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Tom Cruise to star as war hero in movie featuring plot to assassinate Hitler

If what is reported in the news is true, Tom Cruise is going to star as a war hero in a movie featuring a plot to assassinate Hitler. The descendants of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg have expressed concerns that Tome Cruise is going to use his role in the movie to promote Scientology (remember Spielberg's "War of the Worlds"?)

With Tom Cruise in the lead role as a war hero against a totalitarian organisation, I think it would be a good opportunity for the press to question certain chilling writings of Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard. In short, Hubbard called for the elimination of 'suppressive persons', or people who happen to criticize his views of the world (represented throughout Scientology.)

It should also be an opportunity to question the behavior of the current leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, who seems to promote to the members of the Scientology religion, the machine-gunning of individuals just because they happen to practice psychiatry as a profession.

About Valkyrie

E! Online (December 18, 2007): "Cruise's Valkyrie Grounded"
Thanks to yet another production hangup, Tom Cruise's Valkyrie won't be taking flight as planned.

United Artists and MGM have postponed the WWII thriller from Jun 27 to Oct. 3, 2008 to give director Bryan Singer extra time to film a key battle sequence. [...]

The Wog Blog (July 24, 2007): "Dr. Dave Returns to Countdown"
[...] Keith Olbermann again tackles the controversy surrounding the filming of Tom Cruise's latest movie in Germany, where he is getting a rather chilly reception. Keith quotes Rev. Gandow's recent comparison of Cruise to Joseph Goebbels and asks if that's fair. [...]
New Zealand Herald (July 24, 2007): "Tom Cruise compared to Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels" by Tony Paterson
Germany's Protestant Church compared the Hollywood film star Tom Cruise to the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels yesterday and claimed the actor was using his celebrity status to publicise the controversial church of Scientology of which he is a prominent member.

The criticism of Cruise, who is in Germany to make a film about an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, was the most vitriolic in a series of attacks on the actor over his membership of Scientology - an organisation regarded as a cult in Germany and kept under intelligence surveillance.

Thomas Gandow, 60, the German Protestant Church's chief spokesman on religious cults described Scientology as a "totalitarian organisation" and said that, because of his position as film star, Cruise had become "The Goebbels of Scientology." [...]

Daily Express (July 14, 2007): "Why Tom Cruise will devalue role of my father, the man who tried to kill Hitler" by Allan Hall
Franz-Ludwig, too, believes that Cruise wants to use the anniversary of his father's death to promote the movie. He is a thoughtful man, a former German MP, who is at pains not to add to the furore caused by the film.

"I don't know what the content of the film might be or how he might portray my father," he says. "I don't know the actor - apart from his strange view of the world and his religious beliefs which I can't understand."

But he leaves little doubt of his distaste for the project. "I think that no one is really interested in July 20 at the moment. Making it into an instrument to promote his film in a perverse way is not something I want to be involved with."

National Post (July 13, 2007): "Banning Cruise hurts Germany: director" by Agence France-Presse
German-born Hollywood director Wolfgang Petersen says his countrymen are wrong to oppose Tom Cruise's plans to play a Nazi resistance hero.

"The furore is harming Germany," Peterson, the director of Troy and Poseidon, told Die Welt newspaper in an interview.

"Germany has become an exciting country for film. It would be a pity if the industry were to be set back by the way people are handling this issue."

German officials are unhappy over the decision to cast Cruise as Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, an aristocrat who plotted to kill Adolf Hitler, because of the superstar's strong links to the Church of Scientology.

The Globe and Mail (July 7, 2007): "Germans let Cruise loose on Furher" by Liam Lacey
German politicians have finally decided they shouldn't so picky about who gets to pretend to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Tom Cruise's attempts to portray Claus von Stauffenberg, the German aristocrat who was behind a plot to kill Hitler in 1944, got the green light with a $6.5-million (U.S.) grant from the German Federal Film Fund.

Now that the bad feelings are history, the movie, titled Valkyrie after the code name for the failed assassination plot, will begin shooting July 18 in Berlin. It will be directed by Bryan Singer.

Previously, German defence minister Franz Josef Jung said the filmmakers could not shoot at any military sites as long as Herr Cruise, a Scientologist, plays the lead role. As well, Stauffenberg's eldest son had said he does not want the actor to portray his father because he feared the film "could turn into horrible kitsch" Oh, please. If you want to set the bar that high, how do you ever expect any Hollywood movie to get made?

