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Posted at 1:46 PM ET, 11/ 6/2009

Tom Cruise. Scientology. Need I say more?

By Liz Kelly

In July 2008, clips of Tom Cruise evangelizing for Scientology surfaced on the Web. (YouTube)

Apparently talking to an ashtray is not considered a nutty kind of thing to do, as long as you're doing it under the guise of deepening your Scientology practice. Oh, and if Tom Cruise is the one telling you to do it.

Just in time for the holidays, a new book exposing alleged details about not just Scientology -- but Tom Cruise's association with the church -- is available for stocking stuffing and hostess gifting. In "Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology" former practitioner Marc Headley details his 15 years as an employee of the church and his experiences with one Tom Cruise.

Some of Headley's recollections appeared in this week's Village Voice. Cruise, for instance, allegedly instructed Headley in what is apparently known as the "book-and-bottle routine," designed to help aspirants reassert their control over, umm, objects:

"You do a lot of things with a book and a bottle. It's known as the book-and-bottle routine." Cruise, he says, would instruct Headley to speak to a book, telling it to stand up, or to sit down, or otherwise to move somewhere.
"You do the same with the bottle. You talk to it. You do it with an ashtray too," he says. "You tell the ashtray, 'Sit in that chair.' Then you actually go over and put the ashtray on the chair. Then you tell the ashtray, 'Thank you.' Then you do the same thing with the bottle, and the book. And you do this for hours and hours."

Which, for some reason, leaves me with a mental image that has a soundtrack something like this: "Katie, sit down. Katie, stand up."

"Blown for Good" is available at Headley's Web site,

By Liz Kelly  | November 6, 2009; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  TomKat  
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Have we ever had a Scientologist BKD? If not, this may well be our first.

Posted by: KevFromArlington | November 6, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The ironic thing about the book and bottle training routine, is it is not a way for a person to learn control of objects or concepts. Instead, it is a way to let Scientology control a person and make them submissive to Hubbard's ideas. The cult replaces a member's goals of personal improvement and learning super powers (which don't exist), with the cult's goal of money extraction and total submission to the ideas of Hubbard, all the way back to Xenu and his evil psychiatrists, 75 million years ago.

Posted by: MrGrug | November 6, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, out of context that certainly sounds nutty. I'll bet "in context" it sounds even nuttier.

Wee Tom, Stand up. Wee Tom, Stand up. You're not standing up. I SAID, Wee Tom stand up.

Posted by: hodie | November 6, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Can L. Tom Cruise try this on The Danny?

L. Tom: The Danny, sit down. Stand up. Sit down. Stand up. TUNA TUNA TUNA TUNA TUNA. Sit down. HIRE THE TUNA. Stand up.

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | November 6, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"Blown for Good." I sure hope there's a double meaning to that title...

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 6, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Instead, it is a way to let Scientology control a person and make them submissive to Hubbard's ideas.

Indeed, it's a lot like hazing, only more ominous. One of the most compelling claims in the article (well worth reading in its entirety) is that $cientology probably only has about 10,000 members worldwide, based on the need to manufacture 2 e-meters per member (gotta have a back-up handy) plus plenty of extras on hand at various organization outlets, as well as the sum of head-counts at simultaneous events. Claims of many more members are apparently based on counting anyone who ever purchased any $cientology materials.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 6, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Considering you have to actually move the object yourself where you want it, sounds like the object is the one control here.

Oh and of course we have had a scientology BKD. They have people who have nothing better to do (literally) than troll the web all day looking for negative references to the cult. Then they jump with both feet in cement boots.

Posted by: epjd | November 6, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

ep, is that "cement boots" in the Chicago sense of the term?

If I'm going to get "more than hazed" by a cult, I want it to be the one featured in Big Love. Although the Jeffs thing makes the real-life thing look less than attractive. None of those Stepford wives looked anything like Jeanne Tripplehorn

Posted by: reddragon1 | November 6, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

OK, I read the Village Voice article. And I remember watching the Tom Cruise video (and the hilarious Jerry O'Connell parody). But why would anyone join such a completely ridiculous cult in the first place?

Do they have recruiters in shopping centers like the military does, with a picture of L.Ron on the window saying, "We want YOU to talk to objects"? Where's the benefit to the individual here? It's insane.

