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Home » Culture and Criticism

File under “U” for “Un! Comfortable!”

Submitted by on January 15, 2008 – 2:43 PM42 Comments

In case you haven’t seen the Tom Cruise Scientology-recruiting clip show that’s circulating these here Webs of inter-ness, you really owe it to yourself to check them out.Erin (or, as I like to call her, “Redhead Org”) hit me with the URL, so if you feel as squirmed out watching it as I do, it’s her fault.


Skyrockets and I were just discussing last night how we don’t feel that Cruise gets enough credit as an actor, and I stand by that; I think he’s great in Born On The 4th Of July, and I think he’s very charming in A Few Good Men, which is otherwise charmless going.He picks cheese to work in a lot of the time, probably because he doesn’t want to get in over his head, and God knows Interview With The Vampire is not something he should have gone near (he looks terrified any time he’s onscreen with Pitt), but he’s capable of good work, and I’m not just saying that because I think the Cruise Sea Org will drive a submarine up onto the sidewalk on 4th Avenue and torpedo me to death.Although I do think that, because…he scares me.Sincerely.


The man sounds ridiculous.RIDICULOUS.He’s speaking English, but it makes no sense, and when it does make sense, it’s so Smurfy as to beggar belief — kind of like this article about the Celebrity Centre in L.A.At one point, Goodyear describes the Scientology rep as “rambling,” and that’s the least of it.




  • Sars says:

    What are these terms, by the way? KSW? Crim-Anon?

    …The delusions of grandeur are really, clinically out of hand. I’m not a psychologist, but fuck’s sake.

  • Annie says:

    That link to the video on may not be work-safe. I got a banner ad for adult movie rentals containing near-nudity, and that’s as far as I got before closing that tab. I want to see the video, but I’ll have to wait until I get home.

  • Meg says:

    You are obviously an SP and will be dealt with accordingly.

    You know, I posted to this clip, earlier today, and now my computer is all kinds of fucked up! I would say it was just a coincidence, but considering it took me three attempts — at various sites — to catch the clip before it was removed…

  • anna says:

    He has dyslexia and he never got a college education, so he’s insecure and he goes for this crap he thinks makes him sound smart, I figure.

  • Meg says:

    @Annie: Gawker also has a clip. There are ads there, too, but so far, all I’ve seen are their Gawker Artists and Bourdain. He’s offensive, but still safe for work. This should take you directly to the article about Tom:

  • Princess Leah says:

    Would be roll-on-the-floor hilare were it not for the many documented instances of folks who shell out funds to the ‘church’that they can ill-afford in order to move up the ladder. And then there’s Lisa McPherson.

    Take the very odd sense of superiority that this cult seems to foster, combine it with Hollywood upper tier entitledness and you could pretty much predict the content of the Cruise video.

  • Jen M. says:

    It’s amazing how inarticulate he is with no script to read from. “Um…you know…ha ha ha!”

  • KSW = Keeping Scientology Working (a policy, a course, a sign-off, a way of life … see how ordinary Scientologists use it in reports and communications to each other at the Lisa McPherson files)

    Crim-Anon = Criminon (a Scientology front group – a jail rehab program run by an organization whose top executives went to jail for infiltrating US government offices … yeah, there’s a good idea)

    And Princess Leah – Lisa wasn’t the only one. Clearly, not ALL Scientologists are held against their will, but there have been other documented cases (I’ve personally spoken with a couple of women who were held captive), and now people doing Scientology services must sign a waiver letting Scientology hold them against their will if Scn deems it appropriate.

    It’s always worth keeping an eye out for Scientology front groups – there’s a strong push in Scn to get public money, and an even stronger one to introduce Scn and Hubbard to new people. Front groups focus on drug abuse (Narconon – including Hubbard-based drug education in public schools), literacy (HELP, World Literacy Crusade), and education (Scientology’s “study tech” through Applied Scholastics).

  • Jules says:

    I was just saying to my brother as we scrolled through the DirecTV guide and saw Top Gun playing, “Remember the old days when you could like Tom Cruise ’cause you didn’t know how scary he is?”

  • Alyce says:

    As much as I keep up with gossip about celebrities (reading past issues while in the pedicure chair, mostly), I never ever took anything I read terribly seriously. Figured there was truth to some of it, shook my head at others, and more or less dismissed it as entertainment.

