Tom Cruise is reportedly leaving Scientology, setting up what insides say could be a fierce and very public battle with the controversial church.
For more than a decade, Cruise has been the public face of the Church of Scientology, endorsing its programs and serving as an ambassador across the globe. But a number of recent reports indicate that Cruise has grown weary of the church and the role in played in the breakup of his family, and is ready to leave.
If Tom Cruise is leaving Scientology he could be in for a battle, said former high-ranking church member Chris Shelton. The former Sea Org official, who noted his doubt that Cruise had truly left the church, told Hollywood Life that those leaving Scientology come under intense pressure from the church.
“For anyone who leaves the church of Scientology, there would be massive consequences. There are always consequences for leaving the church. The church has demonstrated that they have no qualms whatsoever about releasing so called confidential audits of members who leave. These audits are supposed to be confidential, but have been used against members, who are considered ‘suppressive people’ because they left the church. You have to remember — Tom has been part of the church since the 1980’s. That’s a long time. He has surrounded himself with Scientologists. If he left the church, he would have to ‘disconnect’ from the rest of his family who are in the church. That includes his older children, too.”
Reports over the last several months indicated that Scientology was keeping Tom Cruise from his family. In April, TMZ reported that the church had deemed Tom’s ex-wife Katie Holmes as a Suppressive Person or SP, which is a Scientology term for someone who tries to undermine the church. The church deems that members have no contact with SPs.
As a result, Tom had reportedly not seen Suri at all over the past year.
TMZ reported at the time.
“Tom Cruise said he wasn’t able to see his daughter for months because he was shooting ‘Mission Impossible 5’ in London, and he was counting the hours before he came home to little Suri. But we’re told he was off work for 2 weeks after shooting wrapped, yet never saw her.”
“Sources connected to Katie Holmes tell TMZ… it’s worse than that. They say Tom has not seen the 8-year-old in almost a year. Tom’s rep previously denied that and said the actor has seen his daughter plenty, but on the down low to shield her from cameras.”
“But our Katie sources say that’s not true… that he’s just not been a part of her life.”
Tom had already admitted that Katie divorced him in order to protect Suri from Scientology.
For now, neither Katie Holmes nor Tom Cruise have commented on the report that he is leaving Scientology, but given Shelton’s predictions it would likely become public news very quickly if Tom did initiative a split.
[Picture by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]