Best-selling crime writer Patricia Cornwell has attacked Hollywood star Tom Cruise, claiming his Scientology beliefs are "dangerous" and could endanger the lives of impressionable young fans.
The author said she was horrified by Cruise's dismissal of psychiatry and his claim that mental disorders are imaginary and the medication to treat them is an attempt to suppress people.
Writing on her website, Cornwell, who has studied psychiatry while researching her books, said: "There are misconceptions about psychology, especially when people out there like Tom Cruise say there's no evidence of chemical imbalance and psychiatric disorders. There's going to be some girl or boy who worships this megastar, who decides,
'I'm not going to take my anti-depressants because Tom Cruise said I don't need drugs'."
One of the key principles of the wealthy cult is the condemnation of psychiatry.
The Scientology website explains it is the duty of all members to "expose and help abolish any and all physically damaging practices in the field of mental health".
Cruise has repeatedly added to the criticism. He has also railed against the use of drugs to control chemical imbalances in children.
This year he criticised Brooke Shields for her use of anti-depressants to treat post-natal depression.
Shields replied that Cruise "should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women [with] the condition decide what treatment options are best for them".