Originally Posted by Zerbie
I have always suspected that this Scientology is a cult of some kind. Ya see them around from time to time offering 'stress tests.' They wave a clipboard and offer me a stress test and I just tell them, No thanks, I don't have any stress.
Last I heard, and this may be mis-representative so clear it up if so, but I heard they had declared Tom Cruise is God, or something like that.
Celebrity rumors are just waiting to happen within Scientology. Anonymous has plenty of ex-scientologists in its ranks (or working with us) who handle rumor control.
To the best of my understanding: Cruise is somewhere near the top in terms of leadership power, and is treated like a god. He must be called "sir" by everyone except for the leader of CoS (David Miscavige), and a lot of their "donation" funds go to pampering him. Also at a certain level on their journey to enlightenment (they call "the bridge") you supposedly gain supernatural powers, no longer get sick, and other easily falsifiable claims. Cruise is likely high enough up for other Scientologists to believe he has super powers. One of our favorite chants here in NYC is "Tom Cruise can't fly!"
On the issue of "donations", they are manditory. You are not allowed to continue learning you faith unless you pay a very hefty sum. It's estimated to reach what "enlightenment" it costs around $360,000. There are several instances of people killing themselves due to lack of money to continue their Scientology studies. They have a VERY strong belief in reincarnation, therefore these people all thought they could come back in a new life and continue their "spiritual advancement".
Furthermore the upper level beliefs often contradict what they tell their lower level members. They claim
to be compatible with all faiths/religions, but after about $50,000 of courses and several years in CoS they tell you all other religions are lies. At that point it is so hard for people to get out, because they have already invested a huge sum of money, time and emotion. If a business did that, they'd be sued into the ground for bait and switch. CoS gets away with this by calling it their faith.