How Scientology Spied on Tom Cruise

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Tom Cruise and David Miscavige in happy times
Three former Church of Scientology officials tell the Voice that for years -- at least between 1991 and 2005 -- church leader David Miscavige kept a close watch on Tom Cruise with the use of a man named Michael Doven, who served as Cruise's personal assistant.

For much of that time, 1991 to 2001, Cruise, one of Scientology's most famous faces, was actually estranged from the church (a closely-held secret until just a few years ago). While Cruise kept his distance from Scientology during that period, Miscavige still received detailed, daily reports about the Cruise household through Doven, the former officials say.

Doven was reached on the telephone Wednesday, but he hung up when he learned that it was the Voice calling. An e-mail was subsequently sent to him with specific questions about the allegation that he spied on his employer, Cruise, on behalf of the church, but he did not respond.

Part of the reason for the surveillance, says former church official Claire Headley, was that Miscavige and the church were worried that Cruise would cut ties entirely with Scientology. "Doven told us what Tom was complaining about, about what areas in his life he was having trouble with. Then we could use that information to tailor our approach to him," she says.

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Michael Doven (from his website)
Thursday morning, the Voice published a story about Doven, who no longer works as Cruise's assistant but photographs other Scientology celebrities for magazines. Our story was prompted by a mailer sent out recently by the church, which included a lengthy testimonial by Doven about how he had become the first Scientologist to complete testing on a corrected set of L. Ron Hubbard materials which were published in 2007, the "Golden Age of Knowledge for Eternity."

After that story appeared, Marty Rathbun, formerly Scientology's second-highest ranking executive, made public his allegation that for many years Doven had spied on Cruise for Miscavige. Since Rathbun made that allegation public at his blog Thursday afternoon, we have been confirming his statements with other church executives who worked with Miscavige, Cruise, and Doven.

Rathbun went through a detailed history with us of Tom Cruise's involvement in Scientology, and his own role in helping to bring Cruise back into the fold in 2001.

"Doven was there the entire time, reporting to Miscavige everything that Tom was doing," Rathbun told me. When I asked Rathbun how he knew that, he answered in Scientology jargon: "How do I know that? Because I was on that line."

"Doven was personally reporting to you what Tom was doing?" I asked him, for clarification.

"Absolutely," Rathbun answered. "He'd be telling me what was happening with Nic [Nicole Kidman], what was happening in the household, what was happening between Tom and Steven Spielberg. He had been reporting to us from the early 1990s." After 1996, Rathbun says, Doven was making those reports directly to him, and Rathbun was in turn giving the information directly to Miscavige.

In 1998 or 1999, Claire Headley says she too became part of those communications while she worked with Rathbun at the Religious Technology Center, one of Scientology's entities at the church's secretive desert base.

"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 says. "I do remember that Doven's reporting led up to retrieving Tom. And subsequently I had a lot of involvement with Marty when he was running Tom on OT IV and OT V." (We'll explain that jargon later in the story. If you're new to the subject, you might want to read our primer, "What is Scientology?")

I asked Headley what kind of information Doven was turning over. "What was happening with Nicole and the divorce. And I remember hearing about problems with Nicole's parents -- or the problems that Tom perceived, with them not wanting Nicole to continue with Scientology," she says.

I also talked with Mike Rinder, who, until he defected in 2007, was Scientology's chief spokesman and ran the church's "Office of Special Affairs" -- its intelligence and covert operations wing.

Rinder related a particularly remarkable episode in Michael Doven's career working for both Cruise and Miscavige, involving an early morning meeting at CAA, one of Hollywood's most powerful talent agencies. Doven's mission that day was to intimidate Cruise's agents into doing something about Comedy Central's embarrassing 2005 South Park episode that ridiculed the church.

Doven may have long been an effective spy, but he made for a lousy intimidator, Rinder says.

Increasingly, as high-level Scientology executives have left the church in recent years, we are learning more than ever about how Miscavige's organization gathers intelligence not only about perceived external enemies, but also on its own people. And apparently, even Scientology's most prominent celebrity member is not immune.


Talking to Ashtrays

In 1990, Marc Headley was told that he had been selected to be a guinea pig for Tom Cruise.

Headley was a worker at "Int Base," a 700-acre complex in the California desert which at that time was almost unknown to the outside world. As he writes in his book about his experiences at the base, Blown for Good, Headley was chosen to be Cruise's test subject because although Headley had been a church employee for years, he had gone through very little of its spiritual training.

Cruise, who was coming off his star turn in Days of Thunder, was spending a lot of time at the base as church leader David Miscavige groomed him to be an ideal face for the movement. Cruise had been introduced some time earlier to the religion by his first wife, the actress Mimi Rogers. (They were married in 1987 and divorced in 1990.)

