Fields said the book includes "a few bizarre new lies that are just outrageous." He called the claim about Cruise's position as the second in command "hogwash." The Church of Scientology also says that Cruise holds no official or unofficial position in its hierarchy. (CLICK HERE to read the Church of Scientology's response to the leaked video, and HERE for their response to Morton's book.
"[Tom] considers [the book] a bigoted, hate-filled attack on his religion and I consider it the same," Fields said.
As for the interview, Fields said, "Tom is passionate about his religion, he believes that it's changed his life for the better, that it is a marvelous thing for him. … By Golly, what's wrong with a guy being enthusiastic about his faith?"
Scientology was the creation of science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard during the mid-1950s. Hubbard claimed to have discovered the secret to realizing human potential: creating a series of steps through which an individual had to proceed in order to become enlightened and successful. From the very beginning, Hubbard actively recruited celebrities to Scientology as a way to legitimize and popularize the faith.
Stephen Kent, a professor in the department of sociology at the University of Alberta in Canada, has made an academic study of Scientology.
"It is true that Scientology does appeal to a number of performers," Kent said, "and what Scientology will tell these aspiring actors is that Scientology has the skills to get rid of their problems, their personal inhibitions that hold them back from achieving their full potential. It's in a way, what happened to Tom Cruise -- he claims that he had learning disabilities when he was growing up and that Scientology courses helped cure those learning disabilities."
Hubbard died in 1986 and leadership of the church was taken over by Miscavige. Although notoriously secretive, he did give one interview, to Ted Koppel for ABC News' "Nightline" in 1992 (click here to watch the interview), where he spelled out what he believed was the world's biggest problem.
"Let me tell you what our real problem is," he said. "No. 1, understand this. Psychiatry, psychology."
It's a drum Scientology and its most famous member continue to bang.
"I'm going hard on those guys and their reign -- these psychiatrists," Cruise said in the interview. "I've had it. It's disgusting to me. ... When you study the history of psychiatry, it's crimes against humanity."
In the interview, Cruise was preaching to the choir -- the Scientology faithful. But his attacks on the mental health industry became even more heated when Cruise took the fight public, while out promoting the film "War of the Worlds," in response to a question about actress Brooke Shields and her battle with postpartum depression.
"The motivations for attacking psychiatry are multifold, and one of them is to eliminate a potential challenge and critic," said Kent. "Scientology is at war with psychiatry and the mental health system. Its goal is to eliminate psychiatry and related mental health systems and replace them with Scientology techniques."'
Techniques Cruise believes are the only ones capable of dealing with any of life's challenges, from addiction to accidents.