Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Split: Is Scientology to Blame?

After five years of marriage, Katie Holmes plans to divorce Tom Cruise and she’s seeking sole custody of their daughter Suri, 5. Columnists speculate that Holmes’, 33, motivation for leaving Cruise, 49, revolves around Cruise’s involvement in The Church of Scientology and the Church’s influence on their five-year old daughter. But one has to wonder the reason for this concern.

Scientology was established by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952. Though it is referred to as a “church,” many prefer to think of Scientology as a cult. L. Ron Hubbard, a famous writer of science fiction novels, did not set out to found a church. Its development began with his authoring of Dianetics, a metaphysical literature based on the theory that negative human experiences and emotional scars, or engrams as he called them, were responsible for physical symptoms and illness.

With Dianetics Hubbard proposed a type of emotional cleansing, or audit, through which the emotional wounds of the subject were revisited and erased thus restoring the subject to a state of Clear. Once achieving a state of Clear, the individual faces challenges with a newly acquired demeanor of calm in which he or she reacts reasonably to situations that would’ve formerly provoked an emotional response. Thus theorizing, through achievement of this state, a Clear individual is in control of their thoughts and is able to think rationally.

Hubbard initially made a lot of money off of this type of “auditing” and his auditing courses. However, after a failed public demonstration of the promises of Dianetics, Hubbard lost public interest and received criticism. Now experiencing financial difficulties, Hubbard had to think of a new plan quickly.

As Dianetics faltered, Hubbard came out with a new theory called the Science of Survival in which he theorized that within a human body was a thetan, an immortal God-like soul trapped inside of a physical body. Becoming trapped in a body, the thetan lost memory of its origins which he theorizes, lie in the creation of the universe as the thetan is considered a God-like being. The concept itself closely parallels the idea of an immortal soul though not entirely. Through Scientology, Hubbard promised to “rehabilitate each person’s thetan to restore its original capacities and become once again an ‘Operating Thetan.‘” Once achieving a state of Clear, an individual could pursue the state of becoming Operating Thetan, however, it would cost them.

New Scientology centers opened up throughout the country. In these centers, auditors provided basic services to customers. More expensive auditing was only permissible at Hubbard’s central location. With finances in mind, one of his chief operating managers suggested turning Scientology into a religion. As a church, they would enjoy huge financial benefits. Hubbard’s treatments were already costly, reportedly at least $500, and as a religion, Hubbard’s organization would become tax exempt.

From there on Scientology grew exponentially. Practicing Scientologists aimed to reach the final state of Cleared Theta Clear, the highest state of being, but to achieve this the person had to first pass through eight different levels of Operating Theta. “It is alleged that people are encouraged to complete very expensive courses and expect wonderful results; when the improvements fail to happen they are told the next course will bring the changes they anticipate.” This often turns out to be a costly endeavor.

Is Scientology truly to blame for Tom and Katie’s divorce? Is some sort of irreconcilable theological difference the cause? Regardless, Scientology sounds on par with many New Age religious movements and to me, the only crazy thing about it is the amount of money people are willing to give to the church. However, the act of donating large sums of money to a church is not unlike many Christian sects in which it is customary for denominations to enjoy large tax-free donations from their followers. I leave you with one final quote:

“Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.” L. Ron Hubbard, 1948 at a writer’s convention.

And don’t forget to check out my new book on relationships: I Know Why They Call a Shell a Shell: Tales of Love Lost at Sea.

10 Comments

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10 Responses to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Split: Is Scientology to Blame?

  1. Linda Seccaspina

    Hayley- my ex has rented to the church of scientology for at least 18 years. Any one or group that keeps a special office empty with a bust of Ron L Hubbard in it… well I would not my kid join it.
    My opinion.. but it is all scary.

  2. Paul Roese

    Scientology is kindda strange but from the outside all religions might seem odd but it does seem to be more controlling than most and as far as i know they unlike many other religious groups do not engage in the corporal works of mercy like feeding the poor or tending the sick. as for Tomkat i suspect they would have problems even if they were both Methodists.

    • Hayley Rose

      “i suspect they would have problems even if they were both Methodists.” lol… ya I doubtScientology is to blame

      • Paul Roese

        one of the things about Scientology that is creepy is you are supposed to have little to no contact with those who are not of the faith and anyone who has disagreements with the church. that is really telling to me that the “church” is afraid of those who speak ill of it and force members to break ties with anyone who is critical. seriously! what are they so afraid of? Paul Haggis left the church after being in it for decades because it supported Prop 8 in California against gay marriage. now none of his friends still in the church can have contact with him. even the Amish and Orthodox Jews aren’t as controlling and uptight as that. i think Chesterton was right when he said the test of a Great religion is you can make a joke about it. it might be the big fight if Kate decides to become a Lutheran and wants the kid to be raised up with some exposure to Christian belief and practice.

        • Hayley Rose

          Wow. Well I am really open and don’t think religion should be taken so seriously as it has led to major wars. People kill in the name of religion. Inflexible thinking in any avenue is a problem and no different with religion.

          • Paul Roese

            i have no problem with a person taking their religious or political beliefs seriously as long as they don’t involve coercion . part of whats wrong with society today is that people don’t take their commitments seriously wether to their wives, children, employees, investors, patients or fellow citizens. FYI if you study history you will find religion was used as the cover many times for wars but the actual reasons had little or nothing to do with belief. just like WMD’s were used as the excuse to invade Iraq but informed sources and later all of us found out there were no WMD’s.

  3. Pingback: Confusing News Day | Hayleys Comments

  4. Paul Roese

    turns out maybe Scientology is the reason for the split after all. i mean i wouldn’t want to send my 6 year old for indoctrination at some camp either.

  5. Joey

    They also charge an astronomical amount of money for each stage; tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the level of theta. They control people with information. This group was only formed to make money, there is no religion there.

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