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July 11th, 2012
03:00 AM ET

Ex-Scientologist: Cruise was top church recruit

Montreal, Quebec (CNN) - For the secretive Church of Scientology, "there was no bigger recruit than Tom Cruise."

The top Hollywood actor's membership in the Church beginning in 1986 "was huge," says Karen Pressley - a former Commanding Officer of the Church's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood from 1987 to 1989.

"My job was to ensure that celebrities were recruited, that celebrities were well serviced within our organization, and also to open up new celebrity centers around the world," she told CNN.

The high-profile marriage split between Cruise and actress Katie Holmes, who was raised Catholic, has re-ignited media interest in Scientology's influence in Hollywood.

Related story: What is Scientology? 

A joint statement released Monday to announce their divorce settlement said, "We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other's commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other's roles as parents." It's not known if Holmes joined the Church of Scientology.

Cruise is just one of many celebrity members of the church, including John Travolta, Jenna Elfman and Kirstie Alley.

See photos of other Scientology celebs

But Cruise was among Scientology's biggest fish, says Pressley. "Is there a bigger name than Tom? We called him TC."

Church founder L. Ron Hubbard realized celebrities were key to his mission, according to the Scientology website.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

"The world is carried on the backs of a desperate few," Hubbard is quoted as saying on the site. By "the few," Hubbard was referring to leaders in the realm of art, politics, industry, and sports. To cater to these people specifically, the church formed a special branch of Church of Scientology called the Celebrity Centre International. With locations around the world, Hollywood's celebrity center was established in 1969.

Its aim: to provide celebrities "… with a practical technology for improving one's happiness and creativity," the website says.

The church opens the Celebrity Centres for public tours. The Hollywood center offers classes and even a Sunday brunch, according to the website.

According to Pressley, celebrities get special perks including private entrances and course rooms, along with access to a VIP lounge.

She says Hubbard targeted celebrities specifically to add credibility to the Church's beliefs and to encourage more people to join.

Pressley, who was a Scientologist for 16 years, described internal wish lists and strategies discussed among church leaders in the 1980s to recruit other celebrities - including Brad Pitt and Demi Moore. Those discussions about how to bring Moore and Pitt into the fold never bore fruit, Pressley said.

The church would work to win over celebrity recruits, Pressley said, by giving them individual attention and by explaining how Scientology could help them achieve their highest goals as artists.

In exchange for tailored treatment, Pressley says Scientology leaders expected celebrities to stay committed to the church's teachings and speak glowingly of its benefits.

Many of them do exactly that. Travolta's spouse, Kelly Preston, credited Scientology with helping the couple cope with the death of their son, Jett.  Alley said the Church helped her overcome a drug addiction.

As for Cruise, he has publicly touted the benefits of church teachings, famously debating NBC's Matt Lauer about the church's stand against psychiatric drugs. More recently, Cruise told Playboy magazine that Scientology offers him a "search for how I can do things better, whether it's being a better man or a better father or finding ways for myself to improve."

"Individuals have to decide what is true and real for them," Cruise said.

Watch Cruise talk about Scientology

Like many faiths, Scientology prides itself on providing couples with communication tools to succeed at marriage. "It works," the church website says. "Whether applied to marital or personal relationships, to one's family or career or simply one's personal peace of mind – Scientology changes conditions for the better."

But Pressley says, as Scientology's celebrity poster child divorces for a third time, it hurts the church and Cruise.

"What does that say about .. a senior level Scientologist like Tom - TC?" Pressley asks. "What does that say about his ability to succeed in relationships? I think it's a huge statement."

The church has only said the divorce is "a private family matter " between Holmes and Cruise and said it "will continue to respect their privacy."

In response to CNN's questions about the relationship between the Church and celebrities, Church spokeswoman Karin Pouw said in a statement, “The Church does not speak about the beliefs and practices of parishioners.”

“Scientology appeals to men and women in all walks of life, as do other major religions," the statement continued. "The perception that it uniquely appeals to those in the arts is a misperception conveyed by the media. There are as many reasons individuals turn to Scientology as there are parishioners, but generally Scientology offers answers to age-old questions, spiritual awareness and greater ability because it provides tools they can use in life.” (Read Pouw's entire statement below.)

