Now he's taking advantage of the 9/11 firefighters, using them to promote his cult:
Tom Cruise is hosting a Scientology benefit on April 19 in New York for the group’s controversial detox program for 9/11 survivors. ...
The New York Fire Department does not support the program, and there is much hostile feeling toward Cruise. The latest public endorsement of Scientology and its programs — decried by experts as pure "hooey" — may be the last nail in Cruise’s coffin. ...
The gist of what I would call the FDNY’s anger toward Cruise started after he arrived here right after the World Trade Center disaster to offer "detox programs" to firemen who had respiratory problems. The detoxing, he said, was developed by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard, a dead science fiction writer who believed in space aliens.
Of course, the real goal was to grab new members for Scientology. Apparently, the group had some success. According to my sources in the FDNY, several firefighters not only joined Scientology but left their families in the process.
"They told the firefighters that they’d been unhappy in their lives before 9/11 and that they should leave," said a higher up in the department who spoke to me recently. "Cruise is responsible."
Dubbed the "New York Rescue Workers Detoxificiation Project," the program got tax-free status, and Cruise and Scientology used a California CPA named Roland Fink, who happened to be a Scientologist, to vouch for them in writing as an "independent auditor."
Fink, according to reports, has coincidentally made the Scientology "honor roll" twice in the last four years.
The result, according to their federal tax filing, is the usual financial roundelay for the IRS-sanctioned religion.
Why does the IRS consider Scientology a religion? Hell, I have more intellectual credibility than L. Ron Hubbard. Maybe I should start a religion. Better yet, shouldn't there be a 1,000-year rule for "religions" to qualify for exemption?
The Germans have it right, shunning Scientology and refusing to grant any government sanction, despite callow attempts by Cruise and John Travolta to compare the treatment of Scientologists to German Jews prior to World War II.
Even though he's not warmly received in Bavaria, Cruise isn't giving up. He is set to portray a Nazi who tried to assassinate Hitler in his next film.
It can't be too far from Cruise's calculating mind to think that by playing a man who some Germans consider a hero, he'll win over the country.
But the family of the man he wants to play feel very much otherwise.
Relatives of Count Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg — who led the Operation Valkyrie assassination plot — recently told the Scotsman newspaper that they weren't so excited about Cruise playing someone so famous that a street is even named for him and a museum commemorates the resistors.
Cruise, many feel, has selected the material as a way of reversing his and Scientology's negative standing in the country.
"I have nothing against him [Cruise] and can even separate his work from his beliefs in Scientology," the soldier's grandson, Count Caspar Schenk von Stauffenberg, told the paper. "But I and other family members are worried that the picture will be financed by the sect and be used to get across its propaganda."