Tom Cruise Named in $250 Million Scientology Lawsuit

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Former Scientologist Peter Letterese is suing the Church of Scientology for harassment to the tune of $250 million. Court documents include actor Tom Cruise in the suit, referring to him as a right hand associate of church head David Miscavage.

Letterese was a member of the Church on and off for over two decades beginning in 1973. During that time he held several positions of power within the organization. That all began to sour in the early 90's when Letterese accused the Church of copyright infringement for their illegal use of a course of study that he had acquired the exclusive rights to some years earlier. Letterese was eventually excommunicated for violating Church policy - read that to mean disagreeing with the mother ship.

Letterese filed a lawsuit in Southern District Court in Florida on July 15, 2008. Court documents submitted on behalf of the disgruntled former member refer to the Church of Scientology as a crime syndicate. Letterese intends to level racketeering and corruption charges against the powerful organization and hopes to force an investigation under the RICO statute (Racketeering Influenced and Corruption Organization).

Court documents name David Miscavage and Tom Cruise as being instrumental in committing crimes while lobbying for and soliciting huge sums of money from foreign and domestic sources. Lawyers for the Church of Scientology call the lawsuit frivolous and based upon falsehoods.

Katie Holmes was said to have undergone a dangerous Scientology purification ritual recently that discolored her hands. Check out those photos here.

See Tom Cruise Scientology teaching video here.

Check out more photos of Tom, Katie and Suri below.

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Photos: WENN