Tom Cruise has made some goddamn great cinematic moves. For my money, you really can't hold a candle to confirmed classics like (the first 30 minutes of) War of the Worlds and everyone's favorite rom-com Eyes Wide Shut. However, according to former scientologist Leah Remini, there are plenty of people out there who believe Cruise is not just a fine actor, but also the literal Messiah.
Ahead of the premiere of her new A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath, Remini chopped it up with the internet at large Tuesday via a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. When asked if Cruise was "the Messiah," Remini kept it refreshingly candid. "To the 'Church,' yes," Remini explained. "Parishioners believe that he is singlehandedly changing the planet because that is what the 'Church' is telling them."
But Remini cautioned against believing the allegedly church-presented idea that celebrities loved (and benefited from) Scientology more than those unfortunate enough to not be famous. "If you really look at the numbers at the entertainment industry, in comparison to the small number of scientologists that are celebrities, the number wouldn't even register," Remini told one Reddit user. "I think Scientology has done an amazing job convincing people that there is a great number of celebrities in the 'Church.'
Remini, who noted elsewhere in the AMA that she is currently being tracked by the Church, spoke in greater detail about Cruise's influence with the Hollywood Reporter earlier this week. "I got pressure to call Les Moonves at CBS to try and get a 60 Minutes report squashed," Remini recalled. "I got a call from the Church and Tom [Cruise] to call Les Moonves and use my influence to squash the story." In a subsequent statement to THR, the Church accused Remini of exploiting her "former religion" for personal profit.