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Nazanin Boniadi’s FBI testimony: Cast as Tom Cruise’s girlfriend by Scientology

[Nazanin Boniadi at a 2010 screening of Paul Haggis’s film ‘The Next Three Days’]

In Alex Gibney’s 2015 documentary Going Clear, the director narrates the story of Scientologist actress Nazanin Boniadi, who was selected in late 2004 by the church for a special project: To be girlfriend to actor Tom Cruise. As he begins that narration, Gibney says that the story is backed up by FBI testimony.

Now, we have that testimony.

Or, at least a part of it, the portions that the FBI didn’t redact when it turned over a 285-page file about the agency’s 2009/2010 Church of Scientology human trafficking investigation to RadarOnline’s Melissa Cronin, who has shared it with the Underground Bunker.

Today, we’re taking a look at the FBI’s interview of Boniadi, which took place on January 8, 2010 in Los Angeles. All names have been stripped from the FBI’s 5-page interview summary, except for one stray “Naz” that got through.



But we also know that it’s an interview of Boniadi because it tracks so closely with what was revealed about her in Maureen Orth’s excellent 2012 Vanity Fair piece, as well as Gibney’s narration in Going Clear, which we’ve reproduced below.

According to what wasn’t redacted, in 2004 Boniadi was volunteering for Scientology’s intelligence bureau, the Office of Special Affairs, which gave her a special assignment that appears to have involved targeting the psychiatric profession, one of the church’s pet projects. She also traveled to East Grinstead, England in October 2004 for that year’s annual gala of the International Association of Scientologists, at which Tom Cruise was given a special “Freedom Medal of Valor” for his work as an ambassador of Scientology.


[Tom Cruise and his medal of valor, October 2004 in East Grinstead, England at Scientology’s annual IAS gala. Cruise’s date that night was actress Yolanda Pecoraro, but Nazanin Boniadi was also in the audience, according to the FBI interview.]

Over the next month, Boniadi was groomed for her special project, and it wasn’t until November that she learned what it really was — to be Cruise’s companion. When she was introduced to him, she congratulated him on his medal and for some reason it didn’t go over well with the actor “because her ethics level in the Church was not as high.” After that unpromising beginning, however, the two did develop a relationship. “At the beginning of the relationship [redacted] was very romantic but as the relationship progressed [Cruise] began to have temper tantrums. [Cruise] began to show violent tendencies,” the file says, and we’ve filled in those two redacted portions based on the number of obscured letters and the statement’s context.

When the relationship ended after about three months in January 2005, Boniadi was distraught and said so to a friend — and for that she was punished. She “had to dig ditches at midnight and scrub floor tiles in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. She was placed on a curfew, sec checked and escorted everywhere she went.”

Boniadi left Scientology, and then her career as an actress soared as she booked a recurring role on the Showtime series Homeland. She has never spoken publicly about her involvement in Scientology or her relationship with Cruise. We did make public, however, her brief participation in a rap song about Kirstie Alley and other Scientologists that was put together by several ex-church members, including Mike Rinder.

Although Nazanin hasn’t spoken on the record, this official FBI document demonstrates that Maureen Orth’s Vanity Fair article and Alex Gibney’s film accurately reflected what Boniadi was put through by the Church of Scientology and by Tom Cruise.

Give the file a look and let us know what you think about it. (In some of the redacted portions we’ve filled in the names of Boniadi — “Naz” — or Cruise because the number of letters and context make it obvious who’s being referred to.)

On January 8, 2010 [redacted] date of birth [redacted] residence address [redacted] Driver’s License number [redacted] was interviewed in Los Angeles. After being advised of the identity of the interviewing agents and the nature of the interview, [Naz] provided the following information:

[Naz] joined Scientology in [redacted] is a Scientologist. In [redacted] the [redacted] and was in the process of applying to [redacted] at the time also joined Scientology.

