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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. Richard

    Religion is for those who would have others tell them how they should act, think, feel, and believe. That is counterfeit spirituality. True spirituality is figuring those things out for yourself.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Spirituality is just a hippy, leftist, Newspeak term.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Aaron

      Does this group have their own terrorist ?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  2. mike

    who cares????????

    July 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  3. Richard

    "...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."

    This sounds like it was written by a Christian.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  4. Sam

    To Christie Ley: If you are sick of this story, don't read it...

    reg. this "religion" called Scientology – it sounds more like a cult or a "gang" than a religion to me! Amazing how so many, seemingly smart people, can get so brainwashed like this!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  5. Space Chimp

    You don't have the freedom to choose to leave? That right there is why this 'organization' should be shut down.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Have you ever tried to officially leave the Catholic Church? Easy it ain't.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Seriously?

      The Catholic Church? Most of the people I know left the Catholic Church. You simply stop going.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  6. sally

    PERMISSION TO LEAVE? That alone should scare people away from wanting to join!!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  7. muslim2012

    In mathematics there is a theory known as ‘Theory of Probability’. If you have two options, out of which one is right, and one is wrong, the chances that you will chose the right one is half, i.e. one out of the two will be correct. You have 50% chances of being correct. Similarly if you toss a coin the chances that your guess will be correct is 50% (1 out of 2) i.e. 1/2. If you toss a coin the second time, the chances that you will be correct in the second toss is again 50% i.e. half. But the chances that you will be correct in both the tosses is half multiplied by half (1/2 x 1/2) which is equal to 1/4 i.e. 50% of 50% which is equal to 25%. If you toss a coin the third time, chances that you will be correct all three times is (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2) that is 1/8 or 50% of 50% of 50% that is 12½%.

    A dice has got six sides. If you throw a dice and guess any number between 1 to 6, the chances that your guess will be correct is 1/6. If you throw the dice the second time, the chances that your guess will be correct in both the throws is (1/6 x 1/6) which is equal to 1/36. If you throw the dice the third time, the chances that all your three guesses are correct is (1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6) is equal to 1/216 that is less than 0.5 %.

    Let us apply this theory of probability to the Qur’an, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Qur’an which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct.

    At the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.

    The light of the moon can be its own light or a reflected light. The Qur’an rightly says it is a reflected light. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/2 and the probability that both the guesses i.e the earth is spherical and the light of the moon is reflected light is 1/30 x 1/2 = 1/60.

    Further, the Qur’an also mentions every living thing is made of water. Every living thing can be made up of either wood, stone, copper, aluminum, steel, silver, gold, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, oil, water, cement, concrete, etc. The options are say about 10,000. The Qur’an rightly says that everything is made up of water. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/10,000 and the probability of all the three guesses i.e. the earth is spherical, light of moon is reflected light and everything is created from water being correct is 1/30 x 1/2 x 1/10,000 = 1/60,000 which is equal to about .0017%.

    The Qur’an speaks about hundreds of things that were not known to men at the time of its revelation. Only in three options the result is .0017%. I leave it upto you, to work out the probability if all the hundreds of the unknown facts were guesses, the chances of all of them being correct guesses simultaneously and there being not a single wrong guess. It is beyond human capacity to make all correct guesses without a single mistake, which itself is sufficient to prove to a logical person that the origin of the Qur’an is Divine

    July 11, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      I suppose this explains all the Muslim Nobel prize winners in the sciences, then.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • TLDR

      TLDR. Dumb it down for your intended audience.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • kellyinboston

      Oh, please. The Koran does not say this. The Koran says that the earth is a "carpet" that does not move, and that the sky is a canopy/roof. It says that the mountains keep the earth from moving. And it says that the sun and moon move, while the earth stays still. Chance of this kid of whack job "science" being written in the first millenium? 100%.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """It says that the mountains keep the earth from moving. And it says that the sun and moon move, while the earth stays still"""

      It also says something about the sun falling into a mud puddle at night. Now THAT's science!