The Montreal Gazette (July 6, 2007): "German fund grants money to Cruise film"
BERLIN - A German film fund said yesterday it will grant subsidies worth almost $6.9 million for Valkyrie, a controversial new film starring Tom Cruise as a German hero executed for trying to kill Hitler. Despite a dispute over the filmmakers' thwarted efforts to shoot scenes at a memorial site where the Nazis shot Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), administered by the Federal Film Board (FFA), has endorsed the subsidy. The subsidies are available to any film as long as a German-based producer is involved and certain percentages of the costs fall in Germany. The grant, from a new $86 million annual subsidy budget set up this year, exceeds the total cost of most German films. One of the officials said the grant should allay fears that Germany is fundamentally opposed to Cruise playing Stauffenberg because of the actor's membership in the Church of Scientology.
France 24 (July 4, 2007): "Tom Cruise creates furor in Germany" by AFP
An Oscar-winning German director slammed Berlin Tuesday for creating obstacles to the filming of a movie starring Tom Cruise in the true story of a German aristocrat behind a daring plot to kill Hitler.

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who picked up the Academy Award for best foreign language picture in February for his period drama about the East German secret police, "The Lives of Others," said the government had failed to seize a golden opportunity.

Having Cruise play Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg "would promote Germany's image more than 10 football World Cups," he wrote in a full-page article in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. [...]

Spiegel Online (July 2, 2007): "Much Ado About Tom Cruise" by Malte Herwig and Lars-Olav Beier
Tom Cruise has been cast in the role of Claus von Stauffenberg, Hitler's would-be assassin, in a film about a 1944 plot to topple the Nazi dictator. But politicians in Berlin are doing what they can to prevent Scientology-member Cruise from shooting at the site of Stauffenberg's execution.

Tom Cruise is an actor and a member of the Scientology sect. In his capacity as an actor, he has already requested permission to film in Berlin several times before. And he has repeatedly been turned down. It's all become such a routine that it's almost farcical.

Three years ago, Wolfgang Thierse, the then-president of Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, denied Cruise permission to film the dome of the historic Reichstag building, where the star wanted to shoot a scene for his action thriller "Mission: Impossible III." In the end, Cruise and his film crew left Berlin for Prague. [...]

New York Times (June 30, 2007): "Plot Thickens in a Tom Cruise Film, Long Before the Cameras Begin to Roll" by Michael Cieply, Mark Landler
When the director Bryan Singer decided to cast Tom Cruise as Col. Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, the German Army officer who tried to blow up Hitler toward the end of World War II, he thought he had dealt with all the possible pitfalls.

There was the knotty matter of accents, but the director figured that Mr. Cruise and everybody else in the movie, "Valkyrie," would do fine if they spoke unaffected English. The cost of affording the high-wattage Mr. Cruise could also be problematic, but the star took the job for a nominal salary, agreeing to get his cut after the tickets were sold — a deal helped by his part ownership of United Artists, the studio behind the picture.

What Mr. Singer did not reckon with is Germany's open hostility toward Mr. Cruise’s religion. "Frankly, I was not aware of the issue of Scientology here in Germany," Mr. Singer said in a telephone interview from Berlin this week, shortly after news reports that military officials would ban “Valkyrie” from filming at the Bendler Block, where Colonel Stauffenberg was executed in July 1944 for his leading role in the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. Mr. Cruise's affiliation with Scientology was cited as a reason for the supposed ban. [...]

San Jose Mercury News (June 29, 2007): "Germans upset over Cruise in film" by David Rising
Two hot-button issues in Germany - the Nazi era and Scientology - are being pushed simultaneously by a new film in which Tom Cruise plays the country's most-famous anti-Hitler plotter, sparking controversy in Berlin.

Cruise, one of Scientology's best-known adherents, is to play Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg - the aristocratic army officer executed after a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1944 - in director Bryan Singer's new film "Valkyrie."

The film's German co-producers say they were given permission to use the former German general staff headquarters in Berlin, where Stauffenberg worked and where he was executed, and that they plan a detailed, historically accurate treatment.

But word that a Scientologist would play Stauffenberg has rubbed some the wrong way. Germany's government considers Scientology a commercial enterprise that takes advantage of vulnerable people, and critics maintain that one of its adherents should not be playing one of the Nazi-era's few heroes. [...]

The Guardian (June 29, 2007): "Germany rejects Tom's advances" by Marina Hyde
Just as Tom Cruise once declared himself "shocked - shocked!" when a TV host claimed there was such a thing as depression, this column is shocked - shocked! to hear the German government claim there is no such religion as Scientology. There is so! It's the one with science right there in the title!

