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Scientology and celebs: ‘Miscavige had several of us catering to Tom Cruise behind the scenes’

 
We have another entry in our ongoing series of book excerpts about Scientology, this time some startling material about the church’s obsession with celebrities which appears in Amy Scobee’s book Scientology — Abuse at the Top. Amy was one of several high-ranking executives who came out of Scientology in the 2000s and changed the way the church is viewed by the media.

The Watchdog Committee (WDC) position over the Celebrity Centre sector was unfilled and the handling of “key” Scientology celebrities was being done directly by the Religious Technology Center, under David Miscavige’s supervision. Therefore, the post of WDC for Celebrity Centres (WDC CC) became my next top priority post to fill.

While working to locate someone suitable, I was briefed that I’d be doing a special project in Los Angeles to establish the Tom Cruise household with staff who were all Scientologists. Without telling these people who we were hiring for, I was to call in and video interview upscale Scientologists in the LA area for specific positions. This included locating an executive housekeeper, cook, cleaner, and nanny. Shelly Miscavige (David’s wife and personal assistant) supervised me directly on this project.

After several days of interviewing, I narrowed down the prospective people for these positions and compiled submissions to Shelly with the basic information and video for review. Those finally approved were hired by Tom’s assistant, Andrea.

Andrea came to me one day at Celebrity Centre International and said that the nanny I proposed did have great credentials, however they wanted someone “much younger and more hip.” I didn’t find someone who fit the bill as part of my project, so I’m not sure who Tom and Nicole ended up with as their nanny at the time.

During my project, Tommy Davis (then President CC Int’s Assistant) and I went to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s residence in Pacific Palisades while they were not at home. We met with another Sea Org member named Jenny, who normally worked in the L. Ron Hubbard Household Unit. The Household Unit personnel were LRH’s staff that took care of his personal needs (cooking, laundry, cleaning) and after LRH passed away, they became responsible for maintaining LRH’s personal possessions and spaces located at the Int base.

Jenny showed me around Tom and Nicole’s house and briefed me on all of the functions she was personally performing for them, which would need to be turned over to the new staff I was hiring. Prior to this meeting, I had no idea that one of LRH’s personal staff members was being used to service Tom Cruise.

Jenny showed me the in-house theater and described how two highly trained Audio-Visual personnel (also from the LRH Household Unit) had put many, many hours into the A/V set-up to make it perfect.

I thought I was one of the only Sea Org members off my own job to work for Tom Cruise, which was unusual enough. Come to find out, David Miscavige had several of us catering to Tom, behind the scenes.

Tom also had a Scientologist named Alan handling some sort of investments or financial matters for him, which had apparently gone bad. Alan was not a Sea Org member, but after he got in trouble for his mistakes, he was brought up to the Int Base by Miscavige, which was highly unusual. Alan was assigned to manual labor while being investigated. He was then put through lower conditions under RTC to make up for whatever damage he had done. I was ordered to get Alan to join the Sea Org, which he at first refused because of huge personal debts. When I reported this to my superiors, showing he wasn’t qualified to join at that time, I was told to let him know he didn’t have a choice. Alan gave in and signed his Sea Org contract.

Upon his arrival to the SO, Alan was immediately sent to the Freewinds to clean the bilges as part of his “handling” by RTC. Alan eventually became staff at Celebrity Center International but then ended up leaving entirely because he was unable to handle his pressing debts on the Sea Org salary, which was less than $50 per week.

By this time, I had been appointed as the Watchdog Committee member over the Celebrity Centre sector. I assumed post in October 1991. One of the first things I did was go inspect Celebrity Centre International, located in Hollywood. Their building was under renovation and the whole organization was set up in trailers on the property. They had been set up like that for several months as the renovations were dragging out endlessly. The staff would eat their meals outside under tents (rain or shine) and they needed extensive funding and a real work force to get their building restorations completed.

CC Int was also a mess organizationally: No one really in charge, no standard uniforms, staff untrained on their jobs, backlogged paperwork everywhere and they were servicing very few public. RTC was having to directly supervise delivery to celebrities, which was being done in various locations – nowhere near CC Int.

I knew it was going to be quite a challenge to take CC International from the existing scene to a much more ideal scene, but I was quite excited to get on with it. There was someone already in training at the Int base for the position of Commanding Officer CC International – Dave Petit. He had been hand-picked as a stable executive from the Church of Scientology in Orange County. As his wife Diana was not qualified to join the Sea Org and they had two children together, Dave was promised by his recruiters that Diana could work at CC Int in a non-Sea Org capacity. This was a promise that was unfortunately never honored and they eventually had to divorce after many, many years of separation.