In an earlier statement, Pouw commented about Pressley and other members speaking out against Scientology. "...the Church regrets that excommunicated self-serving apostates are sadly exploiting private family matters to further their hate-filled agendas against their former faith. Having left the Church many years ago, these sources have no current knowledge about the Church and their recollections are distorted by their animosity."

Pressley left the Church in 1998, after she "became so disillusioned by what I had earlier believed in, I couldn't live with myself and I no longer chose to allow the Church to control my life."

Splitting with Scientology, she says, is not an easy task - especially for high level officials.

"You don't have the freedom to make a choice like that just to walk out. You have to get permission," she says. "But in order to get permission you have to go through an intensive security check, interrogation procedure before you can be approved to leave."

Now that she's speaking out, Pressley says she's concerned about her safety.

"But," she says, "I can't remain silent about things that matter and I deal with it as it happens."

Editor's note: Below is the complete July 10 statement from Church of Scientology International spokeswoman Karin Pouw to CNN responding to questions surrounding its report about celebrities and the Church.

"The Church does not speak about the beliefs and practices of parishioners. I have never seen CNN ask the Roman Catholic Church to discuss an individual parishioner by name and it points out the insensitivity of your questions.

Scientology appeals to men and women in all walks of life, as do other major religions. The perception that it uniquely appeals to those in the arts is a misperception conveyed by the media. There are as many reasons individuals turn to Scientology as there are parishioners, but generally Scientology offers answers to age‐old questions, spiritual awareness and greater ability because it provides tools they can use in life.

The Scientology religion is enjoying a period of tremendous growth with new Churches opening throughout the world. Each has a Public Information Center providing hundreds of videos about the religion and our social and humanitarian programs in the fields of drug education and rehabilitation, education, criminal reform, morals and human rights. Anyone desiring correct information about the Church can find it at one of these churches or on our website, www.scientology,org."

Watch Anderson Cooper 360° weeknights 8pm ET. For the latest from AC360° click here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Celebrity • Scientology • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

soundoff (1,662 Responses)
  1. ElmerGantry

    Earlier Why stated,
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Why
    "I'm Athiest but it's unclear as to why you care so much what others think. You sound just like a Christian trying to convert others. "How we do make them..." Take a look in the mirror. You really aren't that different."

    July 11, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |

    _____________________________________________________________________

    @why,

    So, you do not care what others think when,

    Rick Santorum introduces legislation to teach creationism in Pennslyvania schools,

    The Texas school board makes changes to standards regarding incorporating creationism in science text books, or at least the presumptive, but false, impression of the "controversy" being equal on both sides,

    The Texas school board makes changes to standards regarding US history to say the US is a "Christian nation" and other revisionist changes.

    Millions of dollars (much of that tax free religion dollars at that) are spent to influence laws like Ca prop 8.

    Why do you not care what these people think?

    The state of Kentucky is trying to use taxpayer dollars to fund a creation based "Noah's Ark Park".

    You say you don't care what these people think, the implication being that what they think can not affect you. You are wrong. What they think can and does affect not only you but the entire country.

    You should care.

    Silence is the voice of complicity.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  2. Mr Chihuahua

    who the hell is Jenna Elfman? lol!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • SYiRE/RADIO

      Something is wrong with America and we don't need God to tell us that.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • SYiRE/RADIO

      People are fools to even try to explain the true logic of God. They abuse his name for their own corrupt plans of world domination.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  3. erich2112x

    i guess you have to look first at why Kidman dumped him just as abruptly in almost the exact same fashion.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • SYiRE/RADIO

      CNN deleted my post beware... Please find us at SYiRE/RADIO on Youtube SPEEDARMOR channel

      July 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I doubt that CNN "deleted" your post. More likely a letter combination tripped the auto filter. (such as "circ.umstance")

      July 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • sam

      You're tinfoil hat is on a little too tight, SYiRE/RADIO...

      July 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  4. SilverGirl

    Actually, the Jewish historian, Josephus, did write about "Jesus the Christ." He is the only individual, however, to write about the "historical Jesus" outside the bible, of whom we are currently aware.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And Josephus' writings are certainly consistent with the idea that Jesus lived. Nevertheless they are still second-hand and hearsay.