Part of becoming a more advanced Scientologist meant that Cruise needed to learn how to "audit" -- or counsel -- other church members. Headley was chosen to be audited by Cruise, and the two spent hours and hours performing standard Scientology "training routines." As Headley explained to me in 2009, these drills included Cruise instructing Headley to talk to ashtrays, bottles, and books.

That same year, 1990, Cruise had begun dating Kidman. But if Miscavige was hoping that Cruise was going to become a more involved Scientologist, instead the actor pulled away. Late in 1990, Cruise and Kidman were married. In 1991, Cruise all but separated from Scientology, but the church managed to keep it quiet.

"Nicole was really sour on Scientology and kept pressing Tom to stay away from Int Base," Marty Rathbun tells me. Until 2004, Rathbun was perhaps the highest-ranking official in the church after Miscavige. (He wore the title of the RTC's Inspector General-Ethics, but all that really mattered was that he answered to only one person -- Miscavige.) "Nicole spotted Miscavige and didn't like what she saw. Her big issue was that Tom was becoming like Miscavige. Nicole didn't like the relationship that was developing between them," Rathbun says.

"She was sort of leading him away from it. I don't think Tom did really anything from 1991 to 2001, except for a few sessions in 1998. And he hadn't talked to Miscavige that whole period, which really drove Miscavige ape shit," Rathbun adds.

Rathbun then corrected himself, remembering that Cruise and Kidman showed up at a 1993 event -- the annual gala for the International Association of Scientologists. (We recently reported on the 2011 event.) But at the 1993 gala, Rathbun says, Cruise didn't stay long. "He and Nicole left in the middle of it, which really peeved Miscavige. After that
there was very little communication."

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Marty Rathbun
But throughout the period when Cruise stayed away, Rathbun says, Miscavige received detailed information about the Cruise household through Doven, who had become Cruise's assistant. (According to IMDB, Doven's credits working as either an assistant or associate producer with Cruise span the period from 1992's Far and Away through 2004's Collateral.)

I asked Rathbun how Doven got that information to the church. "It was phone calls. A lot of phone calls. He reported directly to Shelly Miscavige a lot," Rathbun says, referring to David Miscavige's wife and assistant, who has not been heard from or seen in public since 2006. "Then, in 1998, it really picked up with me, because I had given Tom four straight days of auditing sessions."

Rathbun says that Cruise had made a tentative return to the fold, and Rathbun remembers that it was in October, during the World Series between the San Diego Padres and the New York Yankees. "Tom was going to those games in San Diego," Rathbun says. And then he was joining Rathbun in Los Angeles at the Management Building on Ivar Street for the auditing sessions. "The building had a secret entrance we could use to get up to the 11th floor, where the RTC offices were. He couldn't go to the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. It wasn't secure enough."

Rathbun then went to Clearwater, Florida for the next two years as Scientology weathered one of its worst publicity nightmares -- the church had been indicted in the death of parishioner Lisa McPherson. But even then, Rathbun says, the information about Cruise kept coming.

"I would receive calls from Doven regularly. What Tom is up to. How to get him in for more auditing. He'd tell me what was going on with Nic. And I would immediately pass that on to Miscavige. You could get in trouble for interrupting Dave, but for that it was the opposite, I would get in trouble for not getting that immediately to him," Rathbun says.

I asked Rathbun if Cruise realized he was being spied on. "I'm not sure what Tom knew," he answered. "But he treated Doven like shit in front of me."

Why, I asked him, did he think Miscavige wanted Cruise watched so closely?

"It was a personal thing. He wasn't obsessed with Travolta or the others. It was about being Tom's pal, being near him, and having Tom admire him," Rathbun replied.


"Your needle is floating"

"I had two interactions with Doven," Claire Headley tells me from Colorado, where she lives with her husband Marc and their two young children. In 2005, she and Marc escaped from Int Base in dramatic fashion, which Marc describes in Blown for Good. Claire told her story to the St. Petersburg Times in 2010, including her two forced abortions as a Sea Org member prohibited from having children.

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Marc and Claire Headley and their sons
She says her first interaction with Doven occurred before she had become a high-ranking executive. "I was just a pee wee nobody at Gold. I was word clearing with him. And that was part of an ethics handling that Marty was doing with him at the time because he wasn't getting Tom back on the straight and narrow," she says. (Scientologists place a great emphasis on understanding vocabulary, and they must "clear" a word if they are unsure of its meaning. An "ethics handling" refers to reforming someone who has performed poorly in some way, in this case Doven was not perceived to be doing enough to help them get Cruise back in the church.)

I asked her for a specific memory, and she remembered Doven talking about Cruise "going haywire on a refrigerator" in a tantrum.

Later, in 1998 or 1999, she says, she had moved up in the organization to become the "Director of AVC - Corrections." This made her more involved with interrogations ("sec-checking") and so she was privy to the information that Doven was feeding Rathbun, and then, in 2001 and later, with Cruise's own auditing with Rathbun.

