A brash Hollywood actor with a boyish smile and slim tailored suits would not seem the first source that ordinary folks would seek out for psychiatric advice. Yet who could miss Tom Cruise lately, swinging through the news, spinning off from movie promotion to set us straight about the motives of doctors who treat mental illness? “Here’s the problem; you don’t know the history of psychiatry,” the confident star told Today host Matt Lauer. “I do.”
Cruise is a Scientologist. He and other supporters of the celebrity-rich religious organization that science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard launched in 1954 share a noisy antagonism toward mental health physicians. Church members refer to them as pseudoscientists.