As part of our new all-Cruise format, we present this interview with Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise to promote War of the Worlds in German magazine Spiegel, which took a startling turn away from the typical canned, junket-flavored fare when the reporter started asking surprisingly pointed questions about Cruise's involvement in the Church of L.Ron:
SPIEGEL: Do you see it as your job to recruit new followers for Scientology?
Cruise: I'm a helper. For instance, I myself have helped hundreds of people get off drugs. In Scientology, we have the only successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. It's called Narconon.
SPIEGEL: That's not correct. Yours is never mentioned among the recognized detox programs. Independent experts warn against it because it is rooted in pseudo science.
Cruise: You don't understand what I am saying. It's a statistically proven fact that there is only one successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. Period.
SPIEGEL: With all due respect, we doubt that...
In the Pat Kingsley Era of Tom Cruise image control, the interview would've ended right there, with a gunshot and an assistant cleaning the transgressing reporter's brains off a promotional one-sheet on the wall behind him, followed by the immediate shutdown of the entire German press. But in Cruise's brave new world of Scientology glasnost, the talk continued, and the journalist lived—as far as we know.
Make sure you read the interview. The part where Spielberg tries to protect his star by comparing Cruise's passion for Scientology to his own work for Holocaust awareness (and then is forced to back off the comparison when the reporter calls bullshit) is priceless.