Larry King Show on CNN Tom Cruise Denies He’s Dyslexic
Tom Cruise, who earlier had claimed that Scientology cured his dyslexia (raising the ire of the International Dyslexia Association), now denies that he was ever dyslexic at all! In an interview with CNN’s Larry King on November 28, 2003, Cruise says that he was “diagnosed” as dyslexic, but has never been dyslexic.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
KING: We’re back with Tom Cruise at the Warner Brothers Museum in advance of the opening of “The Last Samurai,” which could get him his fourth Oscar nomination. He’s terrific in it, and it’s a heck of a movie. And you can trust me when I tell you this. And if you didn’t like it, there’s something wrong with you.
KING: I don’t know, what else can I say?
I learned something about you I never knew, that you were dyslexic and are dyslexic.
CRUISE: No, I’m not.
KING: What are you?
CRUISE: I’m not dyslexic.
KING: What — do you have a problem with reading or writing?
CRUISE: No. No, I don’t.
KING: And where did that come from?
CRUISE: Well, I was labeled with it when I was 7 years old and kind of lived with it my whole life. And you know, when I became a Scientologist in ’86, ’87, later on discovered also L. Ron Hubbard developed study technology that actually — to help me realize that that — you know, that the false labels that are out there…
KING: You were never dyslexic?
CRUISE: No. No, I wasn’t.
KING: Why did they label you?
CRUISE: Because that’s what they do.
KING: Were you having trouble reading?
CRUISE: That’s what they do. No. And later on — I mean, now we have, you know, this technology that he developed that actually helps people to learn how to learn and discover that — you know, these — I’ve actually helped people that have been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD. And it’s extraordinary, what happens with this technology. We have centers all over the world now that help people get this technology, and it’s also in various schools and educated millions and millions and millions of people in it.
KING: I interviewed him once.
CRUISE: I know! You told me that.
KING: … science fiction writer…
CRUISE: Oh, my God!
KING: What drew you to Scientology?
KING: Did you grow up in a faith?
CRUISE: Different faiths. Different faiths. And what drew me to it — it was so practical and it just made sense to me, and things that I wanted to figure out in my life. And I always — what I discovered were the tools that helped me. You know, Scientology, the word means knowing how to know. And there are tools that I use every day as an artist, as a businessman — you know, you look at it just this way. I was diagnosed being dyslexic. I came in, learned these tools, and now I — you know, I mean, my literacy is — it is where it is, and it’ll go where I want it to go with these tools. It just kind of melts barriers, breaks them down. It helps you to recognize and understand the barriers and then overcome them. And it’s just…
KING: So you use it in every facet of your life.
CRUISE: Yes because it is — there’s areas — you know, you look at what we do with education, with, you know, helping people, getting them these tools — if they’re Christian, you know, they can read their Bible. If they’re — you know, it doesn’t matter, whatever faith, atheists (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
KING: Why is it so controversial?
CRUISE: It’s not that controversial.
KING: I mean, the FBI looks at it…
CRUISE: No, it doesn’t.
KING: … investigate it. Remember that…
KING: They wanted to raid their books. They tried to get…
CRUISE: Oh, that was — you’re talking decades…
KING: Yes, I know.
CRUISE: … decades ago.
KING: I mean, they tried to get them not get — get a religious deduction.
CRUISE: Well, that’s all gone now.
KING: I know.
CRUISE: I mean, it — definitely, now it does have its…
KING: Oh, I know.
CRUISE: … religious…
KING: But it went through that…
CRUISE: … recognized as a religion. Well, it’s new. It was a new religion. It’s also — there’s things that we do — you know, you have to look at — you look at the services and the things that we help. Narcanon is something that LRH developed that helps people get off drugs. And once you’re off the drugs, you don’t ever need those drugs again. And it’s the largest drug rehabilitation center in the world. You look at Crimanon that he developed and found, which actually helps to rehabilitate criminals and used in you know — in some of the toughest prisons in South Africa, and those prisoners have never gone back to the prisons. You look at his — the moral — secular moral code that he wrote, called “The Way to Happiness,” that’s used by, you know, communities in the world all over.
These things — you know, any time — where there’s ignorance about something or people don’t want to know about something, you know, it really gets back to gossip or, you know, just people don’t know something, there you have racism. There you have bigotry. And that’s where those things stem from. But when people come in and see what it is, people thank me for the things that I contribute to it and what we do. You look at our volunteer ministers and how they helped at the World Trade Center and…
KING: Is it faith?
CRUISE: Is it a faith? It’s an applied religious philosophy, is what it is. It’s a religion, but it’s something that you apply to yourself, you apply to life. There is — I mean, it’s such a wide range, from business technology to help someone run their business better, tools that you use in your life that help improve conditions. We improve conditions. And those are the things that we do. We educate people on — about the realities of drugs. And it’s — it’s an individual’s choice, you know, on things — on how you want you to live your life. What do you want from your life?
