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Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman: Spied on by Scientology until it ripped them apart

We have a real treat for you this week in our ‘Scientology Lit’ series, an excerpt from the excellent book Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia by Steve Cannane. One of the best researched and written books about Scientology in any era, Steve covered a vast amount of territory. We’ve chosen portions of a later chapter, ‘Cruise and Kidman,’ with Steve’s blessing. Published in 2016, this book contains the last extensive interviews Marty Rathbun gave before he went pear-shaped.

Tom Cruise first saw Nicole Kidman on the big screen in her breakthrough film Dead Calm. Kidman played the role of Rae Ingram, the young wife of a navy officer who is trapped on a yacht in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a sociopath played by Billy Zane. Kidman’s character fights off her attacker with a combination of prescription drugs and a harpoon gun. The young actress shone in the role. The Washington Post’s movie critic Rita Kempley described her character as an ‘Amazon for the ‘90s.’

Tom Cruise was mesmerised by Kidman’s performance. The actor was preparing to shoot Days of Thunder and convinced the producers to cast the 21-year old in the role of Dr Claire Lewicki, a neurosurgeon who falls in love with Cruise’s character, an up-andcoming stock car driver named Cole Trickle.


On the set, Kidman and Cruise fell in love. Scientology leader David Miscavige had by now assigned Greg Wilhere to be Cruise’s auditor and point man. According to Marty Rathbun, Miscavige used Wilhere to encourage Cruise to cheat on his Scientologist wife, actress Mimi Rogers. ‘It just shows you how twisted and corrupted Scientology is,’ Rathbun told journalist Tony Ortega, ‘Why would Scientology want to promote Tom’s promiscuity? Because Mimi was connected to her father Phil Spickler [a former church member and mission holder], and Miscavige wanted to own Tom outright.’

After Days of Thunder wrapped in May 1990, Mimi Rogers demanded she be given access to Scientology’s version of marriage counselling. The process took around a week, but went nowhere. With Miscavige determined to undermine the marriage of his new star recruit, the sessions were doomed to fail.

Mimi Rogers got confirmation her marriage was over when Marty Rathbun paid her a visit. Accompanied by Sherman Lenske, a former personal lawyer to L. Ron Hubbard, Rathbun arrived carrying divorce papers. The involvement of both men was significant.

Like Harvey Keitel’s character ‘The Wolf’ in Pulp Fiction, Marty Rathbun solved intractable problems at short notice. He would hunt down Scientologists who had escaped, crush critics through intimidation, and break the most formidable of foes. He played a key role in Scientology’s most famous victory – getting the Internal Revenue Service to roll over and grant the Church of Scientology tax-free status. Rathbun used any means at his disposal including lawsuits, multiple Freedom of Information requests and by putting tax officials under surveillance.

Rathbun and Lenske’s visit to Mimi Rogers was designed to intimidate. The actress already knew just how ruthless Miscavige could be through his attack on the Scientology mission holders like her father. It was clear to Rogers what she had to do. She signed the divorce papers and quit the Church of Scientology soon after.

By meddling in Cruise’s private life, Miscavige had solved one problem, but created another. Scientology’s golden boy was now making plans to marry Kidman. The Australian actress was the daughter of the prominent Sydney psychologist and author Dr Antony Kidman. In Scientology, psychologists are considered ‘Suppressive Persons’ – what Scientologists consider to be anti-social personalities who will cause harm to the organisation. As the daughter of a psychologist, Kidman was what Hubbard called a ‘Potential Trouble Source.’

According to Marty Rathbun, Miscavige asked Greg Wilhere to try and undermine Cruise’s new relationship in his next auditing session. Rathbun says Miscavige screamed at Wilhere, ‘He thinks this Nicole thing is for real! You son of a bitch, you better start planting a seed!’

Wilhere carried out orders, but the move backfired. Cruise was besotted with Kidman and angrily reported back to Miscavige what Wilhere had done. In an act of confected outrage, Miscavige demoted Wilhere from his position as Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center – a role that was effectively second in command in Scientology’s hierarchy. ‘Miscavige was bragging to Tom that he’d busted him down,’ says Rathbun. Miscavige would now have to bend over backwards to please Tom and Nicole.


