Scientology under fire in New Zealand

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                                      Holmes a 'new woman' since split

Published: 8:22PM Wednesday August 08, 2012

                                            TVNZ ONE NEWS

    Holmes a 'new woman' since split (Source: BANG Showbiz)
    Katie Holmes and Suri - Source: BANG Showbiz

Katie Holmes is a "new woman" since splitting from Tom Cruise.

The former Dawson's Creek actress filed for divorce from her husband of five years in June and insiders say she is happier than ever as she is no longer under his control or has to follow the rules of his religion Scientology.

A source close to Holmes, who has been given primary custody of the couple's six-year-old daughter Suri - told "She now gets to see her family more, feels free to concentrate on her career and is no longer living in fear of Scientology."

"Katie is a new woman, she feels refreshed, free of Tom and doesn't have a worry in the world."

Holmes is also embracing single life as it means she can put herself first and not worry about upsetting Cruise.

The source continued: "When before she used to fret if she was ever single, now she's happy to be alone. Katie's enjoying her independence and is working on herself right now.

"Tom also influenced what movies she appeared in, so she was unable to steer her career in the way she wanted to. Now, she has full control over what she wants to do and that freedom is exciting for her."

Holmes, 33, and 50-year-old Cruise signed a top-secret divorce settlement last month, which gave her primary custody of Suri while the 'Rock of Ages' actor got extensive visitation rights.

                               What the gossip mags say


The woman who the gossip mags dubbed "Waity Katie" has now been promoted to baby-watch status as their love-affair with the Duchess of Cambridge continues.

All three New Zealand woman's mags are this week running the same pictures of Kate's "private world", as it is headed in the Woman's Weekly. Both New Idea and Woman's Day angled in on the fact Kate was spending some time looking after two-year-old royal Savannah Phillips and therefore must be feeling "clucky".

The battle of the Kates raged on the cover of New Idea, as a reflective-looking Katie Holmes struggles to cope with the "pressures of being the perfect scientology wife".

New Idea says the "tired and drawn" looking Holmes has been feeling insecure about husband Tom Cruise's steamy photo shoot with an Australian Model to promote his latest film Rock of Ages.

"Once fresh-faced and stylish, Katie's recent outings reveal her with little make-up, premature greying hair and dark circles under her eyes," New Idea laments. Ouch.

Unlucky-in-love Jennifer Aniston's luck would appear to have changed as her and love interest Justin Theroux's abs graced the cover of Woman's Day. They've been on the rocks lately, but a luxury trip to Italy is apparently just what the doctor ordered. Who would have thought?

In other news, Kim Kardashian is apparently once-again thinking of going down the aisle.

According to Woman's Day, the Kardashian Klan is putting the sanctity of marriage to the test as they "secretly" try to help her beau Kanye West find a ring for Kim once her 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries is annulled. New Idea is onto them though!

"Kim is desperately worried about how the world will view her getting engaged so quickly", says a source close to the family.

New Idea however has homed in on what Kim didn't tell Oprah in a tell-all interview about love, divorce and sex tapes.

"Kim is freaking out about how Kanye will react to the publicity from the trial [in her divorce proceedings]," an insider says.

Well that's conflicting. Which magazine to believe?

One thing all three can agree on however is the rumours Johnny Depp is anything but single now. If the mags are anything to go by (and the female population can possibly take solace in the fact they normally aren't), Depp has reportedly shacked up with his Rum Diary co-star Amber Heard.

                 Scientology's origins inspire cult film

                        The Timaru Herald

 Philip Seymour Hoffman shines as a cult leader in The Master, a compelling new film inspired by the real life of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard about how power and faith can corrupt.

The movie, from There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson, has its world premiere at the Venice film festival on Saturday (local time) and with the Weinstein Company behind it as US distributor, Oscar nominations look like a decent bet.

It was labelled "controversial" months before release mainly because of parallels with Scientology, a self-described religion followed by some of Hollywood's biggest names that has a reputation for carefully guarding its image.

Its detractors describe the movement as a cult, which they say harasses people who seek to quit, although the movement rejects the criticism.

Anderson confirmed that Hoffman's character Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic, charming and controlling man who leads a faith named The Cause, was based on Hubbard, who died in 1986.

"It's a character that I created based on L Ron Hubbard. There are a lot of similarities with the early days of Dianetics," he told reporters after a press screening, referring to the self-help system that Hubbard developed into Scientology.