    Same holds for TC. I gave him the benefit of the doubt about his “wacky” beliefs and the couch-jumping heard ’round the world.

    Until now. The video is beyond ridiculous. And now I can’t help wondering about Kat(i)e Holmes. Is she brainwashed, too? Is she getting paid a bazillion dollars to be his wife for 3 years and give him a child? She never struck me as insipid. But I caught a quick video from a GMA appearance and was a little at a loss for words. Not her best moment.

    I don’t get it.

  • Faith says:

    I used to date a Scientologist back in my sophomore/junior year at Pepperdine. He was supposedly “clear” but several incidents throughout our relationship made me call that into question, and amazingly, we didn’t make it very far when it came to our developing feelings for each other. (My sister remembers more fighting than anything between us…I prefer to remember them as “discussions.”)

    I took a course at the Celebrity Centre, as that was where my boyfriend at the time was going through his Scientology development. His mom was pretty high up in the church…not sure where, but she had a significant effect on our relationship, and was always trying to convince me that I could be both a member of the Catholic church as well as the Scientologist church, but she left me alone after I finally told her that I would never want to be a part of something that required me to pay them in order to gain some sort of personal (or spiritual) development.

    Being “audited” was odd, to say the least. They say the e-meter can’t have any effect on you, really, but I definitely felt a strange and very light pain in the right side of my brain (I’m not kidding!) as I held onto the cannisters and got read by my auditor. I’m officially a Scientologist for life, but as I gave them my boyfriends phone number and address as ways to contact me at the time (didn’t want my parents to find out…except the cancelled check that went to dad’s office for the payment for the course kind of gave me away, idiot that I was), I’ve never heard from them again.

    And I cannot STAND Tom Cruise. Freako!

  • Mrs. Steel says:

    Sharing a near-miss with Scientology from my youth. . .I was home from college in the late ’70’s and had read ‘The World According to Garp’, then loaned it to my sister. We went to Newport Beach one summer day, stopping on the way at a donut shop on Pacific Coast Highway. There we picked up the famous pink Personality Test (published by Dianetics, a Scientology front organization). During the long, lazy afternoon on the sand, we filled out the test as if TS Garp was answering the questions. It was hilarious good fun, and we topped off the joke by mailing it in. For the next SEVERAL YEARS, mail addressed to TS Garp arrived at my parents’ home carrying increasingly impassioned pleas to seek help through Dianetics.

    This was THE talked-about novel that year.

    Bozos, the lot.

  • Atlantagirl30021 says:

    I just couldn’t get over Cruise laughing. I think a third of it is just him laughing, maniacally, for no reason. Is he…laughing at himself? Because he should be. Fool sounds crazy.

    And what is UP with the vague Mission Impossible music in the background? And the awful editing? Did one guy cut and paste together the video in his basement?

  • FloridaErin says:

    I’ve never minded his movies (Actually really like some of them) and used to defend the guy. DEFEND HIM! I’ve had this weird thing against Nichole Kidman for as long as I can remember, partly because she bugs me and partly because I don’t think she’s that talented, and I remember defending Tom when the two of them broke up. I even kind of defending him with the whole baby thing, because God, does that kid look like them.

    And then all of this started happening, and I just can’t do it anymore. The fact that he’s weird isn’t even the half of it. I have my degree in psychology, and the whole Brooke Shields/psychology explosion just did me in. The man is a walking trainwreck.

  • bstewart23 says:

    I’ll give him Magnolia. But nothing else.

  • Jen S says:

    Well, now I know why he did such a good job in Magnolia–his perfect role is manic huckster for dubious, misogynistic crap that makes tons of money.

    These clips remind me of the time I ran into a guy I hadn’t seen in several years. He was doing a show I was working backstage crew on, and we’d got along great, but of course had lost touch after the run.

    And suddenly, here he was! We did the “hugs-how are you-whatcha been doin'” routine, and I noted that he looked great.

    “Yes, ” he said proudly. “I’ve just gotten married, and have a great new job!”

    “Oh, that’s great!” I said. “Doing what?”

    ” Helping the victims of UFOs expose the government coverup,” sez he.

    I thought he was kidding, but he was not. He started telling me all about government conspiracies and the efforts of this group to expose the truth, IN TOTAL SERIOUSNESS, while I did the smile-and-nod-and-back-slowly-away routine until I could make my excuses and get out of there before he wangled my email address. And the whole time he was just as charming and personable and sane-acting as I remembered him being.

