Scientology: The Opium Of The Stars

Source: Sunday Telegraph
Date: November 14, 1993

The cult has just won recognition as a church but, as Josh Young reports, concern is mounting about its hold on Hollywood

How can you argue with the Scientology poster boys? Outside some Scientology centres are magazine covers of Tom Cruise and John Travolta addressing passers-by with the caption: "I'm a Scientologist. Come in and find out why."

The two men worked together again in 1990 on Days of Thunder. Cruise asked [Don Simpson] to use a sound system promoted by the Church of Scientology, Clearsound. While many sound technicians are impressed with it, Clearsound is considered unreliable, and it costs $120,000, rather than the standard $5,000 system. Simpson demurred, and then lost his temper when the church's leader, David Miscavige, turned up on set. He reportedly told Cruise in no uncertain terms to keep Scientology officials away.

Whether Scientology has had anything to do with that or not, it has certainly fallen foul of the law. In 1978, nine top Scientologists, including [L. Ron Hubbard]'s wife Mary Sue, were jailed for burgling and wiretapping IRS offices. In 1984 in the Royal Courts of Justice Mr Justice Latey described Scientology as "corrupt, sinister and dangerous", "grimly reminiscent of the ranting and bullying of Hitler and his henchmen."