Saturday, June 25, 2005

Tom Cruise in meltdown

I think that Scientology has finally affected Cruise's brain, perhaps irreparably. I really do. Want evidence? Read this hilarious transcript of Tom Cruise's interview with Matt Lauer last week. He calls psychiatry a "pseudoscience" and tries to justify his statement that Brooke Shields shouldn't have used antidepressants to treat her postpartum depression. Repeatedly claiming that he "knows the history of psychiatry," Cruise fallaciously concludes that, just because there have been abuses in the history of psychiatry that it is all bad. Here is one amusing excerpt:
TOM CRUISE: But what happens, the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem. There's ways of vitamins and through exercise and various things. I'm not saying that that isn't real. That's not what I'm saying. That's an alteration of what-- what I'm saying. I'm saying that drugs aren't the answer, these drugs are very dangerous. They're mind-altering, anti-psychotic drugs. And there are ways of doing it without that so that we don't end up in a brave new world. // the thing that I'm saying about Brooke is that there's misinformation, okay. And she doesn't understand the history of psychiatry. She-- she doesn't understand in the same way that you don't understand it, Matt.

MATT LAUER: But a little bit what you're saying Tom is, you say you want people to do well. But you want them do to well by taking the road that you approve of, as opposed to a road that may work for them.

TOM CRUISE: No, no, I'm not.

MATT LAUER: Well, if antidepressants work for Brooke Shields, why isn't that okay?

TOM CRUISE: I-- I disagree with it. And I think that there's a higher and better quality of life. And I think that promoting for me personally, see, you're saying what, I can't discuss what I wanna discuss?

I just wish Lauer had asked Cruise to justify the utterly ridiculous pseudoscience behind Scientology, such as the "E-meter" that its adherents use to diagnose the "mental and spiritual condition" of the test subject. Naturally, the conclusion is always that the subject needs more "auditing" (Scientology's "diagnosis and therapy" for such problems) at a cost of thousands of dollars. And this ridiculous pseudoscience is not without other costs. For example, there is the case of Jeremy Perkins, a schizophrenic many of whose family were members of the Church of Scientology and who was left untreated. He ended up stabbing his mother 77 times. Apparently Tom's ability to recognize pseudoscience when he sees it isn't quite as fine-tuned as he seems to think it is.

Of course, The Onion, as usual, got it just right a few years back when writing about John Travolta's Scientology beliefs...

19 example(s) of insolence returned:

At 6/25/2005 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish nutcases like the scientologists would find some other hobby horse to beat on than psychiatry. it would make it easier for people like myself to criticize that profession if we didn't have to be associated with the complete loonies for doing so.

i wouldn't call psychiatry a "pseudoscience"; on one of my average days, i might refer to it as a sorta-squishy soft science trying desperately (though with mixed success) to improve itself into a hard science. i suspect that if it ever succeeds, it will have become neurology.

i could say a great deal about the profession's practitioners, and most of it wouldn't be flattering. but even i will credit them for trying to improve their science and profession as best they can -- and for all their faults, i'll also admit they do a lot more good than scientology.


At 6/25/2005 1:40 PM, Anonymous IAMB said...

Thanks for the link to the Travolta article. I haven't had a laugh like that in weeks.


At 6/25/2005 3:22 PM, Anonymous chaperonin60 said...