KING: Do you proselytize? Do you try to get others to come into the movement or into the…
CRUISE: Well, you know, I talk to people about it. I mean, if you know — if you know how to — I’ve actually personally educated people and helped them with the study technology, to help get them off, you know, these vicious drugs that psychiatrists so — you know, that they proselytize, you know, that they sell to people.
KING: Yes, it’s anti-psychiatric, right?
CRUISE: Oh, most definitely.
KING: Yes. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
CRUISE: No, I mean, psychiatry doesn’t work. You look at the things that psychiatry’s brought to society. We now are living in a time where we spend over $700 billion a year on education, psych- driven, and where are we? We have still a decline in illiteracy. We know that electroconvulsive shock therapy, you know, drugging people, OK, with these vicious drugs — when Prozac came out, it had the — you know, the biggest — I mean, in the first few months or a year, it had 14,000 complaints on that drug, yet it’s still out there. You look at Paxil, OK, that’s now banned in the United Kingdom for under 18 because of the vicious side effects of those drugs.
So here we talk about things that we know — OK, if someone can’t read, we know that we can give them these tools and help them to read. And it doesn’t matter what religion you are, these things work. If you’re on drugs, we can help get you off drugs. If you’re a criminal, we can give you — there’s technology that he developed to help you not be a criminal.
KING: Tom Cruise. Passion, as well. “The Last Samurai” opens a week from tonight. We’ll be right back.
KING: OK. A couple of other things. You got involved in the toxic environment problem around ground zero, and you established the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.
KING: Which you fund?
KING: It’s the project based on your own principles of Scientology, 175 people, firefighters and rescue workers, go through it? What does it do?
CRUISE: It’s great. It’s actually — it’s based on the research. It’s — Hubbard developed it. What happens is that Hubbard developed a thing that’s based on clear body, clear mind. He figured out how to eliminate toxins from the body. And it does just that.
Doctors do not know how to diagnose chemical exposures, because it can actually have mental ramifications. You know, people feeling depressed, up and down. You know, we’ve had people go through — you know, there’s one woman who doctors were going to put a steel bar in her chest because she was having trouble breathing.
The toxic effects of 9/11 — I remember the day that it happened. I realized, this is a disaster. You don’t have to be a, you know — I mean, you just look at — look at the towers. Look at the computers that are going to burn, you know. Look at the building, the dust, how that’s…
CRUISE: Self-evident. And how the toxics, you know, because I’ve done — I’ve gone through the detox myself, and it gets the toxins out of the body. So that these guys that have come on and they were on — I mean, that amount of drugs that some of these guys were on. And they essentially thought they were going to have to retire.
CRUISE: Firefighters and the, you know, the EMTs, the whole gang. We’ve been trying to, you know, get it out there so that this is available. Because it’s really — the miracles that have occurred there, it would — and if you were ever in New York, I’d love for you to see it.
CRUISE: Personally just go down and take a look at it.
KING: I was down at 9/11 two weeks ago (ph).
CRUISE: I know. But you go down and you see what these — you know, because people are saying afterwards, you know. I was looking and I was thinking, OK, what about the people who lived? What about — you know, what about them? What’s going to happen when you start talking about the, you know, leukemia, Parkinson like symptoms, M.S. that they’re going to have. Or the children now that have breathing problems as a result of this.
And this is something that handles it. It gets through, you know. They’re no longer on these drugs. And they get on this program.
CRUISE: No. It’s — It is a charity, so it’s not tax deductible. And there’s things where people come in and we’ve gotten donations from people to help them out. Nobody’s making any money off this. This is just to help people, to help them go — you know, to help them. It’s also something that we also use in Narcanon that helps get the drugs out of their system.
KING: So firemen on 9/11 came out not only with physical and toxic problems, but emotional problems from that, as well.
CRUISE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s compounded that. You go to a doctor and now he’s going to put you on more and more drugs, steroids and things that are ineffective.
You know, you just look at the rescue workers, the people who lived down in those areas. What happens is those toxins go in, and they reside in the fat tissue, OK? And they just sit there. There’s no way of getting that out. So long-term, you’re talking about various cancers. It’s horrific.
And what this will really help them to get that out.
KING: I’d like to go see.
CRUISE: Yes. I’d love for you to see it.
KING: Where were you that morning, by the way?
CRUISE: I was here in L.A. I was here in L.A. And I went in and I saw that happening. And…
CRUISE: But there’s a thing. That’s why I started this, because I looked at those men and women, you know. And the — friends of mine went, who were volunteer ministers. And they went down and they — volunteer ministers were working down in — at, you know, helping set up lines and giving different things in Scientology that we have, assists, setting up food to help these people. And that’s why I set up the detox, because I thought about them afterwards. And I started…
KING: You thought about it right away?
CRUISE: Right away. Right away. Right away. Because some people, it’s like we — there’s things that we can do to help. And…
CRUISE: … Scientologists want to help people.
KING: When we come back with Tom Cruise, this table will no longer be here. And we’re going to have a samurai fight. Don’t go away.