Tom, Katie, Suri and the Media Reaction

When I first started this blog, my primary intention was to clear up the misinformation about Scientology, the Church of Scientology and ex-Scientologists.  Sometimes I think I’ve done a good job.  Then there are times, like recently, when I’m amazed at how much misinformation still persists.

Katie recently had her dad fire all her Scientology “handlers” and help her file for divorce from Tom Cruise in New York.

The media has gone absolutely crazy with the news and got some very important things totally wrong.  Don’t they do research any more?

What the media got right:
The media has rather consistently framed Katie’s actions as an “escape from Scientology”.  Correct, it is.

The media has viewed Scientology as weird and dangerous.  Again, correct.

The media appears to consider Suri turning six as the primary trigger for the divorce and Katie asking for sole custody of Suri.  I also believe this is correct.

There are other, less important things, that the media got mostly right.

What the media got wrong:
No, Suri was not in any danger of being “sent to the Sea Org”.  That outcome is not and was not in the cards.  While I have never seen or heard of a six year old in the Sea Org,  that isn’t the point.  Celebrities do not get sent to the Sea Org and Suri, because of her parents, is a celebrity.

Many years ago, Yvonne Jentzsch, who ran Scientology’s “Celebrity Centre” used to make some celebrities “honorary Sea Org members”.  These people never did any Sea Org things, they just continued whatever they were famous for, but that idea died with Yvonne.

Today, celebrities, and their children, are coddled and, if they are top tier like Tom or Katie, they are assigned “handlers” to spy on them and keep them isolated.

No, Suri going to the Sea Org wasn’t what Katie feared.

Suri was not in danger of being “sent to the RPF”.  That’s just stupid.

Suri was not going to be “interrogated” (Sec Checked), at least not right away.

None of the media understood the very real danger Suri was in.

Suri’s actual danger:
L. Ron Hubbard said that you don’t “audit” a child before they turn six.  Auditing, in this case, means all the Scientology activities that use the “e-meter”.

So, that meant no “counselling sessions”, no “word clearing” (no Scientology courses) and no “Sec Checks”.  And that meant that Suri wasn’t getting any of the standard Scientology indoctrination.

But that was just about to end.  Suri was six.  Time to get her “in session” and “on course”. You just know that Tom was heavily pressuring Katie to get Suri active in Scientology.

The divorce is Katie’s unequivocal answer.

Good for you Katie, you did exactly the right thing: get Suri somewhere safe where the cult can’t indoctrinate her.

UPDATE
It has now been reported (July 9th) that Katie and Tom have reached a settlement in this divorce.

This was completely expected.  Tom Cruise would have received strict, emergency instructions, directly from David Miscavige, to “keep Scientology out of this!”  The divorce was tied directly to Scientology and every report was mentioning all the reasons why Katie needed to get Suri away from “Scientology’s evil, abusive, cultic influence” (or something like that).  Miscavige would have been going insane.

So, Tom needed all this to go away.  Details have not been announced, but IMHO Tom pretty much had to give Katie what she was asking for to make this settlement happen so quickly.

UPDATE 2
I hate to brag but, as the details have been leaked about the settlement, it looks like my prediction was the only one that called it 100%.  Katie got everything she asked for and Tom got the “shore story” that this had “absolutely nothing to do with Scientology”, just as I predicted.

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31 Responses to Tom, Katie, Suri and the Media Reaction

  1. AnonLover says:

    Nobody has a knack for sorting out the bs like you do Just Bill! Thanks for this, and here's hoping life is treating you well these days.

  2. Mary White says:

    I just signed up with Google account a first except for youtubes. Hope I receive any new post of yours. Other wise WordPress is better but didn't see it first.Well, with that aside, I found your site on VV. I really like your good sense in this article, like more to the facts sir. I read couple of earlier posts on google and I like a lot. I'm fairly new to all the blogs and was old scio but again interested in other side.Will keep up and hope to see another article soon from you.Seems to me that on the google account it says by Bill. So is that you? I see no name here lie that on this page, or am I just confused. Oh hell it's late.. thanks Elizabeth.So if you email me and say Just Bill, I should know it's not you, right? Just Bill is a contributer tho? Hey, celebrating the 4th what a blast of the day!