      While his writings were contemporaneous with early Christianity, he did not write with first-hand experience of the life of Jesus, despite the testimonium Flavianum from Ca 93 AD.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      1. Yet Josephus remained a Jew and did not believe in Jesus.
      2. Yet the "golden paragraph" is a forgery added long after Josephus' death
      3. Yet Josephus also discusses Hercules.

      Next time, do your own homework.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  5. Tom Cruise's Balls

    Tommy! Tommy! Come out of the closet, Tommy!
    Everyone knows you like the peen! That's why you wanted to be a priest after all.
    Be true to yourself! Be true to us! We're tired of being blue!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  6. Sam

    Scientology!

    Just another great American invention!

    Right up there with pet rocks! And platform shoes!

    Next!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Answer

      What about the 'lava lamp'?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Pika

      When are people going to forget about all this religioun nonsense and just live their lives? What a bunch of fools.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Answer

      @Pika

      The number one thing: insecurity about reality. And fear of death.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  7. Diane Davids

    I attempted to attend a service at the Chuch of Scientology in Ripon, WI with my family, when there was one there,and was greeted at the door by persons who asked who I was, and if I was a member or not. I told them I was not but was church shopping, and was curious what it was they taught. They would not let me attend the service and asked that I leave. I stated " I can't attend to check it out?" and they said no and I was again asked to leave. We did. So much for my being able to freely aquire information as to what it was about.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Diane,

      you have to be 'audited' first.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • David Miscavige

      Yeah. We have to audit you to make sure you're a worthwhile mark...I mean member. After all, if we can't find people willing to pay dearly for our scams...I mean services, how can we afford our lavish lifestyle?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  8. erich2112x

    Put on some old work clothes like if you were buying a car, and walk into a Scientology office. Dollars to donuts they'll walk you right back out the door.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  9. Miles Long

    Scientology is not a religion.It is science fiction.It was started by a science fiction writer who was an atheist.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  10. Chauncy

    I use to work for the company that processed the credit card transactions for COS. These guys bring in the bucks. But in my experinece.....speaking to them on a professional level, they were the rudest, condescending people I've ever had to deal with.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  11. Trollman

    An atheist won't care that I say a rainbow unicorn exists.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Chauncy

      I don't care if you sh!t and fall back in it.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Trollman

      so in other words,if I made a claim like that I don't need proof but if I claim there is a God I must?!

      Screwed up atheist logic 101

      July 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Trollman

      I already did that, btw. I took a dump ON a unicorn, though.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Trollman

      Its always the atheists who steal names..

      July 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Trollman

      Except...when it's not.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Trollman

      lying again?

      Typical

      July 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Trollman

      'Lying' is my favorite word...I have to type it many times a day for my OCD.

      Lying lying lying. Just like HS has to type 'carnal' a lot. 🙂 🙂

      July 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  12. elvis costanza

    What kind of 'religion' has or even needs 'Commanding Officers'?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Huebert

      Catholicism?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Trollman

      atheism?

      Well every atheist is a "commanding officer".

      July 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • SYiRE/RADIO

      Yes this is one of the most fake churches their is. One of the weapons of the NWO don't be fooled people this is CNN trying to back that church because they are also members of it. Their is a GOD but NO religion remember that!! check out SYiRE/RADIO on Youtube for more truth aka SPEEDARMOR channel. 2013 is the year people need to be aware of not 2012.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Trollman

      I call my man 'commanding officer' when he gets the cattle prod out

      July 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • SYiRE/RADIO

      I am a soldier of the new Revolution. Someone that sees the the beast that is governments. They only seek to control you with fear.. All the media is distracting everyone of the questions they should be asking while the NWO takes more of your freedoms away in plain sight.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Answer

      "I am a soldier of the new Revolution."

      Biggest piece of crap thing I've heard in a while. You might as well proclaim that you're a christian soldier also.
      Stupid fools.

