious as a heroin or meth addiction, and the guys at the top are as culpable as any Mexican drug lord.  But instead they cloak themselves in the freedom of religion and are allowed to abuse the laws on the books to victimize and enslave their followers and enrich themselves, all with full legal protection and tax exempt status.  It's disgusting.

lovingparentof2
lovingparentof2

 Completely agree Talendria. It's so amazing to me how people will knock down one religion while upholding another that is, in reality, just as bad, if not worse. Hello?!?!!?  As you said, the Catholic religion is the WORST of them all...but yet, it's accepted as completely normal now. Wake up people. Unless kidnapping young unwed mothers and stealing their babies is "normal" and "acceptable" to you, exorcisms, pedophilia, hitting children with objects and sticks is considered "discipline" to you, etc, etc, etc, if you're bashing Scientology, you shouldn't be supporting anything about the Catholic religion either.

Talendria
Talendria

I agree.  Nothing in this article depicts Scientology as more cult-like than any other organized religion.  It's unfortunate that the two parties involved didn't discuss child-rearing philosophies before they got married and had kids.  Good luck to them.

DelorisJbomb
DelorisJbomb

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