But in its benighted view, it is a cult, and Tom's subscription to it means the country's defence ministry is forbidding his new film Valkyrie - in which he plays failed Hitler assassin Claus von Stauffenberg - from shooting at any of its military sights.

Were this not agony enough for those of us whose understanding of the Third Reich will never be complete until we see the man who could have brought it down played as a cocky young buck with a grin that could dazzle oncoming traffic, Tom must now suffer the insults of Von Stauffenberg's upstart son, 72. [...]

The Times (June 26, 2007): "Cruise film triggers fears of Scientology hijacking war hero" by Roger Boyes
Count Claus von Stauffenberg ranks as one of Germany’s few war heroes, celebrated for his narrowly foiled attempt to blow up Hitler in July 1944.

Now the Hollywood star Tom Cruise, an active member of the Church of Scientology, is about to play the doomed, dashing colonel in a film to be shot in Berlin next month – and the Germans are furious.

The fear is that Cruise will use the film, which he is co-producing, to turn the von Stauffenberg story into a propaganda vehicle for Scientology. In Germany, where many politicians see Scientology as akin to Nazism, the authorities have been fighting hard against the sect for a decade. It is even under observation by the Federal Agency for the Protection of the Constitution, a body that usually hunts spies, terrorists and neo-Nazis. [...]

Fox News (Apr. 2007): "Tom Cruise Set to Play Nazi" by Roger Friedman
[...] But no one says no in Hollywood when a star says yes. So Cruise, unable to stop his career suicide, has picked one more impossible mission: He is set to play a Nazi who tried but failed with a group of other resistors to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944.

The character, if depicted correctly, will have a heavy German accent. He will also have lost his left eye, his right hand and the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand by the time of the film's climax. He will then be murdered by Hitler.

You had me at "Auf Wiedersehen."

Cruise's desire to play this hotsie-totsie Nazi — to quote a Mel Brooks line from "The Producers" — is questionable at best. Germany, which doesn't acknowledge Scientology as a religion, gives him a tough time whenever he goes there to promote a film. [...]

The Guardian (Mar. 2007): "Family of German war hero slam Cruise casting"
A forthcoming film about Adolf Hitler's would-be assassin has sparked criticism from the dead man's family. Descendants of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg object to the choice of Tom Cruise for the lead role, fearing that the story will be turned into "propaganda" for the actor's Scientology beliefs.

Focus, a German news magazine, has reported that Cruise is currently considering the role of von Stauffenberg. A spokesperson for United Artists, the film's backers, is believed to have confirmed the news.

The Scotsman (Mar. 2007): "Cruise's anti-Nazi film role irks family"

Stauffenberg was executed that same night and in the terrible vengeance that followed, 7,000 supporters and co-conspirators of the plot were executed, many of them strangled slowly with piano wire.

Their death throes were filmed for Hitler to watch in his private cinema.

Cruise, 44, is perhaps the most famous member of the Scientology cult that many governments and anti-sect movements say brainwashes its members. It was founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in America in the 1950s.

In Germany, the sect is viewed with deep suspicion by the government and receives no charitable status. The government says it is a "fake religion" more interested in money than the spiritual well-being of its followers.

Ottawa Citizen (Mar. 2007): "Cruise enlists for Hitler thriller"
LOS ANGELES — Tom Cruise is set to star in an untitled thriller bated on an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler at the height of the Second World War. Production is scheduled to begin early this summer under director Bryan Singer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander wrote the script.

About L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology

L. Ron Hubbard/Scientology vs. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
On December 10th, 2007, Sabine Weber, spokesperson for the Church of Scientology in Germany, declared "Who dares to say we are against human rights? This is completely insane" ("Minister says Scientologists seek power in Germany", Reuters). Well, I dare to say: many Scientology doctrines go counter to basic human rights. [...]
The Church of Scientology: a hate group?
Pictures, provided by an insider, of the Church of Scientology 2007 New Year's event: images of an exploding grenade are associated with the Church of Scientology's campaign for the "Global Obliteration of  Psychiatry" [...]
Germany Embassy in Washington D.C.: "Understanding the German View of Scientology"
The German government considers the Scientology organization a commercial enterprise with a history of taking advantage of vulnerable individuals and an extreme dislike of any criticism. The government is also concerned that the organization's totalitarian structure and methods may pose a risk to Germany's democratic society. Several kinds of evidence have influenced this view of Scientology, including the organization's activities in the United States. [...]
Dialog Zentrum Berlin e.V. (June 2007) " Press Release: Against Scientolgy's positioning with German Resistance"
[...] Stauffenberg was ready to sacrifice his life in the fight against oppression and tyranny. Scientology founder Ron Hubbard, whose ideology is represented by the organisation's representative Tom Cruise, openly propagated the need for erecting isolation camps for people who think differently, comprising 20% of the population. He additionally proposed the annihilation of a further 2.5% of the population, who cannot be made to conform to his ideology.

