katie-holmes-scientology-support.jpgKatie Holmes reportedly stated in her divorce filings from Tom Cruise that she doesn’t want their daughter Suri raised as a Scientologist, and now several individuals connected with the church have spoken out about her situation.

Katie is seeking sole custody of Suri, and while this isn't surprising, it is interesting to note that this is a dramatically different approach from Nicole Kidman, who divorced Cruise in 2001 and effectively lost custody of their two adopted children. Kidman has said it was the kids’ decision to stay with their father, but she has never explained why and it certainly raised some eyebrows.

THR notes that Holmes' tenacity could stem from the fact that many of the high-ranking Scientologists who worked closely with Cruise and chairman David Miscavige over the years have left the church, and "a number of them are now actively working against Miscavige and Cruise by spilling church secrets." Amy Scobee, a former Scientologist whose family helped manage the Celebrity Centres, tells THR, "They don’t have the resources or the people to help them attack the way they used to because so many key people have blown ... The people Miscavige needs to help him with the Tom and Katie mess are now on the outside working against them."

Jenna Miscavige Hill, David Miscavige's niece, who left the church in 2005, issued a statement on Tuesday showing her support for Holmes and her six-year-old daughter, stating:

    "My experience in growing up in Scientology is that it is both mentally and at times physically abusive," Jenna said. "I was allowed to see my parents only once a week at best -- sometimes not for years. We got a lousy education from unqualified teachers, forced labor, long hours, forced confessions, being held in rooms, not to mention the mental anguish of trying to figure out all of the conflicting information they force upon you as a young child. ... As a mother myself, I offer my support to Katie and wish for her all the strength she will need to do what is best for her and her daughter."

Holmes has hired two high-profile divorce attorneys, and Karen De La Carriere, a former Scientologist who was once married to Heber Jentzsch, Scientology's longtime president, commented, "By filing for sole custody of Suri, she’s making it very clear she’s not going to let what happened with Nicole Kidman happen to her."