"Marty audited him on the Suppressive Person rundown in relation to Tom's divorce with Nicole," she says. (When someone expresses criticism or doubt about Scientology, the church may declare him or her a "suppressive person" or "SP" -- the equivalent of excommunication. Cruise and Kidman separated in February, 2001.)

"Nicole was Tom's SP. The purpose of the rundown Marty ran on him was to audit it until Tom and Nicole were reconciled," she says.

With Nicole out of the picture, Cruise was finally brought back into the church for good. Rathbun says he audited Cruise intensely from July to November in 2001, and then again from February to April in 2002. (Jason Beghe confirms that at this time, he was alternating with Cruise for his auditing sessions with Rathbun, who was known in the church as perhaps the best auditor in Scientology.)

If Cruise was back, Rathbun himself defected from the church in February, 2004.

Claire Headley says she had an additional experience working with Cruise after Rathbun left, in July of 2004.

"That's when Tom Cruise, along with [church spokesman] Tommy Davis and Tom's entourage came to Int Base for his six month check, when he was OT VII. Greg Wilhere audited him. Hara O'Hare was his case supervisor. Sue Wilhere was his examiner most of the time, and I was Tom's examiner a couple of times," Headley says. (After several years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in counseling, Scientologists reach upper-level teachings called "Operating Thetan" or OT, which go as high as OT VIII.)

I asked Claire what it meant to be Cruise's "examiner." She explained that an auditor and his subject would reach the successful end of a session when the auditor could see that the e-meter's needle was "floating." At that point, an examiner comes in to check the e-meter to confirm that the meter is, indeed, in a floating state.

Cruise, she says, had been auditing for days, and was scheduled to leave the next day. He could only leave, however, if Claire Headley agreed that he had achieve a floating needle.

"Yes, I was intimidated," she says, as I asked her to remember what that was like, walking over to decide whether Tom Cruise -- Tom Cruise -- could get up and finally leave his auditing session. "But I'm like, I'm going to end up on the RPF if I say there's a floating needle and there isn't one," she says, referring to the Sea Org's prison detail, the Rehabilitation Project Force.

She says that the examiner looks at the e-meter and then says one of two things. "I would either say, 'Thank you, your needle is floating,' or, if it wasn't floating, I would just say, 'Thank you.'"

So, with Cruise holding onto the sensors of the machine, she looked at it carefully.

"Thank you," she said.

I asked her what his reaction was when it dawned on him that she had not seen a floating needle and was not signing off on his session.

"He was just kind of confused and flustered," she says.

Miscavige, however, went "ape shit," she says, and took over Cruise's case personally, signing off on it so Cruise could leave.

Seven years later, now out of the church, I asked her how she feels about the episode.

"I maintain that his needle was not floating," she says with a laugh. "But whether that means anything, who knows. That one situation really highlighted for me the layers of bullshit in Scientology. I mean, no matter what you believe, that was bullshit."


Doven Pumps Up His Impingement

"It was very early in the morning. December 7, 2005. 8:30 am. In a CAA conference room," Mike Rinder tells me.

He's setting the scene to describe a remarkable confrontation. The month before, Scientology's secret upper-level teachings had been ridiculed in spectacular fashion in an episode of Comedy Central's show South Park. As we reported earlier, Scientology would retaliate against South Park's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, with the use of private investigators in the spring of 2006. But at this point, late in 2005, Rinder explained, Miscavige was livid and wanted to use the church's biggest star, Tom Cruise, to punish Viacom, which owned Comedy Central.

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Mike Rinder
Viacom also owned Paramount Pictures, where Cruise was on contract. Rinder says Miscavige wanted pressure applied on Paramount and Viacom to rein in Comedy Central.

Or at least, that was the theory. Rinder says another concern Miscavige had was that Kim Christensen, a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, was working on a story about the church's influence over Cruise.

2005, after all, had been a complete disaster for Cruise and Scientology. After firing his longtime publicist, Pat Kingsley, Cruise had put his own sister, LeAnne DeVette, in the position. Rinder says Miscavige had long been frustrated that Kingsley had advised Cruise not to talk publicly about Scientology. But now, Cruise made up for lost time with his disastrous argument with Matt Lauer and his couch-jumping episode on Oprah Winfrey's show. Suddenly, Cruise was the symbol of Scientology, and it had gone terrible wrong.

Rinder says he and Doven were given orders by Miscavige -- go to CAA, Cruise's talent agency, and get them to do something about Viacom and about the Times.

In the conference room was Kevin Huvane and Rick Nicita with CAA, as well as attorney Bert Fields and publicist Paul Bloch, Rinder says.

"I was the head spokesman of the church, and I was dispatched with Michael Doven to get CAA to beat up the LA Times to convince them that there was no influence of the church over Tom Cruise. Do you get the irony of that?" Rinder asked me.

