by Marc Malkin | Thu., Jul. 5, 2012 2:30 PM
If Katie Holmes is worried about the long arm of Scientology not letting go of her or Suri, she certainly has a plethora of people to turn to for help.
And we're not just talking about her closest family and friends…
Ever since news broke that the former Dawson's Creek darling had filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, reports are rampant that one of her big concerns is the influence the controversial church could have over her daughter.
Scientology chairman David Miscavige's niece, Jenna Miscavige Hill, left the church in 2005. She issued a statement regarding Holmes earlier this week.
"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," Hill said.
Hill went so far as to outline what she claims was a less than idyllic upbringing in the church.
"My experience in growing up in Scientology is that it is both mentally and at times physically abusive," she said in the statement. "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."
While Holmes hasn't commented on the Scientology reports, a source told E! News last week that Holmes had been known to have embraced some of the church's teachings and beliefs.
"It wasn't that she was against Scientology," the source continued. "She wasn't at all. She definitely saw its benefit, but she also didn't want it to be her everything, and for Tom, in some ways, it was. She wanted more freedom to make her own decisions."
In a lengthy post entitled "Stop Trying to Freak Out Katie Holmes," former high-ranking Scientology official Marty Rathbun writes on his anti-church blog that he feels the church will probably "not engage in overt harassment, including surveillance of" Holmes. (The church itself has denied rumors that any surveillance has occurred.)
However, he does predict that the church could try to "indoctrinate Suri to accept Scientology Inc policies with a slant toward fearing that Katie is a Suppressive Person."
Rathbun has also claimed Cruise has even been watched under strict surveillance by Miscavige.
A lawyer for Scientology did not comment for this story.
A source also told E! News last week that Holmes was hoping to land a gig that would keep her and Suri in one place for an extended period of time (e.g., a television series) in order to enroll the youngster in school and allow her to have some stability and consistency in her life.
Holmes recently filmed a guest spot on Project Runway. She is also expected to appear at a benefit gala later this month in Los Angeles for the Dizzy Feet Foundation, a dance group she cofounded with Cruise's Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman and reality competition show impresario Nigel Lythgoe.
—Additional reporting by Michelle Falls
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