Katie Holmes Will Get Custody, But Tom Cruise Will Save Face For Scientology: DIVORCE SETTLED, SO FAR OUR PREDICTIONS LOOK GOOD

Categories: Scientology

Hubbard and his third wife, Mary Sue.
UPDATE (July 9): The New York Post is reporting that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have signed a private divorce settlement, and put out a statement emphasizing the mutual respect they have for their "respective beliefs." This only convinces us that the predictions in this story are likely to be true.

Just talked to Marty Rathbun and asked him about the statement put out by Holmes and Cruise: "It's carefully crafted. It's vague," he says. "They think they're going to get away with that statement, but I don't think it's good enough. There's too much interest in it from the press."

I asked him if he thought, now that the divorce is over, the press will stop caring about what's happening in Scientology. "I don't know if the press is going to stay interested or not, but I think we're past the tipping point now. Nobody's walking into a Scientology center to join up now," he says, and we discussed all of the crises facing the church. More later. For now, here's the rest of our story from yesterday predicting the outcome of the divorce.

This afternoon, Tom Cruise's former auditor, Marty Rathbun, laid out his predictions for how the Cruise-Holmes divorce is going to go, based on his extensive history helping to run the church.

Rathbun predicts that Tom Cruise will give up sole custody of Suri as long as Katie Holmes goes along with a public statement that they are sharing custody, and also agrees to say publicly that Scientology was never a factor in their split.

The church will then go on a blame-and-shame campaign against the media, using Katie's statement in order to portray itself as mischaracterized and harmed by religious bigotry in the press.

I tend to agree with Rathbun that this is exactly how things will turn out. And there's a lesson from history to back it up: L. Ron Hubbard's own divorce from his second wife.

Rathbun was once the second-highest ranking official in Scientology, and for more than 20 years had worked closely with church leader David Miscavige before he left the church in 2004. From 2001 to 2004, he served as Tom Cruise's personal auditor. Rathbun also directed many of the church's legal crusades and retaliation campaigns, and is intimately acquainted with Miscavige's past behavior.

Rathbun bases his predictions on the three things we've heard from the Cruise camp so far:

1. That Tom was caught by surprise by Holmes filing for divorce.

2. A "source" in Tom's camp said Scientology had nothing to do with the split.

3. Cruise attorney Bert Fields blamed Holmes for going on a media campaign to poison Tom.

As Rathbun points out, that last one is particularly outrageous, since Katie filed for divorce anonymously, and her attorneys have uttered nothing publicly.

But Rathbun says these three early hints tell him all he needs to know to predict how this thing will go down now that Katie and Tom are in negotiations:

a) Katie signs a document that indicates there is to be joint/equal custody of the daughter of Tom and Katie. However, there will be a side agreement (that will sit locked up in their lawyer's safes) that gives Katies sole custody, control over education, and some visitation rights to Tom.

b) Katie signs a document that indicates that Scientology was never an issue nor consideration in the filing for divorce.

Miscavige and Scientology Inc hacks then make the media and their sources wrong for having allegedly jumped the gun to insinuate Scientology into the matter in order to bludgeon Scientology Inc, Miscavige and Cruise.

Rathbun compares this to a case just recently completed, the settlement of the Debbie Cook lawsuit.

But another historical precedent seemed just as apt to us: Hubbard's messy divorce to Sara Northrup Hollister.

They met in 1945 at the home of rocket scientist Jack Parsons as Navy Lt. Hubbard was being demobilized after the war. Sara was Parsons' girlfriend, but Hubbard stole her away. (For a fuller telling of the kinky things going on at Parsons' occult-obsessed house, see our earlier post.)

When Hubbard married Sara in 1946, he was still married to his first wife, Margaret "Polly" Grubb. Sara was unaware of his bigamy, but Hubbard then divorced Polly in 1947 and it was Sara who was with him when he published Dianetics in 1950. That year, the couple gave birth to their only child, Alexis.

Russell Miller's excellent biography, Bare-faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard tells what happened next in amazing and excellent detail.

I'll keep it short and say that Ron and Sara's marriage turned extremely ugly, and when she filed for divorce, she really let him have it. Here's Wikipedia's summary, which I'm resorting to for speed's sake...