      July 11, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Jaenette

      1a. Many of the ancient greeks knew the earth was round, and they even calculated the size, centuries before mohammed was wearing a diaper.
      1b. In fact, quran got it wrong. Quran says earth is spread out like a carpet. I don't know of any spherical carpets. Strike 1.
      1c. In the same place, quran says mountains are immovable. Obviously the arab sheephereders did not know of plate tectonics. Strike 2.
      2. Human body is not made of water. It may be mostly water, as is apparent to a casual observer that we have lots of blood, urine, saliva, digestive juices. It would be even more apparent to anyway disecting a human. But we are definitely not made up of water. Strike 3.

      But hey, don't let facts get in the way of your blind faith in barbaric, stone age myths.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • A

      This is not scientifically sound, because you made too many assumptions as to the number of options for each of these "guesses" or "revelations".

      Also, the theory that the moon was reflected light is credited to have been developed in about the 400s BCE. This is before the Quran was written. Further, the concept of a spherical earth dates back to the Greeks in 6 BCE.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  8. muslim2012

    In Arabic, Allah means literally the one God. It is pretty easy to understand how different languages give the same thing different names. Is it that unusual to hear Muslims call God another name, like "Allah", while you call him God or Lord? Some people have no minds; in the last decade, a growing phenomenon was seen on the internet and in published literature. Allah is said to be the “moon god” that Arabs worshiped, and Kaaba (The Muslims holiest place on Earth) is His temple. The evidence for this theory is the crescent that appears on the top of many mosques all over the world plus a fabricated picture of the "moon god".

    This idea is very dangerous. If you believe that Muslims are worshiping an idol, then there is no basis even to talk to them. They are pagan idolaters like Hindus and Buddhists. It is alleged that although Islam is a monotheistic religion, the Muslims' only God is simply another idol that Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) chose (or in some versions of the story, he made it up).

    To invalidate this foolish theory, one has to take the story from different angles.

    The crescent is not a symbol of Islam, but of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans are those tribes that moved to Turkey from east and middle Asia. They converted to Islam and built a huge Muslim Empire that ruled the whole Muslim world for centuries. When they took Islam as a religion they started using the lunar calendar, the calendar that was used by Muslims, Jews and early Christians. Even today, the flag of Turkey has a crescent on it. There was no crescent on any mosque built before the Ottomans era.

    Prophet Abraham built the Kaaba for people to worship God. While pagan Arabs admitted this fact and even kept the stone where he used to stand to build the Kaaba (Abraham's station), they brought idols to the Kaaba and worshiped them to get closer to Abraham's Lord, Allah, God of gods. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) came with the monotheistic message of Islam. Arabs defended these idols and refused to give up the religion of their fathers and grandfathers. They offered to Muhammad a deal, that is to worship their gods for one year, and they worship Allah alone for one year. A chapter of the Quran came with the response from God to this evil invitation:

    [Say : O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine. ]109:1-6

    Later on, the Quran started calling Allah by other names. One of those holy names was Al-Rahman (the Gracious). Arabs wondered:"is this a new God?" The Quran responded again:

    [Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. ]17:110

    It is not a new god; it is a new name for the same God. Allah has ninety nine names in Islam; all of them are holy and speak about different attributes of the same creator, almighty Allah. As an example, read these verses of the Quran:

    [Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god; Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

    Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god; the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.

    He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory; and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.]59:22-24

    When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came back to Mecca, he entered the city peacefully on the top of an army of 10,000 men, exactly as the Bible described him "pre-eminent above ten thousand." (Solomon 5:10). He did not burn a single home; he did not harm a single person; he just went to the Kaaba and destroyed all the gods Arabs had there. He kept nothing in the Kaaba. Where is this picture of the moon god coming from? I don't know. Did anyone of the pagan Arabs have a digital camera by then?

    There is evidence that the word Allah existed before the birth of Muhammad PBUH for thousands of years. It is probably the oldest name man used to call God. Most likely, Adam used the word Allah to call the Lord. On the other hand, the word "GOD" was born with the English language, less than ten centuries ago. Can we say that all English speaking nations are pagans because they use the word "God"? What about Chinese monotheists? How should they call God?

    Prophet Muhammad's father’s name was Abdullah (The slave of Allah). This name was common among Arab pagans and Jews. Abdullah bin Salam was one of the first Jews to convert to Islam in Medina. When Arabs call Allah in prayer they say: “Ya Allah” or “Allahoma”. Aren't these words familiar to you? “Alleluia” and “Elohim” are the words used to call Allah in the Bible. In Hebrew, the suffix im means many. So Elohim literally means many Allah(s). This is a known way to express dignity and respect to almighty Allah by calling Him pleural. This phenomenon is known in Hebrew, Arabic, English and other languages. In Quran, the same pattern is seen many times. For example, God says in the holy Quran:

    [ We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption). ]15:9.

    In the English translation of the Bible, you read, "Let us make man in our image”-Genesis 1:26-KJV.

    The word Allah is used in all Arabic translations of the Bible. It was used in some English translations of the Bible like the original "Scofield Reference Bible"-reference: what is his name? by Deedat. In the New Testament, Jesus is believed to cry before his death "ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” Eloi is the exact Arabic word "Elahi" which comes from the same root as Allah.

    I have no doubt that the word "Allah" is the oldest known name man called God with. For those who choose to ignore this fact and transgress, Muslims have nothing to offer. Allah says in the holy Quran:

    [If any, after this, invent a lie and attribute it to Allah, they are indeed unjust wrong-doers.] 3:94

    For Muslims, Allah is perfect. He has no partners. We worship Him and Him alone. Our faith is summarized in the holy Quran:

    [Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.]112:1-4

    July 11, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Ken

      What a load of garbage. I laugh at your mohommed, for he is a false prophet.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The only man I worship is Captain Beefheart (I'm also partial to booze, w.hores and pork, so Islam isn't for me).

      July 11, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Wes Scott

      Through you bias it is apparent that you do not have a clue, and that you are just regurgitating what somebody else who also did not have a clue told you.

      Buddhism is NOT a religion, it is a philosophy, and it has no godhead to worship. Your statement is patently false and misleading. "Allah" exists only in your mind.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Bob from Pittsburgh

      Grabage... these guys like any other religion say one thing and another.. they use others, they abuse little girls, and use little boys, they are sick.. F...k mohamed

      July 11, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • A

      Pagans aren't necessarily idolitors. In fact, they tend to be the most peaceful people because they couldn't care less that you call your God by a different name than they do. They feel no need to convert, fight, and murder in the name of their God. They label no one as infidels and do not feel that those who do not follow their religion deserve death. I like the pagans just fine.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • kellyinboston

      Wes Scott–While not germane to your larger argument against the "truth" of Islam, I do think you are wrong on one basic point. The lack of a deity does not mean that Bhuddism is not a religion–It is. Bhuddists believe in the enhancement of the spirit through personal works (including meditation). The fact that Bhuddists don't pray to an imaged god doesn't mean that it is not a religion. I would argue that Scientology (which also doesn't posit a deity figure) is also a religion.

      July 11, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Ned Flanders

      Typical, an article about Scientology careens into a muslim copying and pasting rhetoric and sparking mentions of Captain Beefheart. Just typical.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  9. Andrew

    "excommunicated self-serving apostates" LOL! They even talk like the catholic church.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  10. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Maybe instead of trying to increase Scientology's membership through marriage to him, Mr. Mapother should instead try to find a nice Scientologist Tool already brainwashed into their "religion" to marry. Consider three marriages to three non-Scientologists didn't work out for him. Perhaps he should let Miscavige pick out his next wife for him?

    July 11, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • bitnar

      Makes perfect sense.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  11. Christie Ley

    I am so sick and tired of seeing news of this breakup on the front page.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  12. jj

    The more strongly someone espouses a theology...the more whacko they are.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  13. Emilio

    All religions are mind-bending cults whose purpose is to deplete the human spirit within their followers, replacing what has been taken with authoritarian tenets. You will also find that the people atop the hierarchy set rules that they themselves do not follow. So these cults are not a democratic organization of people seeking fulfillment for their spiritual needs, but a money grubbing clique of thieves lining their pockets with the proceeds misappropriated from their naive followers. Zombies like Tom Cruise are two-a-penny that people with an ounce of commonsense sees through in a microsecond as in need of psychiatric help.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • IHS

      It's interesting that in order for you to speak against "authoritarian tenets", you have to profess an "authoritarian tenet" yourself. There IS an absolute truth, as defined by God. The question then becomes, what faith reveals this god as he truly is. Which one is right? Unless you're an atheist, you have to come to this conclusion. And if you are an atheist, then please enlighten me with an "authoritarian tenets" describing your theory of spontaneous generation.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Wes Scott

      God exists only in the minds of those who lack the self-realization to accept that they are responsible for everything that happens to them. The need of somebody to blame and somebody on whom to depend leads people to follow false gods. IHS is a perfect example in his pretense to know the "truth". The only truth is that ALL religions are false and fabricated to separate fools from their money.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """There IS an absolute truth, as defined by God. The question then becomes, what faith reveals this god as he truly is."""

      No, the question is, how did you make that leap in logic?

      """if you are an atheist, then please enlighten me with an "authoritarian tenets" describing your theory of spontaneous generation."""

      Unlike you, non-believers like me don't have an absolute answer (see above) for everything. We know that we don't know.

      But we know schlock when we see it.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  14. Dave

    After spending most of my working life in show business, it's easy to describe actors as pliable tools. They are into Tarot, spirit readings, and any number of mystic religions. In fact, they are the easiest group to convert due to their needs for love and acceptance and lack of personalities. Scientology simply takes advantage of that and the slavish followers who seek to be celebrities themselves.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • SteveDS

      You do realize that now you will be SUED.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Martin

      The easiest group to convert is the uneducated.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  15. M. Johns

    Yes, it speaks volumes that his beliefs in this fake church did not give him the tools to achieve happy marriages, thereby keeping the family unit together. Is there anything more important than caring for your wife and children?

    July 11, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Caring for yourself, burgers, beer, video games, HBO drama serials, Ingmar Bergman films, Andriy Tarkovsky films, Stanley Kubrick films, pizza, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull, The Kowlin' Wolf, Mississippi John Hurt. I could go on for days.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      That should be Howlin'. Sorry Chester.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Steve_PA

      Just as marriages and careers fall apart for people in all the other fake religions (that is, all of them)

      July 11, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • paul

      All churches are fake. Only difference is membership size. They all have fake fables.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  16. Dave - Phx

    People are ignorant and grow more rediculous every day. Of course a celebrity help lend validity to your made up religion, people are sheep and will follow famous people into garbage like this.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What isn't a "made up" religion?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • diana

      All religions are made-up. And they are made-up by people who want money and control. I live for the day the issue of Romney's magic underpants is raised at a debate. Talk about cults! Why does Romney get a pass on his cult membership? There is nothing scarier than looking into the blank eyes of any cult member. Fearful might be a better way to describe the look. Fearful eyes. The Osmonds all have the look as well. And Tom Cruise. That's what cults do. They steal brains and nerve. They control through fear.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  17. Kman

    CULT!!!!!!!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Aaron

      Have people truly lost their minds some old fruit cake Sci-Fi writer comes up with a idea and ads a made in China electronic toy and California calls this a religion what true joke feel really sad for some people.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  18. Agreed

    Ah, The Brave New World, I've been waiting for this.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  19. WhateverSmith

    CNN – Please.... just TRY to be a news-worthy organization. Why is this on front and center as the highlighted story for the day on your website? Is there seriously nothing else in the entire world more important?

    "TC" is a psychochological basket case. He's clearly manic-depressive.... and shouldn't be the center of your work.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      Again – look at the banner up top. See where it says "Belief Blog"?

      You have the entire Internet to get whatever real news you so desperately crave. Leave here – go there. Be happy.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  20. uysfl

    how is something written by a sci fi author considered a "church"?

    July 11, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I dunno, ask Saint Paul, he started it.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Mike

      How is something written by a bunch of high, iron-age shepherds living in the desert considered a "church?"

      July 11, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • jj

      Why would his profession (sci fi writer) limit his ability in any other field? I've never read his stuff, but I absolutely know that sci fi writers are incredibly smart people. Don't let the word "fiction" fool you....

      July 11, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Ed

      I have often wondered that myself, but really it wouldn't be the first time someone read a fictional book and declared it truth now would it?

      July 11, 2012 at 8:24 am |
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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.