I am sure some of you may have missed the Matt Lauer interview with Tom Cruise on the Today Show in 2005.  The “War of the Worlds” interview turned into a mini showdown on mental well-being, psychiatry and the possible benefits of curbing the ailments with vitamins, training and Scientology.


Fuming and annoyed, Tom Cruise “lecture”s Matt Lauer on the Today Show.

The heated debate started because Tom Cruise criticized Brooke Shields for revealing that she went into therapy and took anti-depressants to deal with depression. Cruise, a scientologist, does not believe in psychiatric medicine. Cruise interrupted the host numerous times, “lecturing” him on the adverse effects of drugs and the dangers of psychiatric abuse. Much can be said about Cruise’s conduct during the interview as Lauder, shocked, carried himself professionally.

After all said and done, the talented actor proved to be a bigger man and apologized. Lauer said that Cruise apologized in 2008 for being ‘arrogant’.



I’ve never agreed with psychiatry, ever. Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with psychiatry. And when i started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why I didn’t believe in psychology.
And as far as the Brooke Shields thing is, look. You gotta understand, I really care about Brooke Shields. I– I think here’s a– a– a wonderful and talented woman. And– I wanna see her do well. And I know that– psychiatry is– is a pseudo science.
MATT LAUER  But– but Tom, if she said that this particular thing helped her feel better, whether it was the antidepressant or going to a counselor or psychiatrist, isn’t that enough?
TOM CRUISE  Matt, you have to understand this. Here we are today where I talk out against drugs and psychiatric abuses of electric shocking people, okay, against their will, of drugging children with them not knowing the effects of these drugs. Do you know what Aderol is? Do you know Ritalin? Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug? Do you understand that?
MATT LAUER  The difference is–
TOM CRUISE [Overtalk]
TOM CRUISE  No, no, Matt.
MATT LAUER  This wasn’t against her will, though.
TOM CRUISE  Matt– Matt, Matt, Matt–
MATT LAUER  But this wasn’t against her will.
TOM CRUISE  Matt, I’m– Matt, I’m asking you a question.
MATT LAUER  I understand there’s abuse of all of these things.
TOM CRUISE  No, you see. Here’s the problem. You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do.
MATT LAUER  Aren’t there examples, and might not Brooke Shields be an example, of someone who benefited from one of those drugs?
TOM CRUISE  All it does is mask the problem, Matt. And if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem. That’s what it does. That’s all it does. You’re not getting to the reason why. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance. [Overtalk]
MATT LAUER  So, postpartum depression to you is–
MATT LAUER  –kind of a–
TOM CRUISE  –don’t–
MATT LAUER  –little psychological gook–
MATT LAUER  –googley-gook?
TOM CRUISE  –no. No. I did not say that.
MATT LAUER  I’m just asking what you– what would you call it?
TOM CRUISE  No. No. Abs– Matt, that is– the– post– now– now, you’re talking about two different things.
MATT LAUER  But that’s what she went on the–
MATT LAUER  –antidepressant for.
TOM CRUISE  But what happens, the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem. There’s ways of vitamins and through exercise and various things. I’m not saying that that isn’t real. That’s not what I’m saying. That’s an alteration of what– what I’m saying. I’m saying that drugs aren’t the answer, these drugs are very dangerous. They’re mind-altering, anti-psychotic drugs. And there are ways of doing it without that so that we don’t end up in a brave new world.
The thing that I’m saying about Brooke is that there’s misinformation, okay. And she doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry. She– she doesn’t understand in the same way that you don’t understand it, Matt.
MATT LAUER  But a little bit what you’re saying Tom is, you say you want people to do well. But you want them do to well by taking the road that you approve of, as opposed to a road that may work for them.