  3. Just Bill says:

    Hi Mary, and welcome.All the articles on this blog are mine, Just Bill/William Burke, unless specifically signed by someone else.I wrote that note about emailing as "Just Bill" because someone was claiming to be Just Bill via email. So, just to be safe, I promise that I don't do that and anyone who does is lying.I do, however, post occasionally on ESMB and OCMB. Those "Bill"s are me.Bill

  4. Just Bill says:

    Thank you! Yes, life is treating me very well. I hope you, too, are doing fantastic.Bill

  5. Anonymous says:

    Suri in the Sea Org. I was disappointed at how shallow some of the initial major media coverage was, but it kept getting better. I was actually happy with anything that would cause people to wiki "Sea Org," even if it were farfetched. Too often, people get distracted with the emeter, therapy, Dianetics,and auditing, and it doesn't even register with the public that Scientology does have these things called the Sea Org, Cadet Org, the OSA, or a David Miscavige.I cringe when I see the media write "applied religious philosophy" or when they start quoting from the official website, as if that is truthful about their beliefs or the way they operate.One thing has changed enormously though, the comments and reaction from the public. People have really caught on in recent years, to the important basic idea that the cult is much different from their facade, and that this marriage was about as laughable, as a celebrity marriage can get, with drama added, as they fight over who Suri will be raised.I was tickled at the replay of all the videos coming back at the cult — the Squirrel Busters, all the exes telling their stories. People like Karen Pressley on CBS, as she very articulately and compellingly explained how Tom Cruise is a control freak partly because he's a Scientologist. All my favorite exes coming back, telling their stories, like Astra Woodcraft and Marc Headley. And now people have a new way to relate to these things. Even since the Tom Cruise video hit the web, there's been an explosion in people finding information on the web. Because of the TomKat divorce, I see the cult really crumbling instead of fading away. It's great!I agree that the disparity between how celebrities (and their children) and real Sea Org members (with their children) are treated is something that should be brought out more. The two concepts melted together though as it isn't out of the realm of possibility that Tom Cruise hopes that Suri becomes some kind of super celebrity for Scientology, just as he is. He realizes that the set of actors into Scientology is aging. Now that he and Katie aren't going to be the king and queen, he'll feel like a total failure if he can't raise his own daughter to be a Scientologist, a mini-me. With the lumpish Bella and the party-boy Conner, he's just glad his adopted kids aren't crackheads. But with Suri, I'm sure he had big plans of turning her into a super being.MarkStark

  6. Strelnikov says:

    What about that entire mission defecting to "Independent Scientology" over in Israel?

  7. Just Bill says:

    This is fantastic news. When I first heard the rumors, I was hoping for a church, not a mission, but mission is good — for a start.This isn't "unprecedented", quite a few missions have defected before, most notably during the Mission Holders "Revolt" in the 80s. But the fact that it happened now, during all these other defections — and as a direct result of Debbie Cook's email is very significant.Who's next?

  8. Anonymous says:

    The difference between how the press treated this break up and Cruises brakup with Kidman is staggering. I too would have wished for more in depth reporting, but I believe most people who have read the celebrity gossip the last week have gotten the basic message: Scientology = bad.Let's just hope Cruise will begin to question why he has to sacrifice the custody of his daughter (and likely a whole lot of money) for the cult!

  9. Just Bill says:

    "Let's just hope Cruise will begin to question why he has to sacrifice the custody of his daughter (and likely a whole lot of money) for the cult!"You'd think so, wouldn't you? Not going to happen. Scientologists do not question. If Tom blames anyone, it will be Katie or "Anonymous" or just plain "Suppressives". Scientologists do not and cannot connect what Scientology does to all the bad consequences from Scientology's actions.