Let us all not forget that Tom Cruise speaks as a learned scholar with a prestigious educational pedigree. How else could he dismiss the mass of data supporting the use of drugs in Psychiatry? He must have been awarded a Ph.D. and is now at the top of the field? No, no Ph.D. for Tom. Maybe an M.D.? Tom did speak out against prescribing antidepressants. Nope, Tom does not have an M.D. Tom speaks with the knowledge of someone who has at least spent a few years in the trenches; he must have an M.A. in Social Work or Counseling. Maybe it was a research degree examining the “harmful” effects of using drugs to treat depression. If so, then Tom possibly earned an M.S. in Epidemiology or Toxicology? No again, Tom has not been awarded any of those degrees. But you say, Tom is so knowledgeable – did you see how he put Matt Lauer in his place the other day. Tom has to have a B.S. or a B.A. or maybe even an entry level Pharmacy degree? Wrong, wrong and wrong. No undergraduate degree for Tom. Now I am a bit concerned. How can Tom criticize Brook Shields (who “only” has a Princeton degree) for being a proponent of drug therapy after her treatment for postpartum depression if he has no background in the field? Tom speaks with such authority on the topic, he must have some education. Yes, Tom does have some education - some High School. Tom is a High School dropout (but he "knows").

Some High School dropouts have amazing talents and do amazing things, and I hope the educational putdowns don’t offend anyone but expertise in psychiatric pharmacology is not a skill one casually picks up in his off time on the set of Days of Thunder.

I would have put my protective tin foil hat on before reading about Tom's blow-up but I think Scientologists use the very same type of hats as part of their clearing process and was scared I might be filled with the souls of the billions of people that Xenu killed millions of years ago with the atomic bombs near the volcanoes.


At 6/25/2005 3:24 PM, Blogger Prometheus said...

First off, let's remember that Tom Cruise made his fame (and fortune) by being a liar. After all, what else would you call someone who routinely pretends to be someone they're not and says things that they know aren't true? Of course, a small subset of habitual liars are able to make a living at it - some of them are called "actors".

Tom Cruise, in his semi-coherent rant against psychiatry, has done more damage to Scientology (and, one suspects, his acting career) than any number of sober, scientific debunkers could do in a month of lectures and op-ed pieces. It is only when the average "Joe" (or "Jane") sees these people raving and spewing spittle that they finally realize that they are dealing with lunatics (in the purely non-medical, pejorative sense of the word).

I have long held that if more people knew more about Scientology, the group would be humiliated out of existence. After all, believing that psychiatric disorders are the result of being possessed by the souls of dead aliens is pretty funny, when you look at it. One also wonders how Hollywood producers - with their analysts and therapists - are going to take being told that they are the victims of alien soul possession. I suspect that will be a factor in Mr. Cruise's future career - if he has any after Brooke Shields gets through with him.



At 6/25/2005 4:01 PM, Blogger Autism Diva said...

Some of the parents on the EoHarm Yahoo! group were discussing how much milage they could get out of Tom Cruise of John Travolta if they could get one of them to speak out against the "mercury coverup, blah blah".

It would be so wonderful if those 2 actors and their wives/girlfriends would weigh in with Bobby Kennedy and Don Imus.

Then maybe Brooke Shields would get into it on the other side and bring with her... oh I don't know, hopefully a Princeton professor or two along with some intelligent sounding famous people.

Maybe not such a good idea.

Talking science isn't working though, it seems.


At 6/25/2005 4:55 PM, Anonymous RSM said...

"And I think that promoting for me personally, see, you're saying what, I can't discuss what I wanna discuss?"

Does anyone take this seriously? I mean, besides Tom?

Thanks for the laugh, Orac.


At 6/26/2005 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Katie Holmes has a clue, she'll hand that ring back and run for the hills.

Tom is really losing it.


At 6/26/2005 3:17 AM, Anonymous TM Wagner said...

Poor Katie. Makes me think of a hilarious heaadline I saw on another site some days back. "Before your career dies, you see the ring..."


At 6/26/2005 10:56 AM, Anonymous Kristjan Wager said...

Cruise seemed better at hiding his nuttery in the past.

I recently read something about Cruise taking Scarlett Johansson to a Scientology meeting (under false premisses). She was smart, and left as early as possible.


At 6/26/2005 11:24 AM, Blogger Orac said...

Yeah, I heard about that too. I wonder if it's true. In any case, if it was true, Scarlett clearly has more common sense than Katie. All of this also makes me wonder if Nicole Kidman had recognized the early signs of impending Scientology lunacy, and that that was the reason she divorced him.