"Also, there was a lot of talk about how Comedy Central was going to be gotten under control through Paramount, because Brad Grey had been made president, and there were supposed to be new contract negotiations with Tom Cruise. And Miscavige's position was that Cruise was such a big money maker, there could be pressure brought through Brad Grey to Les Moonves and the others on Viacom's TV side to shut Comedy Central up," he says.

Miscavige, he says, had told Doven to get tough with the agency.

"Huvane and Nicita were sitting there trying to explain to us that this is what Comedy Central does. It's comedy, don't get your knickers in a twist," Rinder says.

"Little did they know that Doven had been wound up in a meeting at ASI [Author Services, Inc., another Scientology entity] by Miscavige. 'You better get in their faces! You better impinge on them!' Miscavige yelled."

So Doven did his best. "It was a big show. These guys had never seen Doven like that. You heard him on that phone call with Marty. He's meek. He's like the most laid-back, mousy person that you could ever imagine," Rinder says, referring to a recording of a 2010 telephone conversation between Doven and Rathbun that we published Thursday morning.

"And he's there pounding his fists on the table at CAA, shouting, 'Fuck this! Fuck this!' It was quite funny, actually. You could see Rick and Kevin looking at each other, wondering what was going on."

After the meeting, Rinder says, Doven looked for affirmation. "Do you think I impinged? Do you think COB is going to think I did enough? You're gong to tell him I really impinged, right?" Rinder remembers Doven saying, referring to one of Miscavige's honorifics, for "Chairman of the Board."

They went to see Miscavige, who said he wanted to hear exactly what went down. Doven, he says, did his best to "pump up his impingement." Rinder remembers him telling Miscavige, "I got right in their faces. I was screaming at them!"

"And that's what makes Miscavige happy," Rinder says.

"I know that Tom was in agreement with Miscavige doing that. By that point, if Miscavige told Tom, 'This is what needs to be done,' Tom was on board. 'OK, Dave, whatever you say'," Rinder adds.

Rinder says he thinks that CAA did try to do what they were asked. "They did make phone calls, and they did try to leverage their influence to pressure Comedy Central and Viacom," Rinder says.

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The photo Miscavige sent the Times
(CAA didn't however, appear to bother with trying to fend off Kim Christensen at the LA Times. "I don't think there was any kind of overt pressure by CAA of any kind," Christensen tells me. Rinder says Miscavige gave up on trying to stop the Times from doing the story, and instead sent over a photograph of himself with Tom Cruise and their motorcycles. How this was supposed to derail the idea that Cruise was under the influence of the church, even Rinder can't fathom. Christensen's story appeared on December 18, 2005, which was 11 days after the meeting at CAA. The photo of Miscavige and Cruise, meanwhile, lives on in infamy.)

"You know the end result in all this," Rinder says. "In August 2006, [Viacom owner] Sumner Redstone announced that he wasn't renewing the contract with Tom Cruise, and the relationship with Paramount ended. I would say that it's not a stretch to conclude that this is yet another case of Miscavige creating enemies in his fervor to try and protect his image."

I asked Rinder the same thing I asked Rathbun: was Cruise aware of the extent of spying on him by Doven and Miscavige?

"I don't think he was aware of the extent to which it was done," he says. "And Doven was answerable to Miscavige way before he was answerable to Tom."



Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [What is Scientology?] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology]
[Commenters of the Week] | [Thursday 2pm Stats!] | [Scientology vs. South Park]
[This Week Aboard the Apollo] | [Sunday Funnies]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]
[Paulette Cooper, Scientology's original and worst nightmare: a Thanksgiving tribute]

THE TOP 25 PEOPLE CRIPPLING SCIENTOLOGY

1. L. Ron Hubbard | 2. David Miscavige | 3. Marty Rathbun | 4. Tom Cruise | 5. Joe Childs and Tom Tobin | 6. Anonymous | 7. Mark Bunker | 8. Mike Rinder | 9. Jason Beghe | 10. Lisa McPherson | 11. Nick Xenophon | 12. Tommy Davis | 13. Janet Reitman | 14. Tory Christman | 15. Andreas Heldal-Lund | 16. Marc and Claire Headley | 17. Jefferson Hawkins | 18. Amy Scobee | 19. The Squirrel Busters | 20. Trey Parker and Matt Stone | 21. Kendrick Moxon | 22. Jamie DeWolf | 23. Ken Dandar | 24. Dave Touretzky | 25. Xenu

HELD ABOARD THE FREEWINDS: TALES OF THE SEA ORG

[Valeska Paris, held against her will from 1996 to 2007 on Scientology's cruise ship]
[Ramana Dienes-Browning, marriage at 16, sexual interrogation, life in the engine room]
[Melissa Paris, Valeska's sister: forced to marry at 16]

