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So much for tabloid rumors: Tom Cruise visits Scientology’s ‘Ideal Org’ while he’s in Bogotá

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Tom Cruise has been in the South American country of Colombia shooting scenes for his next movie, Mena, and on Tuesday he went to the capital city of Bogotá and dropped in at the Scientology “Ideal Org” there, which had its grand opening just a few weeks ago.

“In the afternoon the protagonist of Jerry Maguire arrived at the Church of Scientology in the north of the city,” reported Noticias RCN. “The security detail at the building made the entrance of cameras impossible.”

But photos of Cruise at the org are leaking out. The one above was sent to us by our local correspondent, who helped us cover the grand opening on July 5. Also, take a look at these two photos. The first one we posted a few days ago, showing a Scientologist, Joe Romero, at the Bogotá org…

 
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Today he posted this shot with Tom Cruise with the caption, “In my org!”

 
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Earlier, we showed you this photo, posted by a member of the local staff…

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It was posted by Luciana Gomes, who transferred from Scientology’s São Paulo facility recently, and who posted the photo you see above. (Note: We thought earlier this was taken inside the org, but our correspondent tells us the Scientology staff member apparently ran into Cruise when he was visiting a local police museum.)

“Look who was with Tom Cruise,” she added as a caption, tagging a friend who still works at the Scientology mission in São Paulo. “In fact, look where he is.”

She teases another friend, “I told you to go to Bogotá.”

She then tells another friend, “That’s why I wanted to go to Bogotá. To say hi to a comrade in faith,” she says of Cruise.

Our correspondent who provided live updates for us from the July 5 grand opening of the building tells us that the streets around the Ideal Org were shut down for Cruise’s visit.

“His visit has been covered only by the entertainment media here. News programs have been more focused on the Venezuela-Colombia border conflict, and Cruise was unable to meet Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos because the president was focused on that conflict,” our correspondent tells us.

On July 26, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder pointed out that it seemed unusual for an Ideal Org — a special, upscale version of a normal Scientology church — to be completed so quickly in Bogotá when so many other facilities are struggling to open on Scientology leader David Miscavige’s accelerated schedule. But Rinder had a theory about that, suggesting that Miscavige wanted the project finished before Cruise was scheduled to go to the country to film scenes for Mena.

It looks like Rinder was right, and the tabloids reporting that Tom Cruise is leaving Scientology were wrong.

Previously, we explained why we thought Star magazine, which caused all the fuss about Cruise leaving, was pushing a story it couldn’t prove. Star’s fact-free story was picked up by media all around the world, and still permeates the low-information channels of the Internet.

We pointed out that not only did Star magazine have no specific information to back up its headline, but the only hard fact proposed in its article was simply wrong. Star claimed that one sign of Cruise souring on Scientology was that he had missed the most recent ‘anniversary celebrations’ — a reference to the annual International Association of Scientologists (IAS) gala which is held each October, usually in England. But in fact, we had proved that Tom was in England for those celebrations, and had been photographed there wearing his giant “Freedom Medal of Valor.”

And now, even more telling: Cruise shows up quite publicly at Scentology’s newest Ideal Org in Bogotá. As we said earlier, all evidence that we’ve seen suggests the opposite of what the Star story proposed. If anything, Cruise and his two older children, Isabella and Connor, are getting more dedicated to the church in the wake of Alex Gibney’s devastating documentary, Going Clear.

 
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BOOK NOTES
3D-Unbreakable

We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Tony Ortega’s upcoming appearances (and check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour)…

 
Sept 15: Phoenix, Barrett the Honors College, Arizona State University, ASU in Downtown Phoenix campus, Walter Cronkite Theater, 5:30 pm

Sept 23: Cleveland, Parma Heights Library, 7pm sponsored by Center for Inquiry – Northeast Ohio

Sept 24: Minneapolis, sponsored by Minnesota Atheists — venue TBD

Sept 27: Portland, Friendly House, 1737 NW 26th Ave, 12:45 pm, sponsored by Humanists of Portland

Sept 28: Seattle, Razzi’s Pizzeria, 7 pm, with Seattle Skeptics and Seattle Atheists

Sept 29: Vancouver, BC, Seven Dining Lounge, 7 pm

Oct 23: Sydney, Giant Dwarf Theatre (with Sen. Nick Xenophon)

Oct 25: Melbourne, venue secured (announcement coming later)

Oct 28: Adelaide (with Sen. Nick Xenophon)

Oct 30: Perth

Past dates: Santa Barbara (5/16), Hollywood (5/17), Orange County (5/17), San Diego (5/20), San Francisco (5/22), New York (6/11), Chicago (6/20), Toronto (6/22), Clearwater (6/28), Washington DC (7/12), Hartford (7/14), Denver (7/17), Dallas (7/20), Houston (7/22), San Antonio (7/24), Austin (7/25), Paris (7/29), London (8/4), Boston (8/24)

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on August 26, 2015 at 13:15

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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