A lot of people have wondered if Tom Cruise’s couch antics on Oprah was just his own happiness at finding love in Katie Holmes or the Scientology taking its toll on his mind. Scientology may have been labeled a sci-fi cult because of its principles, but celebrity members such as Cruise have made it a controversial religion or organization. Founder L. Ron Hubbard may have culled the idea of Scientology from the various sci-fi novels and essays he has written in the early 1950s, but this sci-fi thriller seems to have had a life of its own by growing into a multi-million franchise that lashes out violently at its detractors. Let’s see how big names in Hollywood became a part of this organization.
How Scientology recruits Hollywood celebrities
Scientology is described as a collection of beliefs and related practices based on Dianetics founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952. It is said that thetans or souls of extraterrestrial beings reside in each and everyone of us. To purge ourselves of any misdeeds and regain the inner and true self of a thetan, Scientologists undergo auditing, or a process of spiritual cleansing. In the 1950s, Hubbards first spiritual movement using Dianetics was met with skepticism. However, Scientology gained a footing in some areas. Hubbard then devised a plan to spread his beliefs by advertising it through the celebrities in Hollywood. Walt Disney, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and other personalities were listed as potential recruits. Hubbard released a statement in their newsletter encouraging members to reel in celebrities to advance their cause in exchange for a plaque of appreciation.
Criticisms and rumors surrounding Scientology
Though every cult or religion starts by having principles to guide the believer to self-improvement in the spiritual sense, Scientology has come under fire because of the financial donations it asks from members as fee for their auditing sessions. Enlightenment comes for a price in Scientology, with auditing sessions costing about a thousand dollars per hour. It has also been said that in order to advance to the next stages of enlightenment or knowing the other secrets and purposes of this belief, one has to be ready to pay a lot. Another thing that has caused the ire of many people is Scientology’s tax-exempt status. Scientology seems to be earning a lot from its high-profile members yet does not pay anything in taxes to the US. government. It’s aggressive defense of itself also makes Scientology a very formidable foe to cross horns with as they lash out in legal and violent ways.