A Palm Beach author who wrote a book critical the Florida-based Church of Scientology says she has little doubt that actress Katie Holmes filed for divorce from big screen superstar Tom Cruise to protect their 6-year-old daughter Suri from the church.
“Six years old is about the time that scientologists send their kids to special schools,” said Paulette Cooper, author of The Scandal of Scientology. “We know that Katie has been going to scientology meetings less and less as her daughter grew. And Suri’s age is when the church starts what is called ‘sec checks,” or security checks.”
Sec checks, Cooper says, are when children are strapped to an e-meter, a device invented by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard that’s supposed to register lie-detecting electrical impulses inside the body.
While the scientific community considers e-meters quack science, Cooper says children of church members are routinely hooked on and asked questions like “did you do anything to hurt your parents,” or “Have you had bad thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard?”
Holmes supposedly blindsided Cruise, star of Top Gun and Rock of Ages, with Thursday’s divorce filing in Manhattan. She asked for full custody of Suri.
Cooper says Holmes now can expect subtle pressures from the Clearwater-based church, and possibly tails by church investigators.
“Because she is high profile, they probably won’t reach out to her,” Cooper said, “but she knows what they have on her, if anything.”
Church members, Cooper said, undergo “auditing sessions,” or confessions. Sessions, in which high-ranking church officials can find out the secrets of members, can last for several hours.
“And Tom Cruise is probably not communicating with Katie,” Cooper said. “Members are told to disconnect all communication with husbands or wives who stop believing.”
Cruise’s two previous wives, actresses Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, divorced the action hero for the same reason: his allegiance to the church.
“They ensnared Connor (Cruise’s 17-year-old son with Kidman),” Cooper said, “but the women in his life have remained on the outside.”
Cooper deemed June “a good month” for anti-Scientology efforts.
Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley‘s daughter, signalled a break with the church in early June while Holmes’ filing has sharpened the focus on a group that Cooper described as a cross between “the Moonies and the Mafia.”