Put aside your issues with Tom Cruise for a moment, including any gripes with Scientology, and understand that for the police, firefighters, paramedics, and other volunteers that assisted with the 9/11 recovery and clean-up efforts, life has been less than healthy. It’s a reality that workers were exposed to large amounts of toxins while working at ground zero; and since have had breathing difficulties and other related issues.
Cruise co-founded the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project in 2002 to help deal with this problem. The program is based on principles developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard but does not include any proselytizing or religious rhetoric. The goal from the beginning was to make it a secular organization.
Obviously, there will be those who think this promise is paper-thin, but the fact remains that over 785 workers have been treated — and with great success. Each worker is given vitamins and nutritional counseling and participates in daily exercise and sauna sessions. The program takes about 30 days to complete. Scientology or not, seems like a nice way to detox to me. Said Cruise, “Nearly six years later, many are still paying a price for their heroic service at the World Trade Center. This is a profound injustice,” the 44-year-old actor said in a statement to The Associated Press. “This project has demonstrated that recovery is not only possible, but an incontrovertible fact.”
You can see a video someone managed to film of Cruse speaking at a fund raiser for the org this past Friday below. What do you think? Is this a positive philanthropic effort or a religious hand-out with strings attached?