Tom Cruise's religion may affect his pocketbook in Germany
Scientology isn't well received there
August 11, 1996
Web posted at: 12:05 a.m. EDT
(CNN) -- Actor Tom Cruise may have a movie blockbuster in the
United States, but in Germany, the star of "Mission:
Impossible" faces a controversy that could hit where it
hurts: the pocketbook.
Germany's problem is not with the movie plot or dialogue.
It's with the star and his religious beliefs.
Cruise is a member of the Los Angeles-based Church of
Scientology, a credo that critics say is steeped in science
fiction more bizarre than any cinema plot.
Opponents of Cruise's church vow they'll make it impossible
for "Mission: Impossible" to be a box office hit. German
political parties say Scientology is a cult that seeks to
manipulate its followers and make money.
Germany's Christian Democratic Union party dominates the
government coalition, and even their rivals support the
assault on Scientology.
The youth wing of the Christian Democratic Union is calling
for a boycott of "Mission: Impossible" amid growing
resentment of the sect in the country.
Other Hollywood figures such as John Travolta and his wife,
Kelly Preston, subscribe to Scientology. But Cruise's high
profile and the timing of the film's release in Germany are
raising the stakes.
Another Scientology devotee, jazz pianist Chick Corea, has
been discouraged and even barred from playing some concert
dates in Germany, a fact that drew even the attention of the
U.S. State Department.
The agency has sent a message to Congress saying it "had
concerns" over the treatment of Scientologists by German
authorities, a spokesman said Friday.
The Scientologists say they have no political ambitions, and
a church spokesperson explained that it's just the latest in
a wave of anti-Scientology "hysteria" to hit Germany.
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