  10. Just Bill says:

    David Miscavige is already bad-mouthing Katie to Tom, telling him Katie is a "Suppressive Person". Tom will believe Miscavige because that's what Scientologists do.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how Orgs are responding to all this publicity on a local level. I got a call 4 days ago from my local Org that I refuse to communicate with. Up till then they'd been trying to contact me via other sources- unsuccessfully!- They can't hide newspapers and media coverage from public scientologists.I guess they will label any media coverage of the divorce as Black PR. I would be very interested to know if they are disseminating 'damage limitation 'as Policy. Was almost tempted to answer the call just to find out- but resisted 🙂

  12. Just Bill says:

    We can assume they are handling it as usual: Ignore it.You can be sure they have specially prepared "data sheets" which they show to those who ask questions but they otherwise pretend it isn't happening.The "data sheets" would contain the usual myths about the Great Conspiracy Against Scientology with warnings to avoid reading or looking at any media. "Just ignore all the 'wog' media and stay on course!"

  13. I hope you don't mind me asking, but you said that David Miscavige is already bad-mouthing Katie to Tom, telling him Katie is a "Suppressive Person". This isn't surprising but how would anyone except his inner circle know this?My hope is that Tom will be sad enough to wonder how come with all his fabulous auditing that his 2D ruin hasn't been handled. I mean, come-on. Wake-up!!!

  14. Just Bill says:

    Actually, that was a very easy thing to guess. David Miscavige bad-mouths everybody and calls pretty much everybody a "Suppressive Person". Except, of course, Tom Cruise. And himself.Unless you are his current favorite bootlicker, you are, according to Miscavige, a Supressive Person.Yes, we all hope Tom wakes up. The only question is, "How bad does it have to get before a Scientologist wakes up?" Every Scientologist has their own "last straw".

  15. Anonymous says:

    There seems to be a new email, by mother of Alexander Jenzsch sent to thousand Scilons. Python

  16. Just Bill says:

    Yes. I was so sorry to hear about yet another preventable death of a Scientologist. My heart goes out to Karen (and Heber, although he, apparently, doesn't know yet).That "iron bubble" surrounding Scientologists isn't doing so well any more. I know a few hard-core Scientologists still fight against information getting in — but information is getting in.And information is Scientology's enemy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi Bill,I have an off-topic question; Just read a comment from someone claiming that a Don Purcell actually wrote Dianetics. I never heard of this man. DO you know anything about this?On-topic, would someone out there in Media Land PLEASE write an article tying Holmes' escape in with the Jensch tragedy: "What Sci Parents Can Expect" or something on that line, as heart-wrenching as possible and hopefully in the Inquirer.And we thought the CoS was going out with a whimper. Nice to have you back.Sheepherder

  18. Anonymous says:

    Oh – and Karen's email went to 10,000 still-active Sci's (following Debbie Cook's example.) She got many replies of sympathy from old friends who sent messages secretly – one, she says, was from a man who said he had to hang up because his wife was coming back. And this is supposed to be America. Bill, one has to wonder, how influenced was Hubbard by the spirit of his times – the age of the really big dictators? My God. Stalin's commissars and the Hitler Youth. Did he just think that was really cool and want his own versions?Sheepherder

  19. Just Bill says:

    Don Purcell wrote Dianetics? And I thought I'd heard all the silly misinformation out there. No, Hubbard wrote Dianetics. I don't think anyone else wants "credit" for it.I think major media is doing pretty good. Yes, they are making silly mistakes; yes, they aren't reporting all the horrors; but they are talking and they do report that Scientology is crazy and dangerous — a vast improvement over just a few years ago.

  20. Just Bill says:

    Hmmm. An interesting question, how much was Hubbard influenced by the totalitarian dictators of the time?Certainly his "re-education camps", the RPF, are closely modeled after the Korean brainwashing camps of that time — and his positioning himself as almost-a-god mimics the deification of some far East totalitarian rulers.Perhaps his inspiration was Kim Il-sung?