    So, you never know. You think you know somebody, and it turns out they have this whole whackadoo section of their brain that you never even suspected was there. Although I guess Cocktail might have been a warning sign if we’d just cared enough to see it.

  • Deirdre says:

    The only thing I’ve ever been able to tolerate him in is The Firm.

  • Smash says:

    I have thought for the past couple of years that he was a control freak who was a little wacko and clearly enamored of a cult. This video, though, has convinced me that he has gone beyond all that into the realm of true, severe mental illness. Ironic that the guy who detests psychiatry could really benefit from some of those evil meds…

  • Anna says:

    I got audited once (I guess? From the sound of the cannisters – they coerced me off the street, by the way, they go where all the market researchers go on New St in Birmingham and I had half an hour to kill and no money… ANYWAY. I now have a very good anecdote that starts “hey, one time I was kidnapped by scientologists,”) and I didn’t feel anything but I did work out that the dial responds to the muscles in your hand flexing/pressure as you tense talking about stressful events so I freaked the girl out by making the dial go crazy at the wrong times. I was on antidepressants at the time and she actually had the nerve to tell me that they wouldn’t do anything and I wasn’t dealing with the problem and I’d end up and emotional cripple (paraphrasing). Imagine if she’d got someone less strong-willed and they’d done something stupid.

    That outpouring in response to me reading this at the same time it appeared on more 4 news. About how the scientologists are pulling the video down all over the internet and more 4 wants to know WHY! (Also a bit of “wow, Tom Cruise is really kind of crazy.”)

  • Jenny says:

    Wow, that was deeply frightening. I always knew he was a little off kilter but not this much. I’m worried about Katie and Suri now, I’ll bet he’s even scarier in person, spouting off this crazy Scientology stuff with that intense look on his face and you just can’t get away from him. Yikes.

  • Randy's Girl says:

    Oh…My…GOD! Does Scientology use shock treaments in their conversion process? I remember listening to a lot of interviews with Cruise circa 1989 (Born on the 4th of July) and he was actually intelligent and LUCID. He had only been into Scientology a short amount of time. In that video he sounded completely “toys in the attic.” Either he had better handlers then (Britney Spears, anyone?) or he has ISSUES…

  • Devi says:

    @Smash: The thing is, I think on some level he senses it. He keeps getting more and more out of control yelling about shrinks and drugs, and it’s really easy to see where that’s a “GAAAAH!!! Keep them away from me!” response. I think he knows he’s bent, but he can’t stop it and he can’t yell for help any louder than he has been.

  • Spike says:

    Never cared for the guy’s acting, I mean all I should have to say is “Willow”.

    What the hell was that man talking about? Was he trying to recruit me or warn me?

  • Sars says:

    I can’t believe I’m about to show my ass this way, but…I believe “Willow” was Val Kilmer. You’re thinking of “Legend,” which I’ve seen more than once.

    You may now commence the mass exodus.

  • Devi: Thing is, Scientology teaches that psychiatrists are (I am not making this up) the root of all evil in the universe – they’ve been around for trillions of years and created all pain and suffering.

    It’s sad to realize how hard it is for former Scientologists to get help from professionals when they need it. It’s infuriating to realize they don’t just want to avoid it themselves – they want to destroy psychiatry, period. If your state has considered a mental health parity bill, you can bet Scientologists were lobbying zealously against it. If your state offers mental health screening, you can bet Scientologists have tried to stop that, too. And there’s a lot of Scientology tax-free donation money behind lawsuits against various psychiatric medications and procedures. The front group here is the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). They have a museum and travelling exhibit called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death.

    Of course, destroying psychiatry will make it possible for us raw meat to get help from the only source that really CAN help – Scientology.

    “Our war has been forced to become ‘To take over absolutely the field of mental healing on this planet in all forms. … Our total victory will come when we run [the psychiatrist’s] organisations, perform his functions and obtain his financing and appropriations.” – L. Ron Hubbard, 1969

  • Rebecca says:

    Wellllll…. I’ve never really heard someone speak for so long without actually saying anything.

    After the first 30 seconds or so, it seems like (if you didn’t know already what this raving loony was babbling about) he could be doing an ad for almost anything, so little is he actually specifically saying.

