I still can’t stomach Tom Cruise movies

Cruise is too creepy, and the cult he fronts too dangerous, for me to reward him with my movie-going dollars.

Scientology, the cult masquerading as a religion, has done a remarkable job through Cruise and other Hollywood stars, of eventually making much of American society inured to the darker aspects of the cult. Mostly they’ve done it by convincing Americans that anti-Scientology feelings constitute the same anti-religion bias shown by, say, anti-Semites and people who think the Pope is evil.

But let’s not forget that the entire German government, no stranger to fascist movements, is not convinced:

The German domestic intelligence service is constantly monitoring the organization and mention them in their annual review about anti-constitutional activities. The German government does not recognize Scientology as a religion; rather, it views it as an abusive business masquerading as a religion and believes that it pursues political goals that conflict with the values enshrined in the German constitution.

Any un-biased reading of Scientology’s methods and goals should lead anyone to the same conclusion about its sinister underpinnings and methods. So it is heartening to see in the midst of all the excitement about the “Top Gun” sequel that The Daily Beast’s Tony Ortega is refusing to be taken in by all the hype:

With Top Gun: Maverick debuting in theaters this week, Tom Cruise is available to the press again, which explains why I was seeing video of James Corden at 5 a.m. on a tarmac waiting to join Cruise in his personal jet aircraft.

The Late Late Show host’s antics on Cruise’s plane delivered the intended effect: Tom as cooler-than-you pilot really is like the superheroes he plays in the movies.

But for me, it had another connotation.

Seeing Cruise pilot his aircraft, I couldn’t help thinking of something Marc Headley told me several years ago.

Headley joined Scientology’s Sea Org as a child, signing a billion-year contract before working 365 days a year, cloistered at one of the organization’s secretive compounds known as “Int Base” near Hemet, California.

Around 1990, Headley explained in his excellent book about that period, Blown for Good, Cruise had come to the base to learn Scientology “auditing,” its version of counseling, and Headley was chosen to be his guinea pig.

Years later, in 2009, the FBI began an intense investigation of conditions at the base, interviewing dozens of former Sea Org workers, including Headley, who by that time had escaped.

The FBI was so serious about its investigation of the slave-like conditions at the base, Headley and other former Scientologists told me, that in the summer of 2010 the agency was making detailed plans for raiding the compound, rescuing workers, and seizing documents.

No person can do any unbiased research about Cruise and Scientology and come away with anything other than worrying thoughts about what Cruise is really doing with his fame and influence.

Cruise might be portrayed as the epitome of cool in the media, but just push him a bit in an interview about Scientology, as Australlia’s “60 Minutes” did in this interview, and the less cool, more sinister, Cruise starts to show himself.

Notice particularly that Cruise compares people who question the tenets and practices of Scientology with “people who burn synagogues.”

And then there is this famous clip, which Scientology has worked to bury, in which Cruise gives the world a lesson in how to be creepily charming. Note that this video was produced by Scientology, yet they still try to remove it from public view.

So, no, I will not be seeing the “Top Gun” sequel and adding to Cruise’s fame and power.

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