Dave Petit is one of the finest people I have ever met. He’s a hard worker with a real passion to help people and no concept that something can’t be done. Dave and I teamed up to take on the current state of CC Int and transform it into a real upscale facility for celebrity Scientologists – which was quite an adventure and the best time I ever had in the Sea Org.

Dave took over the day-to-day running of the celebrity service organization as its Commanding Officer to bring in new public and get them signed up for Scientology courses and counseling and being well serviced. I posted a Commanding Officer for the Manor Hotel (where CC Int is housed) to run every aspect of the hotel. I orchestrated and ran a series of 30-40 projects to rapidly build these organizations.

During this time, I mainly stayed at the Celebrity Centre and only went back to CMO Int when coordination was needed that couldn’t be taken care of over the phone. The atmosphere at home was quite a dichotomy to CC Int and I was all too happy to get back to LA as fast as possible. While there was a lot of confusion to deal with as we built the organization, the morale was high and we were very much on-purpose.

The staff would fall over themselves trying to do whatever was expected of them and they’d compete with other divisions to be the first to meet all of their set targets. Each year, CC Int celebrates their anniversary in August with a huge gala event. This tradition began in earnest in 1992 after the full renovations and landscaping were completed of the Manor Hotel. David Miscavige was supposed to be the main speaker at this grand opening event; however, he had just broken his ankle playing basketball with Tom Cruise so his foot was in a cast. Other speakers were chosen to replace him. CC Int had become a place where celebrities could be serviced and bring in their friends to introduce them to Scientology. By March of 1993, CC Int had achieved such rapid expansion that they were awarded “Saint Hill Size” status, which is the most prestigious award for an organization within the church.

 

 
I held my head up high for that accomplishment, and so did the CC Int and Manor Hotel crew, who all worked so hard to reach that goal. Although I was mainly concerned with building the organization, I did meet several of the top Scientology celebrity public at that time, including John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Anne Archer, Nancy Cartwright, Billy Sheehan, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, Juliette Lewis, Isaac Hayes, Tom Cruise, Edgar Winter and Jenna Elfman.

I recall walking past the CC recruiter’s office where I saw Jenna being interviewed. She was crying as she couldn’t decide if she should join the Sea Org at CC Int or pursue an acting career. At that time, she was just getting started in acting with a few commercials under her belt. As the recruiter wouldn’t let up and I could see she was torn about what to do, I went into the office. I told Jenna that I thought she should go become a wonderful actress and told the recruiters to scratch her name off the list and leave her be. I said she has a great career ahead of her and that’s what we should let her do. She thanked me profusely and went on to be quite successful.

The first time I met Isaac Hayes, I was getting ready for a celebration dinner in the Renaissance Restaurant located in the Manor Hotel. Isaac and I got into the same elevator. I had no clue who he was. We got to talking and I thought that this gentleman was one of the kindest people I had ever run into, so I invited him to dinner. We met at the restaurant and sat together. I still didn’t know who he was until several celebrities came over to our table and greeted him as if he were the Black Moses. I was so embarrassed to admit my ignorance, but he was very sweet about it as he quietly pointed out that the entire sleeve of my ruffled white blouse was soaking in my large bowl of bright red tomato soup! We had a good laugh and bonded as friends.

Each year, Celebrity Centre International hosts a Christmas benefit event with several celebrities performing and in attendance. At their Christmas show in 1993, five celebrities (Kelly Preston, Isaac Hayes, Juliette Lewis, Maxine Nightingale and Charles Durning) were served with deposition subpoenas for an on-going trial against Scientology.

Needless to say, this was a huge flap for security. I was ordered by RTC to immediately beef up the CC Int security force and get them trained by professionals while the Office of Special Affairs took care of cleaning up the legal mess they were now faced with.

I interviewed several highly trained security professionals until I found someone I felt would be perfect for the job. His name was John – a former member of the Secret Service. I hired him and then appointed several guards who John put through extensive security training to help keep Celebrity Centre safe and secure.

We once nearly had a major breech of security for a well-known spokesman for the Church of Scientology. It came up that this person had videoed himself having sex with several other men, which could have created bad publicity for the church if the information were to be exposed. The President CC Int (Karen Hollander at the time) and I were ordered by my superiors (Miscavige via Marc Yager) to work out a complete handling to address this matter with ethics technology and counseling to get him to improve his moral code and “change his ways.”

The Church of Scientology is homophobic and considers gay or lesbian individuals to have an “aberration” (a disorder in one’s mental state, requiring urgent handling.) We gathered up all of the documentation on this person from his confessionals and ethics interviews. We put all documents in a briefcase and drove to CMO Int to present and coordinate our proposed handling. Karen and I then drove back to Los Angeles to activate the handling, arriving at CC Int about midnight.

