By D. Chandler
It took just 11 days for Tom Cruise to figure out that he’d better settle Katie Holmes’ divorce petition or he and the Church of Scientology would have a public relations disaster. The Mission Impossible actor wisely kept the divorce out of the earshot of the courts as well as out of the purview of public opinion. In reality, that was the only move Cruise had. The Academy Award winning actor’s relationship with Scientology gave him no other choice. With worldwide public opinion overwhelmingly siding with Holmes, neither Cruise nor Scientology would have been able to marshal any kind of effective defense without pissing Holmes off and inevitably force her to disclose scientology secrets they would rather leave unknown. In other words, if Cruise had contested Holmes’s divorce petition, both he and Scientology would have been subject to intense media exposure, a risk not worth the personal victory Cruise may or may not have attained.
Back in 2010, the New York Times reported in a front page story that claimed the “Church is losing members fast and may have as few as 25,000 members in the United States.” In July of 2011, a Scientology expert declared that “support for Scientology is shrinking” in Switzerland. Nevertheless, the Church boasts more than 8 million members worldwide. Whether any of this speculation is true or not, what is clear is that it seems to be an asserted effort surrounding the Church that is bent on exposing it as a hoax. If nothing else, the Church of Scientology appears to fear that their most guarded secrets will be made public.
Keeping in mind that we’re dealing with two or even three very public figures, that is Scientology, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, there remains something extremely dysfunctional in the way that Holmes announced her exit from the mega star.
Looking at the chronology, Katie and Tom’s personal choices seemed to take a fateful turn back in 2009 when holymoly.com reported that Katie Holmes enrolled Suri into Catholic school, “despite husband Tom Cruise’s protestations at wanting their daughter to be raised as a Scientologist. Back then, Holy Moly reported one of their sources as saying, “Katie has been listening to her parents who are devout Catholics. She told Tom that she wants Suri to be educated as a Catholic, as she was. They had been having huge problems agreeing on her school. To say they were having arguments is putting it mildly, but Tom came around to the idea in the end.” So the battle of Suri may continue and is perhaps not the only reason Holmes moved swiftly to discard Cruise.
I can only imagine that if Holmes had simply done a little research she may have been terrified of what she discovered about the church. It’s no secret how Hubbard’s son felt about his father. In the May 6, 1982 edition of the Clearwater Sun, the newspaper reported that Ronald Edward Dewolf, Hubbard’s eldest son, claimed at a congressional hearing that “99 percent of what my father wrote about his own life is false. … DeWolf, 47, was the second witness to testify in the opening session of Clearwater’s public hearings on Scientology. Edward Walters, at one time a high-ranking Scientologist, testified earlier he would not have joined the church had he known the alleged discrepancies of Hubbard’s past.”
There are just volumes and volumes of information throughout the internet that I am sure Holmes could readily access and perhaps if she did, maybe she even attempted to warn her husband about. Nevertheless, if Cruise is, as numerous reports have speculated, the de-facto number 2 in command at the Church of Scientology, his investment and commitment may have been beyond overcoming. Such a report of Cruise’s hierarchical status was offered by “The Telegraph.” In a January 2008 edition it described Tom Cruise as having “become the de-facto second-in-command of the Church of Scientology and is consulted on every aspect of the controversial group’s planning and policy. “The Telegraph” sourced their information as having come from a new book at the time authored by Andrew Morton.
We only need to consider the cursory information that I have covered in this article to along with a small measure of common sense to conclude that there was no way the Church could have afforded the Cruise/Holmes divorce to get out of hand. As I implied earlier, what would have been the up side; Personal triumph for Cruise? I think not. He had to settle and he had to settle fast.
It is reasonable to believe that the Cruise Holmes agreement will completely prevent Holmes from communicating or leaking any information that will embarrass Cruise or his religion. And why not, we have to remember that he is Suri’s father, thus it is in the best interest of Suri to have a father that can be a part of her life instead of having him ruined in the media.
Way to go Katie.