Tom Cruise's Behavior and Scientology: A Link?

Ross's extensive archives on various cult and cult-like groups, including many on Scientology, can be found here. They have extensive documentation that tends to substantiate the charges that have been made repeatedly and continually in the press over the years.

Those charges include that Scientology requires new members to sign releases that give the church permission to keep them from conventional psychiatric care; to withhold its own records of members' case histories; and even, to keep members locked up if the church deems they are in need of Scientology's particular form of personal care.

ABC News has contacted the church of Scientology for comment and interview -- first, through Scientology International's official spokeswoman, Pat Harney, at their headquarters in Clearwater, Florida -- who referred us to Scientology's New York office where, after a brief and cordial conversation on the phone, Mr. John Carmichael promised to send us within a few hours, e-mail responses to questions we gave him.

Subsequent efforts to reach him by phone -- he did tell us he was very busy "preparing for a human rights conference in a couple of days" -- have been unsuccessful.

We are still looking forward to his response.

Who's Telling The Truth?

For most people outside Scientolgy, the church remains a conundrum. On the one hand, there are the critics and the horror stories...reports of forced labor camps to punish members who have strayed; of personal finances wiped out (among those non-celebrity members who don't have millions of dollars buffering their choices); of mental confusion and even some suicides. There are the tabloid reports of Tom Cruise converting immediate family members and the accusations that he has launched an essentially abusive relationship with his fiancée Katie Holmes. She is reported by some to have undergone a notable personality change and to be traveling now with a Scientology "minder."

And on the other hand, there are the believers. The regular everyday people who say Scientology has made their lives better.

And there's the warm, humorous, sensitive, highly visible image of John Travolta, who, when asked about his religion, explains patiently and kindly with nothing at all like Cruise's televised couch-leaping and self-righteous verbal assaults.

Archangel Michael -- who became such a hero in Travolta's film, "Michael", when he told the little terrier, "Remember, no matter what they tell you, you can't have too much sugar" -- just doesn't seem to square up with the Cruise "Top Gun", devilish concentration in his eyes as he barrels down, indulging his righteous obsession.

But these are just appearances -- actors' parts -- on the surface of an organization that, in spite of 15 years of thorough professional probing and reporting, still thrives and promises genuine happiness to those willing to let it take the lead.

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