Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

A German ‘No Thanks’ to Tom Cruise

Fears that a Tom Cruise-controlled United Artists studio will produce Scientology-influenced cinema have spread beyond Hollywood all the way to Hamburg, Germany. Really.

The grandson of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg–the man who managed to set off a bomb in Adolf Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair in 1944 killing several members of Hitler’s inner circle but not the Fuhrer himself–is unhappy that United Artists is set to produce the story of his grandfather’s failed coup attempt with Cruise in the starring role.

Or as MSNBC’s Scoop so cheekily puts it, “Tom Cruise is set to play the role of a man who tried to kill Adolf Hitler–but the descendants of the would-be assassin are saying ‘nein’ to the casting.”

“I have nothing against him [Cruise] and can even separate his work from his beliefs in Scientology,” the described staunchly Catholic Stauffenberg told the Scotsman. “But I and other family members are worried that the picture will be financed by the sect and be used to get across its propaganda.”

Unfortunately the family Stauffenberg can do nothing about this. My grandfather is a figure from history,” Stauffenberg added.

The Germans have been wary of Scientology for years; after all, they’ve had experience dealing with secretive and authoritarian groups. The government considers Scientology a secular organization that takes pernicious advantage of its membership. It keeps the organization under the surveillance of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The recent opening of a 43,000 square foot Scientology Center in Berlin has sparked renewed debate about the group.

Obviously, Cruise is trying to get back in to the good graces of both Hollywood and the heartland by trying to wipe the couch jumping memory right out of the public’s head by playing an inspirational figure who represents right and good. But why choose Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg? This is a man who hails from a country whose government inherently distrusts the very religion that people blame for Cruise’s career meltdown. Perhaps it’s a wily publicity stunt–or a potential Oscar-caliber performance.

Or perhaps the greatest challenge Cruise will face with the film is not the controversy it foments, but as one publication has noted, Stauffenberg’s Bavarian accent.

  • Sylvain Galibert

    I am very disappointed to read such a narrow minded article, on, of all places!This isn’t idol chatter. It’s more like hate-filled innuendos and substance-less arguments.The German government has had a surveillance over Scientology for more than 20 years. They tapped phones, reviewed accounts, and used of all the procedure one would use toward a terrorist organization. Problem is, after 20 years of intense surveillance, not a single crime was ever witnessed. Why? Because Scientology is a religion. Not a criminal group. Following up on a potential threat is fine, but if after 20 years of surveillance and not finding anything wrong or unlawful, it’s about time to come stop discriminating. Live and let live.

  • http://HASH(0xfd19a74) KatieAngel

    I have known former Scientologists who were harrassed and pursued when they chose to leave, others who have given up family and friends because they were instructed to do so and people who lived in fear that they would be found by the Church after they left it. To me, that is not the way ANY religion should behave – particularly one that promotes itself the way Scientology does, as being about personal development. If that is so, and the development leads one away from Scientology, why does the Church have a problem with that – unless there is something else in their agenda. As onerous as some other’s church doctrines may be, I don’t recall any other denomination (Christian, pagan, Buddist, Hindu or otherwise) that invokes that level of fear or demands that level of control.

  • http://HASH(0xfd1b7b4) Deb Gershanok, Ph.D.

    Tom Cruise is pimping himself for the Scientology cause. It is exposing both he and the ‘religion,’ tragically or not, to the public glare. Coercion, in my opinion is not a healthy aspect of a group culture. In the mid 80s in my early 20s in N.Y.C. a handsome short male who I assumed was selling ‘something’ (he looked like a younger Mr. Tom Cruise) and he caught my attention and escorted me into a Scientology outreach center. It was a noisy, multi media production featuring Ron Hubbard and by then I knew what a cult was. I politely looked about and said ‘No thanks,’ but I recall the smiling young male not pushing it any further. I would not have minded a date out of that experience.

  • http://HASH(0xfd1c014) IrishViking

    Too bad the grandfather was more enlightened than his grandson! Count Claus is guilty of the most devious kind of prejudice: the kind the person doesn’t know he has. Yet his intentions are as clear as if he were carrying around an AK-47.He quietly hopes to destroy what differs from his beliefs.

