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Tom Cruise: Parent Of The Year?
Thursday, April 20, 2006   By: Mahone Dunbar

Mission Improbable

After the birth of his baby daughter this week, actor Scientologist Tom Cruise enjoys a glass of Chianti wine with his meal of umbilical cord tartar; afterwards, he will top his repast off with a nice healthy slice of placenta pie.


What happens if you take a rich, nice-looking Hollywood star with modest talent and a dazzling smile, shower him with money and fame, provide him with pampering and adulation, and then expose him to a cult developed by a science fiction writer looking for the sure way to make a quick buck? What you get is the life of Tom Cruise. Given Tom's recent actions in the public forum, you have to wonder if he wasn't better off when the public thought he was simply a garden-variety pickle licker?

In addition to being a big Hollywood star, Tom Cruise has become famous for proselytizing on behalf of Scientology - so much so that he is now identified as the public face of Scientology. In fact, Cruise was the first person to receive Scientology's first Freedom Medal Of Valor. Will Scientology survive this? Hopefully not.

As religions go, Scientology is not exactly hoary with age. It was founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who maintained that 75 million years ago aliens came to earth and that their spirits now infest our bodies (Apparently, there’s a cluster of them in California.). And though Scientology proffers no deity, hopeful scientologists do expect Hubbard, who died in 1986, to return. To this end, they purchased a five-hundred acre compound (ninety miles east of Los Angeles), with a million-dollar mansion and all the trimmings, where Hubbard can reside in comfort after his second coming. But until such time as Hubbard chooses to defy the known laws of spacetime and returns, the compound is used for the purpose of courting Hollywood moguls and celebrities, such as Mr. Cruise. Reportedly, Cruise has spent weeks at a time at the compound getting "audited."

Let me state right now that getting audited in probably nothing like brain-washing. There is every possibility that Cruise would have turned out extremely weird without Scientology's input. However, no one can doubt that it accelerated the process and gave a fine polish to his veneer of eccentricity.

Like Karma is central to Buddhism, the Resurrection to Christianity, and suicide bombers to Islam, the process of auditing is pivotal to Scientology. The auditing process consists of one-on-one counseling, during which a member's responses to questions are monitored on a device called an "e-meter." The e-meter is similar to a polygraph. It is also very expensive and, together with the training courses, a good and faithful Scientologist can spend tens of thousands of dollars getting "clear," i.e., free from life's problems. (I have achieved basically the same thing with alcohol and drugs, and a damn sight cheaper.)

Cruise’s intense advocacy on behalf of Scientology has worried some, such as movie producer Steven Spielberg, who, during Cruise's promotional tour for War Of The Worlds, grew concerned that his star spent more time talking about Scientology that he did pimping the movie. But others are pleased with Cruise's proselytizing. According to International Scientology News, in 90 nations, 5,000 people hear Tom's words about Scientology every hour, which translates into the fact that every minute of every hour people reach for LRH technology expressly because they know Tom Cruise is a Scientologist.

Earlier in the year Cruise got in a row for criticizing drug use - legal drug use. After publicly criticizing actress Brooke Shields for being on medication, he went on to issue a blanket condemnation of psychiatrists who prescribe drugs, and to warn prescription "pill poppers" to think carefully about what they're doing to their bodies.

But Cruise may have finally run afoul of his Hollywood buddies when he declared that he thought it "appalling" that people had to live a life of drug addiction. He also bragged that, using Scientology's detox program, he could break a person's heroin addiction in three days!

No wonder Tom has dropped off the A list for Hollywood parties.

Now that he's "clear," Tom has also been "sharing," that is, opening the wounds of his life in front of the media. (Personally speaking, I'll take a quiet drug-addict over this type of emotional whore-mongering any day of the week.) According to an interview Cruise gave to Parade magazine, his battered, pre-Scientology-perfect psyche was the result of an abusive father, who was a "bully and a coward." Apparently, if his dad had a bad day, he would get testy and take it out on poor Tom. His dad left the family when Tom was 12, and the only time Cruise saw him again was 10 years later, when the man was dying of cancer.

If I may, let me offer a theory here for Tom's unforgiving attitude toward his father: maybe this animosity is actually a mask for the guilt Tom feels. Tom felt responsible for his father's abandonment of the family, since, if the truth be known, his dad probably fled the home because he got tired of seeing his son dancing around the house in his underwear while miming songs.