By the age of [redacted] had risen to the [redacted] status in Scientology and was working with the Office of Special Affairs (OSA). One of her duties while working with OSA was [redacted] was tasked by OSA to [redacted] She was specifically tasked with [redacted] also tasked by OSA [redacted]

In Scientology, psychiatrists are thought to be evil people. [Redacted] Church was so against psychology. [Naz] was going to be applying to [redacted]

In [redacted] traveled to the United Kingdom (U.K.) to see [Tom Cruise] receive the Medal of Valour from the Church. The medal is one of the highest achievements a Scientologist can receive. [Redacted] other Scientologists asking where she was. [Redacted] go to the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles. When [Naz] returned to the U.S., [redacted] He told her she was being considered for a special project where she would be considered a [redacted] help Scientology. She was chosen because she was [redacted] was not allowed to know any specifics about the project and was not allowed to tell anyone.

[Naz] was put through a month of security checks (“sec checks”), auditing and interviews. The interviews were often video recorded. The church wanted to make sure there was nothing unfavorable in her background. [Redacted] said everything was looking well except for the fact [redacted] said [redacted] in order to continue with the project. [Naz] disagreed and said she was not going to [redacted] asked what would be the one thing that would make [redacted] stated that if [redacted] Several days later [redacted] The [redacted] Within the [redacted] that the Church violated her [redacted paragraph]

Once [redacted] continued her preparations for the special project. [Redacted] and another Scientologist named [redacted] LNU [redacted] took her [redacted] At the time [redacted] in Celebrity Center. [Redacted] outside communications were always monitored.

One day [redacted] went over the “Admin Scale,” which is a scale that covers the ideal status of any Scientologist’s life. Status “2” covers relationships. [Redacted] asked [redacted paragraph]

After one month, [Naz] was told her preparation was complete and she now had to [redacted paragraph] going to [redacted] because it was considered to be an [redacted] When she arrived [redacted] noticed people began to leave the building. In a short time, she noticed that she was alone in the building with [redacted] then heard [redacted] coming toward them. At that point, she realized the special project had been to [redacted] Having never met [Tom Cruise] congratulated him on his recent award by saying, [redacted] seemed upset by her comment but did not respond. That evening [redacted] began to see what the purpose of her last month of interviews and preparation were for. From that day on she [redacted]

After the first night, [redacted] did not understand how she had [redacted] but was told that because her ethics level in the Church was not as high [redacted] she should have not told him [redacted] also warned [redacted] then presented [Naz] with a confidentiality agreement and told her if she did not sign then she would never see [redacted] did sign the agreement and [redacted] After that conversation she was then “sec checked” for her mistakes.

Throughout the [redacted] If she had any relationship problems she should go directly [redacted] and her entire purpose was to make [Cruise] happy. [Naz] was given [redacted] allowance and cell phone while she was living with [Cruise.]

[Redacted paragraph]

At the beginning of the relationship [redacted] was very romantic but as the relationship progressed [Cruise] began to have temper tantrums. [Cruise] began to show violent tendencies. On a trip to [redacted paragraph]

[Redacted paragraph]

Soon after the trip to [redacted] was over. To make amends [redacted] in Clearwater, Florida. While she was in Clearwater, a friend kept asking [Naz] why she was so upset. At first [Naz] kept the reason to herself but in frustration admitted she was upset because of her [redacted] Her friend wrote a knowledge report about [redacted] NAZ was yelled at and reprimanded for having mentioned her.

[Naz] began writing a story based on her experience with [redacted] As a result of her story, [Naz] was placed on the Rehabilitaion Project Force (RPF) even though [Naz] was not a member of the Sea Org. [Naz] was had to dig ditches at midnight and scrub floor tiles in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. She was placed on a curfew, sec checked and escorted everywhere she went. [Naz] was no longer allowed to speak to anyone. [Naz] began to feel as if she were a criminal. [Redacted] was also being sec checked. [Naz] had the opportunity to leave the base, but was always threatened with being declared a suppressive person and banned from speaking to her parents again. [Redacted] called her at one point and said [redacted] After that conversation, [Naz] felt she had no choice but to stay and finish the RPF.