  • http://HASH(0xfd1c32c) George Grathus

    Let me tell you all a thing or two about Scientology: I used to belong to it (breifly, thank God) and they are the biggest mind-seducing cult I have ever seen in my life! Tom Cruise and other celebs need to be clued in to the fact that others have been abused and mistreated by this so-called religion (maybe not celebs as they are probably treated well by this cult because they need them to serve as reps for endorsing their causes). I tried to leave the group in Cincinnati and they followed me to the next place I moved to, got my new address, sent me letters EVERY DAY begging to get me back in, phoned and harrassed me to the point where I had to call my state Attorney General for help, along with my attorney. These people are the phoniest, sickest, weirdest, fruitloops you’ve ever seen. They are dangerous – even tried to punish me by threatening to ‘send me to the basement’ only because I brought a bottle of water to the class I was in! They talk down to you and treat you like a child and you’re an adult person fully capable of making your own decisions. They remind me of used car sales men: They are slick, savvy sales people with a phony front. The other metaphor to use is to say they remind me of THE STEPFORD FAMILIES, THE STEPFORD WIVES, CHILDREN, all that that name implies. If any government, – German or otherwise – wants to keep them at bay, good for them! They know how dangerous this group is and they are only trying to protect their people. I would do the same as I try to warn people about the sick, twisted mental perversions of this cult as soon as I hear of someone joining or interested in joining, I do my best to disuade them.

  • http://HASH(0xfd1dbd0) Sue Hickey

    Tom Cruise is a horrible choice for a movie about one of my personal heroes, Claus Stauffenberg. And Bryan Singer will probably turn it into a bad action movie. I’m with Casper Stauffenberg on this one – but the Scientology issue is just one part of it. Where do we start? First, Stauffie was six foot three and Cruise is five foot seven. Claus was noted for his height, described as “tall, slim and lively, strikingly handsome”. Check out not only Wiki, but the Web site for the German Memorial Resistance Centre. There are lots of pics of the gorgeous young count there, as well as in bios like Hoffman’s “Stauffenberg” and Baigent and Leigh’s “Secret Germany.” He was also supremely charismatic, “magnetically attractive,’ as contemporaries described him. Tom Cruise doesn’t have the looks or the magnetism. Stauffenberg was a deeply spiritual, mystical, intellectual man of great morality – he wasn’t a Nazi – and was turned off by Hitler and the cronies when he saw the barbarity of the SS and found out, as he said, “They’re murdering Jews in the thousands, this must stop!” Cruise doesn’t have the height or the convictions to play Claus Stauffenberg. I suspect this is the real motivation for the Stauffenberg family, the fear of having a flake play a martyr. Can you picture Tom Cruise crying out “Long Live Holy Germany,” as Stauffenberg did when the bullets ripped through his body? It’s an insult to Stauffenberg and his survivors. And anyone who thinks Scientology is okay, it’s not. It is scary, more secretive than the Catholic church ever was. We had our share of jerks and pedophiles, but at least we are starting to admit it. At least we don’t tell moms they can’t take medication to help with postpartum depression or force a schizophrenic not to go without meds (and in that case the schizophrenic ended up murdering his mother, a Scientologist who kept her son away from the meds he needed). Ron Hubbard was a bad science fiction writer, a liar and a misogynist. One of his sons even wrote a book demeaning the “church.” Small wonder that today’s Stauffenbergs don’t want Claus – the leader, the cellist (before he lost his fingers), the poet, mystical count and colonel, the beautiful martyr – played by the likes of Tom Cruise.

  • http://HASH(0xfd1dc00) Sue Hickey

    I forgot. If you’re going to get someone to star as Claus Stauffenberg, why not Jim Caviezel? He looks very similar to Claus, dark hair and mesmerizing blue eyes, and they’re close in height (Claus, six three and Jim, six-two). Caviezel is a fine actor and has experience playing not only in war films (The Thin Red Line) but as a martyr (The Passion of the Christ) If Jim Caviezel reads these postings, let’s hope he takes the hint! “Caviezel for Claus”….

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