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updated 1/15/2008 9:54:03 AM ET 2008-01-15T14:54:03

The Church of Scientology issued this statement to the TODAY show on Jan. 14, 2008 in advance of author Andrew Morton's appearance on the show today. We have reprinted the text of the 15-page statement in its entirety.

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

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6331 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90028 USA

Telephone: (323) 960-3500 – Fax: (323) 960-3508

14 January 2008

For further information contact:
Karin Pouw, Public Affairs Director
(323) 960-3500

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY STATEMENT

ANDREW MORTON’S UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF TOM CRUISE

For the last two years, the Church of Scientology requested to be interviewed or be presented with any allegations so we could respond. Morton refused despite our insistence in offering our cooperation. At notime did he request interviews nor did he attempt to get any information from us. Accuracy and truth were not on Morton’s agenda.

While making all sorts of bizarre and false allegations about Mr. Miscavige, the Church’s ecclesiastical leader, Morton at no time ever attempted to contact, speak to or interview him.

As a result his book is a bigoted, defamatory assault replete with lies.

Morton comes from a tabloid background and his book reads like British tabloid journalism at its worst.

British publishers rejected the book because of Morton’s inability to prove the truth of his allegations, something the laws of the UK require and of which Morton is well aware.

Notwithstanding his US publisher’s knowledge that his British publishing house refused publication of Morton’s diatribe due to his inability to substantiate his claims, they still steadfastly refused to present any of the allegations for either refutations or response.

Furthermore, scandalous falsehoods attributed to Morton appeared in the UK press 2 months ago. The Church demanded he correct these falsehoods which he and his publisher refused to do. However, the newspaper that published Morton’s lies did take responsibility—printing a full retraction when presented with the facts by the Church.

Morton’s book is replete with documented lies which have long since been disproven in court rulings. His “sources” have similarly been ruled by courts to lack any credibility. Morton’s use of these lies and sources is, thus, both reckless and malicious.

1. Is Tom second-in-command in all but name?

Insinuations that Mr. Cruise is second-in-command of the Church are not only false, they are ludicrous. He is neither 2nd or 100th. Mr. Cruise is a Scientology parishioner and holds no official or unofficial position in the Church hierarchy. Claims to the contrary are offensive to both Mr. Cruise and the Church. No planning, strategy or policy of the Church is, or has ever been, cleared through Mr. Cruise.

No planning, strategy or policy of Mr. Cruise’s movie career is, or has ever been, cleared through the Church. All statements to the contrary are blatant falsehoods.

Certainly Mr. Cruise is a prominent Scientologist, but that is due to his prominence as a celebrity and movie star. The Church has many well-known parishioners such as John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Anne Archer, Jenna Elfman, Lisa Marie Presley, Isaac Hayes, Chick Corea and many, many others. All are well known to be Scientologists. All of them are close friends with the Church leader, Mr. Miscavige. None of them hold any position within the Church itself. They are parishioners— period.

2. Is it possible Katie and Tom’s baby could be the vessel for L. Ron Hubbard’s spirit?

Was Katie impregnated by L. Ron Hubbard’s frozen sperm?

The Church does not, and neverhas believed any newborn is the reincarnation or the offspring of its Founder, Mr. Hubbard—never, never, never.

Morton’s allegation is vicious sensationalism of the lowest order and Morton could not have possibly believed such a story to be true. The author’s inclusion of this falsehood proves only one thing: His religious bigotry and hatred for Scientology is so deep-rooted that he even spreads his false venom against a mother and father about their child, not to mention a defenseless child known to millions.

The Church not only does not believe any such thing about Mr. and Mrs. Cruise’s child in the present time (that she is the reincarnation of Mr. Hubbard): They neverbelieved such a thing and, indeed, never even heard of such a bizarre allegation until Morton’s book.

Similar to his many other fictionalized allegations, Morton never asked the Church about this scandalous lie, thus ensuring he would not receive a response categorically denying it.

The allegation is invented by Morton and is pure fiction. Indeed, Morton does not list the name of a single individual who believed, let alone ever thought of what he suggests – for the very reason that nobody in the Church ever did.

Further, and quite in addition to its vicious insult on parents and child, Morton’s allegation could hardly be more offensive to the Church and its members concerning, as it does, the Founder of the religion and a man revered by millions world over.

Finally, as distasteful as it is to have to say it, Mr. Hubbard’s sperm was never frozen.