Perhaps the luckiest person in all of this is Tom's former publicist, his sister, whom he fired last year. I hope he didn't blame her for all the bad publicity he's been exposed too lately. What is a PR representative to do with a client like Tom, who goes on national TV and shoots his mouth off like an fourteen-year-old LA thug who just got a Mack-10 for Christmas and is on his first drive by with his homies?

The Silence Of The Lames

The hands on the old cuckoo clock finally hit twelve for Tom this month as he and his current life-partner baby-momma, actress Katie Holmes, prepared for the arrival of their baby. Cruise, saying he thought it would be very nutritious, declared that he was going to eat both the baby's placenta and its umbilical cord! (Some have suggested that Cruise was only kidding about eating the placenta; but what does it say about perceptions of his sanity that people considered him to be serious?) Supposedly, in some societies, eating a baby's placenta is fashionable and chic; but then again, so is cannibalism. There is even a recipe out there for fried placenta with shallots and garlic - serves up to twenty. My suggestion would be, if you find yourself living in such a society, and are invited for dinner at someone's home, discreetly inquire to see if they've had a new birth in the past week before accepting the invitation. The placenta is biological waste; think of nine months of accumulated menstruation; think of a goldfish that has lived in a tiny bowl for nine months without the water being changed. Now, drink that water. The thought is so off-putting that I don't think I'll be eating strawberry jelly for a while.

Cruise also said that the baby would be delivered in total silence, according to Scientology precepts, and would remain in a silent environment for seven days. A couple of weeks before the baby's due date, photographers spotted someone delivering large printed posters to the Cruise home. These were to be hung about the house so as to remind everyone to stay silent during the birth and the proscribed period of silence afterwards.

On one comment board relating to the silent birth technique, some practical wit of the female persuasion suggested that Kate cup Tom's balls in her hand throughout the birth process - and see if he could remain silent.

There's nothing like experimenting with strange psychological beliefs, like elective mutism for the household, on your own children. Just thank God Tom and his flaky friends are not experimenting on your children. Then again, who knows how much of this tripe may eventually find its way into the public school system of California?

It is most unfortunate that Tom is against psychiatry, because this is one baby that's going to need lots of therapy as it grows up. Elective mutism for seven days! Eat the placenta?! She might as well be raised by a mother cat. Luckily for the new baby, once they grow tired of the novelty they can well afford to pass it off to a nanny to raise.

The sad fact is, Tom and Kate are not responsible for this aberrant behavior; both are suffering from a malady known as FPS, or Fetal Parent Syndrome. According to Fermott’s Medical Dictionary:

FPS causes parents to act like children, specifically, toddlers or newborns. The American Psychiatric Association describes FPS as an abnormal role reversal that occurs when the parents of a fetus, or newly-born child, project the baby's innocence and lack of worldly experience onto themselves and began acting like a couple of goobers from Kansas. It is a form of psychological projection believed to be caused by an adult's inability to cope with the choices brought about by mental and emotional maturity, causing a psychological reversion to a perceived state of innocence. Victims of FPS, since they identify neoteny with innocence and spiritual purity, frequently indulge in behavior that is reminiscent of toddlers or babies, such as whining, crying, screaming, defecating all over themselves or others, or making a spectacle of themselves on Oprah. In extreme cases, victims of FPS have even been known to eat placentas!

Currently, the psychological phenomena of FPS is primarily confined to affluent neighborhoods along the West Coast of America. The treatment milieu for FPS entails "shock treatments’ in the form of exposure to actual toddlers and babies, three-o'clock feedings, extended crying jags, and dirty diaper pails.

Hopefully, over time, Cruise and his baby's momma will respond to this form of treatment.

Meanwhile, I remain convinced that somewhere in hell, L. Ron Hubbard is being surrounded by famous deceased con men who are patting him on the back as he laughs his ass off. "I sold the Brooklyn Bridge seven times," says one, "but, jeez, I never did anything that approaches selling Scientology to Hollywood."

"You convinced Tom Cruise to eat what?" exclaims another. "Get the fuck outta here!"

Then, with a smiling Satan leading the way, they all silently bow down before L. Ron and pay homage.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren