The Voice Reads Maureen Orth's Story about Scientology in Vanity Fair

Categories: Scientology

See also our Voice Exclusive: Paul Haggis reacts to Scientology's attack on Nazanin Boniadi

We managed to find a copy of the new Vanity Fair today, and we've read Maureen Orth's story, "What Katie Didn't Know," about Tom Cruise and his Scientology-approved search for a new wife.

As advertised, there's really good stuff here. But there's also a lot we knew before and that's been reported here at the Voice. So join us as we show you our notes after giving Orth's story a good read.

Orth's article starts off with Tom Cruise complaining to Scientology leader David Miscavige about being unable to find a girlfriend. This is sourced to Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun, the two high-level former church executives we've been writing about quite a lot over the last few years here at the Voice.

Rathbun was once the second-highest ranking official in the church. He defected in 2004 and resurfaced in 2009 with a blog that is harshly critical of Miscavige, and which Miscavige apparently considers a major problem. Last year, we provided ongoing coverage as Rathbun was besieged in his South Texas home by a goon squad sent by the church to make his life "a living hell."

Rinder was, until his defection in 2007, the chief spokesman of the church and ran its Office of Special Affairs, Scientology's intelligence-gathering and covert operations wing. He spoke to us in March about his experience being held in Scientology's California concentration camp for executives, "The Hole."

After Kidman and Cruz both proved unfriendly to Scientology, Tom Cruise needed a "beautiful true believer," Orth writes.

To that end, Scientology actresses were told to come in and audition for training videos -- this was a ruse to see if they'd make a good fit for Cruise. This is sourced to Marc Headley, who worked as a technical employee at Scientology's International Base east of Los Angeles (the subject of Headley's own book, Blown for Good). Claire Headley, Marc's wife, adds that the timing was crucial because it was believed Cruise was about to make a big donation to Miscavige's pet project -- his push for new buildings, called "Ideal Orgs."

Orth also revisits what we reported here in January, that while Cruise was being guided back into the church following his 2001 breakup with Nicole Kidman, reports were being delivered to the church about what was going on in his household, using Scientologists on his staff.

Orth describes auditing and gives a quick rundown of OT III and the Xenu material -- which is always fun. She has Headley talking about how it's a make-or-break moment for Scientologists when they encounter that material. But as we wrote recently, there's a good reason why L. Ron Hubbard's tales of a galactic overlord and alien genocide don't scare away more longtime members.

Kidman, as we've mentioned before, stopped short of OT III before she gave up on Scientology. Now, Orth is told by former Scientology official Amy Scobee that she saw one person punished for the failures of the Kidman case by being sent to what sounds like the church's notorious prison detail, the Rehabilitation Project Force, which involves hard manual labor.

After Cruise split up with Kidman, as we've written before, Marty Rathbun was tasked with auditing the actor and bringing him back into Scientology in a big way. Orth points out that these auditing sessions were secretly recorded -- and Marc Headley was the one who had installed the cameras. Orth points out that Scientology had admitted to the BBC's John Sweeney in 2010 that they recorded these sessions, but this time denied it to Vanity Fair. (Hey, it can be hard for the church to keep track of all of its "shore stories," we imagine.)

Rathbun blames Miscavige for breaking up both of Cruise's first two marriages, to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman. His quotes on this are fascinating, and you'll have to get them from the magazine.

Claire Headley and another former executive, Tom DeVocht, paint a portrait of Miscavige sipping Macallan scotch as he read reports from Cruise's supposedly confidential auditing sessions, joking about their contents with his wife Shelly. DeVocht tells Orth that Miscavige's jokes were usually at the expense of Tom's sex life. (The church, naturally, told Vanity Fair that it doesn't betray the confidentiality of auditing sessions, but there are literally decades of court documents that clearly show the opposite, believe me.)

After vetting dozens of women through its auditing process (and with Tom Cruise striking out with Sophia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson), Scientology finally settled on the winner of its tryouts -- 25-year-old, Iranian-born, London-bred, UC Irvine-educated, Nazanin Boniadi.

She spent a month, in October 2004, preparing for her big role as Cruise's girlfriend -- which entailed interrogations to make sure she was really perfect. She was a highly trained Scientologist (she was OT V), and had not had a threesome in her life, Orth writes, which was apparently a prerequisite. Before she could be with Cruise, she needed to ditch the red highlights in her hair, lose her braces, and also get rid of her boyfriend. In order to help convince her of that, Orth writes, Scientology leaked to her damaging details about him that had been culled from his auditing files.

Once she was ready, Claire Headley says she was ordered to buy $5,000 worth of new clothes and other items for Greg Wilhere, the Sea Org executive who had been guiding Boniadi through the process -- he needed to look better than your typical Sea Org drone, the naval-outfit-wearing hardcore workers for Scientology who labor about 100 hours a week for only about $50 each week. With Wilhere spiffed up, he flew with Boniadi to New York to meet Cruise for the first time in November 2004. She still had no clue what she was being groomed for, Orth writes.

