Tom Cruise is the Church of Scientology‘s million dollar baby, if you will. He’s the face that holds the religion cult together, and they’d never want to mess that up, so they keep him on a tight leash. So much so, in fact, that Tom apparently allows the church to completely and entirely run his career and finances. Yikes!
A documentary called Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief premiered at Sundance over the weekend, based on the book of the same name by Lawrence Wright. The documentary revealed some pretty crazy shit about the Church in general and Tom Cruise in particular (especially in re: his marriage to Nicole Kidman) and The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on the 2 biggest things:
1. The Church of Scientology allegedly wiretapped Nicole Kidman’s phone. According to the film, Scientology was not keen on Tom Cruise’s marriage with Nicole Kidman because her father was a psychologist, making him an enemy in the church’s view. During the marriage, Cruise distanced himself from the church, particularly when the couple moved to England to shoot Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. In its effort to bring Cruise back into the fold, the church made efforts to undermine the relationship and, at Cruise’s request, allegedly hired a private investigator to tap Kidman’s phones. The church also worked to turn the couple’s son and daughter against Kidman, convincing them that she was a “suppressive person.”
4. A former top Scientology official describes church leader David Miscavige as privately mocking Tom Cruise for his “perverted” sex life — but doesn’t elaborate. Several former officials describe Miscavige’s rise as church founder L. Ron Hubbard’s successor, and the film features abundant footage of him addressing the faithful at church gatherings. One striking example is Miscavige’s dramatic declaration of victory in Scientology’s battle with the IRS for nonprofit status, complete with a pyrotechnic display. Former church officials including Mike Rinder and Tom DeVocht then offer allegations of Miscavige’s increasing paranoia and abusiveness, recounting stories of beatings at his hands. They also describe their experiences in “The Hole,” a prison-like facility on the church’s property near the California town of Hemet, and tell how Miscavige forced them to play a crazed game of musical chairs to the tune of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Losers were supposed to be expelled from the church, but the former members say they were so brainwashed that they fought to remain despite the abuse. Miscavige relented and let them stay.
There were some other revelations, obviously, and while I couldn’t give less of a shit about Scientology, I would totally watch the documentary. It’s so crazy to me that we can recognize the insanity of shit like the Heaven’s Gate cult and stuff, but people still take Scientology seriously (I know you could make that argument for all religion, but I’ll just leave that here).