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Cruise extols Scientology in 2004 video

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  • Scientology membership a privilege that's earned, Cruise says
  • 2004 video part of ceremony honoring Cruise for humanitarian work
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(CNN) -- Tom Cruise expounds on his beliefs in Scientology in a 2004 video that made its way onto the Internet this week.

Tom Cruise appears with his wife, Katie Holmes, at a movie premiere earlier this month.

"I think it's a privilege to call yourself a Scientologist, and it's something you have to earn," Cruise says at the beginning of the video.

Cruise says he's "driven ... by the opportunity to really help, for the first time, change people's lives. I'm absolutely, uncompromisingly dedicated to that."

The video was shown at a 2004 Scientology ceremony honoring Cruise for his humanitarian work. Church of Scientology officials said it can be viewed at any of its churches, but it created a stir this week when what the church calls a pirated and edited version appeared on YouTube.

The video has since been taken off YouTube, but an interview portion remained available on the celebrity Web site on Thursday. Video Watch snippets of Cruise video »

"The Cruise Indoctrination Video Scientology Tried To Suppress" is the title of's presentation.

"You have to watch this video," the site says. "It shows Tom Cruise, with all the wide-eyed fervor that he brings to the promotion of a movie, making the argument for Scientology," which it calls "the bizarre 20th-century religion. Video Watch "Showbiz Tonight" discussion of Cruise video »

Cruise talks over a repetitive guitar-riff soundtrack, and appears to be answering questions, though an interviewer is not seen or heard.

A second part of the video, made available to CNN by the publisher of a new unauthorized biography of Cruise, shows Cruise accepting Scientology's Freedom Medal of Valor award and exchanging military-like salutes with Scientology chairman David Miscavige to audience applause. The publisher denies leaking other parts of the video to the Web.

In the video by the publisher, Cruise also salutes a portrait of L. Ron Hubbard, cited on the church's Web site as the founder of "the only major religion founded in the 20th century."

Hubbard's biography cites his accomplishments as everything from mariner and horticulturalist to author and humanitarian.

In the video, Cruise puts emphasis on the latter role.

A Scientologist "has the ability to create new realities and improve conditions," Cruise says.

On its Web site, the Church of Scientology highlights its humanitarian work, from anti-drug campaigns in places from Minnesota to Taiwan to teacher training in India.

The Web site defines Scientology as "the study of truth." Cruise embraces that in the video.

"If you're a Scientologist, ... you see things the way they are," Cruise says.

He also says he finds peace in the religion.

"The more you know as a Scientologist, you don't become overwhelmed by it," according to Cruise.

The unauthorized biography of Cruise is by author Andrew Morton. A Cruise spokesperson and the Church of Scientology have disputed the book, saying Morton did not seek their comment.

"Accuracy and truth were not on Morton's agenda," according to a church statement.


Morton denies that and says Cruise, who he calls "a towering figure on the international scene," and his faith are worthy of scrutiny.

"Tom Cruise has done remarkable work for his faith over the past few years," Morton said. "If it wasn't for him the Church of Scientology would be a shadow of what it is today." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Brad Lendon, David Mattingly and Don Lemon contributed to this report.

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