Here’s an astonishing little snippet from Spiegel’s terrific interview with Tom Cruise. The italicized comments in brackets are mine..
SPIEGEL: We visited one of your locations near Los Angeles and were amazed to find a fully staffed tent of the Scientology organization right next to the food tents for the journalists and extras.
Cruise: What were you amazed about?
[Translation: I’m rich and powerful and I can do whatever the hell I want. Don’t you realize that?]
SPIEGEL: Why do you go so extremely public about your personal convictions?
Cruise: I believe in freedom of speech. I felt honored to have volunteer Scientology ministers on the set. They were helping the crew.
[Helping the crew with what?] When I’m working on a movie, I do anything I can to help the people I’m spending time with. I believe in communication. [I’m sure the crew was clamoring for a Scientologist on the set. Crew members often need to get in touch with their past lives while moving lights around. That’s also why you see so many ministers of other cults and religious faiths on movie sets.]
SPIEGEL: The tent of a sect at someone’s working place still seems somewhat strange to us. Mr. Spielberg, did that tent strike you as unusual?
Spielberg: I saw it as an information tent. No one was compelled to frequent it, but it was available for anybody who had an open mind and was curious about someone else’s belief system.
[So why weren’t there ‘information tents’ from other religious groups and cults on the set…or on the sets of your other movies that don’t star Tom Cruise? I didn’t realize a movie set was a religion and cult faire].
Cruise:The volunteer Scientology ministers were there to help the sick and injured. [Was it a movie…or a war zone? And what help could Scientologists provide to the sick and injured? Isn’t that why you have a nurse on the set? Or how about just calling some Paramedics?] People on the set appreciated that. [Oh yeah, I bet.]
Imagine what would happen if I was producing a TV series and invited
some Mormons or Jews or Christians or Muslims to pitch tents on the set and minister to the "sick and injured" on my crew. There would be an uproar, and justifiably so. But I’m not Tom Cruise. I don’t make billions of dollars for Hollywood studios.
It gets worse. Spielberg tried to defend Cruise’s outrageous
actions by comparing the actor’s passion for Scientology with the
director’s support of the Shoah Foundation, which educates people
about the Holocaust.
I often get asked similar questions about my Shoa Foundation. I get
asked why I am trying to disseminate my deep belief in creating more
tolerance through my foundation’s teaching the history of the Holocaust
in public schools. I believe that you shouldn’t be allowed to attend
college without having taken a course in tolerance education. That
should be an important part of the social studies curriculum.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Spielberg, are you comparing the educational work of the Shoa Foundation with what Scientology does?
Spielberg: No, I’m not. Tom told you what he believes in, and
after that I told you what I believe in. This is not a comparison
between the Church of Scientology, the Shoa Foundation and the
Holocaust. I was only showing you that some of us in Hollywood have set
out to do more than just be actors or directors. Some of us have very
personal missions. In Tom’s case, it’s his church, and in my case, it’s
the Shoa Foundation, where I’m trying to help other people learn about
the mortal dangers of pure hatred.
But you don’t see Spielberg putting up a Shoah tent on his set, or
inviting Rabbis to come and help with the "sick and injured" at the
craft services table. What’s amazing to me is that a man of Spielberg’s
power bent to Cruise’s will and allowed Scientologists to proselytize
on his movie set.