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We're feeling strangley relieved that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes managed to agree to a divorce settlement a mere 10 days after Katie's initial filing. It's relief mostly for poor 6-year-old Suri who seemed to be the one who was going to be most hurt by what the divorce pros promised would be a bigtime mess.
By many accounts, Scientology seemed to be at the heart of their split. US Weekly reports Holmes objected to raising Suri as a Scientologist, a religion that uses some pretty out-there methods when it comes to bringing up baby. So, what's it like growing up following the practices from the L. Ron Hubbard-founded group?
Hush, little baby: According to Scientologyparent.com, the church advocates a "silent birth," which means "creating a calm birthing environment, without those in the presence of mother and child talking. The reason for this is to protect both mother and child from adverse spiritual effects of the birth experience."
Special formula: Breastfeeding is fine for Scientologists, but when it isn't an option, or a baby is going through a growth spurt, kids are advised to drink a mixture of barley water, milk and corn syrup as an alternative to store-bought formula, according to ScientologyParent.com.
Oh, grow up!: A source told the magazine Scientologists believe parents should "treat kids like grown-ups," which may explain why Suri was often seen in high heels or wearing lipstick.
Girl (and boy) power: Time magazine reports that kids raised in the church of Scientology are given "a tremendous amount of responsibility and are allowed to make significant decisions; some are even able to decide when to start formal schooling. If finances permit, they attend one of about 50 Scientology schools in the U.S. or receive religious tutoring that supplements public-school education. In theory, parents help construct a self-contained world for children, so all their teachers -- including dance instructors and soccer coaches -- ideally practice Scientology."
Teach your children: Cruise reportedly had his children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman home-schooled by Scientologists, and wanted the same for Suri, while Holmes wanted Suri to have a more traditional school experience. "They fought over schools," a source told US Weekly, adding that Holmes "wants to be in charge of how Suri is being raised and didn't want her to have an exclusively Scientology education."
Kids and Parents are equals: Tad Reeves writes on ScientologyParent.com that children should experience an "exchange" with other family members. "Parental-child relationships are sour, really, only for one good reason," he quotes Hubbard as writing. "And that is because the child cannot contribute equally to the parent contributions. This demonstrates the child to be much less powerful than the parents; it makes him -- puts him in a bad way."
Big Brother: Children as young as 6 (Suri's age) can undergo "security checking," aka "sec checking in Scientology. The Village Voice reports this act uses an interrogation device, called an e-meter -- along with a host of questions that come from an "ethics officer" -- to see if members of the church (kids included) are hiding anything. Some sample questions for a children's security check, according to the Voice: What has somebody told you not to tell? Have you ever decided you did not like some member of your family? Have you ever pretended to be sick (ill)? Have you ever been mean, or cruel, to an animal, bird or fish? Have you ever spied on anyone? Have you ever let your team, or school or club down?