[Cf. Hubbard, HCO Bulletin from 27.09.1966: "The Anti-social personality/ The Anti-Scientologist " and also: ; For further information about existing scientology-based punishment and re-education camps, see: ] [...]
Evening Standard (London, Oct. 2006): "Tom's aliens target City's 'planetary rulers'" by David Cohen
I expect the evening to have something a spiritual dimension — after all, Scientology calls itself a religion — but what happens next is truly eye-opening.

Up front, David Miscavige is dramatically - and somewhat bizarrely - attacking psychiatrists, his words backed by clips from a Scientology-produced DVD are broadcast on four giant high-definition TV screens and sensationally called: Psychiatry — an industry of death."

"A woman is safer in a park at midnight than on a psychiatrist's couch," booms Miscavige, backed by savage graphics of psychiatrists - or "psychs" as he calls them - being machine-gunned out of existence. [...]

As Miscavige begins to crescendo "our next step is eradicating psychiatry from this planet, we will triumph!" the audience rise as one, wildly clapping and cheering.

I look around, half expecting people to be rolling their eyes at this ridiculous, over-the-top message, but instead they're staring at the screens with a rapturous gaze, almost as if they are hypnotised. A few minutes later, Miscavige crescendos again, and, on cue, the audience rise to hail the chief.

Operation Clambake (1999) " Scientology and Totalitarianism" by Laura Kay Fuller
Using Hannah Arendt's writings on totalitarianism as a basis, I will focus on how different aspects of Scientology reveal similar ideological components to totalitarianism. I will look at several themes including the construction of history, leadership and language, showing how each contributes to the framework of a totalitarian ideology. The latter half of the paper discusses the role of technology within Scientology and how this relates to Arendt's visions of totalitarianism. Finally, I will focus on ideology itself, giving numerous examples of how Scientology functions to build a state of terror, while aiming for world domination.
Marburg Journal of Religion (July 1999) " Scientology — Is this a Religion?" by Stephen A. Kent
The most salient aspect of Scientology, however, is the totalitarian, some would say fascistic, use of power that holds the organization together. I will speak about some of these totalitarian uses of power, and in doing so it will be very clear that the German government took the only appropriate avenue open to it. [...]
L. Ron Hubbard, "BATTLE TACTICS", HCOPL of 16 February 1987
We must ourselves fight on the basis of total attrition of the enemy. So never get reasonable about him. Just go all the way in and obliterate him. [...]

One cuts off enemy communications, funds, connections. He deprives the enemy of political advantages, connections and power. He takes over enemy territory. He raids and harasses. All on a thought plane - press, public opinion, governments, etc. [...]

Clearwater Sun (1979) "Scientologists' goal: world takeover" by Richard Leiby
The Clearwater branch of the Church of Scientology actively participated in a master plan of founder L. Ron Hubbard apparently aimed at taking over the world, internal cult documents reveal. In Clearwater, the plan centered on removing from office political and media figures considered "enemies" of the cult: former mayor Gabriel Cazares, Pinellas Pasco State Attorney James Russell, Clearwater Sun Editor Ron Stuart, and local broadcaster Bob Snyder.

But on a grander scale, Hubbard's scheme was to "obliterate"' and otherwise take control of countless national and worldwide government and private, agencies he perceived as foes, the documents show.

L. Ron Hubbard, "DEPT OF GOVT AFFAIRS", HCOPL of 15 August 1960
The goal of the Department is to bring the government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology. This is done by high level ability to control and in its absence by low level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies. Scientology is the only game on Earth where everybody wins.
L. Ron Hubbard, "SCIENCE OF SURVIVAL", p. 170
There are only two answers for the handling of people from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale, neither one of which has anything to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of their acts. The first is to raise them on the Tone Scale by un-enturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow. [...]

The sudden and abrupt deletion of all individuals occupying the lower bands of the Tone Scale from the social order would result in an almost instant rise in the cultural tone and would interrupt the dwindling spiral into which any society may have entered.

Updated on January 26, 2009