Jewish Journal

The scandal of giving Tom Cruise the Wiesenthal Center Humanitarian Award

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 13, 2011 | 12:11 am

Dennis Wilen sent me an interesting story from the Village Voice. It’s a published letter from Paulette Cooper, one of the many people shocked to see the Simon Wiesenthal Center give its Humanitarian Award to The Tom Cruise.

Cooper, who in 1971 wrote “The Scandal of Scientology,” explains why people were upset:

As a survivor of the Holocaust, and the author of a book titled The Scandal of Scientology—and subsequently the victim of a 15-year campaign by Scientology to try to destroy me for speaking out against them—I am shocked. How can a (Jewish) human rights organization, like SWC—supposedly dedicated to education about the Holocaust—give such an award in good conscience?

​In my work many years ago exposing Scientology, I saw so many Jewish (and non-Jewish) families bankrupted, and destroyed, as Scientology members cut off from their families and their religion. I also witnessed (and was victim of) their “Fair Game Policy,” stating that “Enemies of Scientology” can be ” tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”


According to the Scientologists, Tom Cruise has disseminated Scientology’s teachings to 1.1 billion people. While that figure, like so many of theirs, is patently ridiculous, he has reached a lot of people. And that has given Scientology respectability, acceptability, and a following that does no good for the Jewish people.

Read her entire letter here.

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