Cruise, Cruz split by Scientology?

Did Scientology come between Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz?

Celebrities and Scientology

“The Church of Scientology uses celebrity spokesmen to endorse L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings and give Scientology greater acceptability in mainstream America. As far back as 1955, Hubbard recognized the value of famous people to his fledgling, off-beat church when he inaugurated ‘Project Celebrity.’ According to Hubbard, Scientologists should target prominent individuals as their “quarry” and bring them back like trophies for Scientology. […] Celebrities are considered so important to the movement’s expansion that the church created a special office to guide their careers and ensure their ‘correct utilization’ for Scientology. The church has a special branch that ministers to prominent individuals, providing them with first-class treatment. Its headquarters, called Celebrity Centre International, is housed in a magnificent old turreted mansion on Franklin Avenue, overlooking the Hollywood Freeway.
The Selling of a Church: The Courting of Celebrities

A source who knows the couple, but has not talked with either since they announced that they were no longer an item, says that Cruz was “dragging her feet” when it came to converting to Cruise’s controversial religion, reports

“She had taken some courses, but she was resisting taking the plunge and there was no way they’d stay together unless she converted,” said the source, who pointed out that Scientology is suspected to have been a factor in Cruise’s split from ex-wife Nicole Kidman. “I hear that Cruz’s family was very much opposed to Scientology.”

However, Cruz’s publicist, Robert Garlock, said Cruise’s religion had nothing to do with the split.

Cruz “is not a Scientologist, but she has taken courses and she has found them beneficial,” Garlock told People magazine. He also said no third person was involved in the breakup.

Cruise and Cruz met in 2000 on the set of “Vanilla Sky.” They began dating in July 2001, five months after Cruise’s 10-year marriage to Nicole Kidman collapsed.

Meanwhile, Cruz is reportedly moving on quite nicely, romancing her movie costar Matthew McConaughey, reports

The Spanish beauty and McConaughey are currently shooting “Sahara” in the Moroccan desert, and set insiders claim Cruz turned to the actor to seek help after her relationship with Cruise collapsed.

“It’s been a long, hot, exciting shoot, if you know what I mean,” one source said. “Watching the two of them together, you could almost see the sparks fly.”

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Knight Ridder Newspapers, USA
Mar. 29, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday March 31, 2004.
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