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Tom Cruise, one of Scientology's best-known adherents, overcame his dyslexia thanks to the church's teachings, he said in an interview published yesterday.

He told XL Semanal, the magazine supplement of Spanish newspaper ABC, that at the age of seven he was diagnosed as having the language-based learning disability.

"I asked myself if I was normal or an idiot. I would try to concentrate but I felt anxiety, frustration, boredom. When I graduated from high school in 1980 I was functionally illiterate," he said.

"I wanted to know why the system had failed. Finally, as an adult I learned to read perfectly through the method of [Church of Scientology founder]L. Ron Hubbard," the 46-year-old added.