Instead of bringing the briefcase into the office, we thought it would be safe in the locked car, which was in the security-gated underground private parking garage of the President’s office. We were awoken the next morning by Tommy Davis (then President’s Assistant). He called to inform us that he had taken the President’s car at 2:00 a.m. and driven it to his berthing location in a crime-ridden section of town. When he got there, he took the briefcase that was in the back seat and placed it into the trunk so it was “more secure.” When he arrived to the car in the morning, he discovered the trunk had been broken into and the briefcase was GONE.

Karen and I looked at each other in utter disbelief. We knew the consequences would be devastating if we didn’t find that briefcase, at once! We sent Tommy dumpster-diving all over Hollywood looking for the briefcase. He got the word out that there would be a nice reward for anyone who could help find this briefcase and return it with all of its contents.

I was being called every hour by RTC on the status of our search. Days went by. We didn’t let up. Tommy met dozens of people who lived on the streets and had a small army helping to spread the word to solve this crime. Then a call came in – someone had found the briefcase!

A homeless man had been sitting on a rooftop across the street from where the car was parked that night. He saw two robbers break into the trunk and take the briefcase to a nearby dumpster where they pried it open and emptied its contents. As there appeared to be nothing of value to the robbers, they left everything there and took off. The homeless man then came down from the roof and collected up the briefcase and its contents and brought it to an elderly woman’s apartment for safekeeping. He couldn’t read but thought maybe he could sell the briefcase to someone for a few bucks. Then he heard about a man from Celebrity Centre International named Tommy offering a reward for a missing briefcase and he called the number.

Tommy immediately went and picked up the man and the briefcase and brought them back to CC Int. Karen and I verified all folder contents were intact and this gentleman was given his reward. What a close call! Due to the important impact celebrities could have on Scientology’s image, their personal information was passed among staff on a “need to know” basis, which seemed to have wide boundaries.

Celebrities receive interviews, confessionals and general counseling services during which the counselor takes detailed notes. These notes are kept in a “confidential” folder for that person. Additionally, all rooms where such counseling takes place are equipped with hidden cameras and microphones which record and store the entire event.

Information obtained on a person by the church is Priest-Penitent privileged information, intended to be kept confidential and recorded only to help guide the person to spiritual enlightenment. I have seen this trust violated on several occasions throughout the years – especially with staff members, but also with celebrities.

Some celebrities hire Scientologists as part of their personal entourage (security staff or household personnel, etc). I know of a few instances where these people were security checked by the church to find out if their celebrity employer was up to anything that would be against Scientology’s moral code. This was a way to verify they were living a life that would best represent Scientology and where this wasn’t the case, the celebrity would be seen by a church staff member in order to correct any “deviation.”

One of the goals for the church as written by L. Ron Hubbard is to make celebrities into walking success stories of Scientology so they will promote the religion and thus bring in a huge volume of new members world-wide. This is one of the reasons Miscavige took a strong interest in the Celebrity Centre sector and could routinely be seen hob-nobbing with celebrities. They are often rich and influential, associate with other rich and influential people, plus a large percentage of the yearly donations to the church are made by Scientology’s top celebrity public.

At the Int base, Miscavige is known to pride himself on having memorized the sexual irregularities of practically every staff member there. He has demonstrated his “accomplishment” to others by picking staff at random and announcing their most embarrassing sexual information, to prove how much he’s “in the know”. His fixation did not stop there, however. Miscavige carried this into the lives of Scientology parishioners too.

I was in Marc Yager’s office when Miscavige called in to brief him on “the latest” with a female celebrity … Yager kept saying “No way, really? That’s completely out of control!” as he laughed and shook his head in disbelief. I sat there wondering what they could be talking about that got them giggling like little elementary school kids – but that was their business and I wasn’t about to ask.

When Yager hung up the phone, he told me what he had just been briefed on. Obviously these two were snooping into celebrity confessionals, then snickering about the deeply personal information they learned. I wondered what this celebrity would think if she knew this was happening by the top executives of her “church.”

 
— Amy Scobee

 
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HOWDYCON CHICAGO’S BIG NIGHT

Friday was Fly Day here at HowdyCon and we spent it at the museum (where they celebrate actual science!) and then on the river with our man flyonthewall and his lovely lady.

Tonight is the big event, with Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte helping us celebrate another year here at the Underground Bunker. If you still need details about the location of the dinner and event, make sure to message us.

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,154 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,757 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 300 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 188 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,363 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,137 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,911 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,257 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,823 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,491 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,751 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,791 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,503 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,029 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,118 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,258 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,578 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,553 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 909 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,211 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,317 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,720 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,592 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,174 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,679 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,923 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,032 days.

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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 23, 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

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news

 

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