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In honor of Tom Cruise's burgeoning retardation, Salon has published the first of a four-part series on Scientology's rising star. As it turns out, Tom Cruise is not reacting to the madness that comes from years of repression — rather, he's just happy about his climb up the Scientology ladder:

But one Scientologist who left the church in 2003 after 30 years — and who had reached the OT-VII level and become a member of the church's governing Sea Org — said it was his understanding that Cruise was very near completing, if he had not already completed, the OT-VII level. The former Scientologist would speak to Salon only on the condition of anonymity.

A current Scientologist who has reached the level OT-V, and who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that considering the amount of time Cruise has been in the church, an OT-VII status seems probable. And Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta who has published articles on Scientology and Hollywood, also said that Cruise's behavior strongly suggests OT-VII.

Really? We thought his behavior strongly suggested methylphenidate withdrawl.

Missionary Man [Salon via Defamer]