    So creepy he is.

  • Smash says:

    Umm…I own Willow on DVD, if it makes you feel any better. It’s totally Val Kilmer as Madmartigan. My brothers and I were obsessed with it when we were kids, and we still to this day shout “Out of the way, Peck!” at each other when one of us gets in the other’s way. I can safely assure you that Tom Cruise never sullied that movie with his crazy ass.

  • JenK says:

    Is he…high? I mean, I was only half listening to most of it, but still, I didn’t understand anything he said. And it sort of sounded like he didn’t quite understand what he was saying, either.

    @Jen S: Your story is better, but this video reminded me of a guy from high school. He was probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, but he got into drugs the last two years of school, never left home without being under the influence of something, then never really left home at all, and I wasn’t sure if he had actually graduated or dropped out or what. (He did graduate, but just barely. He was all incredulous when he told me later that the bastards who were in charge almost didn’t let him graduate because he had only attended like 50 days the last two years of school.) A few years later, I tutored a girl whose dad was dating this guy’s mom, and we ran into each other at the girl’s house. He seemed normal enough, and we made plans to get together for dinner and catch up. At dinner, he was high on something and spent the whole time trying to use mathematical equations that he had invented to prove that the government was conspiring to brainwash everyone, or something to that effect. I tuned out after a while and wondered whether it would be inappropriate to just get up and walk away in the middle of his spiel. But the food was good, so I stayed. Plus, he ended every other sentence with a quivering “maaaaan,” as in, “It’s all a big conspiracy, maaaan.” After a while, it was hard not to giggle at how much he sounded like a stereotypical conspiracy theorist stoner when he was trying so earnestly to convince me that he was one of the few people aware of the government’s master plan.

  • Moonloon says:

    On the one hand: any “religion” that claims to be based on the long-lost stories of aliens seeding the earth – and that also hates psychiatrists (oh really?) – has to be questioned.

    On the other hand: he’s no more scary than the manic warhounds we see and hear each day, talking about the “war on terra” – and at least he doesn’t have his finger on any nuclear buttons.

    And the main thing that makes me not hate him, is that the so-called “free scientology” sites are actually very interesting and not too far off, from an occult POV (I’m a witch, among other stuff. Who doesn’t believe in aliens, nor think Frasier = OmenIII. But declared upfront, so call it as you choose).

    Meh… well done to Nicole Kidman getting up the duff anyway, she’s cool, despite her funny nose.

  • MC says:

    I can’t decide which is more disturbing: his inability to form a complete sentence, or the nervous laughter that interrupted his incomplete sentences. On the other hand, I really liked him in “Rainman.”

    Also, it’s probably pathetic that the erroneous mention of Val Kilmer in conjunction with Tom Cruise made me think of “Top Gun.” Like… immediately.

  • Rachel says:

    Heh. If anything, that kind of knowledge is what keeps us all coming back.

  • K. says:

    “And now I can’t help wondering about Kat(i)e Holmes. Is she brainwashed, too?”
    I read an interview in . . . I want to say W (someone emailed it to me) when they first got engaged, wherein Katie just sounds like a robot. Even the interviewer was like, “Dude, you’re a mess.” I’ve always been kind of indifferent to Katie Holmes; I think Dawson’s Creek was one of the worst shows on TV and I could only get through the pilot, and her film stuff is “eh.” (Except for Go! I love Go! and make no bones about it.) I thought she was cute with Chris Klein, and she seemed to be halfway intelligent. When they first got engaged I thought, “How weird, how did they meet?” But when I read that interview I thought, “Oh baby girl, you gots to GO.” She didn’t appear to have one thought that someone else hadn’t put in her head. I think there was a Scientology buddy or something lurking in the corner.

    “I have my degree in psychology, and the whole Brooke Shields/psychology explosion just did me in.”
    I also have a psych degree (and was very close to a psychologist who specialized in post-partum depression) and was pretty much done with him then, because he was clearly talking out of his ass. Although the whole “Matt Matt Matt, you’re glib” thing is pretty funny, and I’ve seen Matt Lauer make fun of it, which is awesome. I used to like Tom Cruise – a friend of my mom’s ran into him in an elevator and he was really nice to her; old-school Tom was hot and charming, and I thought he was very good in Magnolia. But I’ve been on the “dude is crack-ass crazy” train for some time now, and this just cements it.