SCIENTOLOGY VS. SOUTH PARK: INVESTIGATION AS RETALIATION

[Scientology targeted South Park's Parker and Stone in an investigation]
[More documents in the South Park probe: instructions to send in a young mole]
[Scientology responds in typical fashion] | [Lloyd Kaufman confirms the probe]
[Mark Ebner also investigated after South Park involvement]
[Mark Chauppetta, private eye, explains what Scientology operatives look for]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

[Hey, Scientology Celebrity, Here's Your Media Training Checksheet!]
[Tom Cruise and X Factor's Stacy Francis singing together on the Freewinds]
[X Factor's Stacy Francis: Her first husband, Michael Sandlofer, answers abuse claims]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

["The Money Machine": another blockbuster St. Pete Times investigation]
[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology in Israel: Arson, attempted murder, paranoia -- and a visit by the Voice!]
[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]
[Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology chillin' with hip hop!] | [The curious career of Scientology rapper Chill EB]
[Chill EB and me: the Voice interviews Scientology's in-house rapper]
[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]
[Desperate Scientology fundraising caught on video]

My Voice Nation Help
181 comments
Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

Wowza. Have you had an interview with Tony O yet? I'd love to hear your full story!

Beth
Beth

And now the Propaganda Machines are at it again!  They are starting some articles saying that Holmes is not leaving Tom because of Scientology, that there are other "personal" reasons!    The good thing is, because of articles like this, the general public has better understanding of how this cult works and how it uses propaganda. I am also having an interesting read on "Sterling Management Consultants".  How many orgs are out there that are connected to Scientology? 

Beth
Beth

It's just a shame that Cruise can't see the reality in all of this.  Obviously they have used him and have enough info through auditing to try to destroy his career if he becomes "suspect". One has to wonder if all of the negative publicity on Travolta is contrived by this org, just to show him who is in power if he "disconnects". Many of us could care less about somebodies past as an actor.  We've heard it all.   I really applaude people like Anderson Cooper who knows who he is and isn't afraid to tell.     Seriously, if they have something on Tom, how bad could it possibly be?  Chances are many people would not believe it anyway.    He would best serve his fans by removing himself and his children from this wacky sounding group, who is sucking his money and gathering intelligence to possible try to hurt him someday.   Actually he could play the role of DM and most likely win an Oscar.

GUEST
GUEST

Here's the "real" deal. What is truth is fiction, and what is fiction is fact. Everything that you think is the truth will be lies in disguise. Everything you think are lies will have truth embedded. Nicole Kidman is NOT the person whom everyone thinks she is. She is a manipulator to the inth degree. You never break from a cult. Never. So what she's done is create a guise in the name of being free from Tom, yet she uses those same tactics on the likes of people like Keith Urban. She uses what she's learned from Tom to force her control onto others. Also, people are never fully "free" of this cult. Will Smith? Will never be free. Tom Cruise? Will never be free. In fact, if you do try anything, you will see something or someone sacrificed on your behalf. So do not be surprised if people close to these SCI-CULT people start dying if the main person in the relationship tries to leave or break free. But do not ever for even one moment think that the likes of Nicole Kidman are somehow innocent. She uses what she learned from Cruise, and it will trickle down in some form or fashion.

Kilimi
Kilimi

Tom Cruise needs a psychiatrist. Ha,Ha,Ha

Too Much
Too Much

I wonder if mdoven@79a5ad68245dc56d01960a322d4efebe:disqus earthlink.net thinks he's infested with invisible murdered space aliens. LOL! What a fucking insane loon. 

Nobodys
Nobodys

This is one of THE most significant Scientology stories published to date.  This is the type of super secret "ops" that only a very select few were privy to for decades.  Its importance is overshadowed by the sheer volume of anti-Scn news now available, but what it reveals about the organization is devastating.

In truth I believe that Tom Cruise is already "out". It has been a few years since he's made ANY public comment about Scn; more importantly he withdrew support from key Scientology social programs where he served as the virtual spokesperson (this in 2010). After a string of movie failures, and being the brunt of media jokes and scorn, he is trying to rebuild his career on those things that made him famous in the first place: an excellent agent, impeccably managed PR, a solid work ethic and casting to type.

During his flame-out in 2005-2007 Cruise single-handedly did more to destroy the repute and influence of Scientology than critics had been able to do in the previous 50 years. But this story is a death-blow because it will cost Scn its powerful Hollywood base and contaminate the cadre of wealthy parishioners that are keeping it afloat. They will have to wonder what kind of covert "ops" and infiltration are being run on THEM.

Of course, Scn's policy of "disconnection" and "fair game" was run on Nicole Kidman.  If you know Scn, you know what was done.  What's surprising is her continued silence about it.  Cruise treated her horribly and his smug "Nic knows why" cast her as the bad guy. She was threatened with being cut off from her children who by then had been molded into little culties if she went public with what she REALLY knew and what was REALLY done to her.