"I don't really know a whole lot about Scientology, particularly now, but I do know a lot about the beginning of that movement and it inspired me to use it as a backdrop for these characters."

He added that he had shown the film to Tom Cruise, a follower of Scientology who starred in Anderson's 1999 drama Magnolia.

"We are still friends. Yes, I showed him the film and the rest is between us."


Adored and feared in equal measure, Dodd is surrounded by faithful followers, family and wealthy patrons who are intrigued by his theory of people's connection to billions of years of history and their ability to overcome the beast within.

Dodd also claimed to be able to cure illnesses, including forms of leukaemia, that go back "a trillion years", but when challenged by a sceptic at a party, he loses his cool and calls his questioner a "pig".

Through a form of hypnosis called "processing", Dodd said he can cure humans of their demons and bring inner peace.

But Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix, a hard-drinking ex-sailor whose traumatic memories of war and troubled family history make him volatile, violent and full of self-loathing, proves to be his toughest challenge.
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Dodd's wife Mary Sue, played by Amy Adams, is suspicious of her husband's young protege, and tells him Freddie: "This is something you do for a billion years or not at all. This isn't fashion."

Anderson called the film a "love story" between the two male characters, and Hoffman said Dodd was "a reluctant prophet who actually wants to be wild like Freddie is".

Critics showered praise on the central actors. The Hollywood Reporter called Phoenix's performance "career-defining" and said the movie was about much more than the parallels with Scientology.

Phoenix was last at the Venice film festival in 2010, when his shambolic, bearded appearance on screen in the spoof documentary I'm Still Here was one of the main talking points and raised questions about his ability to carry on acting.

In his first dramatic role since Two Lovers in 2008, the 37-year-old American is well cast as the explosive, unpredictable Freddie.

Using paint thinner, chemicals and torpedo fuel to produce homemade liquor, he stumbles through life until he meets Dodd, who takes him under his wing and brings back a sense of self-worth to a man adrift and in need of love.

True to his reputation, Phoenix briefly walked out of the press conference in Venice, came back in smoking a cigarette and, when asked about his acting in the film, said: "I don't know where it comes from and I don't care."

He was later booed by photographers for failing to stop and pose for the cameras, although he did return to be pictured standing next to Harvey Weinstein.

                            Tom Cruise's bizarre wife hunt


                        Tom Cruise slams magazine's 'lies'

                                                 TV 3 NEWS New Zealand

                                   Scientology offers Agent Orange 'detoxification'


 Alleged victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam are set to receive a controversial "detoxification" treatment developed by the Church of Scientology.

Scientologists use the "Hubbard Method" - which involves saunas and vitamins - to try to cure drug addiction and alcoholism. The church set up a center in New York after the 9/11 attacks offering a similar service for first responders who may have been exposed to toxins.

Many researchers have criticized the method as pseudoscientific and useless.

A hospital official and state-controlled media said 24 people were at a Hanoi hospital on Thursday waiting for the program. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The US military dumped some 75 million liters of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971, decimating about 2 million hectares of forest.

Dioxins in it have since been linked to birth defects, though the United States maintains there is no evidence of any link between Agent Orange and health problems among Vietnamese.

"I hope my wife and I will fully recover completely and will not suffer after-effects to pass on to my descendants," prospective patient Nguyen Dai Sang was quoted as saying in the Viet Nam News daily.

US Embassy spokesman Christopher Hodges said Washington was not funding the program and said "we are not aware of any safe, effective detoxification treatment for people with dioxin in body tissues."

Last month, the US began a landmark project cleaning up toxins from the site of a former air base in Danang in central Vietnam. Part of the former base consists of a dry field where US troops once stored and mixed the defoliant before it was loaded onto planes.

Washington has been quibbling for years over the need for more scientific research to show that the herbicide caused health problems among Vietnamese. It has given about $60 million for environmental restoration and social services in Vietnam since 2007, including to disabled people, but the Danang project is its first direct involvement in cleaning up dioxin, which has seeped into Vietnam's soil and watersheds for generations.

The "Hubbard Method" is named after Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Its adherents have tried unconventional approaches to health issues in Asia at least once before. In 2004, they travelled to Indonesia's Aceh province to offer massages to survivors of the Asian tsunami, claiming they could relieve trauma from the disaster.


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