Madonna Defends Turtle-Worshipers and Tom Cruise

MadgeIn a new interview with New York magazine, Madge defends Tom Cruise’s right to worship Scientology (though I think Jason Beghe would probably have a few things to say about that).

Says Madonna: “I don’t care if people worship turtles or frogs—if they’re good people, that’s all I care about, and he is a good person. I think he gets a raw deal, just as I think the orphans in Malawi get a raw deal, just as I think a lot of marginalized people get a raw deal.”

She also touches on connections between her interest in Malawi and speaking out in the early days of the AIDS crisis:

“There are a lot. One is that I myself feel like a motherless child. I grew up that way. But also the idea that I felt so helpless by the AIDS epidemic that seemed to sweep through Manhattan and claim the lives of so many people that I loved. And I saw how stigmatized the gay community was, and that freaked me out.”


  1. says

    Oh please. Tom Cruise can practice any religion he wants. He is not getting a “raw deal” because he chooses to impose his beliefs on others. From what I read, he apparently tries to recruit people on his film sets by providing literature on Scientology, which can be very intimidating to people who are working under him…such as crew, etc, where people in such a position can’t just come out and say….”no, I’m not interested” without feeling future jobs with that production company could be jeopardized. Comparing Tom Cruise to orphaned children in Malawi is utterly absurd.

  2. Jimmyboyo says

    Does Madge really want to condone a religion thjat condemns her largest fan base? A religion that calls for at least our being quarantined.

    “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.” Book 2, Chapter 5, Page 120 says, in part:

    “The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in dynamic two such as homosexuality, lesbianism [sic], sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically.”

    1951, Hubbard published “Science of Survival: Prediction of Human Behavior.” classifies individuals and human behavior. The scale runs from -3 to +4. He apparently rated gay and lesbian behavior at a 1.1. — between “fear” (1.0) and “anger” (1.5). On this scale, -3 means death and +4 is the most positive rating attainable. 4

    In Page 89-90, he writes:

    “Such people should be taken from the society as rapidly as possible and uniformly institutionalized; for here is the level of the contagion of immorality, and the destruction of ethics…No social order which desires to survive dates overlook its stratum 1.1’s. No social order will survive which does not remove these people from its midst.”

    One of Hubbard’s solutions to homosexuality was quarantine; the other was counseling with the goal of raising the individual’s rating above 1.1:

    “The only answers would seem to be the permanent quarantine of such persons from society to avoid the contagion of their insanities and the general turbulence which they bring to any order, thus forcing it lower on the scale, or processing such persons until they have attained a level on the tone scale which gives them value.” 5

  3. jason says

    Oh puh-lease. Madonna is trying to curry favor with the gay community yet again. I hope people in our community wake up to her. She has done virtually nothing for gay rights. We got sucked in by her use of a couple of sleazy male-male images in her Sex book, images that simply confirmed stereotypes about our community. Buzz off, Madge.

  4. Zeke says

    Poor Tom, he’s just another MARGINALIZED person getting a raw deal like orphans in Malawi and gays in the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

    How DOES the man go on?

  5. says

    Somebody please tell me what Madonna has done for gay culture?

    I have never understood the diva factor that equates to gay alliance; that includes Liza, Barbara, etc, worshipping these “women” is not a measure of gay culture.

    Madonna has always been a self-promoter (which she is profoundly superior) and she has allowed gays to attach themselves as it suited her “outrageousness”; I do not blame Madonna however I do think gays need to rethink this mythical alliance and just enjoy the music.

    I cannot place Madonna above Larry Kramer, Bayard Rustin, Harvey Milk, Gore Vidal, Rita Mae Brown, Keith Boykin, Ellen DeGeneres, our numerous gay and lesbian elected officials and the list goes on and on of actual gay people who have impacted and/or improved gay culture and gay visibility.

    For me it takes much more than a half-naked man pumping and gyrating away in a music video, because let’s be honest that is what she is REALLY remembered for by many gays.

  6. says

    Silly me! Here I was, thinking that Scientology must be the only religion on the planet that DOESN’T discriminate. Thanks,JIMMYBOYO…Any chance I could get a link to the info you provided?

  7. crispy says

    Good grief, Charles, you’re self-righteous and entirely too serious rant has gotta be a joke, right?

    Who exactly asked to place Madonna above Larry Kramer, Bayard Rustin, Harvey Milk, blah, blah, blah?

  8. Frank L says

    Madonna calling Tom Cruise — one of the richest stars and one of the biggest and most powerful celebrities in Hollywood — “marginalized” and comparing him to Malawian orphans says more about Madonna than anything else.

  9. Fred says

    I hate how the gay community is so uncritically worshipful of Madonna. She has her pros and cons, but enough with the hagiography. She is a talented pop singer, but that is all. (She’s also a money-grubber who appropriates the artistic accomplishments of others and calls them her own.)

    PS And saying stuff with a fake English accent does not make you smarter.

  10. TL says

    You’re absolutely right, CRISPY. I hardly think that a man like Tom Cruise with his money and his power is getting anything RESEMBLING a raw deal. Madonna, of course, knows this. But Madonna knows her place. She is in the upper echelon and, let’s be frank, hasn’t known marginalization since she was a scruffy, young performer on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
    Madonna and Tommy are two sides of the same glittering coin. Both are absurdly, monstrously ambitious and neither could survive without money or power. Let’s see how well Scientology and Kabbala work when no one pays attention anymore.

  11. crispy says

    Ok, listen up people, the name of the commenter appears BELOW, not above, their comment. Honestly, if you haven’t figured that out yet, you shouldn’t be commenting.

