Did Katie Holmes divorce Tom Cruise to take Suri away from Scientology? (update)

Katie Holmes Tom Cruise

I think we were all (at least) a little surprised by yesterday afternoon’s breaking news of Katie Holmes filing for divorce from her husband of five years, Tom Cruise. The news came right in the midst of our story about the increasing distance between the couple, and while it’s been very obvious for quite awhile that Katie was unhappy — she was virtually telegraphing a chronic state of disillusionment and depression — it’s rather shocking that she made such a huge move in filing for divorce and going for full legal custody (as well as primary residential custody) of Suri. She also strategically plannedfor this to all go down while Tom was on extended trip out of the country (in Iceland shooting Oblivion). Go Katie.

As for Tom himself, he’s probably still shellshocked at being served with divorce papers. He has released a very short statement to People indicating that he is “deeply saddened.” Tom also turns 50-years-old next week, and even though he was planning on working through his birthday with no real break to see his family, this news is sure to rock his figurative world. So here is a post with some updates since yesterday, and if anything else breaks today, I’ll post more updates below.

To start off, here’s an interesting look back at Katie and Tom’s 2006 wedding day with some photos of Katie (with Suri) looking very panicked in the window of the Italian castle where she and Tom exchanged whacked-out Scientology vows. If it tells you anything at all, Tom’s best man was the current head of the CO$, David Miscavige:

Katie Holmes Tom Cruise

Katie Holmes Tom Cruise

Katie Holmes Tom Cruise

So what went wrong? At the time of their marriage, Katie had already revealed that she had harbored dreams of marrying Tom since she was a young girl. I think that very little (even the mysterious distressed state revealed in these photos) could have kept her from the altar because she was very much in love with a fantasy. Let’s face it — the Tom Cruise of Risky BusinessCocktail, and Jerry Maguire was pretty damn hot, and it wasn’t really until Tom’s epic display of 2005 craziness that most of the world realized what a freak he really was. At that point, Katie was already in too deep to see the signs before agreeing to become the Bride of Xenu. Now TMZ has spoken to some inside sources who claim that Katie’s breaking point with the marriage was Scientology:

Katie Holmes filed for divorce primarily over Tom Cruise’s fierce ties to Scientology, fearing that Tom would drag Suri deep into the church … sources connected with the couple tell TMZ.

Our sources say … Katie has never been fully committed to Scientology, even though she has had ties with the church. We’re told the couple had been arguing over Suri — that she’s now of the age where Scientology becomes a significant part of her life.

Sources familiar with the split tell us Katie is filing for sole legal custody — as we first reported — specifically because she does not want Tom to control decisions relating to religion.

Sources have told us that the divorce is NOT about money — we’re told Katie doesn’t need Tom’s money … because she has plenty of it … and will be well taken care of under the terms of the prenup.

[From TMZ]

TMZ also links to Tom’s notorious Scientology promotion video from 2008. Indeed, Katie has evidently been watching the slow crumbling of the cult (including but not limited toformer members’ tales of torture) over the past five years along with the rest of us. Last year, we wrote about how Suri was on the brink of a demanding Scientology upbringing, and Katie’s move for full custody is obviously geared towards getting Suri away from this “church” and avoiding what happened to Nicole Kidman in terms of alienation from her own children. The Village Voice’s Running Scared blog has a great piece on how children are audited within the cult. It’s scary stuff to say the very least, and I’m so damn proud that Katie has made the move to extricate Suri from that farce of a religion.

On a more selfish note on my behalf, I can’t wait until Tom starts dating again after this divorce blows over (and I anticipate that it will take many months). Certainly, the crop of actresses willing to date him won’t be very large considering what the internet has uncovered about Scientology in the past five years. Kaiser thinks Jennifer Love Hewitt will still go there, and I think that Julianne Hough would have been a willing candidate if she wasn’t already tied to Mormonism. Rest assured that Tom hates to be single, and he (or David Miscavige) will eventually find someone for him to spend time with, but maybe he’ll at least be smart enough to stay away from couch jumping next time around.

Here’s a look back at the infancy of the Cruise-Holmes marriage. This photo of Tom dancing is so … painful.

UPDATE: Radar is reporting that Katie prepared for the divorce by secretly renting a NYC apartment for her and Suri to move into once the news dropped yesterday. Hopefully, they won’t be bringing any of their old CO$ spies/servants along with them.

Katie Holmes Tom Cruise

Katie Holmes Tom Cruise

Katie Holmes Tom Cruise

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

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