[Steve Cannane]

John Brousseau had a unique vantage point from which to witness the campaign to lock Hollywood’s hottest couple into Miscavige’s brand of Scientology. A former personal chauffeur to L. Ron Hubbard, Brousseau had gotten to know Miscavige when the pair worked as cameramen on training films for Hubbard in the late 1970s. The men became brothers-in-law when Miscavige married Shelly Barnett, the sister of Brousseau’s first wife Clarisse. After Cruise got into Scientology, Miscavige assigned Brousseau to help lay out the red carpet for his star recruit.

Brousseau spent 32 years in the Sea Org working predominantly at International base. He was one of those guys who could turn his hand to anything. He worked as an automotive technician, a cabinetmaker and a construction manager overseeing many of Miscavige’s personal building projects. When impressing Tom Cruise became Miscavige’s most important project, Broussseau was at the ready. ‘I was the guy who did all the fancy stuff for Tom,’ he says, ‘whether it was painting his motorcycles, building limousines or million-dollar motorhomes, and helping make his aircraft hangar in Burbank look better than anybody else’s.’

Tom and Nicole were moving into Int base so they could both study Scientology full time. This meant Scientology’s international headquarters would soon harbour a ‘Potential Trouble Source’ and its star recruit would soon have a ‘Suppressive Person’ as his father-in-law. Brousseau says Miscavige had to do whatever it took to please Cruise. ‘You can imagine the dynamic drive Tom has about his newfound woman,’ he says. ‘You just can’t get in between the two of them, you’ve gotta go with the flow and let’s see if we can get her on our side too. Nicole was part of the whole TC package.’

Nicole Kidman knew enough already to form her own character assessment. The young actress was becoming increasingly irritated by Miscavige’s behaviour and the influence it was having on her husband. ‘Her biggest beef was that Tom was becoming increasingly like Dave,’ says Marty Rathbun. ‘She smelt a rat,’ says Rathbun, ‘him being all about power and image and wealth, and his obsession with Tom. She was onto him.’ Something had to give.


Nicole Kidman was from a well-read family with a keen interest in politics and international affairs. Her parents campaigned against the Vietnam War. Her mother Janelle was a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, a feminist group aimed at increasing women’s political power and representation. As a child Nicole would hand out how-to-vote cards for the Labor Party on election day. Dinner table discussions were dominated by talk of politics, injustice and human rights. When confronted by both Miscavige’s personal behaviour and the revelations contained in the 1991 Time magazine exposé, she was never going to let it slide. It was time to withdraw from Scientology and take Tom with her.

‘The Time magazine article had a big influence on Nicole,’ says Rathbun, ‘She was already pushing him away from Scientology. Tom started acting like Miscavige, like a little zealot and Nicole abhorred it. She could see what she didn’t like about Miscavige and the church and the Time article exacerbated it. The Time article gave her a wedge to stop Tom’s involvement and it worked.’

Rathbun says Kidman and Cruise drifted from Scientology from around 1992.

The Time article and Miscavige’s behaviour weren’t the only reasons Kidman was turning away from Scientology. By now she had also been exposed to its teachings on her father’s profession. Marty Rathbun had taken Kidman through the Potential Trouble Source/Suppressive Person (PTS/SP) course. ‘I was assigned to get her to understand the evils of psychology and psychiatry,’ says Rathbun, ‘and to come to the correct conclusion about her father.’ The session did not go down well with Kidman. ‘It was a dismal disaster,’ says Rathbun, ‘it just backfired.’

After Kidman and Cruise left Int base, the actress stopped taking Scientology courses. ‘She hadn’t officially said that she didn’t want to continue,’ says Bruce Hines, ‘but she showed no interest. She was sort of resisting going back to the international headquarters where she could do OT3.’ Hines was assigned to haul Kidman back in and get her on track. He had previously had success turning around opera singer Julia McGinnis who had been planning to leave Scientology. ‘That went well,’ says Hines, ‘so I had a feather in my cap. When something came up with the big names, I became the guy of choice.’

Hines had audited a range of celebrities and big names such as Kirstie Alley, Chick Corea and Mary Sue Hubbard. He didn’t know it at the time, but Scientology’s network of spies had informed Miscavige that Kidman was the one responsible for getting Cruise to drift from Scientology. If Nicole could be convinced to get back on the bridge, the logic was that Tom would follow.

