Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Splitting Up: Scientology Has Bigger Problems
NEW: What Katie Holmes is trying to spare Suri -- at six, Scientology kids are conditioned to become informers.
People magazine is reporting that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are ending their marriage, which should surprise just about no one.
Holmes was hand-picked for Cruise by a nervous David Miscavige, as Scientology's leader wanted to prevent what had happened during Cruise's previous marriage, when a Scientology-wary Nicole Kidman kept Cruise all but out of the religion during their ten-year relationship.
But now, the Cruise-Holmes pairing isn't the only Miscavige project that is falling apart. As we reported early this morning, Scientology recently experienced two stunning defections from its secretive California headquarters -- a woman who is L. Ron Hubbard's granddaughter, Roanne Leake, and Miscavige's own father, Ron Sr.
TMZ is reporting that Katie filed for divorce and is seeking sole custody of Suri, their daughter. Cruise, they say, was surprised by the move.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Katie was fully aware of how Nicole Kidman got screwed over in her divorce with Cruise, and has much less of a relationship with their two adopted children as a result.
Katie doesn't seem like the type to let that happen (and her parents, we have always understood, were wary of Tom's kooky religion).
Michael Musto and I were just talking about the timing -- it was May 23, 2005 when we saw Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah's couch. "It was a seven-year contract then," Musto tells me, with impish humor. "He proposed on June 17." Hey, he's the celebrity expert.
Catch up on our past coverage:
Scientology's Disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.
New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.
As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.
Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.