To her great credit she was a class act throughout and to this day remains circumspect.  Moreover, once away from Cruise and Scn, her career soared culminating in an Oscar win.  In her personal life she proved to be a steadfast and committed wife to Keith Urban and a devoted mother to their two daughters.  There's hardly a criticism to be made of this woman who suffered greatly at the hand of Scn.  Once her older kids are out of the cult, which is only a matter of time, she can tell her story if she chooses.

That an operation of this breadth could go on at the highest echelons of SCN is an indicator of the depths of depravity extant in the organization.  Scn is organized on the basis of a seven division "org" (organizing) board that delineates specific functions.  L. Ron Hubbard claimed this org board was modeled after a galactic civilization that existed for millions of years and ultimately collapsed and disappeared because it did not have a Qualifications Division that could detect and correct mistakes, errors, and screw-ups large and small. Hubbard created and added this corrective function onto the Org board thus guaranteeing Scn's survival.

Like many of Hubbard's grandisoe ideas, the Qualifications Division has done nothing to stem the tide of malicious, depraved, greedy, stupid, and ridiculous activities emanating from Scn.  I honestly don't know if the subject can be saved.  Even the independent field seems incapable of "calling bullshit" (Tony Ortega's words) on Hubbard's policies and ideas that should be jettisoned (such as disconnection, fair game and delusions of galactic proportions). And when you realize that all of Hubbard's efforts culminated in David Miscavige trying to take over Tom Cruise's life and nearly succeeding why would any rational person embrace Scientology.

Tweetiebird57
Tweetiebird57

I used to feel that Tom Cruise got what he deserved when he joined Scientology.  Now I just feel pity for him.  No one deserves what has been done to him, and countless others.  I just hope he finally realizes how they have used him and gets out of there.  Glad that Nicole Kidman managed to escape.  These are some S C A R Y people.

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

It makes perfect sense that they spied on Tom Cruise; the "church" recorded his auditing sessions on audio tape and video. They had put a lot of effort to make Tom Cruise into the model Scientologist celebrity and it was possibly falling apart. By now it should be obvious that anybody who might be important is watched, either to get information or as a clumsy way to gain silence. And if they can't play spy games, then they try to force videotaped depositions (as with the Angry Gay Pope last year.)

I think it's impossible to tell where Scientology the religion ends and where Scientology the private intelligence force begins.

Jill H.
Jill H.

Some of my friends are Scientologists. I don't belong to the church, but out of curiosity, I went and read the books, so I know the 'jargon'. This is just an example of the media spinning a story. 'Talking to ashtrays' LOL. And for the record, the Sea Org doesn't force people to have abortions. They do have a policy that members don't have children so that they can dedicate all their time to it. So, if someone gets pregnant, they just leave. Religion may not be my cup of tea, but I'm not a bigot either. 

The Scientologist
The Scientologist

I just have to say, based on some of the commentators here, that it's quite ironic to see this "news" (pretty old news, really) about Cruise being spied on, considering that it follows the huge success of MI4. Many in the anti-Scientology movement were hoping, praying even, for MI4 to be a total flop, and for Cruise to just fade away. An attitude and position I've never understood.

And with this Doven thing, the next big issue to get serious addressing which no one has really discussed is how the Church schemed to get Cruise in the first place, through Mimi Rogers. And Rogers wasn't even a hardcore, committed Scientologist or anything, which is why they spent all that time between 1987 to 1990 trying to figure out how to consolidate their position with Cruise and turn Hollywood's biggest star into a bright-eyed, zealous Scientologist.

A lot of people forget that Cruise was very young when he became a huge star, and came from a fairly sheltered and conservative Catholic background. He originally aimed at becoming a priest. So, to say that he was impressionable from the religious and spiritual viewpoint is an understatement.

Young guy becoming a huge, huge star in Hollywood, surrounded by all these flakes and fakes and sycophants and junkies, and Scientology enters the picture. Scientology provides a sanctuary without all the baggage and guilt that goes along with being a Catholic.

And I highly doubt that during the 1990s, that Tom Cruise was completely estranged from Scientology. He was certainly aware that Doven was a Scientologist, and he also kept in contact with a few other key Scientologists. Jason Lee's ex-wife even relates that in the late 1990s, before Tom and Nicole began separating, that she and Jason were hanging out with them and Tom didn't know they were Scientologists and when he found out, he basically said something like, "Well, we're Scientologists too, right Nic?" And Nicole shot him back a menacing glance.

That story can be found through a simple search. So, he obviously still identified as a Scientologist.

Point is, Tom Cruise was about 24 or 25 years old when he began the process of becoming a Scientologist. He's a trained Class IV auditor, and he has been highly indoctrinated over a period of many years. He is so indoctrinated he actually seriously volunteered to join the Sea Org, and Miscavige remarking he would like Tom to become Inspector General RTC, which could not happen due to specific LRH policy barring high profile celebrities from joining staff.

When Tom is being himself, as when he creates films, he does very well. Any anti-Scientology critic who makes claims about Tom being the worst actor in history or some garbage like that is clearly being as ideological and stupid as the Church.