Hines received his written instructions at Int base. He was to conduct an auditing session with Kidman at the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles. He was to ask her whether she had any problems, or if there was anything she was concerned about. Hines was meant to determine whether she was withholding any information that could account for her loss of interest in Scientology auditing.

Hines hopped into a borrowed Honda Civic with Ray Mithoff, the man who had officiated at Cruise and Kidman’s wedding in Colorado. The pair drove 150 kilometres from Int base to Los Angeles where they met Kidman. The actress had taken time off from her busy filming schedule. Armed with her Preclear folder, full of the intimate secrets she had disclosed during previous auditing sessions, Hines got to work.

Kidman held onto the cans of the E-Meter as Hines asked his preordained questions. ‘It was an auditing session,’ says Hines, ‘and so it was very formal. You have written instructions ahead of time and you’re not allowed to vary from those instructions.’ Hines asked his questions, but didn’t get the answers Scientology was hoping for. ‘The session didn’t last very long,’ he says, ‘She seemed pretty happy about everything, happy about her life. She said, “no, I’m not upset about anything.”’ Whatever she was thinking, Kidman resisted criticising either Miscavige or Scientology. According to Hubbard’s doctrine, if Kidman had been lying or withholding information it would have shown up on the E-Meter.

Looking back, Hines believes Kidman was going through the motions. ‘She acted as if she was very willing to do it,’ says Hines, ‘but in retrospect she’s a great actress and I don’t know what she really, really thought. I think she was doing it to be polite and she was willing to go through with it, but at the same time I don’t think she was willing to talk about all the details of her life. I would say that probably she had sort of moved on by then and she wasn’t bothered about Scientology, she seemed sort of past it.’ A former Kidman staffer agrees with Hines assessment. ‘She got tired of it, she was done with it,’ he says, ‘It was sucking up her time and she’d rather read a film script than more Scientology books.’

That Kidman had moved beyond Scientology, was easy to understand, that she had taken Cruise with her, might seem harder to fathom.

One former member of Cruise’s staff, told me the actor stopped getting audited and attending Scientology events because he was besotted with his new wife. ‘He was absolutely obsessed with Nicole from the moment he met her,’ the former employee told me. ‘If she said jump, he would say how high. I’m not kidding you. So if she didn’t want to be involved in Scientology anymore, he wouldn’t be involved anymore. Even though it was his life and blood and he thought it was the greatest thing and it was going to save mankind, it doesn’t matter. If Nicole was into it, he was into it, if not, he wasn’t.’

Kidman may have gotten Cruise to drift from Scientology, but the Scientologists never drifted far from Cruise. He continued to employ a number of Scientologists who worked with him on movie sets, flew him around on his Gulfstream jet, managed his affairs and ran his household. The most significant of these was his personal assistant, Michael Doven. Cruise referred to him as ‘The Dovenator.’ Doven knew everything Cruise was up to. Kidman may have thought she had gotten Scientology out of her relationship, but she never quite got it out of her house.

Michael Doven was hired to work for Tom Cruise around the time they were shooting Far and Away, Ron Howard’s 1992 feature, which starred Kidman and Cruise as a pair of Irish immigrants trying to make a new start in the US in the 1890s. According to Marty Rathbun, Doven was chosen for the job not by Cruise, but by the Church of Scientology. ‘Doven was approved by Miscavige,’ says Rathbun, ‘after he ordered all sorts of people with administrative experience, who were OTs or very advanced Scientologists, to be searched to find the ideal personal assistant for Cruise.’


A native of Colorado, with an interest in extreme sports and photography, Doven was a devout Scientologist. Eventually he would lay claim to being the first person to complete and be tested on Scientology’s ‘Golden Age of Knowledge for All Eternity.’ This involved watching around 1500 hours worth of Hubbard’s lectures and reading thousands of Hubbard’s essays and bulletins. ‘He was a robot of Scientology,’ a former co-worker told me, ‘He knew everything there was to know about the study tech and all that bullshit.’

