Tom Cruise – Scientology and psychiatry
foundation of Scientology in 1952. Scientology is publicly,
and often vehemently, opposed to both psychiatry
Scientologists view psychiatry as a barbaric and corrupt profession and
encourage alternative care based on spiritual healing. According to the
Church of Scientology, psychiatry has a
long history of improper and abusive care. The group’s views have been
strongly disputed, criticized and condemned by experts in the medical
and scientific community and been a source of public controversy.
Cruise is an outspoken advocate for the Church of Scientology. He became involved with
Scientology in 1990 through his first wife, Mimi
Cruise has publicly said that Scientology, specifically the L. Ron Hubbard Study
Tech, helped him overcome dyslexia.
In addition to promoting various programs that introduce people to
Scientology, Cruise has campaigned for Scientology to be fully
recognized as a religion in Europe. He lobbied politicians in France and
Germany, where the legal systems regard Scientology as a cult and
business, respectively. In 2005 the Paris city council revealed that
Cruise had lobbied officials Nicolas Sarkozy and Jean-Claude Gaudin, described him as a
spokesman and militant for Scientology, and barred any further dealings
Cruise co-founded and raised donations for Downtown Medical to offer New York 9/11 rescue workers detoxification therapy based on the
works of L. Ron Hubbard. This has drawn criticism from the medical
as well as firefighters.
For these activities and others, David Miscavige awarded Scientology’s Freedom Medal of
Valor to Cruise in late 2004.
A controversy erupted in 2005 after he openly criticized actress Brooke Shields for using the drug Paxil (paroxetine), an anti-depressant, to which
Shields attributes her recovery from postpartum depression after the birth
of her first daughter in 2003. Cruise asserted that there is no such
thing as a chemical imbalance, and that psychiatry
is a form of pseudoscience. Shields replied that she would
not take advice from anyone who believed in space aliens.
This led to a heated argument with Matt
Lauer on The Today Show on June 24, 2005.
Medical authorities said Cruise’s comments had further stigmatized
and Shields herself called them "a disservice to mothers everywhere."
In late August 2006, Cruise apologized in person to Shields for his
comments; Shields said that she was "impressed with how heartfelt [the
apology] was … I didn’t feel at any time that I had to defend myself,
nor did I feel that he was trying to convince me of anything other than
the fact that he was deeply sorry. And I accepted it."
Cruise’s spokesman confirmed that Cruise and Shields had made up but
said that Cruise’s position on anti-depressants had not changed.
Shields was a guest at Cruise’s and Holmes’s wedding.
Cruise also said in an Entertainment Weekly interview that
"is a Nazi
science" and that methadone was actually originally called
Adolophine after Adolf Hitler, a myth well-known as an urban
In an interview with Der
Spiegel magazine, Cruise said that "In Scientology, we have the
only successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. It’s
It’s a statistically proven fact that there is only one successful drug
rehabilitation program in the world. Period." While Narconon claims to
have a success rate over 70 percent,
the accuracy of this figure has been widely disputed.
Scientology is well-known for its opposition to mainstream psychiatry.
In January 2008 the Daily
Mail (UK) announced a forthcoming biography of Cruise, Tom Cruise: An
Unauthorized Biography, by Andrew Morton. Among the book’s
claims, it said that Cruise had become the church’s "second in command
in all but name." This has been corroborated by former Scientology staff
member Marc Headley.
Cruise’s attorney Bert Fields said that the
unauthorized biography was full of "tired old lies" or "sick stuff."