Tom Cruise has engaged in what looks increasingly like a well-organized media blitz to promote Scientology’s teachings, or as he might say Hubbard “Study Tech.”

The movie star has been holding forth fervently lately about his deliverance from dyslexia. The actor’s recovery wasn’t a “mission impossible,” because Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard apparently came up with a cure for almost anything, including reading disabilities.

Well, at least Hubbard said he did.

In a revelation that might become a script for another “movie of the week,” the middle-aged actor confessed that he was once a “functional illiterate.”

However, the former “Top Gun” offered no objective verifiable evidence, or scientifically peer-reviewed proof. Instead, it was just essentially an anecdotal story that consisted of his personal testimony.

Was this testimonial staged within a tent revival for a traveling faith healer?


It was recounted uncritically within a “five page spread” published by People Magazine, harshly critiqued yesterday by Fox News.

People did another glossy celebrity puff piece, but this one included a virtual infomercial for the star’s latest Scientology related crusade.

Cruise is a “founding board member” of the Hollywood Education Literacy Project (HELP), an effort to supposedly eradicate illiteracy through Hubbard “technology.”

Fox took People to task for being “so desperate to get a Cruise interview that they didn’t mind shilling for [Scientology].

So what else is new?

Scientology celebrities do this all the time and media outlets often cooperate.

The controversial organization has a stable of well-known actors and Hollywood types that they can easily trot out to promote one program after another through rather contrived personal appearances.

And some in the media appear anxious to get that face time, no matter what harm the touted program, product or cause might potentially do to others.

John Travolta likes to recruit celebs for Scientology, Kirstie Alley promotes Narconon, while lesser lights such as Juliette Lewis and Anne Archer do talk shows to knock certain prescription drugs and by inference the mental health profession.

Some publications and TV shows don’t seem to care; it’s good for circulation and ratings.

Celebrity-driven mags know that Scientology has been called a “cult.” And it’s easy to access information about the litany of lawsuits filed against it by former members for personal injuries. The organization is currently in court regarding a wrongful death suit.

Never mind. The effusive puff pieces keep coming and look more like infomercials than balanced reporting.

One expert quoted by Fox said that HELP “is no more a secular learning methodology than wine and communion wafers are a Sunday morning snack.” He added that the program promotes “acceptance of L. Ron Hubbard as authority figure” and does “much to soften [participants] up for future recruitment into Scientology itself.”

But don’t expect any detailed disclosure about this from Scientology or meaningfully balanced reporting on this subject within the pages of People. All you are likely to see is photo of Tom Cruise grinning over a personal endorsement.

And the Cruise/Scientology/HELP bandwagon gained momentum this week. The star’s story made it onto the Associated Press wire in an abbreviated version. Then Cruise and his cause rolled through the wire services like a wave washing over the US and breaking around the world.

Scientology has done it again.

There simply is no “cult” in the world today with the experience and resources to play the media as effectively through a revolving cast of celebrity proxies.


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