Doven may have been paid by Cruise, but there was little doubt within Scientology’s executive where his loyalties lay. ‘He was briefed from the outset that his senior was Miscavige, not Tom Cruise,’ says Rathbun, ‘His job was to facilitate Tom Cruise’s career but he had a separate brief to keep him on board and loyal to Miscavige.’ Rathbun says that Doven, for over two decades, was a ‘card carrying, deep cover mole into the life and family of Tom Cruise.’ Mike Rinder, who attended top-level meetings with Doven when the pair were trying to get the infamous South Park episode pulled off air, agrees with Rathbun. ‘It was very clear that Doven’s loyalties were first to Miscavige and second to Tom Cruise,’ says Rinder.

When Kidman got Cruise to drift from Scientology, Doven’s role became even more important. He was ordered to report regularly about exactly what was happening inside their relationship. ‘Doven reported on every significant event in Cruise’s personal life directly to David Miscavige,’ says Rathbun, ‘Right on down to arguments with his then-wife Nicole, down to problems with his kids, down to every origination made by Tom in confidence to his personal assistant.’ Former Scientology executive Claire Headley was exposed to the secret operation when she worked with Rathbun. ‘I was a party to the conversations that Doven was supposed to be, you know, feeding us information and getting Tom back on lines,’ she told journalist Tony Ortega.


In 1996, Cruise made a one-off return to Scientology services. With Doven keeping communication lines open with Scientology, Cruise agreed to be audited by Marty Rathbun in Los Angeles. But according to Rathbun the session went nowhere and he did not return to Scientology services again that year. In the autumn Cruise and Kidman moved further away from Miscavige when they flew to London to begin work on Stanley Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut.

Kubrick was a notorious perfectionist and on Eyes Wide Shut it was 15 months before he yelled, ‘Cut!’ for the final time. The film broke a Guinness World Record for the longest continual film shoot. Kubrick wasn’t just driving the cast and crew mad, he helped to infuriate Scientology’s leader. ‘They were away for more than a year shooting Eyes Wide Shut in the UK,’ says Mike Rinder, ‘and Cruise was not in touch with Miscavige and this drove Miscavige crazy!’

The following year on Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio, Kidman was asked whether Scientology would help her if she were ever stranded on an island. ‘No,’ she responded. When pressed she admitted that it was, ‘Catholicism which will keep me going. I’m a Catholic girl. It will always stay with you.’ In March 1999, Kidman made similar comments to legendary New York gossip columnist Liz Smith. When asked if she was still a practicing Scientologist, Kidman did not answer the question directly, but admitted she’d sought solace in St Patrick’s Cathedral following the death of Stanley Kubrick, ‘I suppose once a Catholic always a Catholic,’ she said.

With Kidman out in the open as an ex-Scientologist, and Cruise out of the country and out of contact, Michael Doven continued to feed Miscavige inside information. ‘Doven is an unsung hero to David Miscavige and Scientology for keeping a lifeline to Tom,’ says Marty Rathbun. ‘There was never a period when he wasn’t reporting in – if things went dark for too long and we weren’t hearing anything, Doven would get hauled in and it was like “hey, what’s going on man?”’

Michael Doven wasn’t just reporting in on Cruise and Kidman. He was a key part of the operation to get Cruise back in to Scientology. Two years after his one-off auditing session with Marty Rathbun, Cruise returned to be audited in October 1998. The sessions lasted a week and were done in secret in the Guaranty Building on Hollywood Boulevard, away from the scrutiny of the Celebrity Center. Cruise entered via a private car park and a back door that led to a hallway in the basement. He then caught the lift up to level 11, where Miscavige and Rathbun both had their private offices.

While Greg Wilhere’s attempt to undermine Cruise and Kidman’s relationship back in 1990 had failed, this time Miscavige was determined that the job would be done properly. Rathbun says the instructions to Doven were clear:

Miscavige said Nicole was the problem and you want to reinforce that with Tom as subtly as you can without making it sound like you are trying to break them up. That’s
how it started in ’98 and all the while from ’98 to 2000 I’m constantly being told to reinforce with Doven, who is reporting to me probably on a weekly basis on everything

that is going on with Tom, to keep planting the seed to drive a wedge because she’s been determined by Miscavige to be what’s keeping Tom separated from Dave, keeping Tom
separated from Scientology.

