The actor Tom Cruise has been in damage control this week after a video showing him extolling the virtues of Scientology spread across the internet.
The appearance of the nine-minute clip coincided with the publication of Andrew Morton's book Tom Cruise: An Unauthorised Biography, which alleges that Cruise ranks second in command in the Church of Scientology.
On the video, Cruise is shown speaking about the religion while the soundtrack to his Mission: Impossible films plays in the background.
"It's rough and tumble, and it's wild and woolly and it's a blast," he says. "It's a blast. It really is fun, because ... there is nothing better than ... going out there and fighting the fight and, suddenly you see, things are better."
Scientology lawyers fired off letters to Morton's publisher and have demanded that Gawker.com - a website running the Cruise video - remove the clip, alleging breach of copyright.
Nick Denton, on Gawker.com, replied: "It's newsworthy, and we will not be removing it."
Scientologists did force YouTube to remove footage of Cruise's rant. YouTube posted a message above a still of the clip, saying: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim."
But by then millions of people had seen it and it had spread to other websites.
On the video, dressed in a black turtleneck sweater with a look of intensity in his eyes, the 45-year-old Cruise makes a series of impassioned claims about his religion, including its ability to help get people off drugs, rehabilitate criminals and "bring peace and unite cultures".
Here is a transcript of Cruise's remarks:
I think it's a privilege to call yourself a Scientologist, and it's something that you have to earn because a Scientologist does - he or she - have the ability to create new and better realities and improve conditions.
Ah, being a Scientologist you look at someone and you know absolutely that you can help them, so for me it really is KSW [keeping Scientology working] and it's just like it's something that, ah, I don't mince words with that, with anything, but that policy has really gone, boy, the first time I went through and went, you know what, when I read it I went, you know, this is it, this is exactly it.
Being a Scientologist when you drive past an accident it's not like anyone else, it's you drive past and you know you have to do something about it because you know you're the only one that can really help.
But that's what drives me. I know that we have an opportunity to really help for the first time effectively change people's lives and I am dedicated. I am absolutely uncompromisingly dedicated to that.
Orgs are there to help but we as the public, we have a responsibility, it's not just orgs, it's not just David Miscavige, not just me - it's you, it's everyone out there that's re-reading KSW and looking at what needs to be done and saying, 'Okay am I gonna do it or am I not gonna do it', period.
And am I gonna look at that guy or am I too afraid 'cause I have my own ethics to put in someone else's ethics, and that's all it comes down to, and I won't hesitate to put ethic in on someone else because I put it ruthlessly in on myself.
Man, I think that I respect that in others and I'm there to help. We are here to help. Look, either you're onboard or you're not onboard. Okay. But if you're onboard, you're onboard just like the rest of us.
We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, we are the authorities on the mind, the authority on improving conditions ... we can rehabilitate criminals, we are the way to happiness, we bring peace and unite cultures.
Once you know these tools and you know that they work then it's not good enough. And I'm just doing okay, travelling the world and meeting the people that I have met, talking with these leaders in various fields, they want help and they are depending on people who know and who can be effective and do it and that's us.
That is our responsibility to do that. It is the time now, now is the time, okay - it is being a Scientologist, people are turning to you so you better know it and if you don't, then, you know, go and learn it [laughs].
But don't pretend you know it and whatever - it's like we're here to help and if you're a Scientologist you see, like, you see things the way they are, in all its worth, you know, in all of its complexities, and the more you know as a Scientologist the more you become overwhelmed by it, and so when they said, you know, have you met an SP [laughs] ... I thought, what a beautiful thing - maybe one day it will be like that - you know what I'm saying, maybe one day it will be like that - wow SPs - they'll read about that in history books.
I just go through that tech and it's just literally - it's not how to run from an SP, it's PTS - it's how to confront, shatter suppression, you apply it and it's like, boom.
Because they don't come up to me and do that - they won't do it to me - not to my face you know or anywhere near my vicinity where they feel they can be confronted.
I wish the world was a different place. I'd like to go on vacation and go and romp and play and just do that. You know what I mean. I mean that's what I want it to be. That's how most times I'd like to do that but I can't.
You know, you can sit here and wish it was different and then you look at it and then you go, this is it alright. You know, I have to do something, I have to do it because I can't live with myself if I don't and that really is it. I don't care if someone thinks it's hard or easy. You are helping, you are contributing all you can or you're not, because I'm carrying my love alright.
And not only that, as much as I'm carrying I still feel I've got to give more - there's still a thing of let's go - you can see the look in her eyes, you know, the ones that are doing something and, you know, the spectators - the ones that are going, 'Well, it's easy for you.'
What am I doing? It's just that thing. I've cancelled that in my area [laughs]. Man, it's like you're in or you're out. As spectators it's something like we have no time for, so it's our responsibility to educate ...
We have a responsibility to say 'Hey, this the way it should be done' - do it this way and people are actually getting better and let's get it done.
Let's really get it done and have enough love and compassion and toughness that you're going to do it. And do it right ...
It's rough and tumble, and it's wild and woolly and it's a blast. It's a blast. It really is fun, because ... there is nothing better than ... going out there and fighting the fight and, suddenly you see things are better.
I want to know that I have done everything I could every day. When I think about those people out there who are depending on us, you know, we have more work. I need more help. You gotta get those spectators in the playing field or out of the arena. Really, that's how I feel about it.
DECIPHERING (POSSIBLY) CRUISE
* KSW Keep Scientology Working.
* PTS Potential trouble source.
* SP Suppressive person.
* Sea-orgs High-ranking Scientologists.
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