After she finished the RPF she returned to Los Angeles. Members of the Church went to [redacted] feels she was a victim of white slavery because she traveled across state lines under false pretenses. [Naz] wrote a letter to the Church of Scientology to highlight what happened to her and to highlight the broken confidential agreements between the Church and its parishioners. [Naz] never received a reply from the Church. [Naz] believes the Church is using what L. Ron Hubbard wrote for illegal purposes.

[Redacted] intends to separate from the Church of Scientology.

And here’s the narration from Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear to remind you of how that movie presented Nazanin’s story…


Lawrence Wright: Tom was in Spain. They were opening up a new Scientology church in Madrid. And he was overheard to complain that he needed a new girlfriend. Soon after that, a young Scientologist premed student named Nazanin Boniadi — she was told that she was going to get a special assignment.

Alex Gibney: Years later, Nazanin became a successful TV actress and she would have a small part in a Paul Haggis film. But at the time, she was a dedicated young Scientologist who believed in the church’s claims for its humanitarian mission. In fact, she set a monthly record for selling books for the church. Nazanin may not speak publicly about her experiences because of an NDA [non-disclosure agreement] the church pressured her to sign, but I discovered details from FBI testimony regarding her ordeal. David Miscavige assigned Nazanin’s case to a key church official, Greg Wilhere. He put her through a one-month program of on-camera interviews, intensive auditing, and security checks.

Wright: She was moved into the Celebrity Centre, separated from her family, and certain problems were addressed during this period of time. One was, she had a boyfriend. She is handed a transcript of his auditing session, in which he admitted that he had an affair. And so she broke up with him.

Gibney: Then Wilhere took her to an orthodontist to have her braces removed. At Burberry and other stores in Beverly Hills, he bought her $20,000 worth of clothes. At the Celebrity Centre, a man who worked for Cruise’s hair stylist colored Nazanin’s hair to Cruise’s liking. Nazanin was told that her makeover was a part of the church’s humanitarian mission. She had to look her best for conferences with world leaders. Only after she was flown first class to New York did she discover the actual role that the church wanted her to play. She was to be the girlfriend of Scientology’s biggest star. Within a month, Nazanin was living with Cruise. While at his house in Telluride, Miscavige came to visit. Overcome by a severe headache, Nazanin had a hard time understanding Miscavige, which infuriated him. The next day, Cruise, inches from her face, pounded his fist on the table and screamed at her for insulting the head of the church. Two weeks later, church henchman Tommy Davis delivered the news to Nazanin — the relationship with Cruise was over.

Paul Haggis: And they, according to her, came to her apartment with her mom and found every photograph of the two of them together, and took them away. Every scrap, every letter, everything, They…as if it never existed. And she was really upset, because she had been really hurt by the whole thing. And she made the mistake of telling her friend, who immediately went to tell someone in the church. She agreed to do punishments, like cleaning out the public bathrooms on her hands and knees with a toothbrush, while other people she knew were stepping over her. She did nothing wrong, other than tell her friend that she was heartbroken, and this is the way she was treated?

Gibney: The church claims that Miscavige has no involvement in Cruise’s personal life and that the search for Cruise’s girlfriend never existed.

Tom Cruise: I wanna tell you something. I have never met a more competent, a more intelligent, a more tolerant, a more compassionate being, outside of what I’ve experienced from LRH. And I’ve met the leaders of leaders. OK? I’ve met them all. And so I say to you, sir, C.O.B. [David Miscavige], we are lucky to have you and thank you very much.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Rod Keller found this gem.



Countdown to Denver!


HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25 at the Residence Inn Denver City Center. Go here to start making your plans, and book your room soon!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,746 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,849 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,343 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,383 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,095 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 621 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,710 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,850 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,170 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,145 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 501 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,803 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 910 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,312 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,185 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 766 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,271 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,515 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,624 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 10, 2017 at 07:20

E-mail 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. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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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