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Sunday Express (UK national paper) 19 July 1992


by Jay Krem

Hollywood's biggest stars are among a new band of missionaries preaching
the gospel of a bizarre mind control cult.

When Tom Cruise and his wife Nicole Kidman emerge from their limousine for
the royal premiere of Far and Away later this month they will personify
everything that is glamorous about Hollywood.
	They are young, talented and wealthy, the hottest double act since
Bogart and Bacall.
	But Tom's smiles for the crowd are not those of self-congratulation.
He feels he owes all his success to the Church of Scientology.
	He is one of the host of new believers in Hollywood who, failing
to find what they need in conventional spirituality, have turned to the
religion of the stars.

	In place of hedonism, there is now a strange piety for a sect that
was once labelled in the British High Court "obnoxious, corrupt, sinister
and dangerous."

	The message never made it back to those who live their lives on
the silver screen. John Travolta, Sharon Stone, Mimi Rogers, Shirley
Maclaine, Kirstie Alley, Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez are all proud to be

Back in 1955, its founder, the late science fiction novelist L. Ron
Hubbard, wrote: "Artists play an enormous role in creating tomorrow's
	In Los Angeles, a city built on professional angst, Scientology
has cashed in on the fragile ego of the celebrity, stressing the
importance of the individual rather than the society.
	That is perhaps the nub of its appeal to self-obsessed and
artistic personalities.
	They join a long line of show business people like Placido Domingo
Jr. Linda (star of The Exorcist) Blair, Sonny Bono, Priscilla Presley and
daughter Lisa Marie.
	Though most won't discuss the church, some, like Cruise, have
become outspoken supporter. Introduced to the sect by ex-wife Mimi Rogers,
Cruise says Scientology helps members gain more control over their lives.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine two months ago, he described
how it had helped him overcome problems in his career.
	"It gives me tools to use to be the person I want to be and
explore the areas I want to explore as an artist," he said.
	Though mention of the word "cult" may conjure up images of lost
souls on spiritual clouds of love and drugs, Scientology promotes itself
as corporate, institutional and very professional.
	With assets estimated in the hundreds of millions of pounds,
Scientology is big business.
	Founded by Hubbard in the late Forties, the birth of the sect can
be traced to the publication of his book Dianetics, today touted as the
door to the world of Scientology.

	Based on elementary psychological beliefs, the message bears
little resemblance to that of any traditional religion.

	Recruits are told to read the book and then answer questions like:
Are you a slow eater? Do you often whistle just for fun?
	This information is fed into a computer, and Scientologists
somehow determine applicants' high and low points.
	Most of the sect's recent celebrity membership gains can be
attributed to the fact that it operates in such a cliquey manner. Many of
the "faithful" became converts through close friends.
	The marketing strategy give members the impression that the church
is soley responsible for their success.
	Members are encouraged to sign up for "auditing" at UKP[illegible
number, looks like 250] an hour. This takes them back to their formative
years to get rid of mental attitudes that have been "holding them back".
Backed by testimonies from stars, the claims of Scientolgy sound very
	Fatal Attraction actress Ann Archer said in the group's in-house
publication Celebrity Magazine: "I got my first big part after I underwent
auditing for the first time. After that I took another course and was
given another big film. After a further session came the part in Fatal
	Though Bruce Willis is trying to stop his wife Demi Moore getting
in too deep, she currently insists that all work in the house should be
done by fellow Scientologists.
	German magazine Bunte slaimed last week that Tom Cruise recently
sacked his personal assistant and replaced her with a Scientologist, and
that during the filming of Far and Away, he demanded that he and Kidman be
recorded on the Scientology-invented Clear-Sound system.
	In America, the Cult Awareness Network, which monitors 200
mind-control groups, says that no other group prompts as many calls for
help as Scientology. While the church is frequently attacked for its sales
approach and its paranoid nature, Cruise says he has never tried to
convert people to the ways of L. Ron Hubbard.
	John Travolta is perhaps the classic case of someone fascinated by
the cult. When he wanted to leave several years ago, the church's leader,
David Miscavige was rumoured to have "reminded" him of past sexual tendencies.
	John admitted to me that he was intimidated," says William Franks,
a former director of the sect.

	"No threats were made, but the intimation was clear. In case you
want to leave, the church always has 'those' files on you."

	Travolta married fellow church member Kelly Preston two weeks
later and they now have a baby. Travolta is actively trying to find new
	Eventually membership becomes an endless spiral of more courses
and counselling, and more money being poured into the church coffers.
	For UKP10,000, members can learn about the "sacred scriptures",
and the galactic ruler Xenu.
	Said the German magazine Der Speigel: "Scientology is
pseudo-scientific hocus-pocus."
	Hubbard, who died in 1986 while in hiding from tax evasion
charges, actively promoted his beliefs in the after-life and journeys to
find higher life in other galaxies.
	And though he never sent any of his faithful into the cosmos, the
church makes available yachts, hotels and urban oases like the Celebrity
Centre in Los Angeles for the use of more enlightened followers.
	Divine enlightenment naturally comes when ample cheques are made
out to the "non-profit" Church.

	Perhaps nothing more than a glorified horoscope service,
Scientology is waiting for a huge windfall when Lisa Marie Presley turns
25 next year and inherits UKP35 million.
	Having already "donated" a lot of her money to the church, 1993
will be a very lucrative year.
	A 20th Century Fox executive said: "The reason why Scientology is
so successful in Hollywood is because it's a huge ego boost for this
town's fragile personalities. They have it made because people end up
divulging so much to them that, when they want to leave, they usually get
	Built around an altar of money, Scientology is said by the Cult
Awareness Network to be the most profitable and one of the most
controversial sects in operation.

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