Tom Cruise Fires Up Negative Feelings

Fox News/April 19, 2007
By Roger Friedman

Tom Cruise comes to New York on Thursday night, hoping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Scientology. He’s doing it under the guise of a detox program for members of the New York Fire Department who participated in the 9/11 clean up.

There’s only problem: No one from the hierarchy of the FDNY endorses this program. The people I’ve talked to are furious with Cruise, and want the rank and file of firemen in New York to stay away from it.

Indeed, what I’m hearing are stories of firemen who accepted free treatment, only to be swallowed into Scientology. And while tonight’s event is billed as a “fundraiser,” I’m also told that firemen and their families aren’t paying for their own tickets.

“The idea is just to get them in,” says a source.

The detox program is nothing new, either, say critics of Scientology. It’s just the group’s program called Purification Rundown. The course has been around a long time and has no scientific or medicinal value that can be proved by any physicians other than Scientologists.

Meantime, all eyes will be on New York City Councilman Hiram Monserrate of Queens, who has suddenly become Scientology’s new cheerleader. Monserrate drafted an official proclamation to have Thursday recognized by the city council as L. Ron Hubbard Day in honor of the late science-fiction writer who invented Scientology.

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