To reiterate, and to leave no room for anymisinterpretation, there is not a moleculeof truth to Morton’s allegations and their inclusion by Morton is simply sick and depraved.

3. Was Isabella’s adoption orchestrated by David Miscavige?

Absolutely NOT. The allegation that Mr. Miscavige and/or the Church had any involvement in the adoption of Mr. Cruise’s children is totally false.

Moreover, the Church categorically denies Morton’s insinuation that Isabella is the daughter of a Scientology staff member and, as with all adopted children, has absolutely no knowledge of who her biological parents are and had no knowledge whatsoever of her adoption until after it occurred.

The Church is totally offended that anyone would stoop so low as to make such an allegation about this young woman. Morton obviously has no regard for anyone’s feelings, including those of minor age who can’t defend themselves, let alone the nature of the allegation (since Isabella, as an adopted child, undoubtedly is also unaware of who her biological parents are).

4. Do Tom and Katie live by the same rules as other Scientologists?

Is it true that Scientologists don’t approve of pregnancy outside of wedlock?

Yes, Tom and Katie live by the exactsame rules and moral code of all Scientologists and Morton’s insinuation they are afforded “special” treatment not in accordance with the principles of their religion is totally false. While the Church of Scientology believes in marriage, there are noprohibitions to pregnancy outside of wedlock nor does the Church dictate that partners be married or dictate other aspects of its parishioners’ private lives. Morton’s insinuation that Tom and Katie violated rules of the Church enforced upon other parishioners is pure invention.

In making his scurrilous allegation, Morton intentionally distorts Church policy to confuse readers of the general public who are not familiar with Scientology beliefs. So blatant is Morton’s falsehood, it is analogous to writing that “a noncelibate Catholic doesn’t live by the same rules as other Catholics” when the fact is that only the priesthood lives by rules of celibacy. The ecclesiastical order of the Church of Scientology is called the Sea Organization. It is analogous to the priesthood of the Catholic Church and comprises only 20 thousand people, compared to millions of Scientologists. Although members of the Church’s religious order do not take vows of chastity, pre-marital sex is prohibited.

Neither Tom nor Katie are members of the Church’s religious order. They are parishioners.

If Morton had conducted any of the research he claims to have done, such a misinterpretation would not have been possible. Virtually every Scientologist is aware of the distinction between the Church parishioners and the Church’s ministry and, indeed, the Sea Organization is fully described in the encyclopedic reference of the Church, What is Scientology?

Although not prescribed one way or the other by the Church, members have had children out of wedlock. Similarly, when such occurs, most Scientologists usually formalize their family relationship through marriage, as did Tom and Katie.

In summary, Morton’s allegations about Tom and Katie not abiding by Church rules are not only false, they are disingenuous. Morton quite obviously does not respect the religious beliefs of Scientologists and repeatedly refers to Scientology in the most pejorative terms and, hence, could hardly care about any of its members following the rules or otherwise—except to prejudice his readers through misinformation.

5. Did Scientologists build Tom a wildflower field and a tennis court?

The allegations regarding a “meadow” are blatantly false. No “meadow” was ever desired by Mr. Cruise or Ms. Kidman, nor was any presented as a wedding present or otherwise. In fact, Mr. Cruise and Ms. Kidman did not ever stay at the Church property following their wedding and, as is public knowledge, they were both involved in the production of their next movie together (Far and Away) immediately following their wedding.

Contrary to other allegations by Morton, no “special” facilities were ever provided Mr. Cruise or Ms. Kidman. Their accommodations were the same guest quarters provided to all visitors and which have been used by hundreds of visitors to this Church facility. The guest accommodations were not built for Mr. Cruise/Ms. Kidman. They are structures built on the property in the 1960s, prior to the Church’s acquisition of the property.

The property in question is over 500 acres in size and, as photographic evidence demonstrates, the entire property is a lush green landscape and no “meadow” exists unless one considers the entire property a meadow!

The tennis court on the property is similarly one used by all guests at the facility.

                                                     _______________

Additional: Elsewhere in Morton’s book, he similarly provides false, bizarre and sensationalized descriptions of this Church property ( Golden Era Productions), referring to it as “secret”, as a “desert lair” and other tabloid-like false descriptions.

Claims of a secret “desert liar” with “bunkers and war rooms” are not only sensationalistic, but entirely false.

The property is not in the desert, it is in an agricultural community.

