Well, I just happened to catch tonight's episode of Access Hollywood. Tonight's subject: "Tom Cruise: Man on a Mission." It was 1/2 hour of Tom being gently questioned about $cientology and him railing against psychology, psychiatry, drug therapy, Brooke Shields and how "irresponsible" she is to be "promoting" psychotropic drugs (she used Paxil when she had postpartum depression). They even showed glamourous clips of an outside view of one of the $cientology "churches," smiling people being audited, and talked about auditing, the e-meter, and all the "good works" Tom is doing promoting $cientology to children, NY firefighters after 9/11, and on and on...
Tom explained that he uses the CO$'s "technology" to help people "whether they know it or not!"
I hate to think of all the additional people who'll get sucked into this "org" after this glittering 1/2 hour promotion...
Tom Cruise: Man On A Mission
POSTED: 2:31 pm PDT May 26, 2005
UPDATED: 2:54 pm PDT May 26, 2005
Tom is serious when it comes to the topic of kids on drugs.
Man on a Mission
Why did Tom Cruise sit down with Billy Bush?
"Because there is nothing more important," he said to Billy Bush. "I remember we spoke outside of the mentoring award when I received the National Mentorship Award, and we were talking about child drugging. We have a real problem in America today, where we now have 8 million kids -- the future generation is medicated. I told you I'm going right after these guys I'm going right after psychiatry and these false labels and this psuedo-science."
Tom's passion is personal.
"I was diagnosed as being dyslexic. I had a lot of energy as a child. They wanted to put me on drugs in the 70s."
But Tom's mother stood in the way and said no. "She just felt it was wrong inside if a doctor's telling her," Tom said. "My mother said 'No. Absolutely not. No way.' I am thankful. Had I been put on those drugs, I never would be here today talking to you and I never would have had the career that I am having. Never. I know that."
Tom was born in Syracuse, New York. He has three sisters. He enjoyed riding his bicycle, boating, swimming. And he wasn't exactly shy in front of the camera. He was ready for his close-up even as a child!
Although Tom attended Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey, that was only one of many schools he attended, including a seminary, because Tom's family moved a lot. He attended 12 schools in 12 years.
"My mother left my father. They are divorced. My story was one of a great mother and great sisters and a very close family."
By 1981, at age 19, Tom had moved to Hollywood and was already working in movies. He married and divorced actress Mimi Rogers, and shortly after, in 1990, he married Nicole Kidman, entering into a high-profile Hollywood relationship.
They adopted two children, Isabella and Connor. "I always wanted to be a father," said Tom.
His father's absense starting at age 12 was felt.
Tom on his father: "He tried to do right but he, himself, didn’t have the tools."
"I always felt responsible for myself," said Tom. "I felt that. When I became a Scientologist, I reached a point of greater understanding for my father. You see, he is my father. He tried to do right but he, himself, didn't have the tools." When Tom was 21, his dad died of cancer. He continued to be close with his mother, who remarried.
Tom went to seminary school at age 14, a time when many adolescents are having some kind of awakening, discovering the opposite sex.
"I was discovering girls, also," at seminary school. But becoming a Catholic priest was not in the cards, he said.
"There was not a desire (to become) a priest," he said. "Because even when I was there, there was, you know, girlfriends or friends, that part of it. But there was an interest in religion."
Tom became a Scientologist in 1985 and began studying the technologies of L. Ron Hubbard "shortly after that," he said.
"Study Tech" is Scientology's method of learning. This personal breakthrough was right about the same time Tom's career exploded with a little movie called "Top Gun."
"I always wanted to be a pilot," he said. "And when I had 'Top Gun,' I went for one lesson and I just couldn't learn. I couldn't read and then apply what I had read. So what happened on 'Top Gun,' at that point, I couldn't get my pilot license and it was very frustrating for me. I wanted it."
Because of this study technology, Tom now has his pilot's license. He's even mastered flying to the point of aerobatics.
Tom credits Scientology with making all of that possible. And now, Tom is passing the study tech on to others through his work with the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project, or H.E.L.P.
Tom's passion for helping children learn is only exceeded by his personal crusade against doctors prescribing anti-depressants and drugs such as Ritalin to treat children.
"They said, 'Oh, you know, Ritalin is safe. It's safe. It's safe.' Ritalin is an amphetamine."
Tom believes the education of children is suffering for it.
"SAT scores have gone right down the toilet," he said. "The parents are blaming the teachers. The teachers are blaming the parents. Okay? And the psychs are putting everyone on drugs."
Tom was asked whether he believed doctors who prescribe drugs like that to people think they are doing it for the right reasons.
"You know what? I'm sure drug dealers on the street, in some way, they are making money. That's what I equate it to. Here is the thing: you have to understand, with psychiatry, there is no science behind it. And to pretend that there is a science behind it is criminal."
