It appears that Scientology and/or Scientologists may be actively involved in a spamming campaign to boost Tom Cruise’s sagging popularity.

Cruise the falling star?The New York Post reports that “Cruise’s cronies seem to have put a lot of effort into skewing a Parade magazine poll in his favor.”

That Internet vote was taken to measure public opinion, whether Tom Cruise or the press, is responsible for the movie star’s public relations meltdown. 

84% of the respondents supposedly said they blamed the press, but Parade wasn’t buying it.

Instead staffers at the magazine thought there was something “fishy” about the results.

Parade’s publicist Alexis Collado told the Post, “We…found out more than 14,000 (of the 18,000-plus votes) that came in were cast from only 10 computers! One computer was responsible for nearly 8,400 votes alone, all blaming the media for Tom’s troubles. We also discovered that at least two other machines were the sources of inordinate numbers of votes. It seems these folks (whoever they may be) resorted to extraordinary measures to try to portray Tom in a positive light for the survey. There is even a chance they wrote a special ‘bot’ program for the sole purpose of skewing the results, rather than casting the votes by hand on a computer.”

“Whoever they may be”? 

Since almost all of Cruise’s inner circle of “cronies” are Scientologists it seems almost certain that the “they” Collado refers to, are probably members of the controversial church, often called a “cult.”

Scientologists already have a reputation for spamming on the Internet. And the church’s netizens often appear to use “bot” programs. So what happened to Parade appears to fit a familiar pattern.

Historically Scientology has been accused repeatedly of supporting “spam teams.”

It seems that when legal threats failed to intimidate its Internet critics at discussion groups the next step was “Scientology spamming,” as reported by the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Scientologists also have regularly been accused of using “bot” technology to thwart their critics.

So if it sounds like Scientologists, looks like Scientologists and smells (figuratively speaking) like Scientologists, then it just might be Scientologists that helped out their fellow believer Tom Cruise. 

Is Scientology's bunny running down?After all, the actor is Scientology’s “Top Gun,” and the organization must be concerned about one of its most important assets. Cruise often acts like a never ending “Eveready Energizer Bunny” promoting the controversial church at almost any opportunity, whether its curing drug addicts or dyslexia Cruise’s answer is almost always Scientology.

But it seems Tom Cruise might a falling star. 

In one poll the 43-year-old actor was “voted the person people would least like to go camping overnight with” below Saddam Hussein, reported China Daily

He also beat Paris Hilton and Bobby Brown for the top spot in a Los Angeles Times poll as the “Tackiest Star” of 2005 reported And Cruise picked up the title “most irritating actor in movies” in a vote taken by Britain’s Empire Magazine.

Not long ago the actor also won two not so coveted Razzies. A silver gong for “the most tiresome tabloid target” and he got the gold for “unashamed romancing” reported the BBC News

With such increasing negatives Scientology may be sweating a bit.

As anyone in advertising knows likeability makes a good spokesperson. That is, people don’t buy products from someone they don’t like.

Just ask any sports star that lost an endorsement deal after some personal or professional scandal.

So if people don’t like Tom Cruise how can he successfully sell Scientology?

Enter the spammers and bots to make him look like a victim by deliberately skewing a poll.

Meanwhile Cruise’s spokesman told the Post that he knows “nothing” about the spammers and therefore has “nothing” to say on the subject.

Well, if Scientology and/or its devoted followers did the spamming and bot work, that would provide a comfortable layer of separation, affording both the star and his spokesman “plausible denial.” 

Cruise himself may not be sweating that much because as the BBC observed, “Mission Impossible I and II took nearly $1billion between them. If the third in the series, due for release this summer, is anything like as successful then, as far as the powers that be in Hollywood are concerned, their brightest star can continue to do and say what he pleases.”

But will moviegoers continue to buy the Cruise brand?

If recent polls, ridiculing awards or the seemingly desperate attempt of spammers is any indication, maybe not. 


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