Like father, like daughter? In a new testimonial for the Church of Scientology, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s daughter Isabella “Bella” Kidman Cruise is opening up about the church and the importance the organization plays in her life. The testimonial came in the form of a letter to her fellow church members, in which Cruise describes her experience as a Scientology auditor to be what she “had been searching for.” The 26-year-old also thanked her father — a prominent Scientology advocate and reportedly high-ranking church member — for “everything.”
The letter largely addresses Cruise’s training to become an auditor, a church member extensively trained to guide other members through self-examination sessions with the help of an electronic device called an E-meter. Cruise describes the first stage of her training as “incredible” but “hard,” admitting that something was missing after she finished that phase. The next stage, her internship, seemed “worse than training” at first. But she apparently stuck it out. “It turned out it was exactly what I needed,” she revealed in the letter. “I dragged out the testing and correction, just made it through the drilling and then finally began my auditing adventure, and wow, I wasn’t prepared. This IS what I had been searching for. The missing piece. Suddenly everything began to make sense.”
Cruise goes on to describe how metering has become second nature to her, and how she became fully invested in the experience, encouraging others in the church to commit to training. “We all need to do this… The internship, for me, is what made me a Scientologist. I don’t just believe the tech works now. I know without any doubt that it does.”
While the letter seems innocuous, the church has come under fire frequently since its inception for practices that are perceived to be aggressive and highly unorthodox. Actress Leah Remini has detailed some of the more troubling behavior she was subjected to as a former member, going so far as to partner with A&E to produce an expose docu-series titled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Among her claims? The church is obsessed with celebrities like Tom Cruise and has a longstanding mission to recruit as many as possible in order to popularize Scientology.
But, on their official website, the Church of Scientology offers its own explanation for any controversy. “Like all new ideas, Scientology has come under attack by the uninformed and vested interests. For the truth is there are those in this world who find it strange and frightening to see the everyday people, the forgotten people turn into philosophers overnight, suddenly unaffected by the threats of their ‘betters,'” the site reads. “In that sense, the so-called controversy of Scientology is merely the bitter old resisting the ambitious new.”
Tom Cruise is thanked by his daughter Isabella in a bizarre new Scientology promo that features her rambling "success story" https://t.co/KjMBNEyDrT #Scientology #TomCruise #ScientologyTheAftermath pic.twitter.com/I0QkekmBmd
— Tony Ortega (@TonyOrtega94) March 24, 2019
Cruise’s letter to the church was procured and published on the blog of journalist Tony Ortega. A vocal critic of the organization, Ortega notes that while rumors have circulated over whether Tom Cruise and his kids have continued with Scientology, Bella’s letter clearly indicates that at least father and daughter are active members. Before signing off, Bella thanks Tom and two unknown people (Cass and Tash) — “I would have drowned in my own problems if you hadn’t been there to sup[port] me or get me through the preliminaries.”
Tom and Kidman also have a son, Connor, 24. When the two divorced in 2001, they agreed to joint custody. However, when Kidman moved back to her native Australia, the children stayed with their dad in California. There, they had a Scientology upbringing. In November 2018, Kidman opened up to Australia’s Who magazine about her children’s religion, saying, “They are adults. They are able to make their own decisions. They have made choices to be Scientologists and, as a mother, it’s my job to love them.”
Despite near-constant scrutiny surrounding Kidman’s relationship with the kids, both have insisted there isn’t tension with their mother. Bella told Australia’s New Idea magazine in 2012 that she loves Kidman, whom she called “great.” Connor has called his relationship with Kidman “solid.” He does, however, reportedly lives in Clearwater, Florida (the city where the Church of Scientology is centered) with Tom, per E! News. Although little is known about Connor’s lifestyle, he did make a rare public appearance in January 2019 leaving Madeo restaurant in Beverly Hills. As for Bella, she launched her own graphic T-shirt line last year called BKC — for Bella Kidman Cruise, naturally. All of the clothing features Bella’s own artwork.