Tom Cruise may not be a “Top Gun” any more, but the actor has become the top cheerleader for the Church of Scientology and he recently received a medal for it.

Mr. Cruise was awarded the so-called “Freedom Medal of Valor” according to this month’s issue of International Scientology News.

Pictured with the gaudy gold medal embedded with diamonds hanging around his neck the film star that has never won an Oscar looks happy.

Photos of Tom Cruise receiving his award and subsequently being saluted by Scientology’s supreme leader David Miscavige can be seen on the Web site of Dave Touretzsky, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

The medal award ceremony though, actually took place in Great Britain two months ago.

The current headline reads, “Advancing Scientology on a Fully Epic Scale.”

And the Scientology news article goes on gushing about Tom Cruise’s “mission accomplishments” as follows:

“Spearheading LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] Purification tech into the heart of human disaster,” which is a nod to the actor’s efforts in New York City regarding controversial detoxification clinics.

“Changing the face of education at national levels,” seemingly a reference to Cruise promoting Scientology’s “study tech.”

“Eradicating the very thought of psychiatry,” Cruise shocked the public when he told one reporter that “psychiatry should be outlawed.”

The tally counted by Scientology for Tom Cruise reads rather impressively.

He has reached “250 million people” with “study tech.”

“50 million people” with his warnings about the “evil of psychiatry.”

The Hollywood star has reportedly touted the religion “across 90 nations.”

And a purported “5,000 people hear his word of Scientology – every hour,” the publication claims.

“Every minute, of every hour-someone reaches for LRH technology…simply because they know Tom Cruise is a Scientologist,” says International Scientology News.

But is that a good thing considering the troubled history of this church, which after all has been called a “cult”?

Maybe Cruise is “Tom Terrific” for Scientologists, but to many of the church’s alleged victims and critics he is more like a “cult recruiter.”

Scientology has eight Operating Thetan or OT levels and Mr. Cruise has almost made it to the top. He reportedly is now an “OT VI” and in the process of becoming an “OT VII.”

But moving up the OT levels can be quite expensive, a journey many of his religious brethren cannot easily afford.

However, within the luxurious, cocoon-like and pampered existence of celebrity Scientologists this doesn’t seem to cause much concern.

“I think it’s a privilege to call yourself a Scientologist,” Cruise told those gathered at the award ceremony.

“That’s what drives me,” he said. “I know that we have an opportunity to really help for the first time, effectively change people’s lives and I am dedicated to that. I’m absolutely, uncompromisingly dedicated to that.”

Other sources have been somewhat less sanguine in their assesment of Scientology.

Time Magazine called the organization the “Cult of Greed… a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner.”

But Mr. Cruise apparently doesn’t care. After all he’s got his medal.


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