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Rumors That Tom Cruise is Breaking with Scientology: “Bullshit With a Capital B”

On Sunday, we reviewed Marty Rathbun’s new book, which makes some startling claims about the relationship between Scientology leader David Miscavige and actor Tom Cruise.

Rathbun is in a unique position to talk about that relationship, since he acted as Cruise’s Scientology auditor during a campaign by Miscavige to reinforce Cruise’s commitment to the church following the breakup of his marriage to Nicole Kidman in 2001.

Through 2004, Rathbun watched up close as Cruise and Miscavige formed a strong and unusual bond. In his new book, Scientology Reformation: What Every Scientologist Should Know, Rathbun provides a disturbing new wrinkle: the two men were so close, he writes, Cruise aped Miscavige’s increasing irrationality and even violence toward underlings.

Over the last two days, however, the tabloids have been promoting a very different story: that Cruise is fed up with Scientology after losing Katie Holmes. So we went back to Rathbun to ask him which is true: is Cruise still Miscavige’s pal, or are they quits?

First, let’s take a close look at the “reporting” at the center of the chain of stories that spun out over the last two days which suggested that Cruise is leaving Scientology to win over Katie.

Though hundreds of stories were spawned, they all come back to a single anonymously sourced story that appeared in the Sunday-only British gossip newspaper The People, and also published at the Sunday Mirror‘s website. (Both are owned by the same company.) The story was written by Katie Hinds.

Here are the quotes that Hinds assigned to a “source close to” Cruise…

“Now he’s lost the most precious thing in his life, he sees that his Scientology beliefs may not have hurt his box office but have ended not one but two marriages.”

“It was a terrifying and rude awakening for Tom when Katie served him with divorce papers. He’s used to feeling undefeatable and untouchable. When he lost Katie he felt a failure.”

“He has lost Nicole and now his wife and daughter. He has always used the Scientology techniques but he has now realised they don’t work in marriage.”

“Tom and David [Miscavige] have been attached at the hip but this ­relationship has deteriorated and that, along with the loss of Katie and Suri, is forcing him to question his role in the church.”

“He hasn’t lost faith completely but he is blaming Scientology for what has happened.”

“Tom is no longer volunteering to be the public poster boy for Scientology. You’ll see he is seriously calming that down, he will head up the annual fundraisers and awards show but that’s in-house.”

“In the outside world, Tom will not be promoting the religion, he is distancing himself.”

“Many believe he is pulling away because he thinks it was Scientology that split him and Katie up.”

“If Tom truly leaves, Katie would reconsider. She was in love with Tom, he was her childhood crush, it took a lot of strength to break free. But now she has peace of mind but no love.”

Well, we don’t have much to say about that last item. Katie seemed pretty determined to get out of that relationship, and we really have no idea whether she’d reconsider.

But let’s take a closer look at what this “source” is saying about Cruise and Scientology.

Our excellent fellow Scientology watchers have probably already spotted the glaring problem in what this person is saying: Tom Cruise is not walking away from Scientology if he’s going to “head up the annual fundraisers and awards show.”

What this person seems to be describing, then, is just a PR move: Cruise appearing to be less involved in Scientology. But even that is bogus: Cruise has rarely talked about Scientology publicly, which is why it was so unusual that he spoke out during 2004 and 2005.

In effect, what this “source” is telling a gossip rag is essentially the status quo: Cruise is still big inside the church, but plays down that connection while in public. That was already the case, and this should not have been a news story.

In fact, Rathbun tells us, his inside sources tell him that the relationship between Miscavige and Cruise is as strong as ever.

“That is bullshit with a capital B,” Rathbun says about the tabloid reports that have Cruise ditching Scientology to win back Katie.

In a desperate move to lessen some of the bad press that has portrayed him as a weirdo and heartless dad, Cruise has gone on the offensive.

“I think that Tom’s people are doing it. I think it’s an op to take the heat off his ass,” Rathbun says.

And Rathbun has a prediction: while Cruise and Miscavige remain close, it’s Scientology’s other celebrities who are beginning to sour on Miscavige.

“He’s losing his grip on them,” Rathbun says, and he points to Lisa Marie Presley’s move away from Scientology as only one example.

One more point we’ll make as you watch for further stories to come from the tabloids: a friend of ours who works at one of the most prominent of these magazines told us that whenever you see “sources close to” an actor or actress, it’s usually code for “one of their PR people.”

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