I do love the idea that there are only 10,000 members because they padded the numbers with everyone who bought "Dianetics." Those TV commercials used to be on all the time, granted.

But it's like saying if you bought a ThighMaster, you worship Suzanne Somers. (Which, I guess, would make me a Chrissytian.)

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | November 6, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

(I mean, it would make "one" a Chrissytian. Not "me". Yikes....)

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | November 6, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Too late TD, you outed yourself.

Posted by: epjd | November 6, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

be careful liz... if you're going to take a shot at scientology, you're more likely to get support yesterday (the 5th of November) than today.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | November 6, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

When I lived in New York 5 years ago they would recruit in the subway. They'd have teams of people at Union Square offering to give you a test to see how stressed you were. I think I said "I know I'm stressed, get out of my face!"

I think the only benefit would be if you were a talentless Hollywood actor who wanted to make movies with other similarly dim (but inexplicably powerful) people.

Posted by: Roxie1 | November 6, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"I know I'm stressed, get out of my face!"

Quote of the Week material?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 6, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I think the only benefit would be if you were a talentless Hollywood actor who wanted to make movies with other similarly dim (but inexplicably powerful) people.

Anyone still around from the crack(ed) Lizard Island law firm, to weigh in on whether $cientologi$t$ may engage in restraint of trade, or RICO, or some other illegal behavior in this regard? I seem to recall that on some movie set several years ago, Wee Tom had $cientology materials and agenda going on. Does anyone else remember this?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 6, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Drat! Should read, "...may be engaging in..."

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 6, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Why would someone join this cult? They do have recruiters in shopping malls but usually on the street. They give bogus personality tests, or stress tests with the e-meter and tell people..."Scientology can help you with that!" (Your stress or personality defects.)

Scientology feeds on vulnerable people, because they are young, depressed, at wits end, grasping at anything that promises relief or hope.

Scientology can induce a "high," and euphoria from the intensity of their drills and teachings. They mistake this for a spiritual experience, or it does take them away from a problem or two.

Many people become Scientologists because they are pressured into it from family, or friends.

Like the Army, they have the same kind of slogan, BE ALL YOU CAN BE. Difference is, people know they can die in battle. When joining Scientology people don't expect to feel suicidal from spending so much money on illusions and fraud. If they don't have money, they don't go in thinking they'll sign up for the Sea Org for a billion years, oh boy!

It's a mind control thing. You saw from the Cruise video, how nuts a person can get...all Scientology world -- gov, education, business, religion -- 100 years from now with no critics (SPs).

How Scientology got to this point, and where it came from is thoroughly documented in Russell Miller's BARE-FACED MESSIAH, free to read on the CLAMBAKE website.

Posted by: MrGrug | November 6, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

MrGrug, I seem to recall a story that L. Ron once bragged that he could create his own religion, because it was the most effective money-making machine he could think of. Do you know whether that's true, or just legend?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 6, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Remember - the letter from that producer who quit (Higgis?) referred to how horrible it was that the Scientologists revealed secrets that were like "confessions" by members b/c it should have been kept confidntial.

So - I think not only do people get dragged into $cientology at a time when they are insecure, but they are kept in and forced to make money for the religion b/c part of the "religious" experience is to admit to "wrongs" and tell all your secrets so that the e-meter can "clear" you.

This supports the rumor that John Travolta and Tom Cruise continue to be part of Scientology (well, wee Tom continues to follow $cientology b/c he is crazy). Supposedly, John T. continues to follow the religion b/c he doesn't want his secrets revealed - perhaps his sexuality or something else he wants to keep private.

Posted by: Amelia5 | November 6, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Sure Nosy...there were SEVERAL instances when Hubbard was heard by someone saying something about starting a religion being the best way to get rich, and Hubbard was known to repeat stories and phrases he thought were clever.

Here's one instance of outside confirmation, BEFORE he wrote Dianetics:

"Science fiction editor and author Sam Moscowitz tells of the occasion when Hubbard spoke before the Eastern Science Fiction Association in Newark, New Jersey in 1947: 'Hubbard spoke ... I don't recall his exact words; but in effect, he told us that writing science fiction for about a penny a word was no way to make a living. If you really want to make a million, he said, the quickest way is to start your own religion.'"

Posted by: MrGrug | November 9, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

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