Sara filed for divorce on April 23, charging Hubbard with causing her "extreme cruelty, great mental anguish and physical suffering". Her allegations produced more lurid headlines: not only was Hubbard accused of bigamy and kidnapping, but she had been subjected to "systematic torture, including loss of sleep, beatings, and strangulations and scientific experiments". Because of his "crazy misconduct" she was in "hourly fear of both the life of herself and of her infant daughter, who she has not seen for two months". She had consulted doctors who "concluded that said Hubbard was hopelessly insane, and, crazy, and that there was no hope for said Hubbard, or any reason for her to endure further; that competent medical advisers recommended that said Hubbard be committed to a private sanitarium for psychiatric observation and treatment of a mental ailment known as paranoid schizophrenia."

Hubbard got a lot of bad press over the divorce, and pressed Sara hard to end it and get it out of the newspapers.

He agreed to give her custody over their daughter, and in return asked her to put this statement into the record (which Miller says was obviously written by Hubbard himself):

I, Sara Northrup Hubbard, do hereby state that the things I have said about L. Ron Hubbard in courts and the public prints have been grossly exaggerated or entirely false.

I have not at any time believed otherwise than that L. Ron Hubbard is a fine and brilliant man.

I make this statement of my own free will for I have begun to realize that what I have done may have injured the science of Dianetics, which in my studied opinion may be the only hope of sanity in future generations.

I was under enormous stress and my advisers insisted it was necessary for me to carry through an action as I have done.

There is no other reason for this statement than my own wish to make atonement for the damage I may have done. In the future I wish to lead a quiet and orderly existence with my little girl far away from the enturbulating influences which have ruined my marriage.
Sara Northrup Hubbard.

I have to agree with Rathbun, and say that we may have to expect a similar statement coming from Katie Holmes at some point, and then watch as the church tries to shame the media into writing positive stories about Cruise and Scientology.

And here's why I think that may not work: Scientology is gripped by crises that are larger than Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. As we've been reporting here at the Voice for several years, Scientology is splitting apart and losing important, longtime members.

Just in the last week, we reported for the first time that...

-- David Miscavige's own father, Ron Miscavige Sr., escaped from Scientology's international base east of Los Angeles, as did Roanne Horwich, who is a granddaughter of L. Ron Hubbard and had lived nearly her entire life at the base.

-- Alexander Jentzsch, son of Heber Jentzsch, the president of the Church of Scientology International who has been held at Scientology's Int Base in its infamous office-prison "The Hole," was found dead Tuesday morning, and the church won't let his own mother see the body and won't hold a memorial service for fear that Heber would need to attend.

-- An entire mission in Haifa, Israel, has now joined the exodus of longtime Scientologists abandoning the official church.

And there's more challenging the leadership of David Miscavige, including increasing media pressure on him to produce his wife, Shelly, who hasn't been seen publicly in about five years.

All that is not going away, even if Tom Cruise can get out of Katie Holmes a pretty statement about his church. And we'll be watching.



Just got this e-mail from Karen de la Carriere, who wanted me to share it with all of our readers...



Friday 13 July 2pm to 5pm

I will do the funeral the Church will not do. San Pedro/Long Beach

We will throw rose petals and wreaths symbolically into the Pacific Ocean as I do not have the ashes.

I will provide high level catering from a Five Star Chef and we can even do a champagne toast to Alexander.

Please Email me if you wish to attend.

Karen de la Carriere

See also:
What Katie is saving Suri from: Scientology interrogation of kids
Scientology's new defections: Hubbard's granddaughter and Miscavige's dad
Scientology's disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Scientology crumbling: An entire mission defects as a group
No memorial service for Scientology president's son? "Despicable."

Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.

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You probably won't see a Brit Scientologist, intelligent or otherwise, turn against the organization because Scientology refuses to become very popular here - I put it down to a number of things: the mainstream British media (print and TV) have no problem with doing serious in-depth exposes; in Britain religion and/or belief systems are considered a far more personal and private issue therefore any in-your-face prosthelytizing system is more likely to turn-away any prospective convert than draw converts; the British don't much like being told what to think - we're a very contrarian lot (despite international popular opinion) and, finally, we just have a low daftness-tolerance level and so much of what the Scientology organization believe is just so silly it provokes more mirth than either awe or shock. Although I would dispute notions that Lennon was some sort of intellectual I would point to it being Lennon, particularly, who realized quite quickly the nature of the Maharishi Yogi (cf: Sexy Sadie).

John P.
John P.

Dark Irish pubs are everywhere.  Yes, the longest-established dark Irish pubs in the US are in NYC and Boston, but they are in every major urban area in this country.  So it's a good guess, but not accurate.   In fact, so many people in the world long for the authentic Irish pub experience that there are consultants in Ireland that fly the world advising restauranteurs on how to build authentic Irish pubs.  I recall reading an article in the Wall Street Journal some years ago about this.  There are even companies that will ship you all the construction materials direct from the Auld Sod that you need, including antique decorative items, to create an authentic Irish pub in Nairobi, Buenos Aires or Kuala Lumpur.   Global Capitalism HQ, like Anonymous, and like dark Irish pubs, is everywhere.  Expect us.

