Daily Mail - UK October 9, 2009
Little Miss Precocious: The Cruises' designer daughter Suri, the three-year-old with a million-dollar wardrobe
By Richard Price
Pampered: Suri Cruise sporting kitten heels and a handbag
At first glance, she looks like a typical little girl out shopping with her mother, from the vivid pink ballet shoes to the pretty bow detail on her stripy top.
Pause for a moment and look closely at the image, however, and a slow realisation dawns.
First, she is a strikingly pretty toddler, as you would expect given that her father is the Hollywood idol Tom Cruise and her mother the equally desired Katie Holmes.
Second, and rather more disturbingly, she is wearing lipstick. Of course, all little girls are fascinated by make-up, so perhaps this was a one-off treat for a child desperate to imitate her glamorous mother.
Yet Suri has been routinely wearing nail polish for well over a year now. Fast forward to another recent shopping trip and the lipstick has gone.
Instead, Suri completes her look with a pair of sparkling silver kitten heels.
Her mother, in contrast, dresses down in flat shoes and dowdy cardigans.
Given that at the age of 30 she already suffers from painful bunions, one might expect Katie to be cautious about her daughter's choice of footwear. Yesterday, Suri was shopping for ice cream at a market in Boston, this time in a pink cashmere cardigan and ruffled purple skirt.
When it comes to this young lady, there is only one person calling the shots, and that is the girl recently named 'Hollywood's Hottest Tot' by Forbes magazine.
Extraordinarily, a news report recently claimed that her designer wardrobe is worth a staggering £2million.
On the run: Suri, wearing a pair of leopard-print ballet pumps, sets the pace on a day out with her mother in Boston this week
Miss impossible: The youngsters creamed for ice-cream as they stopped into
a gelati shop
Having been born to such famous parents, she never had a chance of leading a normal life, particularly given her father's controversial dedication to the pseudoreligion of Scientology. But even by celebrity standards, Suri's parents are bringing her up in a manner which bucks convention to a startling degree.
This is at least partly due to the bizarre manner in which Scientology treats children; and given the prominent role the cult plays in her life - Cruise is the second most senior Scientologist - its impact cannot be underestimated.
This is a girl whose sole wish for her second birthday party was to 'wear a butterfly dress' - a childlike request which culminated in her ludicrously indulgent parents spending £60,000 on the event.
Designer daughter: Like a true fashionista, Suri never wears the same outfit twice and even wears lipstick, left
The birthday cake had four tiers and the centrepiece of the occasion was the release of hundreds of live butterflies - and all this for the grand total of 24 guests.
Having been born into a world where money is no issue, the usual boundaries which limit a toddler's life do not apply. So while most children her age have a cluttered bedroom to play in, Suri has an entire wing of her parents' Los Angeles mansion to herself, which she decorated with the help of an interior designer.
Her suite of rooms is fitted with a state-of-the-art music system and home cinema, while she has a personal chef on call at all times.
Suri has no official bedtime. On one recent Friday night, she stayed out for dinner with her parents until 1am, while earlier in the week her mother took her to a Beyoncé concert (though as soon as the music began, Suri covered her ears and buried her head to escape the bright lights).
'The Cruises are not what you would call a typical family,' says a source who has worked with Tom on his current film project, Wichita, which has seen the entire clan temporarily move to Boston.
Million dollar baby: Suri's designer wardrobe is thought to be worth £2m
'Suri seems to be tired a lot of the time and has a lot of tantrums, but it's not her fault. Nobody questions it because Tom is the big star and makes his own rules. But there's no way I would bring my daughter up that way.'
At the family meal last Friday night, observers say Suri spent the meal blowing raspberries and refusing to eat before life deciding she did not want to leave with the rest of the family.
Four days later, Suri went on a five-hour shopping spree with her mother and bodyguards, buying clothes and toys costing just under £6,000.
The shopping trip came to an abrupt end when Suri sat down on the pavement and refused to move - hardly surprising given the jetlag she must have had after flying in from a trip to Australia with her mother the week before.
On the face of it, this is typical behaviour from an over-tired infant. Yet the lifestyle which is leading to this exhaustion and cycle of tantrums raises the spectre of Scientology.
For Scientologists do not regard children in the same way as everybody else. After all, according to the so-called religion's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, the human body is nothing more than a vessel for a drifting alien spirits.
As such, children are not mere innocents. Rather, their bodies are the vessels for ancient 'Thetan' beings which have lived many previous lives.
Shop till you drop: A tired Suri being carried by her mother Katie Holmes on a recent outing
Therefore there is no reason to treat children any differently from adults, even where punishment is concerned.
Especially important is the notion that children raised as Scientologists (infants such as Suri, who has already been signed up for the New Village Academy, a school that reportedly uses Scientology teaching methods) must be allowed to have 'self-determination'.
Many of those who have been brought up by Scientologist parents, only to escape later in life, have mourned the loss of their childhood, describing the indoctrination as being tantamount to child abuse.
Many Scientologist parents are also reluctant to allow their offspring to socialise with children who have not been raised according to Scientology's rigid directives - and it has been reported the Cruises are no different.
Even those who meet Suri at her two different dance classes in LA (she has already announced a desire to be an actress and dancer when she grows up) are never permitted to socialise with her out of hours.
Every week Suri's entourage, including her mother, wait for her outside the classroom and whisk her off immediately after the lesson.
'Suri knows all her parents' friends and what they do for a living, and doesn't call her parents Mummy and Daddy, she calls them Tom and Kate,' says a former colleague of the couple.
'Suri doesn't go to any regular play groups, but spends the vast majority of her time with adults. It breaks your heart to see her playing with her dolls, because all the role-play consists of Suri pretending to be her adult nanny.
'Not a typical family': Parents Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are raising Suri as a Scientologist
'When Suri wants to go shopping, Katie jumps to it and follows her around buying whatever Suri wants. She helps Suri get changed half-a-dozen times every day and follows her daughter around like a glorified bag carrier. It looks like great fun for Suri.'
One explanation for this extraordinary arrangement may be found in the fact that many Scientologists believe Suri is the reincarnated spirit of L. Ron Hubbard himself.
Indeed, Andrew Morton wrote in his biography of Cruise that some 'fanatical' Scientologists believed Suri was actually the result of a sperm donation by Hubbard.
Yet the more likely explanation is more prosaic. Suri is Tom and Katie's first biological child (he has two adopted children from his marriage to Nicole Kidman) and they can afford to spoil her rotten, so they do.
And for all her freedom, she is still expected to brush her teeth and eat well, like any much-loved child.
Nevertheless, she should enjoy the fun side of life as a celebrity tot while she can. As a Scientologist, from the age of six she will be subject to 'auditing' - a sinister pseudoscience which involves interrogating devotees about every aspect of their life while hooked up to a rudimentary lie detector.
Questions for children (there are 99 of them on the standard list) include: 'What has somebody told you not to tell?', 'Do you have a secret?' and 'Have you ever been a coward?'
Surely no amount of pampering can compensate for that.
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