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Come on, people. Even Star mag’s own article doesn’t claim Tom Cruise has left Scientology.

We were hoping to let this one go. We tried to ignore it, we really did. But so many people have sent us images of Star magazine’s new Tom Cruise cover asking us “Is this true?” we felt that we had to say something about it.

Come on, people.

First of all, as the images above demonstrate, this is the same publication that has incorrectly claimed on its cover in the past that Tom Cruise was leaving Scientology. The last time, in 2015, Cruise just happened to be starring in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. And now, in 2018, they’re making the same claim a few months before Tom’s newest action flick, Mission: Impossible – Fallout premieres in July.

Star was wrong in 2012, and it was wrong in 2015. In all of those years, we’ve only seen evidence that Tom is as dedicated as ever as Scientology’s most famous celebrity member. Tom first got involved while he was dating actress Mimi Rogers in 1986. (Yes, 1986, not 1990, as so many tabloid publications say, for some reason.) On May 9, 1987, he and Mimi got married on one of the holiest days in the Scientology calendar — Dianetics Day, which commemorates the May 9, 1950 original publication date of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, the book that started everything.

Cruise and Rogers broke up in 1990 as Cruise got involved with another actress, Nicole Kidman, but by 1992 she had soured on Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, and so from 1992 to 2000 Cruise pulled away from the church. After he and Nicole split up, Miscavige made it job one to get Cruise back in the fold, and by 2004 he had succeeded so well Cruise was a fanatic and even went along with the idea of becoming an outspoken ambassador for the church. That backfired spectacularly in 2005 with Cruise’s interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, and Cruise went quiet again. But he’s remained a devoted Miscavige acolyte: As John Brousseau told us, “Tom Cruise worships David Miscavige like a god.”


In 2004, when Cruise was at his most gung-ho, Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, led an effort to audition actresses to be Cruise’s next companion after he had broken up with Penelope Cruz. Nazanin Boniadi was chosen, but that relationship only lasted about three months. In April 2005, Cruise and Katie Holmes then revealed that they were dating, and a year later, in April 2006, their daughter Suri was born. That November, Cruise and Holmes were married at a castle in Rome. But in late June 2012 Holmes ditched Cruise in a stunning tactical maneuver while he was out of the country. It’s a pretty good bet that her concern about Suri growing up in Scientology was at least part of what went into her decision to leave.

After being seen with his daughter a few times after that split, Cruise has not been a part of his daughter’s life for years. We get asked about this by other reporters pretty often. And we always tell them the same thing: Scientology Rule #1 is that celebrities get to break all the rules. Even if Miscavige considered Katie Holmes a “suppressive person” for ditching Tom, and by extension Suri was a “potential trouble source” — which would almost certainly be the case for a non-famous family — Cruise can ignore all that and see his daughter any time he wants.

So why doesn’t he? Ah, now that’s the really interesting question. But this is a tabloid magazine we’re talking about, and it can’t afford to ask difficult questions.

Let’s take a look at what the story does say, and compare it to what Star put on the cover that is getting so much attention.

First, here’s the cover…


Here are the claims the cover makes:

1. Cruise and Suri are “reunited at last.”
2. Tom has escaped Scientology for Suri.
3. The magazine will detail what pushed Tom “over the edge.”
4. The magazine will detail Scientology’s “evil plot” to win him back.

That sure is a lot of promises made by the cover, isn’t it? How many people spreading around that image with all of those big claims do you think bothered to actually take a look at the story inside to see if it delivered on those promises?

OK, let’s take a look at what the story says and provide some annotation.

Tom Cruise has been sending out some very mixed messages. At the October 2016 London premiere of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, he launched into an impromptu rave about the Church of Scientology, gushing that it was “a beautiful religion.”

Yes, he certainly did that. And we pointed out at the time that it shouldn’t have come as such a shock to so many people. Again, we’ve only seen evidence that Cruise is as dedicated as ever to the church.

But the next month, Tom was a conspicuous no-show at the much-ballyhooed grand opening of a new church supercenter in San Diego, sparking rumors that the MIA superstar was stepping back from the secretive cult.

OK, we’re only three sentences into this article and it’s knee-deep in dishonesty. The thing is, we know that the people who work for this magazine and put this stuff together — people who, by the way, regularly hit us up for information and for quotes — know full well that this line is utter bullshit. Since 2003, David Miscavige has presided over the grand openings of some 60 “Ideal Orgs” around the planet. It’s his big public relations program to replace older churches with new models in an attempt to give the impression that the church is growing (it isn’t). And of those 60 grand openings, Tom Cruise has attended exactly one of them. You heard us: Just one. It was in 2004, when he was at his most gung-ho, and Cruise showed up for the grand opening of the new Ideal Org in Madrid, Spain. (He even gave a speech in Spanish!) There were rumors that he might make the 2015 grand opening of an Ideal Org in Bogotá, Colombia, but that turned out not to be true — he did visit it a little later, however. The point is, Cruise doesn’t as a rule show up for Ideal Org openings, and it would have been extremely unusual for him to have showed up at the San Diego event — the exact opposite of what Star magazine is saying.

As it turns out, a nasty battle could be brewing behind the scenes.

OK, we’re four sentences into this story, and already the game is over. So much for the promises on the cover. Star tells us a battle could be brewing. Yeah, sure. Ask yourself, would anyone have picked up the magazine if the cover had said, “Tom Cruise Could Be Leaving Scientology”? No, of course not.

