There’s our Tom on the set of Oblivion yesterday, ever the movie star even in crisis. Especially in crisis. Tom Cruise, Movie Star, must save Tom Cruise, Scientologist now. While there have been no discussions, formal or informal, just yet, the question has been asked...casually.
Jack Reacher in December - should it be pushed back?
It’s too soon to say, obviously. They’ll have a better idea at the end of the summer how this plays out and whether or not Tom’s Scientology associations will keep making headlines. But they’re lying if they say it’s not a concern. Domestically, especially, it’s a concern. What Tom is counting on however is his reputation overseas. In Tokyo, for example, where they’re not consuming every word on every blog, and probably unaware that Tom might be able to levitate, Tom Cruise is still the Tom Cruise from 1995. Given Hollywood’s increased dependence on foreign box office, that could very well be Tom’s safe place.
But first, let’s fix things at home.
Tom’s attorney, Bert Fields, released a statement to Radar about the role of Scientology in the divorce:
"Let me be very clear about this. The Church of Scientology played absolutely NO ROLE in the divorce settlement talks at all. Period. The mere suggestion that the Church was involved in any element of the talks and ultimate settlement is categorically false. Anyone suggesting otherwise is just wrong.”
I find it very curious that he specified “divorce settlement” and not simply the DIVORCE.
As you can see though, right now, the priority is to rehabilitate Tom’s reputation and, hopefully, the Church’s as well. For those of you who’ve been asking then about his next girlfriend - the first move is to not have one, to sell himself as a broken man, devastated by love, pining for the woman who abandoned their marriage. Think of it this way - Chris Brown beat the sh-t out of his girlfriend and we all saw her face and he is STILL winning Grammys, selling out albums and shows. Why? Because women, we are too easy. We have been conditioned to be too easy. We have been conditioned to yield to a romantic narrative. Chris Brown is the ultimate testament to our weakness. It’s too easy to wave away the Chris Brown situation; his supporters represent more than just a rogue demographic. The “it’s them and they are not us” dismissal absolves us from addressing a greater issue: that somewhere along the way we have failed each other. How and why does it keep happening? Will it happen with Tom Cruise? Don’t count him out. Somewhere out there, some woman will still want to marry him. All he has to do is look really good and tell her she’s the one.
And what of Scientology and David Miscavige. Why can’t he just hook up with a Sea Org and done? Well... how is that even glamorous enough? There’s religion and then there’s image. There’s the action star with an ingénue on the back of his bike. Tom Cruise gets the girls you can’t. All of it, and especially his relationship with the Church, is about ego. They played to the fragility of it when they courted him. They continue to play on its appetite as they hold him. Scientology told Tom he could be more, that he was special, that he’s literally divine. Scientology taught Tom that he was better, that his mind, a mind that grew up dyslexic, was more advanced, more sophisticated than others, that it could achieve anything, that it could even move objects, bend wills, change destiny. This is classic cult recruitment. But in combination with the self absorption, narcissism, and arrogance that accompanies most actors, the result is Scientology’s most spectacular disciple: he is their master prototype, making Miscavige the Church’s Modern Prometheus, a veritable Dr Frankenstein. If I were more industrious, I’d adapt Mary Shelley for the Church of Scientology, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies only perhaps not as fun.