In recent months, it seemed that Tom Cruise had been distancing himself from Scientology. There was even talk that Cruise had made the decision to leave Scientology for daughter, Suri Cruise, who Tom has reportedly not seen regularly due to the Church of Scientology labeling both Suri Cruise and Katie Holmes as “Suppressive Persons.”
As it turns out, Tom’s departure from Scientology has been greatly exaggerated. On the contrary, Cruise has taken on a new project for Scientology, which involves establishing a powerful news network that has already been dubbed “Scientology’s CNN.”
The news network is only the tip of the iceberg, according to reports revealed by Redbook. Tom Cruise is helping Scientology to create a $50 million Hollywood studio under the Scientology Media Productions banner. The new studio, which will be ambitious enough to compete with Hollywood mainstays like Universal and Paramount, will be primarily utilized to create recruitment videos and possibly other pro-Scientology propaganda, but rumors also suggest that Cruise plans to use the facilities to film his own big-budget Hollywood projects.
The physical structures are being constructed and set up by teams of Scientologists at very low wages, less than $1 per hour, which falls in line with the information reported by ex-Scientology members in the Going Clear documentary. Similar sub-standard wages are reportedly paid to those Scientology members compelled to wash and service Cruise’s fleet of vehicles and private airplanes.
The first phase in Scientology’s efforts to expand their reach came to fruition when Scientology obtained KCET, formerly a 40-something year old public T.V. station.
“The global media center that will revolutionize the Church’s communications footprint throughout the print, broadcast, and internet media worlds as a state-of-the-art hub helping beam Scientology’s message all over the globe.”
Speaking out against the tidal wave of mass media being planned through Scientology Media Productions and eager to stem the church’s global ambitions, Tony Ortega heads the Underground Bunker website.
“[The establishment of Scientology Media Productions] gives Cruise, who is worth $450 million, and Scientology, which has $8 billion in reserves, the opportunity to heavily influence the movie world again, which they were doing back in the day when they pressured top Hollywood execs to get what they wanted on films such as War of the Worlds, Days of Thunder and Battlefield Earth.”
While none of this seems to implicate Scientology or Tom Cruise in anything more insidious than having the ambition to compete with other film studios, there has already been suggestions issued by the church that seem to enforce their rules over non-members. For instance, any one of Tom Cruise’s future girlfriends are “expected” to film their Hollywood audition tapes at Scientology’s studios.
Some might point out that Scientology already has impressive sound stages at their main headquarters with enough resources to make these new acquisitions seem redundant and they would be right. Mr. Cruise has been seen utilizing Scientology’s film-making resources on more than one occasion, but Ortega argues that these acquisitions have little to do with need and more to do with image.
“They don’t need this new base,” Ortega argues. “It’s just a fundraising ploy, to buy real estate, to persuade people to give them money, and if they can come up with the concoction that this is the next great thing to tell the world about Scientology, then all the better.”
Even long-time fans of Tom Cruise have to question his judgement at this point. As Tom aligns himself so closely with Scientology in their zest to take advantage of the “3,000 opportunities to reach each person on any given day,” it seems Tom is much more than their poster boy or guinea pig. Mr. Cruise now seems to be the dragon’s head.
[Featured image: Tom Cruise courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]