Since his sudden split from Katie Holmes in 2012, Tom, by all accounts has spent precious little time with their daughter, Suri, 11, possibly due to church doctrine that requires members to “disconnect” from family and friends who defect.

Again, the Star magazine people should know better. As we pointed out, Cruise, as Scientology’s top celebrity, can do whatever the hell he wants. If he wants to see his daughter, Miscavige couldn’t prevent it. So why doesn’t he?

“Tom is the fiercest Scientologist on the planet, but it’s beyond heartbreaking to be forced to cut ties with your child,” an insider dishes.

This quote tells us nothing we don’t already know. We could line up a hundred well known former Scientologists who would tell you this on the record. Why is Star attributing this completely obvious statement to an unnamed “insider”?

Now, having not seen Suri for more than 1,600 days, “Tom has reached the breaking point, and something has to give,” spills the source. “If he wants her back, he’ll have to walk away from the church, which has been a huge part of his life, to say the least. Leaving Scientology would be the toughest decision he’ll ever have to make!”

Did you get that? IF Cruise wants Suri back, he WILL have to walk away from the church. First of all, that’s untrue — if he wanted to see Suri all he has to do is pick up the phone. And again, Star’s story is admitting that it has nothing current to report that we didn’t already know — Tom Cruise has not left Scientology.

The chance to reconnect with Suri might not be the only upside to breaking away. Scientology has increasingly come under attack for its secretive, allegedly abusive practices, and Tom, who’s reportedly being groomed to succeed church leader David Miscavige, has often been caught in the crosshairs.

Another sign that this writer is either unfamiliar with Scientology (unlikely) or is simply dishonest. Cruise is not being “groomed” to take over the church. Only Sea Org executives run Scientology, and Cruise is not about to join the Sea Org and go to work for pennies an hour and cut off all ties to the outside world.

In the shocking 2015 HBO documentary Going Clear, which painted Scientology as evil, Tom was called a “whack job” and a “nasty piece of work.”

We were in that movie and we don’t remember it calling Tom that. (Checked the transcript: Nope, neither phrase comes up.)

The religion could also be a career liability for the 55-year-old actor, whose last three movies tanked at the box office. Tom, who was seen hobbling around on crutches after a stunt mishap while filming M:I 6 — Mission Impossible in London on Jan. 13, “is in a slump partly because he doesn’t do a lot of promotion or give long interviews like other stars do,” titters the source. “It’s possible he’s afraid people will ask questions about the church and if that’s why he hasn’t been seen with Suri. At this point, Tom would be smart to get out before all the negative publicity destroys him.”

The name of the movie is Mission: Impossible — Fallout. And another misconception — Tom does give long interviews, but only to handpicked outlets that avoid asking him about Scientology. And again, even the “insider” talks about how it WOULD BE smart for Tom to leave Scientology because, obviously, he hasn’t left it at this point.

Quitting poses its own dangers, according to defectors who’ve told horror stories of being harassed, hounded, slandered and sued — claims the church denies. “If Scientology declared open season on Tom, they could bury him, since they’ve probably got all sorts of dirt on him from his auditing sessions,” the insider warns. “It’s an unspoken threat, but Tom has to be aware that the church, which has already bent the rules by letting him talk on the phone with Suri, would do everything in its power to keep him from leaving.”

It’s a fair point. But our best sources tell us that it isn’t blackmail that’s keeping people like Cruise and Travolta from leaving. As hard as it may be to understand, these celebrities really have bought in fully to the idea that Scientology is mankind’s only hope.

The best hope for Tom, the source adds, would be to cut a deal “where he would be left in peace as long as he doesn’t speak out against Scientology. That way, both sides win.” And so does Suri. “The situation is so sad, because she’s the wronged party here. Katie was the one who decided to leave Scientology, but it’s like Suri is guilty by association,” dishes the source. “She’s growing up so quickly. Tom can still salvage their relationshop, but if he doesn’t move fast, he could lose Suri forever!”

Sure, it’s nice to think that Tom could ditch Scientology, become a part of Suri’s life again, and win over a whole new legion of fans. We would love to report that story, in fact.

But as Star’s own article shows, there isn’t a shred of evidence that he’s on his way out.

So, let’s go to the scoreboard. What were those things promised by the cover? Let’s see how they scored…

1. Cruise and Suri are “reunited at last.” Article says the opposite — they haven’t been reunited.

2. Tom has escaped Scientology for Suri. Article says the opposite — he hasn’t escaped.

3. The magazine will detail what pushed Tom “over the edge.” The article doesn’t at all explain this.

4. The magazine will detail Scientology’s “evil plot” to win him back. The article refers to blackmail that might keep Cruise in, not win him back.

Wasn’t this fun?

So hey, why is this story showing up now? Former top Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder — whose job it was to handle Scientology’s media — says it’s obvious to him that stories like this are planted with tabloids to improve Tom’s image before the opening of a big movie.

And you can bet, despite the story providing no evidence of the claims made on the cover, there are many members of the public who now believe that Tom has left and that he’s reunited with his daughter.

It would be nice, if it were only true.


Make your plans now!

Head over to our HowdyCon 2018 website to start making your travel plans!



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,021 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,624 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 167 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,230 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,004 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,778 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,124 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,618 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,658 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,370 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 896 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,985 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,125 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,445 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,420 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 776 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,078 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,184 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,587 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,459 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,041 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,546 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,790 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,899 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 10, 2018 at 07:00

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 can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), 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 | 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


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