"Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident it's not like anyone else," Cruise said. "As you drive past, you know you have to do something about it because you know you're the only one that can really help. ... We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, we are the authorities on the mind, we are the authorities on improving conditions. ... We can rehabilitate criminals."
"I mean, they believe that they are almost superior beings, that they have access to the tools that will save mankind," Morton said.
While Cruise's offer to help others may be commendable, it's his own behavior that is raising serious concerns. When he introduced then-girlfriend, now-wife, Katie Holmes to Oprah, some thought his reaction was slightly "over the top."
"As a result of Cruise's behavior on the Oprah Winfrey show, there's a new phrase in the English language, 'jumping the couch,'" said Kent. "If you stay within furniture analogies, 'jumping the couch' now means what used to be called 'falling off one's rocker.'"
Viacom Chairman Summer Redstone mentioned Cruise's erratic behavior as one reason why he refused to renew Cruise's movie development deal at Paramount Studios. But none of it seems to have changed Cruise's mission on behalf of his church, or his status in Hollywood.
"He is someone who is a zealot, someone who is a movie messiah, who believes in the rightness of his core, but he only believes in it because everyone in his circle does," said Morton. "And in many respects, Tom Cruise is a man of our times. We live in an age of the worship of celebrity, the unquestioning worship of celebrity; we live in an age of religious fervor; we live in an age of globalization -- it comes together in Tom Cruise that he is a man that can walk the walk, talk the talk. ... He believes he has all the answers. In Tom's world, there's no room for doubt."
"A reporter said, 'I really want to understand who you are,' and I said 'I'm a Scientologist,'" Cruise said on the tape. "And she said, 'No, I really want to understand who you are,' and I said, 'I'm Scientologist!'"