The property is not only notsecret, but major news organizations such as ABC Nightline, the St. Petersburg Times, Los Angeles Times and others have aired footage/printed photographs of this property.

The property is so prominent and public that it both includes a public golf course and serves as the polling station for Presidential elections for all voters in the surrounding community.

The truth is that Golden Era Productions houses a state-of-the-art audiovisual production facility for all Church of Scientology promotion and dissemination. As such, the property contains numerous film soundstages, film and video editing facilities, as well as several audio recording and mixing studios.

The property is 500 acres in size and in addition to audio-visual production facilities, also includes numerous administration offices for Churches of Scientology around the world—quite in addition to apartments to house the 800 plus Church staff. The property includes recreational facilities for use by the hundreds of staff and dozens of gueststhat routinely visit Golden Era Productions—includingbasketball courts, football and baseball fields, running tracks, etc. THESE FACILITIES ARE AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN USED BY ALL STAFF AND GUESTS.

No special facilities were ever built for Mr. Cruise and Ms. Kidman and, indeed, the very facilities they used have been used by hundreds of other guests these past 15 years.

Prior to its acquisition by the Church, the property was a public golf course and resort. The golf course continues to be maintained for use by the surrounding community and is provided free of charge for all charitable activities.

No better evidence of Morton’s falsehoods exist than photographs of the property he describes as a “desert lair” with “bunkers” (provided by electronic transmission to Today).

Golden Era Productions
Exterior view of a section of this 500-acre property.

Morton has no excuse for his false allegations. He was not “misinformed.” He was, at the least, willingly ignorant—refusing to even ask the Church about this property. More likely, he knew the truth but wrote his falsehoods to intentionally misinform readers. After all, in addition to its appearance in network TV programs and prominent U.S. newspapers, photographs of Golden Era Productions can also be found on the Church’s web-sites, entirely disproving Morton’s description of this property—which is, in fact, not “secret” but very public.

6. Did Scientology find Nicole Kidman to be a potential trouble source in Tom’s life?

No the Church did not find Ms. Kidman a potential trouble source nor did it advise any such thing to Mr. Cruise.

This story is entirely false, is categorically denied, and is nothing more than an invention by Mr. Morton. The Church had absolutely no involvement in the separation of Mr. Cruise and Ms. Kidman.

Further, Morton’s book alleges this fictitious incident took place in 1999, a year our records show Mr. Cruise did not so much as visit any Church of Scientology due to his film production engagements.

Morton gives no “source” for this allegation for the simple reason that none exists as no such thing ever occurred.

Neither Mr. Miscavige or any one in the Church had any involvement in the divorce of Mr. Cruise and Ms. Kidman and categorically denies their separation had anything to do with the religion of Scientology.

                                               _______________

Additional: Throughout his book Morton makes other false and scandalous allegations about Ms. Kidman, including her fear that her “secrets” would be used against her.

The Church finds this offensive not only to itself, but to Ms. Kidman.

The Church has never used any parishioner information in any way against any parishioner. Church confessionals are held confidential and ministerial privileged. It is the foremost policy of the Church to refuse to divulge any such information.

Not only has the Church never threatened Ms. Kidman, but Morton’s claims, by their very nature, insinuate Ms. Kidman would have some secret that couldbe used against her. The Church not only denies any use of information, but rejects the author’s vicious insinuation Ms. Kidman has anything to hide.

Morton also makes false, scurrilous and unfounded claims about the involvement of the Church in other relationships of Mr. Cruise.

Virtually everyallegation made about the Church concerning Mr. Cruise’s relationships are false and nothing more than tabloid innuendo. The stories he alleges simply never occurred. So there can be no question or misinterpretation, answers to specific allegations follow:

Ms. Mimi Rogers:

Neither Mr. Miscavige or anyone in the Church had any involvement in the divorce of Mr. Cruise and Ms. Mimi Rogers and categorically denies their separation had anything to do with the religion of Scientology. Indeed, Ms. Rogers herself is now on record in US Weekly calling Morton’s claims “ludicrous.”

Ms. Sofia Vergara:

Mr. Miscavige did not greet and then tour Ms. Sofia Vergara at the Church’s Celebrity Centre. Indeed, Mr. Miscavige has never even met Ms. Vergara – at the Church or anywhere else. The Church similarly denies any attempt to recruit Ms. Vergara and is entirely unaware that she was ever Mr. Cruise’s girlfriend. Ms.Vergara’s representative is also on record in US Weekly denying this allegation.

