Was the idea of shipping Suri off to Sea Org the final straw for Katie Holmes?

Actors Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, shown two years ago in Seville, Spain, posing for the world premiere of their film "Knight and Day," are calling it quits after five years of marriage. The word is that she didn't want their daughter, Suri, to be indoctrinated in the Church of Scientology. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Actors Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, shown two years ago in Seville, Spain, posing for the world premiere of their film "Knight and Day," are calling it quits after five years of marriage. The word is that she didn't want their daughter, Suri, to be indoctrinated in the Church of Scientology. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted: July 03, 2012

IT MUST HAVE been hard living in the shadow of "Mission: Impossible" star Tom Cruise.

But the proverbial final straw, the thing that may have prompted Katie Holmes to file for divorce from Cruise, may have been the latter's reported insistence on sending the couple's daughter, Suri, to a boot-camp-style program designed to indoctrinate her in the teachings of Scientology.

Cruise is said to be a big fan of Sea Org, as it's known.

Humph. Ain't no man worth all that.

If reports that that is what's behind the split are accurate, it's no wonder why Katie Holmes finally packed her things and moved into a new New York City apartment with her 6-year-old daughter. Just five years into her marriage with Cruise, Holmes filed for divorce in New York last week amid rampant speculation that what she's really running away from is the Church of Scientology, an organization that features some practices that are outside her comfort zone.

"This is about protecting her daughter," a source told Us Weekly. "She wants to be in charge of how Suri is being raised and didn't want her to have an exclusively Scientology education."

"It was something she accepted and put up with for many years because it was important to Tom and, for that reason, important to her," a source told E! News. "But over the past year, they had started to see things differently, and she was beginning to pull away."

And if that's really the reason Holmes gave up on TomKat, I can't say I blame her.

Holmes, who was raised Roman Catholic, began studying Scientology after taking up with Cruise back in 2005, but old belief systems die hard. Changing your whole world view takes work — and maybe Holmes' heart just wasn't in it, especially when it came to her daughter. Holmes reportedly even had a "Scientologist chaperone," Jessica Rodriguez, assigned to her.

Sea Organization, according to Scientology's website, is "a religious order for the Scientology religion and is composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists — individuals who have committed their lives to the volunteer service of their religion." According to Church of Scientology tradition, members dress in uniform and conform to a ranking system. Their mission is to "minister the advanced services of Scientology." Members sign a 1-billion-year pledge. So much for a short-term commitment.

Of course, the only ones who really know what went wrong are Holmes, who made her first post-filing public appearance Monday in New York City, and Cruise, who's in Iceland filming a movie. Just a few weeks ago, the couple was photographed walking hand-in-hand in Iceland. The photo gives no sense that a split was imminent.

But according to TMZ, Holmes says in the divorce filing that her marriage was "irretrievably" broken at least six months ago.

Of course, critics say Holmes has no one to blame but herself. It wasn't as if it was a surprise that Cruise is a Scientologist: He's been the church's highest-profile member for years.

Yet it's easy to say she should have known better. Growing up, she had a poster of Cruise on her wall. Their first date was on his private plane. Shortly after meeting, Cruise proposed at the Eiffel Tower. No wonder she got sucked in. A woman would have had to have a heart of steel to withstand that. And that's exactly what she'll need to extricate herself from the situation she's in now.

Contact Jenice Armstrong at 215-854-2223 or heyjen@phillynews.com, or follow her on Twitter @jenicearmstrong. Read her blog at philly.com/philly/blogs/dnheyjen/.

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