New Yorker writer, Lawrence Wright appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe talk show to discuss his new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, and Tom Cruise quickly became the focus of the conversation.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author — who did some 200 interviews with current and former Scientologists, as well as other sources for his book — was in the process of discussing reports of "abuse and involuntary confinement" within its Sea Org unit — the equivalent of Scientology clergy, according to Wright — when host Joe Scarborough brought up the Top Gun star (around the 6:20 mark of this clip). "Do you think Tom Cruise knows of these alleged problems with Scientology. And secondly, what's in it for a guy like Tom Cruise, who has the freedom to do whatever he wants and chooses to stay in the church".
Wright's response: "I'm glad you've put your finger on Tom Cruise, because I think he has a moral responsibility — he's been the front pitchman for this organization for years. More people have heard about Scientology through him than any other person. There may be some willful blindness on his part, but if so, it's time for him to open his eyes because he's been selling this."
In the video, Wright points out that Cruise is "being treated very well" by church members. He even says they "hand-crafted a limousine for him."
I've asked Cruise's spokeswoman if the actor would like to respond to Wright's comments and will post them if they are forthcoming. As you might guess, the Church of Scientology doesn't have good things to say about Going Clear, and has called it an "Error-filled unsubstantiated bigoted anti-Scientology book."
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