Tom Cruise is clearly bonkers

The new Andrew Morton biography of Tom Cruise has it wrong: Tom is definitely not gay. He is, however, quite bonkers and whatever it is that’s driving him is clearly much weirder than being merely gay.

I’m thinking something along the lines of that episode of The Simpsons in which Selma marries Troy McClure only to discover that he has a fish fetish. To paraphrase a quote: Gay? I wish!

Yes, Tom Cruise is strange. Stranger still, however, is the fact that in our society being gay is, apparently, a career-killing scandal for an actor yet if he’s an “Operating Thetan VII” who believes that alien souls live inside us and psychiatry is a nazi science, that’s fine.

If Scientology is making Tom Cruise weird then it doesn’t seem to be making him any less famous.

Still, it would be disingenuous to claim that Cruise is famous for the right reasons these days.

In past years we have watched his behaviour become more bizarre until he was dropped by his studio and is now eyeing a place at the table between Britney and Jacko.

Even his marriage and the birth of his child have only alienated (no pun intended) his public. If Scientology is so good for a person’s wellbeing then how has it allowed this happen to the world’s biggest star?

If L. Ron Hubbard was your manager you’d have sacked him years ago.

Scientology is attractive to film stars because it closely mirrors the world that they already inhabit: paranoid, litigious and tightly controlled by lawyers and publicists.

The fact they believe in aliens, e-meters and all the rest is merely incidental.

Scientology is not repugnant because it believes weird stuff – after all, believing weird stuff is common to religion.

The problem with Scientology, and sects like it, is they don’t offer eternal, intangible rewards like real religions but spiritual and material success in the here-and-now, like a real estate course or an exercise program.

This makes Scientology attractive to people who are spiritually empty and impatient for enlightenment.

It’s a really awful combination, as a quick conversation with one of those vacant freaks manning an e-meter outside the Town Hall will confirm.

Unlike many famous actors of his generation, Cruise is incredibly talented. Unfortunately talent is not enough to be an actor in Hollywood – you also have to be perfect, and perfection is something that the Church of Scientology is only too willing to promise.

Poor Tom Cruise. If Scientology is really his best hope in life then I can’t help but think something with fish would be preferable.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday January 11, 2008.
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