It's obvious that Tom Cruise's team has been busy doing some major damage control, and according to documents obtained by a former Scientologist, the church isn't pleased with the sudden amount of coverage surrounding the actor's split from Katie Holmes, and the related questions about the church, reports Us Weekly.
Well-known Scientology detractor Marty Rathbun allegedly obtained and posted an email he says is from Daniele Lattanzi on his blog. Rathbun claims Lattanzi is a member of the "Office of Special Affairs," which he describes as the "dirty tricks and propaganda arm of Scientology Inc."
In an email with the subject "Simple hatting on how to fight back on the internet and Stand Up For Your Religion," sent to fellow OSA member Ray McKay, Lattanzi complains of the extensive coverage of the high-profile divorce and urges fellow members to censor stories online, providing detailed instructions on how to do so, such as reporting "abuse".
"I am not a big fan of media, but you may have glanced the news of the split between [Cruise] and Holmes and all the speculations around. While this is a personal matter, when people start to bring our religion into the middle and a bunch of uninformed people start to spread false datum, rumors and defame our religion it became a matter that does affect my Dynamics and I believe that affects yours as well," Lattanzi writes in the email.
Lattanzi then instructs the Razz Line members --who according to Rathbun are "members of a corporate Scientologist on line collective" -- that it is time to stand up and defend their religion on the Internet.
A rep for the Church of Scientology told the New York Daily News it had no knowledge of Lattanzi's email:
"An email from a Scientologist is no more from the Church of Scientology than an email from a Catholic is from the Vatican. This did not come from the Church or anyone associated with the Church, nor is it a Church plan."
While the church may claim not to have any knowledge of the email, it's unlikely they are enjoying the unrelenting stories about their most famous member and his controversial religion. It's also unlikely that coverage of the couple's divorce will stop anytime soon -- as it's provided a huge boon to sales for weekly celebrity magazines and tabloids.
According to the New York Post, People magazine saw newsstand sales jump to 1.4 million, Us Weekly sold 720,000 and In Touch sold 632,000 copies.
It's also likely that the church doesn't appreciate the fact that, according to the Associated Press, tabloids and celebrity weeklies have sided with Holmes on the split.
Some coverage has gotten so nasty that Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields has threatened to sue. The Hollywood Reporter obtained Fields' angry letter to the National Enquirer's publisher, American Media, over the magazine's cover story -- headlined "Inside Tom's House of Horrors" -- that alleges the actor is a "monster" who "abused" Holmes and subjected Suri to a five-month stay in a "tiny, windowless room."
For Lattanzi's entire email, click over to Marty Rathbun's blog.