Mr. Cruise/Ms. Holmes, Courtship and Honeymoon:

Mr. Miscavige did not travel to the Maldives with Mr. and Mrs. Cruise for their honeymoon (nor has he ever been there in his life). This allegation is a complete lie and was immediately corrected when it first appeared in the press, as Morton well knows. Similarly, Mr. Miscavige did not attend Tom and Katie’s first date, as Morton conjectures, nor has he ever been in attendance at any of their dates.

                                          ___________________

As is evident, Mr. Morton has no scruples. Each of the above alleged incidents never occurred and Morton could not possibly have anyevidence of their occurrence as they are untrue.

Moreover, Mr. Morton never asked either the Church or Mr. Miscavige to respond to these scandalous allegations and, indeed, refused the Church’s offer to answer any allegations he may have. Further, in his unrestrained attempt to prejudice the Church and its leader, he also callously besmirches the good name of others such as Ms. Kidman, Ms. Rogers, Ms. Vergara and Ms. Holmes—not to mention Mr. Cruise.

7. Does Scientology encourage their members not to speak to their family if they don’t support the religion?

This allegation is not only false, it is the oppositeof what the Church believes and practices.

On an institutional basis, the Church is well known for its community interfaith work with all religions. And, on a personal basis, the moral code that Scientologists follow specifically mandates:

“Respect the religious beliefs of others.

“Tolerance is a good cornerstone on which to build human relationships. When one views the slaughter and suffering caused by religious intolerance down all the history of Man and into modern times, one can see that intolerance is a very non-survival activity.

“Religious tolerance does not mean one cannot express his own beliefs. It does mean that seeking to undermine or attack the religious faith and beliefs of another has always been a short road to trouble.

“The way to happiness can become contentious when one fails to respect the religious beliefs of others.”

It is inconceivable how Morton could have gotten it so wrong, except that he only spoke to disgruntled ex-members who do not abide by the principles of the religion of Scientology and, as is typical of apostates, provided a distorted one-sided view intended to cause further prejudice.

Consider that Scientology is a new religion, just over 50 years old. Most members are first generation and only a rare few extend to third generation. As is evident, most family members of Scientologists are themselves notScientologists. And yet, as any one of millions of Scientologists would have told Morton if he had asked, they maintain a loving relationship with their families. Indeed, the Church alwayscounsels to mend anyand every familial upset – whether between Scientologists or those of another faith.

The only history of familial upsets source to prejudicial and false allegations, such as Morton’s, wherein parents or a family member of a Scientologist are told lies – such as this one – intended to cause familial discord.

On the other hand, Morton’s book makes clear hedoes not abide by the precept of respecting the religious beliefs of others. That’s not only the sign of a bigot; it’s un-American.

8. Are Scientologists taught to harass people who oppose them?

This allegation is not only false, but another of Morton’s false propaganda. To be clear, it’s Morton who is harassing the Church, not the Church harassing him.

In November of 2007, Morton was quoted in the British paper, Sunday Express, alleging harassment by the Church. We can only assume it was a tactic he employed to cause controversy and generate publicity for his book.

In doing so, he stated “I have received threats from the Scientologists and things have become pretty heavy – to the extent that it is more than my lawyers can handle. I have sold my flat and I am not telling anyone where I am moving. I intend to disappear for a while.” This statement was a total lie and the Church had never threatened Mr. Morton in any way.

So great was the evidence of the falsity of Morton’s claim that the newspaper printed a retraction and apologized to the Church for the falsehood. (Article attached).

If this is an example of what Morton refers to as “Church harassment”, then Morton obviously feels that the Church engaging in a legal defense of itself or insisting that journalists not concoct fictional stories is some form of “Church harassment.”

The Church does notbelieve in harassing those who oppose the religion and the endless vitriol spilled on the Internet by anti-Scientologists leaves no doubt who is doing the harassing. The Church refuses to respond in kind and would prefer to (and does) work to provide actual information and education of the Church’s beliefs to overcome misconceptions fostered by those who harass the Church.

Frankly, the Church is insulted Morton would make such an allegation about Scientology. Consider the world in which we live and the religious conflict through the ages which has become the rule, rather than the exception: The Middle-East conflict, the “troubles” of Northern Ireland, not to mention the Crusades and Inquisition—let alone, terrorists acting under the guise of “religion.” The Church of Scientology has no such violent history and never will have such a history.

