IN his first major setback since arriving in Los Angeles, David Beckham has revealed he is unable to pronounce the word 'Scientology'.
Sources close to the LA Galaxy footballer say he has been discouraged from joining the religion of friend Tom Cruise, because it has too many syllables.
One source said: "If it was just called 'scien' or 'ogy' he'd be much more comfortable with giving them a huge amount of money.
"Tom's been working with him, but the closest they've got is 'syen-toggoly'. Maybe they should change the name to something with just the one syllable such as 'ball' or 'hair'."
The source added: "It's a shame because David has exactly the right kind of brain for Scientology. He could be the first British person to reach the level of 'Boiled Egg'."
Last week the chest of Beckham's wife Victoria became the latest celebrity recruit for the controversial movement founded by chubby salesman L Ron Hubbard.
Beckham still wants to be able to join in discussions about the religion and has employed a team of high-profile intellectuals, including George Monbiot and Noam Chomsky, to pronounce 'Scientology' for him at parties in Beverly Hills.
The source added: "David will carry an intellectual with him at all times in case the conversation moves into uncharted philosophical terrritory such as comparative religion or the tying of shoelaces."