At 6/26/2005 2:52 PM, Anonymous Kristjan Wager said...

Well, aparently, this is the orginal article that told the story about Johansson, but it does seem rather rumourish.

If, we for the sake of the argument, think the article is true, I personally find it rather disturbing that it seems like Cruise is trying to pray on young women. Not that they are not able to take of themselves, except aparently in Holmes' case, but the pattern is rather disturbing.

Regarding Kidman, I believe that she was/is a member ehrself, but that might just be because she wanted to stay married to Cruise.


At 6/26/2005 4:50 PM, Blogger Echo Mouse said...

Just today I finally read the supposed reason for the split of Tom and Nicole. At the time Tom said "Nic knows why" which apparently referred to a joke she and Mel Gibson shared about scientology, right in front of Tom Cruise. That did it, so they say.
Regardless of the reason, Kidman's father is a psychologist so I have never understood how she stayed as long as she did.

I've read nothing but hate basically about the Cruise since Friday's Today show interview. I'm hoping he's done now. It certainly seems nobody wants to see him in anything or hear from him ever again. And rightly so. Not until he gets some medical help at least.


At 6/27/2005 10:30 AM, Anonymous Man with No Personality said...

Well, by some accounts, blackmail may play a part--one portion of Scientology 'therapy' is telling your 'auditor' all the horrible things you've done...


At 6/29/2005 12:54 PM, Anonymous Occam's Beard said...

I have a modest proposal: let's pass a law that actors and actresses (a word falling into disuse, unfortunately) are only allowed to say in public words written by someone else.

That should do it.


At 6/29/2005 1:37 PM, Anonymous Kristjan Wager said...

Then Cruise is just going to read L. Ron Hubbard's drivel aloud.


At 7/02/2005 1:29 PM, Anonymous M Brady said...

These are ACTORS for heavens sake! They are humans with a right to their own opinions. So let's weigh their commentary accordingly.

Does Cruise have a right to express his? Does Shields have a right to write her book? OF COURSE.

Now to the discussion...
In some ways I agree with Cruise--not from a "scientology" (misnomer there IMHO) perspective, but from a bio-physical standpoint. Yes, the psychotropic drugs DO have long-term consequences and often necessitate long "weaning" periods.
And, yes, they do have negative sides that can be extreme for some individuals-especially with doctors too readily prescribing rather powerful meds.

That stated, it is everyone's right to go with what they feel comfortable. Doctors must make themselves aware of and convey the risks of medication thoroughly BEFORE prescribing (rather than because of the 'deals' they get from the pharmaceutical industry).

In the final analysis, people must explore and research for themselves so they can make informed choices. To do otherwise invites unnecessary risk.

Other options are often available.
My own wife opted for homeopathic remedies for depression that worked well for her without the side effects of alleopathic medicines.

She and I share a belief, based upon extensive consultations, reading, and personal experience, that contemporary alleopathic medicine tends to treat symptoms rather than addressing prevention and underlying
causes -- a point Cruise so ineleoquently tried to convey.

We trod a 'middle path'-- prevention through wise food and lifestyle choices as the primary means(with imperfections to be sure), yet also areopen to alleopathic medicines when we feel the situation warrants.


At 7/02/2005 7:31 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Lay off the straw men, please. No one, least of all I, ever said that Tom Cruise doesn't have the right to express his opinion. However, by the very nature of his massive celebrity, his opinion will be heard by far more people than yours or mine. I consider it an excellent blogging day indeed if I get 1,000 people visiting in a day, and that's far more people than anyone without a blog will be likely to get to pay attention to them; in comparison, Tom Cruise had millions see his interview and has millions more see his other blatherings on a routine basis.

