Tom Cruise defends Scientology: 'It's a beautiful religion'

Tom Cruise has credited his success to Scientology. Photo/AP
Tom Cruise has credited his success to Scientology. Photo/AP

Tom Cruise has made a rare public statement about his beliefs, crediting his success to the controversial religion Scientology.

The 54-year-old actor has more than 50 films under his belt and still has producers queuing up to snag him for their forthcoming movies.

But he's convinced he wouldn't be where he is today if he hadn't taken up the "beautiful" religion - a body of beliefs and practices created in 1954 by American science fiction author L Ron Hubbard - three decades ago.

Speaking to ITV News about the controversial organisation, Cruise - who rarely comments on his religious beliefs - said: "It's something that has helped me incredibly in my life; I've been a Scientologist for over 30 years. It's something, you know, without it, I wouldn't be where I am. So it's a beautiful religion. I'm incredibly proud."

The Mission: Impossible star - who is the most famous star to follow the organisation - believes the methods developed by Hubbard have helped him overcome his dyslexia.

He said seven years ago of his literacy struggles at school: "I asked myself if I was normal or an idiot. I would try to concentrate but I felt anxiety, frustration, boredom. When I graduated from high school in 1980 I was functionally illiterate."

Cruise was first introduced to the church by his first wife Mimi Rogers, whom he was married to from 1987 until 1990, while he was still trying to make it as a global star.

He then went on to wed Nicole Kidman, with whom he adopted two children Isabella and Conor, but they later divorced in 2001 following 11 years of marriage.

Cruise began dating Katie Holmes in 2005 and welcomed their daughter Suri, now 10, into the world in April 2006. They tied the knot over a year later in Italy and the head of Scientology David Miscavige served as the actor's best man at the wedding.

After six years of marriage, Holmes filed for divorce - the details of which have remained sealed under New York law - from Cruise and it's believed he hasn't seen their daughter in public for three years after he was spotted taking to her to Disneyland in 2013.

Tom is one of the highest-ranking Scientologists has been hailed by leaders of the faith as the "chosen one" who will spread the word of the religion.

The bizarre sci-fi cult's founder Hubbard claimed that billions of extra-terrestrial beings were sent to Earth by Xenu - the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy, comprised of 26 stars and 76 planets including Earth - who gathered them around volcanoes and then destroyed the aliens with hydrogen bombs.

The aliens' souls attached themselves to chosen humans, known as thetans, who will be one day be saved from their life of spiritual harm.

- Bang! Showbiz

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