  21. Anonymous says:

    "Karen's email went to 10,000 still-active Sci's"I am surprised that there ARE 10,000 still active Scilons. I thought there are at most 4000 people still in the Cult.Python

  22. Just Bill says:

    Estimates from a few years ago were around 40,000 world-wide at most. We all know the number is a lot less now — but I doubt the number is as low as 4,000.Besides, I suspect those "active Scientologists" includes many who no longer want to have anything to do with Scientology but who haven't said anything.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I suspect something like that too. Okay then maybe 10,000 isn't that unreasonable, but I count only those that are actively trying to move up on a "bridge" not those who only pretend to be active to avoid disconnection. Where did Karen find 10,000 active Scilon's emails, I wonder? Since that's somewhere between every active Scilon and every fourth active scilon.Python

  24. Anonymous says:

    Yep, it was 10,00. Check out Tony Ortega's latest at the Village Voice. He has the text of le Carriere's email. It is a very hard read. And it's now on Huffington Post, too. Bill, haven't you said before that many,many members just keep their heads down so they won't have to lose their jobs,friends and families? Among the comments on Ortega's site, I recommend a certain John P. He's very well informed and intelligent – sounds a lot like you, Bill, actually; tho he's never been a scilon, just a fascinated ( and horrified) observer. As we all are. Wow. Sheepherderp.s. I'm having an awful time proving I'm a human – either the letters are getting fancier, or my eyes are going –

  25. Bill! Great to have you back on the scene.I concur entirely with your post; However, I'm willing to forgive the media because1) Everything has to be simplified to soundbites these days2) As you said, the overall "Scientology is BAD" message gets through anyway.3) In this age of infinite information, the real facts are only a click away for anyone who gets their interest piqued I guess the Merchants of Chaos are living up to their reputation…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Why can't some ex scientologists help wake Tom cruise up to the abuses of the religion and how it drives people apart rather than promotes harmony and relationship. Why can't he see it is destroying his career, family , and happiness. Why can't he be encouraged to fight for Katie and leave Scientology?

  27. Just Bill says:

    It is deeply implanted in all Scientologists to reject, without question or thought, any "entheta" (meaning any information that disagrees with Scientology's statements). Tom's Scientology "handlers" keep him carefully isolated from any such "entheta". We ex-Scientologists cannot contact Tom in any way. It he is going to wake up, he's going to have to do it on his own.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Because scientology is a cult, in the worst sense of the word, like the People's Temple or the Branch Davidians or the Moonies. When I was a scilon, many people tried to talk me out of it. Friends, family, people who I respected and who I considered to be very intelligent; none of them could get through. I had to figure it out myself as I worked to pick up the pieces of my wrecked life. As Bill said, TC will have to come to his own realization. Direct, logical communication doesn't work on indoctrinated cult members.

  29. Anonymous says:

    What I am wondering about is how could Katie hide all this from Tom for two years and still pretended to love him! How can one trust a person like her? She was his wife! Hypocrit.

  30. Just Bill says:

    Boy! You totally do not get what Scientology is like, do you?I just don't know what to say. A Scientologist cannot under any circumstances, speak badly about Scientology. The penalties are severe!Even with that, I'm sure Katie did speak to Tom about her concerns but he, as a good Scientologist, would have brushed her off — or had her in session to "pull her overts".I guarantee that Katie found out very early on not to express any more doubts to Tom or she would end up being "Sec Checked" or "assigned conditions". All Scientologists learn this.She also learned, early on, that if she outright rejected Scientology, Tom would have quickly moved against her to take Suri and keep Suri from every seeing Katie again. This is what Scientology does.Katie did it right because it was the only path left open to her by Scientology itself.No, it is the Church of Scientology that is the hypocrite here — big time.Bill

  31. Strelnikov says:

    Just commenting to write that I'm still out there, and that San Diego Scientology is completely locked up – nothing, and I mean NOTHING has changed since last year; SD-Scientology is still just one building, the property in La Mesa is still abandoned, no Applied Scholastics school, no new mission(s). Nothing but failure as far as the eye can see.

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