By Claire Murphy. Features comments from John Duignan.
KATIE Holmes admitted her marriage to Tom Cruise was “irretrievably” broken for at least six months.
The actress has made the claim in divorce documents filed in New York.
Looking refreshed and relaxed, the star was seen in the city for the first time yesterday afternoon without her wedding ring.
And in a desperate attempt to put further distance between herself and her husband, Katie (33) has sacked her bodyguards.
The security team, which also includes a driver, have been employed by Cruise for years. The detail took up responsibility for Katie when the couple began dating. And when Suri was born, they stepped up surveillance and protection.
But Katie fears the group may be loyal to her estranged husband and has hired a new group of between five and six bodyguards.
The Dawson’s Creek actress has stepped up her plan to gain full custody of the couple’s daughter Suri (6).
She filed for divorce in New York, where the law is notoriously supportive of sole custody for one parent.
Tom is expected to file for divorce in Los Angeles, where they have based their family home.
Although Cruise (50) had been in denial that their marriage was “irretrievably over”, Katie appears keen to put the relationship behind her.
She stepped up her public appearances and was photographed as she left a Project Runway taping, without her wedding ring.
Irish former Scientologist John Duignan said Cruise wouldn’t be fully aware of the real operations of the religious order Sea Organisation where he was supposedly planning on sending his daughter Suri.
Corkman Duignan said he escaped from the Church of Scientology after 22 years at the helm of Sea Organisation.
Duignan said that the group takes children as young as six to encourage them to spread the message of the religion.
“It is set up along military lines with uniforms, dedication, fanatical behaviour,” he said. “It is not normal life, it is not a nine to five job. You sign up to this organisation for one billion years, because you believe in reincarnation.
“The schedule that you are running is unreal. Your whole life is promoting anything to do with the Church of Scientology. Your personal life doesn’t exist, your house gone and you live in communes.”
“You make a promise that anything you do, wherever Sea Org will take you, you are committed to absolutely follow the organisation.”
It was reported that the breaking point for Holmes was when she discovered that Cruise was planning to send their daughter to the hardcore ‘religious order’ within the Church.
The actress instantly made the decision to divorce the Top Gun star after she feared her daughter Suri (6) would be indoctrinated into the Church’s beliefs via The Sea Organisation.
Duignan was lured into the cult when he was 21 years old. He lost his parents aged 10, moved back to Cork from his home in Scotland and was fostered by his aunt.
“It was in Germany when they contacted me, when I was in a vulnerable state in 1985,” he said.
“I was all over the world with them. I functioned at a high level in finance and marketing in the Sea Organisation.
“Scientology offered a kind of a structure. Why I bought into it, I still don’t understand. I was taking some of their counselling and I believe it was a psychotic break what I experienced. When I came out of that, I was under their structure and became a fanatical member.”
Duignan said that anyone under the age of 15 can become a ‘Cadet Org’ on the way to becoming a fully fledged Sea Org member.
“They (the Church of Scientology) take the attitude that a child is an adult in a small body,” he said. “If children are living in the compound, they would be separated from their parents.”
John met Cruise in LA in 1986 and said that he can understand where Tom is coming from in his belief.
“I can appreciate where Tom Cruise is at psychologically. He only sees the good,” he said. He is naive and he doesn’t look. He accepts what he is told.
“He is basically the second most important person in Scientology. He is a very important celebrity, a huge catch for Scientology. So they would be very careful of his kids to make sure that they are looked after as opposed to the low rent people, the nobodies.
“Cruise completely buys into it. Because he is so dedicated, he believes it is the only solution.
“He would impress upon his children that nothing else matters, don’t go to college, you don’t need anything else.
“Suri would grow up in that atmosphere. She is vulnerable, impressionable and can be programmed easily.
“Katie has been very carefully trying to plan. She is obviously getting advice. And people who have been there, who have survived Scientology are helping her.