Miscavige was desperate for Cruise to return to Scientology. But it would take a few years before Michael Doven’s hard work paid off. In January 2001, Rathbun took a call from Cruise’s personal assistant. According to Rathbun, Doven relayed the message that Cruise needed help, that his life was a shambles, he needed auditing and he wanted a divorce. Rathbun swung into action. Part of his role was to facilitate the hiring of private investigators to spy on Kidman. ‘Tom wanted to know exactly who she was talking to, he wanted to tap her phone,’ Rathbun said in the film Going Clear. ‘When I reported that to David Miscavige I reported it like, “I mean he wants to tap her phone”. He said, “goddamn it get it done!”’

Rathbun arranged through a Scientology lawyer to get a private investigator on the case to wiretap the phone in the couple’s mansion in Los Angeles. Kidman soon knew about it. The actress was already distraught about the prospect of a divorce, now she was dealing with the paranoia that comes with having private investigators monitoring your conversations. ‘She said I just know they are tapping my line,’ a former Kidman staffer told me. ‘I think what would happen is Tom would get the information and blast her. She’d be like, ‘how in the hell did he get that? He must be listening to my lines.’’

Kidman paid thousands of dollars to have surveillance experts come in and check her home for listening devices. But the private investigators hired at arms length by the Church of Scientology were able to avoid detection. ‘There was no bug in the house,’ says the former staffer, ‘the lines were being tapped at the main phone company. We found that out later.’

In that era one prominent Hollywood private investigator successfully ran wiretaps through the local phone exchange. His name was Anthony Pellicano. In 2008, Pellicano was sentenced to 15 years in prison for illegal wiretapping and running a criminal enterprise. When the FBI raided his office, they found wiretap transcripts, hand grenades and military grade plastic explosives. Pellicano had successfully tapped lines of big name Hollywood stars through the phone exchange, with Southwestern Bell telephone technician Ray Turner also doing time for his role in the private investigator’s illegal operations.

Tom Cruise’s lawyer Bert Fields knew Pellicano well. A number of his clients used the private investigator, though Fields maintains he had no knowledge of Pellicano’s illegal activities. In 1992 Fields praised Pellicano’s ability to get results. ‘Time after time, Anthony comes up with the witness I’m looking for,’ he told a journalist, ‘He gets me results, so I stick with him.’

A former Kidman staffer told me he was sure Pellicano was involved in the operation to wiretap the actress. ‘I thought it was Pellicano the whole time,’ he said. ‘Bert Fields used Pellicano, so why wouldn’t he use him for Nicole?’ The ex-staffer also recalls Kidman being interviewed by the FBI at the time of their Pellicano investigation: ‘Why would they ask to meet her unless Pellicano bugged her?’ he said. In 2006, Vanity Fair reported that sources had claimed FBI agents had also questioned Tom Cruise.

But Marty Rathbun maintains the Church of Scientology wanted nothing to do with Pellicano and that he intervened to make sure he wasn’t used.

Bert Fields kept advising Tom to get Pellicano onto her. He never said to wiretap her. He said get Pellicano onto her and I kept telling Tom no, because I kept informed about what was going on in the investigative community and I knew this guy was bad news and had been subject to investigation over and over again. I actually had to go see Bert Fields to tell him that what we can do through our contacts we can do just as much as Pellicano and better and he finally backed off.

So did Bert Fields ignore Marty Rathbun’s advice and hire Pellicano? Or were there two operations? One with Pellicano, and one without? Was it possible that Pellicano was employed before the Scientology sponsored operation and that he acquired information from earlier wiretaps that prompted Tom to walk out the door?

Bert Fields is adamant that Pellicano was not used to tap Nicole Kidman’s phone. ‘Prior to the Kidman divorce, Anthony Pellicano had a dispute with Tom Cruise’s accountant,’ Fields told me, ‘Which led Tom to instruct us not to use Pellicano on any of Tom’s cases – and we did not. Pellicano was not retained for Tom on any part or aspect of the Kidman divorce.’