So, Tom is not the enemy. He never deserved all the hate and vitriol dumped on him by the anti-Scientology crowd. This is the one person who if he left the Church, could very well utterly devastate it and leave it in shambles and possibly even open it up to some kind of reform.

But please, nobody wants Marty Rathbun or any of the original pro-Miscavige gang as part of that reform.

Adam
Adam

Jill,

Are you a scientologist?  You need to make clear where you are coming from, otherwise your being deceptive.

Adam 

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

"Bigot" is a culturally outdated word that Scns are trained to use against critics. It's an instant giveaway of a parroted response. More importantly - questioning an organization's apparently harmful practices does not make someone prejudiced against or intolerant of religion.

scnethics
scnethics

As a former Scientologist, who spent many hours talking to an ashtray as part of my indoctination, I don't see where mention of that was 'spin'. 

And I'm hesitant to take your word, as a person who has friends who are Scientologists (which is the same thing as saying "I'm part of the Church of Scientology's intelligence unit"), over the word of Claire Headley, who spent years of her life completely devoted to Scientology, about whether the Sea Org strong arms women into having abortions!

eo
eo

The article did not say Cruise stopped being a scientologist, it says he was not as "in" as they want us to believe in those 10 years and that was due to his ex-wife.  And as you said the story by Jason Lee's wife happened in the late 90s ('98, '99) and soon after Cruise and Kidman divorced.  The article states that Cruise STARTED taking lessons and being audited again in '98, being told who his SP was - his ex-wife, who did not take kindly to being called a scientologist.  Nothing cotradictory at all in the article.

Barbara Snow
Barbara Snow

How well Tom Cruise can act certainly has nothing to do with the nature of Scientology, nor does the fact that he is a Hollywood celebrity who embraces it.   But it is kind of funny -- do I dare say "ironic"?-- that Scientology hoped and planned to get celebrity members as a way of promoting and legitimizing itself, only to have Tom Cruise turn somewhat loony on them in such a public way.  

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

You might want to word clear "irony" before you try to use it in a sentence.

MrElronious
MrElronious

Tom is the same guy in 95% of his movies the other 5% he is almost the same, his charactor just has a differant job/career

Lliira
Lliira

 "Scientology provides a sanctuary without all the baggage and guilt that goes along with being a Catholic."

Oh please. Scientology is the organization that punished a young woman for her husband's masturbation. The organization founded by a man who said homosexuals were evil and smelled bad. The organization that regularly covers up rape -- not so different from the Catholic Church after all. Scientology's members are accused of "crimes" and screamed at at the drop of a hat. Scientology disappears people and sends them to labor camps, in the proud tradition of their founder. And all of this without forgiveness or a true confessional seal.

"Tom is not the enemy. He never deserved all the hate and vitriol dumped on him by the anti-Scientology crowd."

While Tom benefits from the slave labor Scientology provides him, while he plays on the Freewinds without caring about the prisoners on board, while he supports Scientology and David Miscavige, he is, actually, a horrible person. He has benefited from this vile, violent, illegal scam. Until he leaves Scientology very publicly and says, "I was completely wrong, I said things that were wrong, I did things that were wrong, and I can only hope that no one else will be hurt because of me," he does, in fact, deserve all the vitriol dumped on him.

DO
DO

Thanks for the word-clearing V!  But you're wrong.  Do a search for bigot on Google News and you'll find 630 mentions of the term in the last month.

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

Exactly right, scnethics."uh, I'm not part of the church, but I read the books and know all the jargon. Also, I feel qualified to say what happens to women in the SO."

I would say, "nice try", but it wasn't.

If the women with stories of compulsory abortions are being accused of lying, you'll need to offer some evidence. Otherwise, I'll take the word of those who know firsthand - like the Headlys.

DO
DO

"And I'm hesitant to take your word, as a person who has friends who are Scientologists (which is the same thing as saying "I'm part of the Church of Scientology's intelligence unit")"

Are you suggesting that Scientologists do not maintain any friendships save for those with other Scientologists?

DO
DO

Frankly, the founding of Scientology seems relatively tame compared to other religions.

Now if LRH was a convicted con-man who said that an angel, who used to be from an ancient race of North American indians, gave him gold tablets and special glasses to read the "reformed hieroglyphics"... now THAT would be a little wacka-doodle.

The Scientologist
The Scientologist

You realize you're being just as ideological and mean-spirited as the Church you despise so much? Not even high profile defectors like Jason Beghe or Michael Fairman, or former Sea Org members like Jefferson Hawkins would back up what you're saying. This is the same old, same old tired argument and believe me, the only people who are bothering to listen to such arguments and to actually believe in them are the few rabidly hardcore anti-Scientology people out there. Most critics of Scientology are not gullible enough to buy in this line of argument, because they have the capacity for critical thinking.