TOM CRUISE  No, no, I’m not.
MATT LAUER  Well, if antidepressants work for Brooke Shields, why isn’t that okay?
TOM CRUISE  I– I disagree with it. And I think that there’s a higher and better quality of life. And I think that promoting for me personally, see, you’re saying what, I can’t discuss what I wanna discuss?
MATT LAUER  No. You absolutely can.
TOM CRUISE  I know. But– but Matt, you’re going in and saying that– that I can’t discuss this.
MATT LAUER  I’m only asking, isn’t there a possibility that– do– do you examine the possibility that these things do work for some people? That yes, there are abuses. And yes, maybe they’ve gone too far in certain areas. Maybe there are too many kids on Ritalin. Maybe electric shock–
TOM CRUISE  Too many kids on Ritalin? Matt.
MATT LAUER  I’m just saying. But– but aren’t there–
MATT LAUER  –examples where it works?
TOM CRUISE  Matt. Matt, Matt, you don’t even– you’re glib. You don’t even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, okay? That’s what I’ve done. Then you go and you say where’s– where’s the medical test? Where’s the blood test that says how much Ritalin you’re supposed to get?
MATT LAUER  You’re– you’re– it’s very impressive to listen to you. Because clearly, you’ve done the homework. And– and you know the subject.
TOM CRUISE  And you should.
MATT LAUER  And– and–
TOM CRUISE  And you should do that also.
TOM CRUISE  Because just knowing people who are on Ritalin isn’t enough. You should be a little bit more responsible in knowing really–
MATT LAUER  I’m not prescribing Ritalin, Tom. And I’m not asking–
MATT LAUER  –anyone else to do it. I’m simply saying– [Overtalk]
TOM CRUISE  Well, you are. You’re saying–
MATT LAUER  I know some people who seem to have been helped by it.
TOM CRUISE  I– but you’re saying– but you– like– this is a very important issue.
MATT LAUER  I couldn’t agree more.
TOM CRUISE  It’s very– and you know what? You’re here on the Today Show.
TOM CRUISE  And to talk about it in a way of saying, “Well, isn’t it okay,” and being reasonable about it when you don’t know and I do, I think that you should be a little bit more responsible in knowing what it is.
TOM CRUISE  Because you– you communicate to people.
MATT LAUER  But you’re now telling me that your experiences with the people I know, which are zero, are more important than my experiences.
TOM CRUISE  What do you mean by that?
MATT LAUER  You’re telling me what’s worked for people I know or hasn’t worked for people I know. I’m telling you i’ve lived with these people and they’re better.
TOM CRUISE  So, you’re– you’re advocating it.
MATT LAUER  I am not. I’m telling you in their case–
TOM CRUISE [Laughter-overtalk]
MATT LAUER  In their individual case, it worked. I am not gonna go out and say–
MATT LAUER  –“Get your kids on Ritalin. It’s the cure-all–
TOM CRUISE  Matt, Matt.
MATT LAUER  –and the end-all.”
TOM CRUISE  Matt, but here’s the point. What is the ideal scene for life. Okay. Ideal scene is someone not having to take anti-psychotic drugs.
MATT LAUER  I would agree.
TOM CRUISE  Okay. So, now you look at– and you go okay. A– a departure from that ideal scene is someone taking drugs, okay. And then you go, okay. What is the theory and the science behind that, that justifies that?
MATT LAUER  Let me take this more general, ’cause I think you and I can go around in circles on this for awhile. And i respect your opinion …
Do you want more people to understand Scientology? Is that– would that be a goal of yours?
TOM CRUISE  You know what? I– absolutely. Of course, you know. And people–
MATT LAUER  How do you go about that?
TOM CRUISE  You just communicate about it. And the important thing is, like you and I talk about it, whether it’s — okay, if I wanna know something, I go and find out. Because I don’t talk about things that I don’t understand. I’ll say, you know what? I’m not so sure about that. I’ll go find more information about it so I can– I can come to an opinion based on– on the information that I have.
MATT LAUER  You — you’re so passionate about it. And I’m–
TOM CRUISE  I’m passionate about learning. I’m passionate about life, Matt.