Cruise’s lawyer also disputes Marty Rathbun’s version of events. ‘At no time did I tell Marty Rathbun that I wanted to hire Pellicano for Tom on the Kidman matter,’ Fields says, ‘I was well aware of Tom’s instruction not to use Pellicano on his cases. At no time did Rathbun and I discuss anyone taping Kidman’s phone.’

Tom Cruise would not respond to any of the allegations I put to him via his lawyer. But Bert Fields says Cruise had nothing to do with any phone tapping operation. ‘Tom did not seek or want to tap Kidman’s phone at any time and did not ask Rathbun or anyone else to do any such thing.’ He sees his client as a victim of a smear campaign. ‘Tom Cruise is a decent, honest man, who has caused no harm whatsoever to Rathbun or his fellow anti-Scientologists,’ he said ‘Their continuing attempt to smear him with lies is despicable.’ In a statement Scientology’s lawyer Patrick George said, ‘The Church denies the allegations concerning Nicole Kidman.’


On February 6, 2001 it was announced that Kidman and Cruise were splitting. A press release put out by Cruise’s then publicist Pat Kingsley stated the couple had regretfully decided to separate, ‘Citing the difficulties inherent in divergent careers which constantly keep them apart, they concluded that an amicable separation seemed best for both of them at this time.’

Kidman was shocked when Cruise suddenly wanted to end their marriage. So too were those close to her. Kidman’s staff saw how infatuated Tom was with her. It simply didn’t make sense. At the time it was reported that Tom had explained the sudden divorce by saying, ‘Ask Nicole. She knows.’ One ex-staffer said to me, ‘I would like to know from the Scientologists the real reason that Tom walked out the door – what was it? Was there something explosive in those recordings?’ It’s a question I could not get an answer to. The tapes have never been made public and no one close to these events would reveal to me what was on those recordings.

The Scientology sponsored wiretapping of Nicole Kidman’s phone went on for around a month. Kidman was not the only target. According to Marty Rathbun, Cruise wanted to find out more about the conversations she was having with her long-term friend, Russell Crowe. ‘I’m not sure who else,’ Rathbun told me, ‘But I definitely knew he came up because we got in a big background number on Crowe. We went and investigated him to find out everything about him right down to the doctor who delivered him.’

Crowe’s star was on the rise in Hollywood. He had just won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Maximus in Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator. Two years earlier Cruise had been photographed sitting next to Crowe as his football team the South Sydney Rabbitohs played the Auckland Warriors. Now the Church of Scientology was compiling a file on Crowe as part of a surveillance operation organised on behalf of Cruise.

Rathbun says there was no evidence that Crowe was being anything other than a good friend at a time of deep personal despair for Nicole. ‘I was privy to all these calls,’ he says, ‘I had to be briefed on them and I had to understand them because I had to relay them to Miscavige. In my personal opinion there was nothing to warrant any concern based on the substance and content of those calls.’

Once the surveillance stopped and the divorce was finalised, the Church of Scientology did not leave Nicole Kidman alone. According to former senior Scientologists, its next step was to turn Kidman’s children against her. Marty Rathbun claims Scientology official Tommy Davis was indoctrinating Isabella and Connor Cruise. ‘Tommy told them over and over again their mother was a sociopath, and after a while they believed him,’ Rathbun told the Hollywood Reporter, ‘They had daily sessions with Tommy. I was there. I saw it.’

Back when Tommy Davis was still an active Scientologist he denied the claim. In a written statement in 2012 he said, ‘Marty Rathbun never witnessed conversations between me and Isabella and Connor Cruise about their mother because no such conversations ever occurred. I have never spoken with Isabella or Connor about their mother and never would as it is none of my business.’

John Brousseau, the former Sea Org member who built limousines and motorhomes for Cruise and renovated his airport hangar, believes someone was indoctrinating the children by telling them that their mother was what Scientology calls a ‘Suppressive Person’ or SP. After the divorce the children spent time in his care while Tom was being recruited back in to Scientology:

I sort of became the guy to keep them occupied, to keep them out of the way so that Miscavige could deal with Tom without the kids. So I hung out with them took them around to ride ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), took them fishing and all kinds of things on the Int base and got to know them quite well. I was sort of like Uncle JB to them.

