Published January 23, 2008
The Church of Scientology slammed a German tabloid for publishing comments by an esteemed German historian comparing Tom Cruise to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, according to thisislondon.co.uk.
"Bild am Sonntag is grossly irresponsible for publishing horrendous and disgraceful claims about Mr. Cruise," said Karin Pouw, the church's public affairs director, according to thisislondon.co.uk.
World War II historian Guido Knopp was commenting on a video that surfaced last week of the "Mission Impossible" star making a religious speech four years ago at an International Association of Scientologists event.
Knopp reportedly said: "It may be the case that Cruise's delivery style is not uncommon in certain religious movements in the U.S."
"But for Germans with an interest in history, the scene where he asks whether the Scientologists should clean up the world and everyone shouts 'yes' is inevitably reminiscent of Goebbels' notorious speech," he is quoted as saying, according to thisislondon.co.uk.
Pouw, according to the Web site, said the video of Cruise "is a pirated, edited video that is taken from a three-hour event which encompassed the many humanitarian programs sponsored by the Church of Scientology...
"Bild am Sonntag has disgracefully misinterpreted Mr. Cruise's remarks. He was giving an acceptance speech for a humanitarian award bestowed in honor of his efforts for global literacy. In doing so, he was urging other people to become involved in similar humanitarian activities to the betterment of all."