Scientology Trends Online In Response to Tom Cruise’s Return in “Top Gun: Maverick”

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Ken Ishii/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in “Top Gun: Maverick,” making history as it became the highest-ever Memorial Day weekend opening with 156 million dollars. But, as more and more people watched the movie and enjoyed it, creating a buzz online, some were not quick to forget that Tom Cruise is open about his controversial religion: Scientology. American actress Leah Remini, known for her activism against Scientology which she once subscribed to after being raised in the religion, shared a TikTok reminding people of Tom Cruise’s involvement with the religion that many have called harmful and cult-like.

What is Scientology?

According to author Janet Reitman, who wrote “Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion,” Scientology is often referred to as a “‘spiritual science offering practical solutions to the problems of everyday life. Within every individual, it asserts, is a happier, purer, better self — a “perfect” self — waiting to be realized. Scientology claims that this idealized self can be realized today, in real-time, and what’s more, that this self can be godlike, immortal, and marked by supernatural powers.” But, many who left the religion have called it a cult, with countries like Germany deeming it “totalitarian” and the French court finding Scientology guilty of fraud.

So, when Cruise’s film began to become popular, some were wondering if people had forgotten that the actor is a loyal Scientologist. Although not as vocal as he once was, he still believes in the religion many have called dangerous. The conversation turned from Top Gun to discussing his involvement in the religion when Remini reposted a TikTok of a woman calling this out. In the video, the woman says that people are leaving out the fact that Cruise has a huge impact on Scientology and that normalizing this is forgetting about the manipulation and oppressive claims from Remini and others. “I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Remini comments.

This opened up the conversation online, with some saying that an actor’s religion and personal beliefs should not be brought into the discussion, as it should not matter. “I just read two opinions about the new Top Gun movie. One said if you watch the movie you’re supporting Scientology. The other said it glorifies the military industrial complex. Why can’t we just watch movies because they’re entertaining? I’m so sick of politics in everything,” one person noted.


Others, however, pointed out that Scientology is more than an average religion, as many have said they had trouble leaving it and felt manipulated along with multiple allegations that the religion is a cult. “If you don’t have a problem with Scientology, I suggest you watch the series with Leah Remini & Mike Rinder. It’s beyond disturbing,” one person commented.

So, although Cruise’s film continues to be incredibly successful, the conversation has definitely reminded people that might have forgotten about his involvement with Scientology, especially as he is not as vocal about it. Even though the religion seems to be incredibly controversial and secretive, many maintain the fact that Scientology continues to hurt people and that this should not be something that is forgotten or overlooked.

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