Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scientologists to fight back negative portrayal in Tom-Kat split

Scientologists are planning their defense strategy in the wake of Tom Cruise's split from Katie Holmes.

Leaders of the controversial church group sent a hastily-penned email to their members on Thursday morning giving them tips on how to handle the barrage of negative media the high-profile divorce has already generated.

"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," the New York Daily News quoted Scientologist Daniele Lattanzi as writing in the e-mail.

"I am not somebody that I am going to simply stand and watch a bunch of uninformed people putting my religion under the carpet," Lattanzi wrote.

The full email has been posted on a blog by Marty Rathbun, a former Scientologist who exiled himself from the church which many liken to a cult.

The mail was distributed by the Office of Special Affairs, which Rathbun describes as the "dirty tricks and propaganda arm of Scientology Inc."

In it, recipients had been given details of ways to take action against derogatory online messages which have flooded cyberspace since Cruise, a passionate Scientologist, discovered his wife was leaving him.

Members have been urged to scour the Internet for offensive statements and report them to website monitors with a note explaining that the comments are in violation of the code of conduct.

"If [there] is only one person (me) reporting these issues, the moderator at Microsoft will not take the comment off," Lattanzi wrote.

"If you start to have 10 or 20 people reporting it, they are going to take this down," he added.

The attempt to control Scientology's public image comes amid rumors that the 33-year-old actress was fearful of the influence the religion was having on Suri, her 6-year-old daughter with Cruise.

Sources close to the 50-year-old actor have claimed that the couple's split did not stem from religious differences. 

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