Brousseau says the Cruise children confided in him and would talk candidly about their mother. ‘I knew they were getting some kind of training on the PTS/SP course,’ he says ‘and they probably on half a dozen occasions would make derogatory comments about Nicole. On one occasion Connor and Bella were both telling me how they had recognised that she’s an SP and I remember thinking at the time, Wow, they were coerced into this thinking.’

Scientology had gotten Tom Cruise back in to the fold and secured his children at the same time. But the surveillance culture used against Nicole would soon be turned against Tom. According to several former Sea Org members, Cruise’s auditing sessions with Marty Rathbun were videotaped and his personal confessions became fodder for Miscavige’s warped sense of humour.

Former Scientology executive Tom DeVocht says Miscavige would watch tapes of Cruise’s confidential auditing sessions before sharing personal details about his sex life with close colleagues. ‘I would sit there every night with a Scotch and watch and listen to Miscavige comment about Cruise’s sex life and how perverted he was,’ recalled DeVocht.

Privately Miscavige might have belittled Scientology’s star recruit but publicly and in person Miscavige was full of praise for Cruise, suggesting that he, like him, had super human powers. ‘Miscavige convinced Cruise that he and Tom were two of only a handful of truly ‘big beings’ on the planet,’ recalled Rathbun. ’He instructed Cruise that LRH (Hubbard) was relying upon them to unite with the few others of their ilk on earth to make it on to ‘Target Two’ – some unspecified galactic locale where they would meet up with Hubbard in the afterlife.’

Cruise’s renewed dedication to Scientology came with benefits to Miscavige. He was used to lobby foreign leaders and US ambassadors to help defend Scientology. He asked President Clinton to try and convince Tony Blair to give Scientology tax-deductible charity status in the UK. He met with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to see what he could do about the hostility towards Scientology in Germany.

Miscavige rewarded Cruise for his efforts. At the International Association of Scientologists’ 20th anniversary gala in 2004, he was presented with a special award struck in his honour, the Freedom Medal of Valor. As he hung the diamond encrusted medal around Cruise’s neck, Miscavige described him as ‘the most dedicated Scientologist I know.’ It was a deeply offensive comment to all those Sea Org members who had dedicated their lives to the cause, slaving away for just $50 a week. This was the man who had gone missing during the Time magazine controversy, and the battle to win tax-free status with the IRS.

As Cruise received his award, saluted Miscavige and then hugged him, there in the front row applauding was James Packer – the son of Australia’s richest man. Unbeknownst to most of the Scientologists in the room, the recruitment of James Packer became Miscavige’s next big priority. The man who delivered the young mogul to Scientology was, of course, Tom Cruise.

— Steve Cannane


Chris Shelton on the Nation of Islam

Says Chris: “This week, and coincidentally with the timing of Leah’s show on the Nation of Islam, I am covering the improbable and bizarre alliance between the Church of Scientology and the Nation of Islam. I discuss what I learned in looking into this, including the real history of the NOI, its racist nature and undeniable fact it is a destructive cult as well as my direct experience with the NOI the very first day they showed up in a Scientology org to do services. Enjoy!”



Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!


Now on sale: Twice the Miss Lovely!

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. What a pleasure it is for us to work with her on this after we wrote about her ordeal as a victim of Scientology’s “Fair Game” campaigns in our 2015 book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, which is also on sale in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions.



[ONE year ago] Louis Theroux’s showdown with Scientology over a public road: The nutty new chapter
[TWO years ago] CLAIM: ‘Frail’ looking Shelly Miscavige spotted near Scientology compound in California
[THREE years ago] Today in L.A.: Can Scientology kill a forced-abortion lawsuit in the name of religion?
[FOUR years ago] More about the goons Scientology sent to intimidate Marty Rathbun and Louis Theroux
[FIVE years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology celebrates the holidays!
[SIX years ago] Scientology Leader David Miscavige: Getting Desperate?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,299 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,430 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,932 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,412 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 475 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 363 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,670 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,538 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,312 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,086 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,432 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,998 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,918 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,085 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,666 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,926 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,966 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,678 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,204 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,293 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,433 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,753 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,609 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,728 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,084 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,386 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,492 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,895 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,766 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,349 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,844 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,098 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,207 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 15, 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 Underground 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates

Join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

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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