Katie Holmes was scared Tom would send daughter Suri to Scientology bootcamp
London: Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise amid fears that he planned to pack their daughter off to a hardcore Scientology training camp, it has emerged.
According to reports in the US, the 33-year-old actress believed that he would enrol six-year-old Suri in the group known as Sea Organisation, where children as young as five can be sent away to live.
The organisation makes recruits wear uniforms and follow a strict “military-style” lifestyle.
Youngsters are schooled there and it’s alleged that older members work from early in the morning until late at night in bases around the world.
“You live in cramped quarters, are served food in the cafeteria area and you basically work from 8.30 in the morning all the way through to 11.30 at night,” a leading daily has quoted one former member as telling a website.
Scientology’s most senior staff members are trained by Sea Org and it has the charge of “safeguarding the advanced levels of Scientology”.
Holmes was determined to prevent Suri becoming heavily involved in the controversial cult, based on the teachings of science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.
But a source told the website that Cruise will “move Heaven and Earth” to ensure his daughter remains a Scientologist.
“Tom is incredibly passionate about Scientology, this isn’t just some hobby for him and he doesn’t just act as a spokesperson,” the source said.
“He truly believes in the church and its teachings and thinks it is imperative that his children are raised as Scientologists. Tom will move Heaven and Earth to ensure Suri stays a Scientologist, at least until she is of an age to make a decision to leave on her own accord,” the source said.
However, it’s believed that the actress was desperate not to allow her daughter to be sent away to join the Sea Org, which was first created at sea.
“Tom is very keen on Suri taking an active role in Scientology, but Katie has never shared his enthusiasm,” one source said.
“The Sea Org is the very top of the religion, and members are expected to be fully committed to the organisation,” the source said.
Members are even made to sign a contract lasting one billion years.
Members of the Sea Org are paid a meagre weekly allowance of around 18 pounds a week.
Scientology insists that members are free to leave at any time, but some of the past members claim that they are forcefully encouraged not to quit.
Those who do leave are retrospectively billed for their training by the church. The 49-year-old has been linked to Sea Org in the past.
Holmes is seeking sole custody of their daughter but insiders insist that the actor will fight furiously to keep custody of the youngster.
According to sources, Holmes was concerned that her daughter would miss out on a “normal” childhood if she continued to allow her to follow the controversial cult.
“Katie does not want Suri raised as a Scientologist or raised under the tenets of the church,” the source said.
“She wants her to enjoy a ‘normal’ upbringing with a wide variety of friends and a good schooling. She believes that will not happen if she is raised as a Scientologist – it’s one of the major things she and Tom fought over when they were together.
“Now they are apart she is adamant Suri will be raised outside of the church,” the source added.