Cruise opens Scientology centre

HOLLYWOOD star Tom Cruise inaugurated a new centre for the controversial Church of Scientology, of which he is a member, in the Spanish capital today.

Cruise, who attended the European premiere of his new thriller, Collateral, in Venice earlier this month, spoke briefly in Spanish to the 1000-strong crowd at the new centre near the national parliament in Madrid.

Church members had for several days been distributing leaflets inviting people to come to “a party which will be attended by Tom Cruise”, an AFP journalist said.

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Founded in the US in 1954 by science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, Scientology was accorded the status of a religion there in 1993, but is regarded with suspicion in many European countries, where opponents accuse it of manipulating members for financial ends.

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