  12. Jimmyboyo says


    I just typed “Scientology and Homosexuality” into my search engine and just started cutting and pasting from a couple of different sites.

    The more recent scientology stuff has to deal with more of supposedly “curing” us instead of quarantining us like L Ron wanted to do.

  13. Paul R says

    Actually, Charles, it’s a bit debatable if Gore Vidal has done much for gays. I love the man, but he dismisses the notion that homosexuals exist—even though he certainly admits to having had sex with lots of men. He also doesn’t seem to treat his long-term partner with much consideration.

    I’ve seen him speak many, many times and read much of his (considerable) writings, and after Palimpsest and a few speeches I came to pity him. His patrician facade and outsized arrogance seem to shield a bit of self-loathing—as if, had he not been gay, he could have achieved his political and other non-literary ambitions.

    And no, I’m not forgetting his revolutionary, and very early, contributions to gay literature. But I also think the early loss of the boy he pines for in Palimpsest has left him emotionally stunted. He certainly doesn’t equate himself with the “gay community.”

  14. Zeke says

    There seem to be a couple of people who take great offense to those who have dared to ask what Madonna has DONE for the gay community but no one yet seems to be willing or able to answer the simple question; What HAS she actually done for the gay community that has earned her such undying and cult-like devotion?

    I don’t care either way but I think the question is valid and deserves civil discussion.

  15. crispy says

    Zeke, are you smoking crack? I see 1 person on this thread who’s even suggested that Madonna has supported the gay community. I certainly don’t see anyone who’s “taken great offense” to suggestions otherwise.

    The only people who seem to insist that Madonna do something for the gays are the ones who emphatically state over and over again that she doesn’t. Who the fuck cares? She’s a frickin’ musician! Personally, I could care less whether she does anything for the gays. I just enjoy her music (although not her latest album because, as I stated previously, it sucks balls).

  16. Derrick from Philly says

    “…it sucks balls”

    Isn’t that a good thing, Crispy? I haven’t tasted a pair…or just one in 3 years.

    You certainly are crisp today, Crispy. I feel pretty bitchy too–it aint just withdrawal either. Maybe I’m sad ’cause Barack has left Pennsylvania for a while–he doesn’t need us anymore. Must be that. It can’t be menstruation.

  17. Jimmyboyo says

    We can all agree that Madonna has a HUGE gay fan base.

    Wether earned by action or something that just is…… exists. We are probably her largest fan base.

    Leaving aside the whole what has she done for us debate, our being her most loyal fan base has at least earned us a bit of respect in that she should publicly condemn scientology for its views of us.

  18. nic says

    i don’t think what madonna has done for gays in an altruistic sense is important. she has kept the “gay” topic in the forefront. i don’t buy into the premise that celebrities owe us anything. she has never been less than supportive of gay issues. and, she has done no harm.

  19. Jimmyboyo says


    Madonna just gave a pass to scientology. Did you read the article?

    If Obama or Hillary said the same about a prominent member of scientology and their beliefes, I would say the same thing.

  20. crispy says

    Actually, she gave a pass to Tom Cruise. She compared Scientology to worshiping a frog or a turtle… which sounds like an insult to me. Learn to read more carefully.

  21. Patrick nyc says

    There seem to be a couple of people who take great offense to those who have dared to ask what Madonna has DONE for the gay community but no one yet seems to be willing or able to answer the simple question; What HAS she actually done for the gay community that has earned her such undying and cult-like devotion?

    I don’t care either way but I think the question is valid and deserves civil discussion.

    POSTED BY: ZEKE | APR 22, 2008 3:01:54 PM
    Having moved into Manhattan from where I grew up in Queens at the same age and time as Madonna, and been a fan of her early music and moving in some of the same circles she did I have a pretty good perspective of her early years here.

    It was well know that many of her inner circle, including her brother Christopher, were gay. She saw what many of us did in the early 80’s first hand, our friends and neighbors dying of AIDS. She was a very vocal part of the fight against it from day one, as well as homophobia.

    A straight friend of mine from work came into the office after a show of hers in NJ and told of her stopping the show, after people booed when she dedicated a song to Keith Haring, a Gay artist who had just died of AIDS. He said she went into a long talk about how could you judge a man based on his sexuality or how he died. She did not have to do that, or all the fundraisers, public awareness spots and God knows what else she did behind the scenes.

    We are all, myself included, sometimes too quick to judge others. I think her music sucks now, but I will never forget how much fun she was then, and all she did for us as well. She told middle America that gays were just the same as everyone else. That is why, despite how many times she puts her foot in mouth, she will always get my support.

  22. becks says

    to all those questioning what madonna has done for the gay community, a better question is what are you doing? are you volunteering at GMHC? are you campaigning for AIDS research? do you march every June for awareness? and this isn’t a call for a laundry list of what you do indeed do, but rather a question of why you’re not doing more right now instead of just bitching about someone else’s supposed charity or lack thereof. bitching does nothing to help the gay community besides reinforcing an already present stereotype.

    for all those that do volunteer and take action, good for you. madonna may just throw her millions around for the gays, but at least that’s something.

    as for her new album, i have to say that i actually think it’s her “best” most consistent album since “like a prayer.” it’s pure pop through and through, which is what people have been asking from her for the last 20 years, or so i thought. i’m a little too young to have really gotten the seriousness of “like a prayer,” and it’s certainly a bit heavier album than “hard candy,” but they’re complimentary in the sense that they celebrate pop music in a way that only madonna can.

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