      Just what are you going to do when you TAKE CONTROL? No thanks to your "revolution".. I will stick with the current system and let the process of reform take place to better the world. You idiots and your crap new slogans. Just fn die off and take your silly mantras into oblivion.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • sam

      SYiRE/RADIO: Are you going to start singing 'Anarchy Burger' in a minute?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • SYiRE/RADIO

      Catholicism was created for profit everyone knows that dah!!!! People don't know how to teach themselves anything. They just believe what their crazy racist parents say and what the TV says. Too the few people that can see with out their eyes, know that people that are lost, are lost to the evils of this world.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  13. erich2112x

    When is Cruise going to finally realize that Scientology has ruined his life?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      When a year from now he comes out of the closet and tell's everyone how the Church had been forcing him to literally keep it under wraps for the last twenty years but he just can't hide his affair anymore with his favorite hair bear John Travolta...

      July 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • SYiRE/RADIO

      The guy "answer" is scared people know the lies our governments have been feeding people for ages.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  14. Linda

    'Approved to leave'??? This is a religion? Sounds more like a cult.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • sunsohot

      Couldn't agree more – as I read that statement about getting "permission to leave", all I could think of was, "Are you locked in a cell? Just leave!" I'm all for people wanting to improve themselves, and I'm sure that, to achieve their goals, some people probably do need like-minded individuals around them for support. But who asks permission to leave their support group?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • SYiRE/RADIO

      Exactly wake up america!!!!! Stop praising these retarded people in movies. Stop wasting your money on tickets and stop letting the government run your life though fear of jailing. Your already in prison and you don't even realize it..

      July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • David Miscarriage

      Every group espousing a philosophy is a cult to someone who disagrees with them. Common christianity is a cult where you're more likely to be ostracized than accepted if you don't play their games. Scientology is the same way. The rich are made to look good and the little people get the shaft, but that's never talked about 'cause they fear for their lives. Scientology is a terrorist sleeper cell waiting to be awakened by its leaders.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • snoozie

      Yes, that was my reaction – what are they going to do, hunt you down and shoot you? God, I "hope" that is a joke! I guess they could come to your door unannounced, hassle you, threaten your kids on a school playground, whatever. But then, why would anyone join a group like that in the first place?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  15. Nunez

    De de dee

    July 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  16. Trollman

    In atheism, you are the higher power but hate it when the religious claim humans are special.

    In atheism since you are basically a god, you are special.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Huebert

      I,m amazed that you can fit that much stupid on to two lines.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      DO NOT FEED
      THE TROLL

      July 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Trollman

      Its ok.The truth is hard to accept sometimes.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Huebert

      Let me know when you are able to.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Trollman

      The same to you.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Huebert

      Good one kid.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Trollman

      Its the truth kid.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Huebert

      Oh are we playing copy cat now? 😀

      July 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Trollman

      Lol atheists lie and say you use logic...so far no logic for you at all.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Huebert

      NO NO NO you forgot to end your post with "now". Do you understand the rules of copy cat at all? 😀

      July 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Trollman

      No logic=atheism does not give a person more logic.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Huebert

      How would you give someone logic?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Trollman

      Don't try to aviod it.No logical post makes you a hypocrite.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • sam

      It's that asshole 'Unknown' again. Boring.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Trollman

      Who?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Huebert

      @sam

      I'm aware that it's Unknown Lying Clown Trollman. I just can't resist giving him a little poke every time I see him. Some of the stuff he says is just priceless.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Trollman

      Again who?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • sam

      LOL 'Unknown Lying Clown Trollman' would be a great screen name.

      He is cute as a button, isn't he.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "In atheism since you are basically a god, you are special."

      God – the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe – Merriam-Webster

      Atheist – "There is no God."
      Moron – "Yes there is!! If there isn't than who created everything?"
      Atheist – "No, there isn't. And I do not know how all things came into being"
      Moron – "So you must think you are a God then don't you?!"
      Atheist – "Um, no, I just said there is no God..."

      July 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  17. MrApplesauce

    Just a side thought...

    I wonder how many Scientologists continuously monitor their Wikipedia page?

    July 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Brian

      I would think the Scientologists have someone on staff watching their Wiki page 24/7....maybe even have it as a course for beginers even....a cult that watches its profile as closely as they do surely has the resources and will to do so...