A wonderful detail: Boniadi had been asked her idea of a perfect date. She said sushi and ice skating. And that's just what Cruise delivered in New York -- with a tour of the Empire State Building thrown in. Along for the date were Tommy Davis and his then wife, Nadine, as well as Jessica Feschbach, who would become Davis's next wife.

Over the next couple of months, as the relationship deepened, Boniadi found herself under strict control. "Cruise wanted Boniadi's incisor teeth filed down," Orth writes.

As Orth had already revealed in this weekend's teaser, Boniadi ultimately proved to be wanting because she had a hard time understanding David Miscavige's rapid speech and had to keep saying "Excuse me," to get him to repeat himself during a visit at Cruise's home in Telluride, Colorado at the end of December. "Things were never the same after that," Orth writes.

She learned from Wilhere that the relationship was over, not from Cruise himself, and then she was shipped to Flag Land Base, Scientology's spiritual mecca in Clearwater, Florida. Depressed by what had happened, she made the mistake of confiding in a friend, who then wrote up a 10-page "knowledge report" about her. (Spying on friends and family is almost a sacrament in Scientology.)

"For more than two months Boniadi's punishment was to scrub toilets with a toothbrush on her hands and knees, clean bathroom tiles with acid, and dig ditches in the middle of the night," Orth writes.

Orth then writes about John Brousseau, who not only was David Miscavige's brother-in-law for many years, but also did a lot of work for Cruise, customizing his homes and vehicles. We recently wrote a lengthy two-part story about Brousseau's remarkable 32-year history in the church.

We then get a recitation of the wackiness of 2005 -- Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch and other PR disasters, and South Park's infamous November episode, "Trapped in the Closet."

Orth has a great quote from Mike Rinder about the publicity disasters of that time, and why he didn't speak up to Miscavige about it: "I could never say a word. That's like saying Eva Braun is ugly."

Orth then writes a section about Katie Holmes, most of which is familiar, except for one fun detail: Marc Headley claims that Katie's father, Martin Holmes, was asking for advice about how to get his daughter away from Scientology before the 2006 marriage even took place.

Near the end of the piece, Orth points out what we wrote about earlier, that Cruise gets to skirt the rules that tear apart other Scientology families.

Well, as we said, there's a lot of familiar stuff here -- but with plenty about Nazanin Boniadi that's never been published anywhere before -- and all in all a great read.

UPDATE: Orth writes in her story that Scientology officials denied that the church records auditing sessions (even though they admitted that very thing to John Sweeney and the BBC for a documentary in 2010). Well, our tipsters have come up with a little visual proof that should settle the matter. From a 2006 copy of Scientology's own Source magazine comes this image of a "case supervisor" keeping an eye on an auditing session going on and writing down whatever supposedly private things are being said...


As Orth writes in her story (and what courtrooms and reporters have heard for decades), what is said in supposedly private auditing sessions has a way of being used later by the church when it wants to retaliate against a perceived enemy.

Or, in this case, when David Miscavige wants to get his jollies laughing about Tom Cruise's sex problems.

See also:
"Tom Cruise worships David Miscavige like a god"
Scientology's president and the death of his son: our complete coverage
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
Scientology leader David Miscavige's vanished wife: Where's Shelly?
Neil Gaiman, 7, Interviewed About Scientology by the BBC in 1968
The Master Screenplay: Scientology History from Several Different Eras
And a post that pulls together the best of our Scientology reporting

Please check out our Facebook author page for updates and schedules.

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, 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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This guy was married to Liane, Tom cruise's sister, in 2004-2005.  Liane was at the time, Tom's publicist and him and Derek De Vetter (her husband) spend a lot of time with Nazanin Boniadi while she was living with Tom cruise.   Derek De Vette witnessed all David Miscavige's pimping and how horrible they treated Boniadi.  Later, Dereke and Liane were forced by David Miscavige and Tom cruise to divorce. He is now married to another scientologist chick.

Get to know Derek De Vette:


Just wrote in to ABC re the cancellation.  Write in if you have the time -


Though it may be slightly disappointing to see that most articles critical of the cult in national publications are full of things we've already known thanks to Tony, Andreas and the many other critics who have risked much to present the truth, take heart that the articles are showing up on the national stage at all. It all presages the Tiny Terror's recurring nightmare . . . In the fevered dream he stands in a vast, empty stadium, naked, minus his hairpiece, dwarfed by an immense set decorated in his favored late Marcabian-Mafia-Wife style. Left arm bent at the elbow, right arm extended to clutch the edge of the lectern, he waits for Chick Corea to finish playing "Thank You For Listening" on a tiny, toy piano. Chick finishes and stares blankly ahead. The silence is deafening and for what seems like an eternity, he stands frozen, like a deer caught in headlights that rush toward him but never arrive. Then there is a loud snap as two portly cherubs walk out from either side of the stage and sound a clarion call with long trumpets and he is once again compelled to announce in that fakey voice . . . "Hang on to your hats my friends, this is LRH's Golden Age of Entheta™!" Dream repeats X ∞.


