Just weeks ago came reports that Tom Cruise hadn't seen his 6-year-old daughter, Suri, in over a month, prompting Cruise's lawyer to assure the public that the actor is a dutiful dad, who has been calling Suri every day while he's off filming in London.
While some may be breathing easy knowing that Suri and her dad are in constant contact, the admission has raised some eyebrows for others. RadarOnline is reporting that the very fact that the 50-year-old actor is still in contact with his daughter means he is getting special treatment from the Church of Scientology.
Former president of the Celebrity Centre, Nancy Many, told the website that if Cruise were any other Scientologist, including lesser celebrities, he would not be allowed to continue seeing and maintaining communication with his ex-wife Katie Holmes or Suri, because they are no longer members of the church.
Many says that the church's rule bending on Cruise's behalf has upset the parents and children of existing Scientologists who can't talk to their loved ones.
"When every other person that I have known of leaves Scientology, which Katie did without speaking of it directly, they are instantly shunned," Many explained, adding that Holmes' reported decision to rejoin the Catholic Church right after the split, made a very public statement of rejection.
Typically, those who defect from the religion are cut out of the lives of all active Scientologists, explains Many. Those who leave the religion are reportedly labeled "suppressive persons" and made to "disconnect" from their friends and family.
When director Paul Haggis publicly left the religion in 2009, he wrote a letter addressed to the church's spokesman Tommy Davis, explaining his decision to leave Scientology after 35 years as member. In the letter, Haggis wrote that he was shocked when Davis said in an interview with John Roberts on CNN that Scientology did not support the practice of "disconnection."
"And in it I saw you deny the church's policy of disconnection. You said straight-out there was no such policy, that it did not exist. I was shocked. We all know this policy exists. I didn't have to search for verification - I didn't have to look any further than my own home.
You might recall that my wife was ordered to disconnect from her parents because of something absolutely trivial they supposedly did twenty-five years ago when they resigned from the church. This is a lovely retired couple, never said a negative word about Scientology to me or anyone else I know - hardly raving maniacs or enemies of the church. In fact it was they who introduced my wife to Scientology.
Although it caused her terrible personal pain, my wife broke off all contact with them. I refused to do so. I've never been good at following orders, especially when I find them morally reprehensible.
For a year and a half, despite her protestations, my wife did not speak to her parents and they had limited access to their grandchild. It was a terrible time."
If the church is bending the rule of their alleged "disconnection" policy for Cruise -- it would be the first time. In Maureen Orth's explosive Vanity Fair expose on the church's interference in Cruise's love life, last month, she wrote that after Cruise and second wife Nicole Kidman ended their 11-year marriage, she was labeled a Suppressive Person and members of the church began instilling this idea in the couple's adopted children, Isabella and Connor.
John Brousseau, a former Scientologist, bodyguard and brother-in-law to church leader David Miscavige, who also lived at Cruise's home, explained that the children took classes on how to identify a Suppressive Person and claims they once whispered to him, "Nicole is an S.P.! Our mom's an S.P. -- we hate going and seeing her."
The church denied, and continues to deny nearly every report about Cruise, but one reason that the actor may still be allowed to be in contact with Suri is that he's still holding fast to the idea that he'll be able to bring his daughter back to the religion.
"If [Tom] loves his daughter, he will never give up on [Scientology]. He will try to use every means available to help his child, and he does think he's helping his child, but he's also helping the church control his life," former Scientologist Samantha Domingo told Orth.
UPDATE: When asked for comment, Cruise's rep denied RadarOnline's claims that the Church of Scientology is bending any rules for the actor.