To claim that the abuses of Scientology are at the level of the Catholic Church is insane and unsubstantiated. You've likely read a story or two about isolated instances of such abuse, and you use that to paint everyone in the Church as being evil. That's crazy. People committing such abuses are certainly a tiny minority, and from everything I have personally observed, especially in regards to any kind of sex crimes, the Church offers them no protection.

Interesting how Janet Reitman and Hugh Urban never bothered to make such ridiculous generalizations. Maybe because they decided to base everything they wrote on actual evidence and facts rather than widespread generalizations?

"Scientology disappears people and sends them to labor camps" - you're talking about people like Heber and Shelly Miscavige? You do realize that they are voluntarily subjecting themselves to the RPF? That when a person gets RPFed, they have the choice to do the RPF or leave the Sea Org? Otherwise, all those Sea Org defectors that provide the insider information that you treat as scandalous tabloid entertainment, would never have been able to escape and leave.

And most of all, those like yourself don't seem to realize that you treat Scientology and Scientologists the same exact way the Church of Scientology treats psychiatry and psychiatrists.

Oh, the irony of it all. That's why I always say, the Scientologists might be loony, but the anti-Scientologists are an even loonier cult.

bobx
bobx

English speakers do refer to dogs that run, and I bet Googling "running dog" would turn up a number of common usages.  But somebody who calls a political opponent a "running dog" sounds as if he is in a 1950's Cold War time-warp, just like you do.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

;) Nobody touches their Tommy! The googling gloves are off.

DO
DO

Chocolate Rain, your point doesn't make sense.  V for Vacuous was saying that use of the term "bigot" is akin to those bizarro North Korean press releases that contain all sorts of weird English phrases.  Fact is, "bigot" is still widely used, and it is not culturally outdated.  (Unless bigotry has suddenly vanished from our culture??)

I suggest you also word clear "ploy", too.

Choc. Vel.
Choc. Vel.

And?

You're good at using the Google. You like to cite numbers. This is clear from a few of your posts. So what?

Still the fact remains: using the word "bigot" in this context is a ploy, an obvious ploy. It has been called out. Google News can't change that. But searching stuff sure is fun!

Clarkle
Clarkle

I thought scientology was supposed to increase your intelligence. 

DO
DO

How are they supposed to prove a negative?  I guess to satisfy you, the Church of Scientology would have to provide an official No Abortion document or something?  Come on man.

UrFactfinder
UrFactfinder

Just the ones who work for OSA like yourself.

DO
DO

Yep!  We had to bring in another pneumatic chemist to get our air loom working overtime.  We're pre-magnetizing apostates' blood as fast as we can!

scnethics
scnethics

Yeah, I can see that from your other posts.  It's been a busy year so far, huh?

DO
DO

Occam's razor.

scnethics
scnethics

Nope, not what I was saying.  What I WAS saying was:

If you present an inane shore story like "I'm not a Scientologist, just have some friends who are and have read a few LRH books" and then go on to educate us about Sea Org policy, you're OSA.

And if you pretend not to get that, then you probably are too!

Guest
Guest

Um, yes.  Mostly true.

bobx
bobx

If you work for the CoS, almost certainly you are being stalked.

DO
DO

I have a feeling I am being stalked.

UrFactfinder
UrFactfinder

DO     Are you attempting to say that the current church of Scientology is pretty ok?  Ha Ha Ha Ha

Barbara Snow
Barbara Snow

I think he knows because there is a fairly active group of people who still adhere to and practice Scientology, but have left the organization.   So it stands to reason that not all people who leave the organization are against Scientology itself.  And they are quite vocal about declaring it is because of the way Miscavige runs it.   

Lliira
Lliira

"To claim that the abuses of Scientology are at the level of the Catholic Church is insane and unsubstantiated."

Scientology is itty bitty and the Catholic Church is not. Therefore, the actual numbers of people abused by Scientology are less. The percentages are very likely more.

So do you hold every comment on the internet up to the rigorous journalistic standards of Janet Reitman, or just the ones that say Scientology's an abusive scam?

"Insane", hm? It's funny; the angrier they get, the more alike Scientologists sound, even when they pretend not to be affiliated with the "Church".

DO
DO

"A lot of individuals like Scientology  A much smaller percent like the current Church of Scientology as controlled by David Miscavige."

How do you know?

UrFactfinder
UrFactfinder

To "The Scientologist"    "People committing such abuses are certainly a tiny minority,"     you are probably pretty accurate on this. The primary offender is the head of the current Church of Scientology..   And please do not attempt to connect as the same the subject of Scientology and the Church of Scientology. A lot of individuals like Scientology  A much smaller percent like the current Church of Scientology as controlled by David Miscavige. You above all should know this as your post has written all over it that you work for Mr Miscavige.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Oh look, Bernie tech! What's old is new again. It's so cute when ya'all run out of handling tricks and still utterly fail to stop the entheta.

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