We’re a new religion and all things new are misunderstood. Our efforts to reach out and our open-door policy belie Morton’s claims. We abhor conflict and the only time we respond are when others challenge our rights to freedom of religion.

The Church inherently does not seek retaliation and to do so is a violation of what we believe. Considering Morton’s diatribe against the Church—for which he steadfastly refused to even accept any information from the Church, while writing sickening allegations of the “Rosemary’s baby” ilk—the one doing the harassing is plain to see and his name is Morton.

On the other hand, our view of conflicts and hatred is clearly articulated by our Founder, Mr. Hubbard:

“The hardest task one can have is to continue to love his fellows despite all reasons he should not.”

“A primary trap is to succumb to invitations to hate.”

“The real lesson is to learn to love.

“He who would walk scatheless through his days must learn this.

“Never use what is done to one as a basis for hatred. Never desire revenge.

“It requires real strength to love man. And to love him despite all invitations to do otherwise, all provocations and all reasons why one should not.

“Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.”

9. When L. Ron Hubbard died was his body full of Vistaril, a psychiatric drug? If so, how do you explain this?

This allegation is a vicious lie.

As Mr. Morton is aware, the Church of Scientology is entirely opposed to psychiatric treatment.

The factsare these:

Vistaril is an antihistamine. It is used to treat itchiness from allergic eactions.

Mr. Hubbard lived on a ranch with horses, cattle and other livestock—hence, he allergic reactions.

Further, Mr. Hubbard’s body was not“full” of Vistaril upon his death. As the oxicology report clearly states: Traceof Hydroxyzine (Vistaril).” A “trace of” is not “full of” (and as the toxicology report clearly provides, no other drugs or alcohol were present).

                                          ___________________

The Church of Scientology is not, and never has been, opposed to treatment by medical doctors. As such, Mr. Hubbard was under the care of a medical doctor during his last days and at the time of his passing.

To leave no room for “mistake” or “misinterpretation”:

MR. HUBBARD WAS NEVER GIVEN, NOR DID HE EVER TAKE ANY PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATION.

A printout from medicine.net is attached that clearly states that Vistaril is an antihistamine and, in the first sentence “…is used to treat allergic reactions.”

10. Claims by Morton to have engaged in “serious” or “extensive” research for his book are disingenuous.

As but one final example of the gross falsity of Morton’s book, in a single paragraph he cavalierly writes of the Church being banned in foreign countries such as England, Australia, France, Germany and Spain. This is entirely false. The Church is not and has never been banned in any of these countries or any nation anywhere. Any journalist getting it so wrong cannot use the excuse of ignorance. Claiming a Church is banned when it never occurred is not a “mistake.” It is an invention of fiction of the most horrible nature with the obvious intent of inciting hatred of an entire religion, leaving no doubt that Morton is a complete bigot.

Moreover, while Morton claims the sources for his book are somehow “insiders,” the fact is that they have not had any affiliation with the Church for 10 to 20 years. Not one of Morton’s alleged “sources” of information regarding the Church was everin a position to observe Mr. Cruise’s activities in the Church, let alone interact with him.Their “inside information” is no more and no less than tabloid innuendo based on nothing but imagination.

And, to reiterate, not once did he ever attempt to speak to or ask Mr. Miscavige about anyof his allegations – even though Mr. Miscavige is a central figure to his book.

What excuse could Morton possibly have for his lack of objective research and journalism?

Indeed, he doesn’t seem to have spoken to anyonewho has spoken to, worked with or known Mr. Cruise for the last 25 years.

                                                 SUMMARY

The above provides but a mere sampling of the falsehoods contained in Morton’s book.

Morton has not researched a “biography.” He has provided a compendium of rumors and tabloid lies from years and even decades ago, which have long since been disproven. As is plainly obvious to anyone who reads his diatribe, while pretending to be writing a book about Mr. Cruise, his actual motives were to attack his religion. By his refusal to inform the Church of his allegations (lies) he has proven his intent to print falsehoods by actively ignoringthe truth and actively refusing to have it brought to his attention.

The Church provided evidence of these falsehoods, as well as many others, to the publisher so they have the opportunity to take appropriate action before official publication and distribution.

The Church reiterates that it repeatedly asked Morton and his publisher to present any allegations to the Church so it could provide him information allowing him to avoid the publication of falsehoods. Both he and his publisher agreed—indeed, promised—to do so and yet never did. The result is a knowing and malicious dissemination of known falsehoods.

END

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