I’ve just finished reading Tom Cruise: an unauthorised biography. While I am not a Tom Cruise fan, I was drawn to the book because of my own brush with Scientology when I purchased a software company in 2000 which was owned (unbeknown to me at the time) by a Scientologist and run according the principles set by the ‘church’ of Scientology.
Within 24 hours of buying the business I became aware of a Scientology connection. It took several weeks before the extent of the Scientology influence over the business was clear. What followed was a tough two years while the business was realigned.
Had I known of the Scientology connection prior to signing the purchase agreement I would not have proceeded – having read Bare Faced Messiah many years earlier. Employees had been coerced into undertaking Scientology training, data was collected on the most ridiculous stings – Scientology has a thing for stats – and, the first training provided to customers as part of their learning when they purchased the software was a course based on the teachings of Scientology founder, Science Fiction write L Ron Hubbard. As I note, it was a dreadful time dealing with the mess which erupted from the clash of Scientology versus, well, normal.
So, I wanted to read Tom Cruise biography because of what I had heard it had to say about Scientology more so than what it said about Tom Cruise. Once I found out that Australian publishers were too scared to publish it here, I arranged for a copy through Amazon.com.
I found Tom Cruise: an unauthorised biography eminently readable. The account of Tom Cruise’s past, his rise to fame and how he lived in the prism of fame was interesting. Equally interesting, to this Australian, was Morton’s account of Nicole Kidman’s life with Tom Cruise. She does not fare well in this book, poor Nicole. There was also passing mention of James Packer which felt placed to me to support a point about Scientology. This is a book about Scientology.
The big take-aways for me from Tom Cruise: an unauthorised biography, if only half of what Morton has written is true, are: Scientology is clearly not a religion, it is a cult and it is dangerous – Governments ought to withdraw its religious status; Tom Cruise is a bigger nut than I thought – actors should not have access to any stage or platform other than to act. I am glad my brush with Scientology was relatively brief.
The book provides an interesting connect with my own Scientology story: the way they attract people into the cult and how they use data to control and manipulate once you are in the web. It reminded me of what I found in the employee and other files of the company I purchased. I’m glad I read it and am disappointed that it has not been published in Australia.
Curiously, more have requested to borrow my copy of Tom Cruise: an unauthorised biography than any other book I have ever mentioned reading.