      July 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  18. debbie

    The difference between what I believe and what they claim to believe is I have evidence of what I believe they don't. Not only is the Bible written by many different people over so many generations but there is evidence of many of what is in the Bible in secular history and archeological findings. They want to put their trust and belief in only one imperfect fallible man who made up all they believe today. I choose to believe that we were created by a creator and that what he tells us makes sense and is reasonable. What they teach and believe is not based on any real scientific fact. If you bother to really read what they teach and believe any normal reasonable person would come away with many questions and rightly so. I'm not bashing them I feel sorry for them. They can believe in aliens or their selves being a higher power, it doesn't change what I know to be real and true. Just wish people who make idiotic comments on here do their homework first and know what they are talking about and give evidence to prove it, not just make silly irrational comments.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Debbie,

      I am compelled to disagree. You don't have evidence, you have faith. (I respect that.)

      The Scientologists' faith that L. Ron Hubbard's words are 'truth' is indistinguishable from your faith that the words of the bible are 'truth' or that the words of the Quran are 'truth' to Muslims.

      Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were 'imperfect men' too.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • just sayin

      Debbie, how about looking at REAL evidence...not as sumption. If you had evidence, you would not need faith. The reason why you need faith is that the God of the OT was manufactured from a religions thousands and thousands of years before Adam. Educate yourself in the history PRIOR to the OT. Please don't tell me that you think history started with Adam. Please tell me you are not this ignorant.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      There is no independent 'evidence' that Jesus lived and was resurrected outside the bible.

      There's no evidence that he didn't live either. (I think he probably did.) The Gospels appear to be consistent with the geography, politics and customs of Palestine in the first century. Jesus teachings are good words to live by, but those in and of themselves do not constitute evidence.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • N. Hardin

      Silly and irrational – like what you read in the bible?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Trollman

      silly like how atheists disort evolution to try and convince mankind we all exist by accident without proof?

      Talk about silly! 🙂

      July 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Huebert

      Silly christian critiquing a science he has never studied.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Trollman

      omg, smiley faces make my points for me! 🙂 I'm a special snowflake. Just like L.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Trollman

      Again? Man the truth is hard to accept for you.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Trollman

      And when I say 'truth', I mean 'my pants'.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • jerry

      trollman, me being an atheist would never assume that we know exactly where we came from. Having said that I would never believe that a "god" created us with a magic wand or whatever. It's like believing that Santa Claus is real. That's silly.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Trollman

      Really Santa? You atheists always bring up your favorite fetish..

      July 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • jerry

      Santa sounds silly doesn't it.......... maybe your god thing too sounds silly. It's all about perspective.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Trollman

      My favorite fetish is gerbils

      July 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • jen58

      yeah sorry Debbie but a lot of what the bible says is misinterpreted, made up stories, stolen from other folklore or mythology and just downright historically wrong...like the recent publishing of the fact that there weren't jewish slaves in egypt and they did not build the pyramids...there was no adam and eve, nobody lived hundreds of years, noah didn't take 2 of every animal on the planet for months on end....the bible is just as big of a joke as scientology is....

      July 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Trollman

      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Trollman

      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      July 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Guest today

      The bible is not based on scientific fact.

      Whether its aliens that landed X years ago and we all exists for a million years, or its a man whos mother was a virgin who died and x amount of time later rose up again.. or I can continue in the same way with other religions.. to me personally, none of them make logic sense.

      However, I respect those that believe and choose to follow what-ever-religion ... and I recognize that it is probably impossible for them to leave me alone with my beliefs, though I sure wish to be left alone and respected equally.

      Debbie et al. bashing and bullying of others and their choices in life is so sad.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  19. paul

    all religons are a waste of time

    July 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • jerry

      I like to think that religion is more like an illness that effects peoples rational thinking.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And you'd both be wrong. Now congratulate each other and move on.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • jerry

      Bill, sorry if I touched a nerve. I guess you have the illness of religion. Hope you get well soon

      July 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Trollman

      Bill, you're a touchy bitch every time you post. You need Midol.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fake Trollman,

      give it a rest. Spoofing handles is childish and tedious. You take yourself down to the level of the authentic "Trollman" when you do this.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Trollman

      There's no such thing as an 'authentic' Trollman.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @fake Trollman,

      that may be, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  20. iknowrock

    "Hubbard targeted celebrities specifically to add credibility to the Church's beliefs and to encourage more people to join." yes, because celebrities notoriously add credibility to their religion. all religions should have a celebrity center. damnit.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • barb2012

      Crack me up.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.