Ever since it first came on the radar, we've been hearing that writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's new film 'The Master' is a thinly-veiled look at the secretive religion known as Scientology. And now it appears that Anderson has shown the movie to the world's most famous living Scientologist.

Sources close to the movie, which is due for release this October, have told The Wrap that Anderson screened the film for Tom Cruise, who is perhaps the most well-known follower of Scientology in the world and certainly its biggest proponent in Hollywood. Anderson directed Cruise in 'Magnolia' -- for which Cruise received a Best Supporting Actor nomination -- and the two have remained friends ever since.

Perhaps mindful of that, the buzz around the film and Scientology's power base within the film industry, Anderson apparently showed a cut of it to Cruise, who was said to have "issues" with some portions of it.

The movie stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of a religion he creates in the 1950s called the Cause. Joaquin Phoenix reportedly plays a drifter who becomes the right hand man of the Master, which is what Hoffman's character is often referred to as. Dodd's story is said to be loosely based on that of L. Ron Hubbard, the late founder of Scientology, with both the fictional and real man starting their faith in the '50s and both having wives named Mary Sue.

Not much more is known about the film's story, tone or characters, since Anderson has kept a thick shroud of secrecy around the project. The movie was originally supposed to be made by Universal, which dropped it over budgetary issues. Producer Megan Ellison, the daughter of Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, financed the $42 million film entirely on her own and sold it to the Weinstein Company.

Weinstein also plans to show the film to John Travolta, who is arguably Hollywood's second most high-profile Scientologist after Cruise. The Church of Scientology itself has officially stated that it will not comment on the movie until seeing it.

Here's what's troubling us: does Scientology -- which holds that people are immortal cosmic beings who have been reincarnated over and over again -- have such a grip on Hollywood that a movie about a religion bearing any resemblance to it needs to get the approval of its key followers? And if Cruise had issues with the film, does Anderson intend to change it?

'The Master' is one of 2012's most highly-anticipated releases, and we hope to see it as Anderson intended it -- not altered to address the "issues" of those it may or may not be critical of.

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