John P.
John P.

Though he's a lawyer, I have to believe Bert Fields is a very meda-savvy guy who has worked hand-in-glove with PR people on his clients' behalf for decades.  That's why I think he was overruled by his clients in his recommendation of what to say.   Here's the verbatim quote: ""We are letting ‘the other side’ play the media until they wear everyone out and then we’ll have something to say.  It’s not Tom’s style to do this publicly. He is really sad about what’s happening."   The last two statements are throwaways, and could easily be part of what Fields proposed.  But the first statement is just bizarre.  It essentially says, "we are going to lay down on the playing field and not do anything until the other side decides it has had enough and goes away.  Then we will surge to our feet and will implement our secret, magical press strategy, and people are really going to believe us then."   No serious PR professional would tell you to hold off on having something to say in a crisis PR firestorm, letting the opposition completely define all the messages until they decide the story no longer matters.  That is insanity to the third power.  The trick is to get in and react quickly, but being calm and reasonable in stating your views. You want to get your side of the story heard as broadly as possible as quickly as possible.  You won't convince everybody, but the more you are out there with your message, the more people you will convince.  And if you're hiding, perhaps because the story is worse than it currently appears, you don't advertise the fact that you're hoping the storm will go away.   That is why I think Bert had to be hating himself when he issued that statement under his own name: the thought process is so alien to what made him a power in Hollywood that I can't imagine why he would have proposed that strategy to his clients.  He probably told TC and DM they were kidding themselves, but of course that didn't stop them.   The only reason I can think of for that kind of message is to buy DM time to do damage control inside the cult and to work on TC to accept any deal to try and minimize the impact of the press coverage on the cult.  And if that came at the cost of losing the battle of PR in the minds of the other 7 billion people on Earth to spoon feed a few thousand culties his own spin on the news, with the potential for uncounted damage to TC's career as the media have at him, so be it.  

John P.
John P.

Thank you for reminding me of the impact of the work of noted computer scientist Michael Nesmith, whose pioneering research into artificial intelligence reinforces the claims of expertise from noted computer scientist L. Ron Hubbard.   You further remind me that I had forgotten to include in my skeptical evaluation of L. Ron Hubbard's claims to computing greatness the impact of the radiotelephony inventions of Professor Roy Hinkley, who was able to use bamboo instead of silicon as the substrate for the electronic components he fashioned for radios and other electronics to help the castaways escape from their shipwreck on Gilligan's Island.  I humbly stand corrected.

Chee Chalker!!
Chee Chalker!!

Sorry - that kid looks just like him - look at her baby pics esp.   His eyes. 

Chee Chalker!!
Chee Chalker!!

Well, seeing as most dark Irish bars are in NYC or Boston - is it safe to guess that is where Global Capitalism HQ is located? If you're ever in Chicago, let us know!   I could show you the large empty Ideal Morgue here

Chee Chalker!!
Chee Chalker!!

And clearly DM was also driving their litigation strategy (Debbie Cook) and we all saw how that panned out. I am a little surprised, quite frankly, that DM caved so quickly with this whole Katie Holmes thing, but as a litigator friend of mine said (and this is a friend who, while aware that the Co$ is a cult, is not a reader of this blog) "She (KH) must have some good dirt on him!"

Chee Chalker!!
Chee Chalker!!

I don't think Burt had any other choice - he certainly could not state the truth, that is "my client belongs to an evil cult and will do anything to protect said cult" so he attempted to make it look as if they were taking the high road.  Ludicrous  - yes, but there was no alternative. Katie clearly had the upper hand.  No court in the world would have taken Suri away from her and TC knew that.  All he could possibly hope for would be joint custody, and that would be unlikely due to his schedule - I am sure he travels a lot.  A court is going to want a structured enviroment for a child. So, all KH had to do was to say:  "agree to everything I want and I will agree to release a vague joint statement where I state I respect your beliefs" Can you imagine  - all she would have to do is one little interview where she exposes everything she knows (and while she may not know where Shelly M is, I am sure KH still knows a TON).  She could have destroyed TC's career and done serious damage to the Co$.  I really don't see much they could do to her  - other than follow her and harrass her - and even then, she could expose that.  TC and DM had their backs to the wall.   It will be interesting to see if their egos allow them to go away quietly.   Sad really - TC essentially traded his child for his "church" and mini man.

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