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Scientology, Tom Cruise Lose Wealthiest Member to Rationality

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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'ALIENS! VOLCANOES! I KNOW, RIGHT?!' Packer and Cruise in a joy-off James Packer, one of Australia's richest men (once worth $7 billion) and Scientology's richest member, is pulling away from the Xenu crew.

He was introduced to Scientology by Tom Cruise in 2002 at a low point in his life. Fat, depressed, and divorcing his first wife, Jodhi Meares, he was suffering through the public collapse of of his family's business, One.Tel.—he had lost $350 million. Having bounced back, he reportedly told his friends he no longer "needs it." Packer's neck deep in a casino venture now, which doesn't quite jibe with Scientology-approved behavior. The chruch founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in 1977 that "An obsessive gambler is a psychotic just like a drug addict or an alcoholic." Or as Packer's come to know them, regulars. Sydney Morning Herald

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