April 15, 2004 01:00 PM

An organization co-founded by Tom Cruise as part of the Church of Scientology is being credited with $1.2 million in contributions to expand a treatment program for rescue workers affected by the 9/11 collapse of the World Trade Center.

To date, the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project — which reputedly was developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — says it has treated for free more than 200 workers claiming to have suffered after breathing the air filled with smoke, dust and debris around Ground Zero.

Cruise is a member of the Church of Scientology.

Keith Miller, the project’s director, tells the Associated Press that the funds raised by Cruise and others will help expand the project to treat twice as many victims. The detoxification program reportedly consists of a medically monitored regimen of exercise, sauna sweat-out, vitamins and minerals.

Cruise, 41, said during a fund-raiser for the project last week that photos of the damage around lower Manhattan after the attacks is what prompted him to act.

“Shortly thereafter I visited Ground Zero and knew immediately that not only would people be getting ill, very ill, but that it would be sooner rather than later,” he said, according to a statement released by the project.

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