Once again, whether or not psychiatry has had or continues to have its excesses does not change the fact that what Tom Cruise said is completely idiotic. It is. He calls psychiatry a "pseudoscience," but then believes in Scientology and its massive pseudoscience known as the E-meter and auditing. I still would really love to see someeone who knows something about Scientology really go after Cruise about the E-meter and auditing. Scientology utterly denies that there is a such thing as true mental illness (like organic depression or schizophrenia), but science has shown that these disease are real and can be helped with medication. Scientology is unrelentingly hostile to psychiatry, as the recent Salon articles demonstrated so well (almost making up for's idiotic antivaccination screed a couple of weeks ago).

Tom Cruise can say whatever he wants, but by the bizarre nature of modern celebrity his idiotic blatherings will carry far more weight in many people's minds than anything you or I (or even experts in the field) will say.


At 7/02/2005 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many people are asking to leave Tom alone. What did he do? Why doesn't he have the right....?

He does. So do we. The difference is, he's been exerting and overexerting his right for many years now. I was so angry before The Last Samuri that I wrote a letter which began "And in the category FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, OPEN ALREADY!" the winner is Tom Cruise, The Last Samuri". I sent it to online articles but it was never printed. Up until now, it seems no one wanted to hear SHUT UP TOM! It's my turn to use a little freedom of speech.

Without being insulting or condescending, I am Tired of hearing his voice, seeing his face, hearing the name, seeing the name in print, the mere thought of the man opening his mouth gives me a migraine.

As for his comments that were very much careless and possibly harmful to people he will never have to see or deal with?

Let me ask you this........

When he get's around to insulting you, your way of life, your beliefs, your family, friends.......Would you like for me to speak? Or keep my opinions to myself?


At 8/16/2005 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a direct quote from my own blog. I have had patients, doctors (Neurologists, Psychiatrists), theologians, and teachers read this and they all agree.


Now, before I begin, everyone who has ever read and understood this weblog has a higher grade equivalent than Tom Cruise. I write, on average, at a college junior-senior level (and I'm 17). Tom Cruise didn't finish high school.

I realize this backlash is more than a little behind the times, but as I surfed looking at reasons to have Mr. Cruise, and numerous other Scientologists, locked in prison for the rest of their lives, I found absolutely no websites or blog entries, and very few forums not started by yours truly, that give a patient's view of severe mental illness.

My diagnoses are:
Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified
Marked difficulties in interaction with others. Elective Mutism. Normal to high cognitive functioning 85+ IQ.

This is the easiest to deny, but its classification of disorders is cruiseproof. I mean foolproof. Ironically, Tommy boy brought this classification of disorders to the forefront with the movie "Rain Man."

Bipolar Disorder, Type 2
Major Depressive Episodes, Mild Manic Episodes

This disorder is actually more prevalent in adults than in the adolescents who get the publicity. It is thought to be caused by an imbalance of seratonin, and has been corrected with lithium since Plato.

Paranoid Personality Disorder
Cynicism. Sometimes Delusional.

No HIGHLY TESTED THEORETICAL, chemical cause, unlike bipolar disorder. Why did I include it then? Because some mental illnesses, namely personality disorders, are not yet known to be chemical

Psychotic Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified
Hallucinations, delusions of persecution, disorganized thought processes.

Definitely caused by an imbalance of dopamine seen in one to two percent of the population.

I have had 2 EEG's, a CT scan, and an MRI that show these symptoms. Blaming "thetans" in the face of evidence and treatments that have worked for most people most of the time is stupid and evil. My meds work most f the time. A VAST MAJORITY OF THE TIME. Granted there are some hippocracies in psychiatry. It is rare for a person with above average cognitive functioning to be diagnosed as schizophrenic. Thats why I am PD-NOS, I am up there with John F. Nash, Joanne Greenburg, Eduard (son of Albert) Einstein. There are fewer schizophrenics in mental institutions than ever. If you told an educated person with an illness to not take their meds, they would laugh in your face. What makes Tom Cruise any different?


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