File down her incisors?? If true, this is bizarrely ridiculous.Why didn't they set the Cruiser up with an android? Pris Cruise. Nice ring, n'est-ce pas?


@tonijauhiainen It's actually pretty hard for an average person like me to fathom just how completely removed from reality these people are.


@VoiceTonyO thanks!!


I have a question about a non-disclosure agreement, the type signed by Nazanin with Cruise. Would it be legal for her to disclose that she signed such an agreement with Tom Cruise, or is that something you also may not disclose?



Mr. Ortega,


Of all criticisms launched against Scientology, this is among the most damning:


"[Boniadi] made the mistake of confiding in a friend, who then wrote up a 10-page 'knowledge report' about her. (Spying on friends and family is almost a sacrament in Scientology.)..."


Dante reserved the innermost Circle of Hell for people who betray their friends.


And totalitarians encourage betrayal because it ruthlessly kills two birds with one stone:


Betrayal not only intimidates and harms the betrayed, it also corrupts, and eventually annihilates, the betrayer's moral conscience.


I feel very sorry for those Scientologists who've been betrayed by people they trusted and loved, and I pity those Scientologists who allowed Scientology to coerce them into perverting their sense of right and wrong, into destroying their very humanity.


It helps to keep in mind what Gandhi said, "All tyrants fall."


It often seems as if tyrants will never fall, as if their stamina and resources were infinite.


But if history's taught us anything, it's that all tyrants, all of them, even the most powerful and cunning, inevitably fall.








TC is all over today.  Nothing new but Love his snarky comments.



And this is from RadarOnline  'Managing Editor' Jen Heger.....


The Church of Scientology screened at least two dozen women to date Tom Cruise after his divorce from Nicole Kidman, including unknown actress and fellow church member, Yolanda Pecoraro, who made the cut and was fixed up with the actor, is exclusively reporting.

"The Church screened at least two dozen women to date Tom Cruise after his divorce," a source close to the situation tells Radar. "Tom had very specific demands about the type of woman he was interested in, including long dark hair, olive complexion and preferably an actress. Of course, he wanted her to preferably be a Scientologist too. The Church did set Cruise up with Yolanda Pecoraro and they dated in the summer of 2004, after his very public split from Penelope Cruz. The relationship with Yolanda lasted a few months, but Cruise grew bored with her, and wanted to date an actress that was known to the public."


I was hoping that with the latest article in Vanity Fair would bring more attention to find Shelly Miscavige.  There is a petition out there for her but it only has 157 signatures.   With all the readers just on village voice, you would think the number of supporters would climb.  Please sign -  She has suffered enough and when you read about Shelly, find out the price her mother paid.


If either TC or the Co$ decide to sue (doubtful, but go with it), there is so much sworn testimony about the abuses already on the books -- a la Debbie Cook.  A big consideration might be the recent Headley court case as well.  I have not read the case or depositions, but I do know that Claire Headley was sourced in the VF article and who knows what she may have said under oath that is relevant. My point is this:  Over the past year or so, the body of testimony of abuse (in a legal sense) has expanded. The media is getting bolder; they are on safer ground and know they are finally getting the upper hand. Now if only the IRS feels the same way. There is a sea-change happening, so to speak.

I'm praying that this is the pantyhose snag that will eventually cause the whole fabric to splinter.


A general question:  What do scns and indies say about the Vistaril found in the Late Lamented LRH's Meat Body?


I wish somebody could get the true recruitment story out of Scarlett Johansson. 


At some point in the last 2 days I read that Pouw isn’t even a $cientologist.  Can anyone confirm?


How can you treat human beings as disposable commodities and somehow justify it? It just does not register in my brain, even though I am completely aware it is SOP for Sciontology. For a religion that believes in the soul, albeit by another name....they are completely soulless at the very core.


Wow, I go to a Yankees game ( go Jeter)....and a whole new batch of tidbits come out... Naz was treated like absolute trash. My distain for Tom Cruise has grown by leaps and bounds. He and DM need to sink into the abyss together. They truly deserve each other.


More from THE article, or an article about the article anyway:

"The couple went to Telluride for New Year's, where Boniadi reportedly fell off a snow mobile and was denied pain medication."

I wonder if this is another JB contribution. That apostate turned out to be the SP that keeps on suppressing. And doesn't this make Cruise a little leery about his household staff?