The American Psychiatric Assocation disagrees. They claim "....depression and anxiety are real and they are treatable. Science has shown that medications can be an important - and even lifesaving - part of treatment." But Tom is undeterred. "Am I making people aware of it by discussing it openly and saying what a fraud psychiatry is? You bet I am. I feel responsibility. Because I care, man. I care . I care about you . I care about your children .I care about these people here in this room, every one of you. And I mean it. That is not just words to me. That is a promise. You think I'm passionate? You see? That is why they wanted to drug the piss out of me!," he said, laughing.
Tom on Scientology: "Scientology for me (is)…if you don’t understand something, it is literally because you have misunderstood words. That's all..."
Tom and Scientology
Firefighters with health problems caused by 9/11 are just one of many groups that Tom reaches out to year-round, spreading the word about Scientology's various learning and healing technologies.
But there is still one question: what exactly is Scientology? One of its biggest proponents will explain.
Tom was asked about the concept of auditing, a Scientology practice. "To audit is to listen," Tom said.
Auditing is at the core of the Scientology religion. It's a technique which uses an electro-psychrometer (or e-meter) to help measure a person's reaction to unhappy memories so they can be worked through - or "cleared." Tom acknowledged that he audits, but advised that any description he can give wouldn't convey everything necessary to understand the practice. "It is better for people to read a book and discover for themselves what Scientology is," he said.
There are perceptions and misperceptions about Scientology. Tom was asked to further explain his religion.
"Well, I will agree there are a lot of misperceptions about a lot of things in life. I don't agree that there is a general misconception or perception. I believe there are people who don't know what it is. But there are people that don't know what it is and there are people that know what it is."
What is Scientology to Tom Cruise?
"Scientology for me (is)...if you don't understand something, it is literally because you have misunderstood words. That's all. Whatever it is." Like any religion, it's not easy to sum up what Scientology is in just a few words. But it is basically an applied religious philosophy, that by helping oneself and others, you reach a higher level of consciousness. "What Scientology is, is it addresses man as a spiritual being. Okay? And it gives people tools that they apply to their lives to improve conditions. And that is what it is."
Tom was asked about the perception that Scientology requires its initiates to pay to attain higher levels of consciousness.
"Here is the point, said Tom. "I wouldn't be here today where I am (without it) and it is things that I apply to my life to help me improve my conditions that actually help me to be able to think for myself, to be able to make the decisions. I use it and I apply it and when you talk about things, those are lies. And really, when you get down to it, you know there are bigots. There are people that just want to hate, period. No matter what. Right?"
The church was established in 1954 by science fiction and "Dianetics" writer L. Ron Hubbard. It Years later, Scientology received tax exempt status as a religion, which means it exists only on donations by its members. To date, it's hugely profitable and global, boasting 3,200 churches in 154 countries."
Is Scientology a faith or is it a religion. Tom was reminded that the average person thinks of church, they envision houses of worship, prayer, of God or other deities.
"It is a religion," said Tom. It is not a matter of, 'There is no God.' There is a God, okay? But there are things where there are...that is why I say you have to read what Scientology is, because it is non-denominational. There are Jewish Scientologists. There are Christian Scientologists. There are Baptist Scientologists."
But the powerful church is not without its detractors. Some claim that it is over-aggressive in recruiting and employs mind-control, escalating fees. Some go so far as to call it a cult.
"What it comes down to is, ''What do you know?' I don't care about what other people say. I don't live my life based on what other people think. I should do okay. I live my life based on what I know is right for myself . And what I care about is other people. And I care about my family and I care about the world and I wanna see it a better place. And I don't care what people say. I know what Scientology is. It is extraordinary, what it has done."
Tom Cruise's Opinion About Psychiatry
"You think I'm passionate?" Tom laughs.
A Scientologist like Tom will tell you that there are few things more dangerous than the widely accepted fields of psychology and psychiatry. You may not necessarily agree, but this is a man who is certain he is right and has no fear of offending those who swear they have been helped in their lives by psychiatry.
"You know, you have really got to evaluate what their lives are like," said Tom. "Getting your children or yourself off these drugs, its is a dangerous dangerous business! I have recently helped family have their daughter get off drugs."
Tom said his young friend had been on prescription drugs for the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD from the age of three-and-a-half to seven. Weaning her off was no easy task."
"We stepped the child off the drugs, got her vitamins and food," he said. "She has calmed down now and she has grown seven inches in about four months. This is just one story of people that myself and other people have helped. And it is imperative that, even when people watch this, I've helped step them off. I have an easier time stepping people off heroin then I do these psychotropic drugs. They can have Grand Mal seizures. They can become suicidal. You have to do it under medical care, under a doctor and (with) vitamins because any drug you put in your system is a poison. Any drug is a poison."
Tom was asked about drugs like Paxil and conditions like post-partum depression and he did not hold back his opinions.
"Let me tell you something: it is not a cure and it is actually...