Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Marty Rathbun Reveals New Details in Nazanin Boniadi Story, Other Scientology Bombshells in New Book

Former high-ranking Church of Scientology official Mark “Marty” Rathbun has released a book that condemns current church leader David Miscavige for taking Scientology away from the concepts of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and blasts Miscavige and his best friend Tom Cruise for a litany of malfeasance and corruption.

In Scientology Reformation: What Every Scientologist Should Know, Rathbun argues that since the death of Hubbard in 1986, Miscavige has damaged the church he took over by placing an emphasis on fundraising for projects that have little do with what Hubbard wanted. Along the way, Rathbun says, Miscavige has discarded Hubbard’s plans for expansion in favor of raising huge sums that he can spend on himself and his friend Cruise, while imprisoning and violently assaulting his underlings.

Much of what Rathbun covers in this book we have heard about in news stories over the last few years. But Rathbun also provides startling new information about what he witnessed working closely with Miscavige, and also includes details of the Nazanin Boniadi/Tom Cruise story that seem as if they could have only one possible source — Boniadi herself.

Boniadi emerged in a blockbuster Vanity Fair story by writer Maureen Orth which appeared last month. We learned from that story that in 2004, at a time when Tom Cruise’s involvement in Scientology had reached a new fever pitch, the church wanted to help him find a new companion after the breakup of his relationship with actress Penelope Cruz. Several Scientology actresses were auditioned by the church but were not told that they were being vetted as Cruise’s next girlfriend. Boniadi was one of the women selected, and various church officials are quoted in the Vanity Fair story saying that Boniadi moved in with Cruise and lived with him for three months at the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005. Boniadi herself did not appear to cooperate in the reporting of that story.

Now, Rathbun provides more details about the auditioning process. Before Boniadi, he says, another Scientology actress, Yolanda Pecoraro, was auditioned. She was Cruise’s date at the infamous 2004 IAS gala during which Cruise was awarded a Freedom Medal of Valor (and featured the well-known video interview of Cruise talking about Scientology which was leaked to YouTube in 2008). But after only three weeks, Rathbun writes, that relationship was over, and it was Boniadi’s turn to be groomed as Cruise’s next mate.

Rathbun goes to some length describing much of what we’ve read in Vanity Fair — that Boniadi was convinced to dump the man she was seeing at the time after she was shown supposedly confidential confessional material from the man’s Scientology files. That she was made to believe she was helping the church on a special mission, not that she was being prepared to enter a relationship with Cruise. That she was flown to New York to have a first date with Cruise that included ice skating and sushi.


But Rathbun also provides some intimate scenes that are not in the Vanity Fair piece — direct quotes he ascribes to Cruise in meetings attended only by Cruise, former church spokesman Tommy Davis, and Boniadi. (Davis has since left his post and, Rathbun writes, signed a non-disclosure agreement that will keep him from talking about his years in the church.)

Rathbun appears to be getting this account from Boniadi. For example, in one scene he describes Cruise laying into her after she had disappointed Miscavige: “Nazanin could hardly believe what she was hearing,” Rathbun writes.

Rathbun then relates this outburst from Cruise, which is in quote marks in the book:

“Dave and me, we’re big beings. We are surrounded by DB’s (degraded beings). Dbs can’t help but try to destroy big beings. That’s just the way it is in this universe. You have to understand this. This is LRH, man. It’s the plight of the big being getting jumped on by all the degraded beings. You gotta be unreasonable to survive around a big being like me. You can’t be weak. You gotta be strong to protect the big being from all the degraded beings.”

Soon after that scene, Rathbun writes, Tommy Davis escorted Boniadi out of Cruise’s house. “Ultimately, the big being Tom Cruise was not big enough to muster the courage to tell Nazanin that she was being terminated from the secret project of finding him an acceptable wife,” he writes.

Boniadi has not spoken publicly about Cruise or the allegations in the Vanity Fair story. But the way Rathbun writes this, it appears to be a big challenge to Miscavige — Rathbun appears to be daring Miscavige to sue Boniadi over talking about the details she was under contract to keep secret, or many other ex-Scientologists who are kept gagged may speak out as well.

While Rathbun draws several other lines in the sand in this explosive book, this one may be the most difficult for Miscavige to ignore.

There’s a lot of similarly disruptive material in this short book.

— Rathbun writes it to current church members, using quotes from Hubbard to assure them that it’s all right to look at material that might upset them.

— He also uses Hubbard to startling effect when he shows that as far back as 1952, the Scientology founder predicted that a “boy” would come along and pervert the purpose of Dianetics and “enslave” people. Current versions of those published lectures, Rathbun points out, erase those paragraphs. Rathbun clearly wants the reader to believe that Hubbard had tried to warn his future organization against what Miscavige is doing to his creation.

— Rathbun has been called the “Martin Luther” of Scientology, and in this book he runs with that analogy, equating Miscavige with Pope Leo X, head of the Catholic Church in Luther’s time. Rathbun parallels Miscavige’s obsession with opening new buildings and Leo’s passion for a new cathedral.

