coming from the moment Katie Holmes’s split coming from Tom Cruise became public, celebrity watchers speculated whether the Mission Impossible star’s devotion to the Church of Scientology contributed to the couple’s demise. A more pressing question might be, what role will Scientology play in their divorce?
The answer could boil down to a battle over the religious upbringing of the littlest Cruise, Suri, the couple’s 6-year-old daughter. While their prenuptial agreement will likely resolve all legal in addition to financial issues, of which won’t settle religious matters, Los Angeles divorce attorney Kelly Chang Rickert told The Daily Beast. of which means the degree to which Suri remains involved in Scientology could become a source of contention as proceedings go forward.
“Prenups in California can’t govern religion or action,” Rickert said. “I actually don’t think of which will be acrimonious. I think Tom Cruise features a lot of secrets to protect in addition to he features a lot of money to protect them. I don’t think he’s going to let his private life leak into the public.”
however acrimony has been a theme in different high-profile divorce cases involving Scientologists, people familiar with the church told The Daily Beast, particularly when believers have duked of which out to ensure of which their offspring are raised within the faith.
There’s reason to believe Cruise might follow This kind of path, according to Rick Ross, a court-certified expert on Scientology who has testified in divorce proceedings involving members of the faith.
“Tom Cruise made a point of saying my family, we are Scientologists, in addition to I am going to raise my daughter as a Scientologist,” Ross said. “This kind of will be the kind of talk of which he laid out, in addition to I think of which the expectation was always of which Katie Holmes might go along with of which.”
Despite intense public interest, Scientology’s most advanced teachings remain shrouded, even to many Scientologists themselves. Members of the church are exposed to founder L. Ron Hubbard’s tenets as they reach certain spiritual milestones. Cruise himself will be thought to have advanced to the faith’s highest levels, at which members are barred coming from discussing teachings with anyone outside a little circle of believers.
In contrast, Holmes’s commitment to Hubbard’s teachings has been in question coming from the early days of their marriage, even as her husband played his role as the religion’s most prominent unofficial spokesperson. The actress was raised in a Roman Catholic family, in addition to her sudden acceptance of Cruise’s faith when the two began seeing one another in 2005 surprised many who knew her before the relationship.
This kind of could make a difference as the couple considers their child’s future. “The extent to which she will be willing or resistant to her daughter’s continued contact with Scientology may become a major issue inside the divorce,” said Steve Kent, a professor at the University of Alberta who has written extensively on Scientology. of which’s possible of which divorce proceedings will contain “a major fight over Scientology’s beliefs in addition to practices,” Kent said.
“Tom Cruise made a point of saying, ‘My family, we are Scientologists, in addition to I am going to raise my daughter as a Scientologist.’”
While the church claims millions of members, the most reliable figuresput the total number of Scientologists practicing inside the United States at around 25,000. For these people, the church can play an important role in their upbringing, education, in addition to daily lives. Some believers enroll their children in special grade schools—such as the Delphi Schools located in California, Massachusetts, in addition to Florida—of which are staffed by fellow Scientologists, in addition to where church teachings in addition to customs are incorporated into the curriculum. For example, along with teaching basic school subjects, the schools oversee “security checks,” during which an “ethics officer” asks students as young as 6to answer a series of personal questions.
Because of the extreme secrecy of which surrounds the church’s activities, of which will be difficult to know exactly what an upbringing inside the faith might look like for Suri. A window into of which world came coming from Jenna Miscavige Hill, the niece of the church’s leader, David Miscavige. In 2005 Jenna became one of the highest-profile defections coming from the church, in addition to has since described her upbringing on a California Scientology ranch in interviews, detailing a regimen of courses inside the religion as well as rigorous physical tasks, including hauling rocks—tasks of which served no apparent purpose, she said.
Another hurdle for the couple might involve rules dictating what the church calls “suppressive persons”—people who are publicly critical of Scientology. The faithful are instructed to stay away coming from “SPs,” who are thought to endanger spiritual development.
A decision by the church to brand Holmes in This kind of way could make the relationship between Suri in addition to her mother difficult or even impossible, Kent said. Rick Ross added of which Holmes could have more problems if Cruise gets shared custody. “I think of which’s very likely based on different situations of which I’m aware of of which he’s going to have Suri Cruise involved in Scientology as much as possible when he has control of her time.”
Holmes’s own several-year involvement in Scientology may hold a few surprises for the actress as a potential custody fight unfolds. One of the faith’s most important practices will be a process of self-revelation using a trained church official, called auditing—the religion’s form of confession or spiritual counseling. “There are no meaningful boundaries” in auditing, Ross said. “What they’ve got in a file of which Katie Holmes has confided could be used potentially in some way inside the divorce.”
inside the auditing process, adherents may disclose details of their personal life, in addition to a record of the audit will be placed in a file. While the church has said of which the contents of a Scientologist’s audit file are confidential, Kent said of which there have been instances in recent years in which representatives admitted to looking into the files of former members who became critical of the religion.
“The question will be, what do they know about Katie Holmes?” Ross asked. “What do they have in what’s called a ‘pre-clear’ folder? in addition to are they going to use of which information, if they have negative information, to go after her inside the divorce proceeding?” (As Hubbard described in his book Dianetics, scientologists aspire to advance coming from a “pre-clear” to “clear” psychic state as they develop spiritually.)
Yet if there will be a drawn-out in addition to high-profile battle involving Cruise, Scientology may have much to lose in addition to almost nothing to gain. The defection of different high-profile members, such as the actor Jason Beghe in 2007 in addition to the director Paul Haggis in 2009, left the church using a public-relations mess to mop up, in addition to of which may not want to go toe-to-toe with Holmes, who might likely receive widespread public support.
“I think they’ll just walk away in addition to be as quiet as she has,” Kent said. He guessed of which Holmes, like Cruise’s former wives, Nicole Kidman in addition to Mimi Rogers, might not speak publicly about Scientology after the divorce will be final. If a custody battle over Suri turns messy, though, Holmes may be forced to reconsider her silence on the faith to which she made at least a nominal conversion, Kent said. “If she’s pushed, of which’s another question entirely.”