Maybe they should just have Miscavige pre-date all of Cruise's dates? Given his own happy marriage to Shelly, David Miscavige is obviously a connoisseur when it comes to keepers in the wife department, even if he keeps his stored underground somewhere in an undisclosed location.


NarCONon Blip:  Don't mean to derail everyone from rubbernecking the TC train wreck, but I found this little piece of info disturbing. $ci put out a press release, "Mary Rieser and Narconon of Georgia are providing drug education to parents in their “Back To School” drug awareness campaign."  I thought that Georgia was on top of this! I read the Mary Rieser deposition and wanted to throw my computer out the window. If you don't know what I am referring to, please see Tony's article:



I feel kinda sorry for the Raelians, they're marching nekked in the street of N.Y. and they still can't get a tiny fraction of the attention the CO$ draws;)


I keep hoping that at least one of the current scandals in Scientology will bring it down but that never seems to be the case. Hopefully with the tales of their abuses, lies and corruption now in a respected, mainstream magazine, things just might change. At any rate, at least the public finally knows what goes on inside the cult. Does anyone out there think this will affect Tom Cruise's box office appeal? I can't imagine anyone wanting to see his dumb 'Jack Reacher" movie when it comes out in Dec. Since he's is facing a PR disaster do you think he might start to question the "church" and what it does or will these latest revelations simply make him even more devoted to the cult? Given that he's a high school drop out who's been indoctrinated into the church for 30 years, I guess the later. He's a perfect example of what brainwashing can do to you. Make someone dumb even dumber.


Some very naughty crossposting here, but this is priceless.

From Mart'y blog, Sinar explains that David Miscavige is near impossible to decipher. He mimbles plus he's INSANE. Bad combination. So DM makes Sinar get a hearing aid, although he didn't need one.

Then Steve Halls chimes in with this masterpiece. You guys gotta see this.


"Sinar, I had to say “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that last…” all the time — not because Dave Mcscrabbletwitch speaks too quietly, but because his mutterings are almost always incomprehensible:

Start of COB meeting: DM: “She didn’t what’s the say on it.” You: “Excuse me, Sir.” DM: [glares sliently, then to the rest of the room] “He’s going to backflash me?” Bystander: “That’s bad… It’s blackflash, Sir.” DM: “I know it’s backflash, that’s what I said, Parrot! You want it?” Bystander: “Excuse me?” DM: “The fucking cracker… fucking…! Bystander: “Right, no, sorry sir. Yes, the cracker.” DM: “I know what I said DO you?” Bystander: “Yes Sir, you…” DM: “Shut up! (points to you) You!” You: “I apologize for back flashing Sir, and pretending I couldn’t hear you.” DM: (glares silently for a while, decides to go on) “She didn’t have the braided so he’ll tell for so inch.” You: (can’t think of anything to say) DM: “Answer the fucking question, pie face!” You: “I’m sorry I didn’t get that last.” …and now it starts over. Welcome to life at the top of Scientology."



Great! I took a little break in posting (though I continue to read the blog), but I can't help commenting this news. I'm very happy to find that French media (at least on their internet platforms) speak about this article.


I've been getting the know the regulars on here for awhile now and have finally officially joined the conversation.  So, Hi VV message board! : )


I have been following the insanity of Scientology just since the divorce heard 'round the world. My interest quickly turned into an intense obsession with all things CoS.  It is truly unfathomable to me that it has taken so very long to expose it's darkness, and that so very many people have had their lives decimated by its cruelty.  


I have also become a constant reader at this fantastic site and I must say, thank you so much Tony for all you do to bring the truth of this madness to the surface.  Your reporting is serving a really important purpose and I commend you. There are some really heartbreaking stories out there and it deeply saddens me to know how much people suffered for the illusion of "the greater good".  Really, how does Tom Cruise sleep at night?  I sincerely hope that articles like the VF bombshell will allow more and more people the opportunity to have their stories heard and acknowledged.  


David Miscavige must be foaming at the mouth right about now!!  Anyone think there's a chance in hell of his making a public appearance sometime soon?  Wouldn't that be fun watch. : )


I have many things on my mind.

I might share them later. Or not.


Right now though, I just enjoy looking

at Katie's face on VF's cover.


She's all grown up.


Wise and beautiful.


And truly free.


Okay, my last one before I'm off to bed.....


If they had to make a movie about modern day scientology who'd you think would be the best stars to portray all the various roles


without much thought and off the top of my head:


Tom Cruise: Peter Dinklage


David Miscavige: Verne Troyer


Ron Hubbard (flashback scenes): Gary Busey


John Travolta: Eric Stonestreet


Kirstie Alley: Robbie Coltrane


Katie Holmes: Claire Danes


Nicole Kidman: Meryl Streep


Conor Cruise: Jaden Smith


Isabella Cruise: Adam Sandler



.... if you don't recognise the names look them up on for the lulz

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