— As in Leo X’s time, the church hierarchy is all about money, Rathbun writes: “Status among Scientologists is now measured by how much money they are able to fork over to the church. In essence, the worth of a person is gauged by his or her wealth. You can test this by attempting to sit in the first couple of rows at your next major Scientology Inc. event. If you have not paid tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars to the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) you will be out of luck. It does not matter how many books you have sold to the public, how many people you have introduced to Scientology, or how many hours you have audited.”

— Rathbun writes about the rise and fall of the Feshbach brothers, notorious short-sellers of the late 1980s, who stayed in the good graces of the church, Rathbun claims, by shielding Miscavige and Tom Cruise from the kind of losses that other investors were experiencing.

— Rathbun describes his own role covering up the culpability of Miscavige in the late 1990’s Digital Lightwave debacle, which produced an SEC investigation of founder Bryan Zwan and Miscavige’s twin sister, Denise Miscavige Gentile. Rathbun writes about actively keeping a St. Petersburg Times reporter from discovering more about Miscavige’s own involvement, then later describes a scene when Zwan donated $5 million to the church’s “Super Power Building” project, and Miscavige then insisted that Zwan be allowed to start OT 7, the second-highest level of Scientology spiritual training.

— The fates of Janet and Colm McLaughlin are described. Janet (Light) McLaughlin had dared, Rathbun writes, to stand up to Miscavige about the way the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) was being misused. Increasingly, under Miscavige, IAS fundraising had become singularly important, but Janet objected to the way it was becoming little more than a giant slush fund for Miscavige’s pet projects, Rathbun claims. For speaking up, she and her husband Colm were punished and then pushed out.

— While church members are continually being hit up for Miscavige’s pet projects (IAS, the Super Power Building, and the “Ideal Orgs” — new, unneeded churches), Miscavige himself lives a lavish lifestyle, Rathbun writes: custom-made John Lobb shoes, a foot massager and a chiropractor always on call, a French chef who prepares three meals in case Miscavige doesn’t like one of them, tailored $5,000 suits, a personal gym accessible only to Miscavige and Cruise, and offices that Rathbun estimates cost $75 million to build.

— Miscavige also had Hubbard’s home at the International Base east of Los Angeles — known as “Bonnie View” — razed, and replaced it with larger mansion that Rathbun estimates cost $20 to $40 million to build. It includes the “L. Ron Hubbard Private Theater,” which he describes this way: “When Tom Cruise visits, Miscavige dresses his young, attractive office staff and stewards in tailor-made, tight-fitting, 1940s-vintage theater staff uniforms. They bow and scrape to Cruise and Miscavige, catering to their every refreshment whim before they can even think to ask for them.”

— Rathbun accuses Miscavige of avoiding taxes on the purchase of expensive automobiles by using his own employees. He says that employees of Author Services, Inc. (Hubbard’s literary agency and the place where Miscavige works day to day), were encouraged to put part of their salaries away to buy Miscavige a “gift” of an expensive BMW automobile. Then, Sea Org members making only $50 a week at the International Base were similarly docked until enough money could be raised to pay for an $80,000 motorcycle that Miscavige wanted.

— During the time Cruise was married to Nicole Kidman, he kept Scientology at bay. But when that relationship ended in 2001, Rathbun writes that he was tasked by Miscavige to bring Cruise back into the fold in a big way. Rathbun audited Cruise through Scientology’s upper levels through 2002 to 2004, when Rathbun defected and Cruise was celebrated by Miscavige as the top church member in the world (after himself). Around 2002, Rathbun writes, Miscavige began to convince Cruise that the two of them were “big beings,” and the rest of the world — even other dedicated Scientologists — were “degraded beings.”

It was to demonstrate this, Rathbun believes, that Miscavige then began to treat his own staff so harshly, and in January 2004, created an actual prison for his top executives, which became known as “The Hole.” News accounts of The Hole have been coming out for years, and earlier this year former church executive Debbie Cook testified in court to its horrors. Now, Rathbun attempts to explain Miscavige’s mindset for the sadistic behavior — he was trying to prove to Cruise that even those closest to them were craven, sick failures.

Rathbun claims that Cruise then reflected that behavior by treating his own staff in sadistic ways.

“[Cruise] was convinced the degraded beings were steadily sabotaging him, stalking him like the zombies from Night of the Living Dead…Miscavige was happy to have Tom ape his own psychotic behavior.”

Finally, Rathbun wraps up this book by encapsulating Miscavige’s sins in 31 “Factors for Scientologists to Consider.”

For the past three years, Rathbun’s blog has reached deep into Scientology and is finding an audience among longtime members who have reached similar conclusions about Miscavige’s obsession with empty new buildings, a Super Power edifice that never seems to open, and eternal hard-sell fundraising for the IAS. Now, in one hand-held volume, Rathbun is attempting to put that message into something that can be smuggled from church member to church member.

It may have a devastating effect.

Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email