Tom Cruise moving into Scientology’s UK base
Cruise, one of the most high-profile advocates of the private Church is believed to be taking up residence in the former British home of the religion’s founder in East Grinstead, Sussex. L Ron Hubbard lived there from 1959, and it was used as the base for the movement.
Now the movie-star is reportedly pouring money into the estate, and has plans to develop it. News of the investment comes shortly after reports Cruise put his former family home, bought with ex-wife Katie Holmes, on sale for £5 million (US$7 million).
According to the Daily Mail, Cruise is planning to build a spa and restaurant on the 100-acre Saint Hill Manor site.
“Tom is relocating to England and uses the Scientology manor as his base,” a source told the Daily Mail Online.
“It’s the highest recognition to live where L Ron Hubbard did, and [David] Miscavige [the Church’s leader] clearly believes giving Tom this access will keep his faith in the Church for decades to come.”
The source added that Cruise and his fellow believers think the Church could be “as influential as the [British] Royal family.”
Scientology purports to give the believer a complete and total understanding of “ones true spiritual nature.” However, in order to access the highest levels of the church, staggering payments are required and many of the Church’s key figures are notably rich and famous, including actor Will Smith and his family.
As well as providing for the wealthy, members of the Church are skeptical of modern medicine and believe in cleansing one’s own spirit.
A local Sussex rugby club director, who was invited to a Scientology gala, told the Daily Mail of his experience.
"In the conference they kept being critical about psychologists, it was very anti-drugs, anti-medicine,” he said.
"There was bottomless champagne. I was introduced to Tom, he made a lot of effort and we spoke about sports for the most of it.”