Matt Sayles, Associated Press
Actor Tom Cruise

A biography and 4-year-old video of Tom Cruise are calling attention to the actor's belief in Scientology.

Andrew Morton, author of "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography," published Tuesday by St. Martin's Press, alleges that the 45-year-old actor ranks second in command in the Church of Scientology.

"This is a fair, evenhanded treatment of Tom Cruise's life," Morton said Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show. "He's a man who deserves attention."

The church responded with a 15-page statement, calling the book "a bigoted, defamatory assault replete with lies" and saying Cruise "is a Scientology parishioner and holds no official or unofficial position in the church hierarchy."