Hollywood, we all know, is not the home of lengthy marriages, but if celebrity couples are going to divorce they could at least offer a solid reason. Katie Holmes appears to have one: the prospect of her daughter being subjected to the seriously weird education offered by her father’s Church of Scientology.

A report in The Independent mentions in particular the “auditing” of children, part of which is a “security check”. This is a process in which the child is questioned on her behaviour (“Have you ever got yourself dirty on purpose? Have you ever told bad stories about someone?”) while connected to an “e-meter” measuring electrical charges carried by her body. It sounds like a lie-detector test.

Of course, we want children to know the difference between a virtue and a vice, and to encourage good habits in them. But quizzing a child with the help of a machine is treating them as an object, which is an offence against their human dignity and freedom. The moral education of a child has to be based on love and trust, not on technique, let alone technology.

But what can you expect from an organisation that believes in reincarnation? At that rate Suri, six, is an ancient adult being recycled through a child’s body, a source told the Independent, adding that her father treats the child as a little adult. Actually, her mom has had a hand in this too, allowing Suri at three years old to be dressed up in adult gear.

Unfortunately, whatever happens now is likely to hurt the child one way or another — as so often happens in the current adult-centred idea of marriage.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet