Scientology is again making headlines with the very public divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Cruise is a longtime Scientologist, and many fear that there will be repercussions against Holmes for initiating the divorce. Rupert Murdoch has weighed in on the debate about Scientology, calling the organization a "very weird cult."
"Scientology back in news," Murdoch tweeted. "Very weird cult, but big, big money involved with Tom Cruise either number two or three in hierarchy. Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop. Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people," he added.
The Church of Scientology, made famous by it secrecy and elite members including Cruise, John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston. In an interview with Health magazine, Preston gave credit for her recovery from the loss of her son to the Church.
"To be honest, it was the Scientology Center," she explained. "I don't know if I would have made it through without it." She and Travolta have been practicing members of Scientology for over two decades and are credited for introducing the practice to Cruise.
Conspiracy theories have abounded about the exclusivity of the practice and its traditions. Couples considering divorce are encouraged to stay together and take a course to improve relations. In worst-case scenarios, couples that divorce are forbidden from having relationships with one another.
"If a person wants to stay in church, he can't have contact with someone who holds doubts or criticism of the group," explained religion professor Stephen Kent to ABC News. "The doubter is called a PTS, potential trouble source."
What this means for the couple as they raise daughter Suri is unknown. Holmes has filed for sole custody, and reportedly initiated the divorce to prevent her daughter from being sent to live on a Scientology-run center where she would be taught and indoctrinated into the practice.
For his part, Murdoch received backlash after his Scientology tweets, but the news mogul has said he will "still stick to my story."