  • FloridaErin says:

    I . . . have actually seen “Legend”. I had completely forgotten about that movie, and now feel deeply ashamed.

  • Danielle says:

    Yep. Willow had the midgets, Legend had the giant Tim Curry horns.

  • Ellen says:

    That’s a whole lotta crazy all in one place. Nuff said.

  • briteyes says:

    See, I used to like (as in, “not really mind”) Tom Cruise–when it came to playing the same character in every film, he was really solid. And I liked ‘Minority Report.’

    But ever since he jumped the couch, boyfriend has been better train wreck entertainment than Britney Spears. He’s the one celebrity I feel absolutely no guilt in making fun of (Britney: issues. Star Jones: nuts, but issues. Tom Cruise: plain bat-fuck insane… and he doesn’t *believe* in issues).

    One of my closest friends had a run-in with Scientology, when he and a buddy were invited into one of their “churches.” They were going up some back staircase when they BOTH got this panicked feeling, like if they’d taken another step, they never would have been seen again. They ran like hell. To this day, my friend is STILL freaked out about it. (This is a guy who got mugged at gunpoint and held his shit together.)

  • JenV says:

    I’ve decided there are really only three possible explanations as to why L. Ron Hubbard invented Scientology:
    1. He figured out that starting a religion is one of the easiest ways to get rich.
    2. He made a bet with someone that he could invent an obviously crazy religion and still get tons of poor bastards to believe in it.
    3. He was a raving lunatic and actually believed every word.

    For some reason I find option 3 the hardest to believe.

    Oh, and OMG I secretly love the movie Legend!!! I always watch it when I run into it on cable.

  • Moonloon says:

    I regularly walk past the Scientology HQ on Tottenham Court Road, in London.

    One thing I have observed, is that if I’m feeling a little under par – monthlies, or a bad mood, or just saw my bank statement – some little soul will come up and offer me a “personality test” or a “stress test.”

    However, should I be walking past on a natural high, shoulders back, chin up – nary a nibble.

    Make of that what you will – they’re either trying to support the lost and down-at-mouth, or they specifically seek out people looking vulnerable.

    It feels like the latter to me, but then I can be a cynic at times.

  • Leigh says:

    A couple of friends of mine, when they first moved to L.A., went to this “acting seminar” which turned out to be a Scientology recruitment junket.

    And I use “junket” advisedly; they had Juliette Lewis hosting, and assured all these (presumably) desperate fame-hungry wannabes that all they had to do was give Scientology all their money and sky-high success was ASSURED.

    Amway’s got nothing on these people.

    My friends gave fake names (Tim was “Dorian Gray”) and addresses and were profoundly grateful to have escaped unscathed.

    As for Willow, hey. Some of that was pretty priceless. My sisters and I still sometimes yell “I STOLE THE BABY!” whenever we do something random we’re absurdly proud of.

    …not in public, of course. But still.

  • Jade says:

    Well I didn’t get to see the video before it got disappeared but it’s become increasingly clear that Tom is beginning to lose control of his spin.

    From what I have read on him he controls his public image fairly rigidly and the fact that this video and Andrew Mortons book are chipping away at that image probably means that as things cycle more and more out of his control we’re going to see more outbursts of the crazy. Which i’m looking forward to actually.

    But yeah the real Tom Cruise is beginning to peek out from behind the public persona.

    Interesting isn’t it?

  • Claire says:

    @Jade: The video can be found on YouTube – I typed in “Tom Cruise Scientology Video” and it came right up.

    I can’t really add to the discussion. Dude’s lost it. End of story.

  • Sandman says:

    I’m not a psychologist either (and I don’t even play one on tv!) But that video certainly exhibits every hallmark of schizoid behaviour I remember from my first-year psych class:

    – magical thinking: “We can change conditions…”
    – delusions of grandeur: “You know you’re the only one who can really help.”
    – access to secret or arcane knowledge: “I know the history of psychiatry and you don’t.”
    – disproportionate emotional responses, inappropriate laughter, anger (although that one may be as much the result of hamfisted editing, as much as anything else).

    There have been rumours for years that L. Ron had a bet with other science fiction writers (Harlan Ellison, for one) that he could invent a religion and get people to follow it.

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