LATEST: Movie star Tom Cruise has won the support of hundreds of emergency workers in New York, after hosting a $6,250 (GBP3,205)-a-ticket benefit in the city last night (19Apr07) to raise funds for his controversial 9/11 detoxification programme.
The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, which was co-founded by Cruise, is based on principals developed by Scientology leader L. Ron Hubbard. The free treatment involves large doses of vitamins, dietary adjustments and stints in a sauna.
Among attendees at the high profile event in Chelsea was World Trade Center actor Michael Pena, local councillors Joseph Addabbo and Hiram Monserrate, and members of the emergency medical technicians (EMT) union.
Monserrate had given his endorsement to the project last week (09Apr07), when he underwent the treatment for himself.
And despite Mayor Bloomberg's denouncement of the programme as "not science" on Wednesday (18Apr07), those present at the fundraiser were clearly happy to give their approval to the project, which saw Cruise personally thank guests for their attendance.
Pat Bahnken, president of the city's paramedics and EMT union, tells PageSix, "He said how grateful he was to everyone for supporting the project. He took time out to speak to every person. It took him an hour to get through the hallway. He was talking to everyone. It was genuine, nothing phony about it."
Councilman Addabbo also took the opportunity to express his anger at the programme's critics.
He says, "I cannot stand idly by and see something that is working be ignored. The project seems to work. I've seen it firsthand."