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Cruise's Scientology pitch
Two videos featuring Tom Cruise speaking about his belief in Scientology have been circulating online.
 

W

hat happened
Two videos featuring Tom Cruise speaking about his belief in Scientology have been circulating on the Internet over the past few days. One of the videos shows the Hollywood actor discussing his faith while the theme to Mission: Impossible plays in the background. In the other video, Cruise speaks to a large congregation of Scientology members. The Church of Scientology is trying to use copyright law to force websites to remove the videos. (The Press Association)

What the commentators said
In these videos, “Cruise is comically intense, nonsensical, arrogant and self-assured in the most messianic sense,” said the Orlando Sentinel’s blog Frankly My Dear . . . Movies with Roger Moore. It’s hard to know what to make of it. “He’s either a nut, or an actor willing to act the part of a true believer in a sci-fi hack’s money-making scheme masquerading as a religion.”

One thing’s for sure, said FoxNews.com. “Cruise’s passion for the controversial body of religious beliefs really shows.” So much so, that in one of the videos he “addresses the group’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard (who died in 1986), as if he were still alive.”

What about the part where Cruise says that when Scientologists drive past a car accident, they know they have to do something because they’re the only ones that can really help? said Salon’s blog Machinist. “Wait, so Scientologists are EMT’s, too?”

To be fair, these videos are "probably just about the last thing that Tom Cruise needs at the moment,” said Stuart Heritage in the blog Hecklerspray. Since getting fired from Paramount awhile back, he “has been painstakingly rebuilding his reputation,” but “nine minutes of incomprehensible religious babbling and mindless creepy chuckling later and he’s back to square one again.” It’s hard to imagine how “Cruise and Scientology will be able to cope with this new deafening ridicule.”

Well, “the Church of Scientology is doing what it does best,” said the blog TMZ, “and we don’t mean rant against psychiatry.” Their lawyers “have sent a copyright infringement letter to Suppressive Persons” at websites that have posted the video, “to get them to remove their copy” of it. But still, “all the letters in the world won’t make it seem any less crazazy!”

Is anyone really that shocked by these videos? said Leonard Doyle in The Independent. This is the guy who has “put up Scientology tents on movie sets, criticized Brooke Shields for using antidepressants while promoting the church’s own drug-treatment programs, and denounced the supposed evils of psychiatry.”

But “poor Tom,” said Alison Boshoff in the blog Daily Mail. First Andrew Morton’s scathing biography, now this. Our sources “say that he has had trouble sleeping and been tearful at times.” He is “teetering on the brink of being regarded as an embarrassment and—because of his devotion to Scientology—a weirdo.”
 

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