Inside insight into Tom Cruise’s Scientology
Prominent actor, former Scientologist and whistleblower Leah Remini has revealed that within the secretive religion, Tom Cruise is considered to be "single-handedly" saving the world, revered by other Scientologists as a "deity".
Remini has claimed that Cruise may be aware of the abuses that go on within the controversial and beleaguered religion, saying the actor is "part of it."
"Scientologists are told that Tom Cruise is saving the world single-handedly, so he is considered a deity within Scientology.
"He is second to David Miscavige - the saviour of the free world. Tom is even called 'Mister Cruise' by staff members," Remini recently revealed, in an explosive interview she gave about the controversial actor.
"Scientology goes to great lengths to not allow Tom to see anything disparaging about (the religion)," Remini told The Daily Beast.
Remini told of the extreme lengths gone to protect Cruise from exposure to negative information about the Church, including concealing magazines from him and a culture of referring to negative information on the religion as an "enemy line". Scientologists are discouraged from clicking on links they fear might lead them to read something uncomfortable about the church, and collectively engage in continual self-monitoring of the information they consume.
"I think people think (Cruise is) an innocent victim in all of this," Remini says. "Most Scientologists are, and I can actually say this about most Scientologists because I was in it, so I know my own heart."
"They told me not to look at certain things, and the quote that they used would be 'don't forward an enemy line,' which means you reading a magazine, or a book, or watching Going Clear is forwarding an 'enemy line.'
"There are even Facebook posts from Scientologists saying, 'Don't forward an enemy line. Don't click on anything.'
"So I know that Scientologists wilfully don't look at these things because the church is telling them that these are 'enemy lines,' and you don't want to look at anything apostates have to say."
TOM CRUISE MAY KNOW ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY'S SYSTEMIC ABUSE
Remini remains insistent that Cruise inhabits a different role to other Scientologists, who are victims of systemic abuse.
She alleges that his close personal relationships with the religion's leaders have given him upper level access.
"Where Tom (Cruise) is concerned, that is very different. He is very aware of the abuses that go on in Scientology.
"He's best friends with David Miscavige, so he's privy to the punishments that David Miscavige doles out, and I've been told by a senior executive of Scientology, who was there, that David Miscavige constantly threatened the staff at Gold Base with bringing Tom Cruise to Gold Base to kick their fucking asses," claims Remini.
Cruise has never been publicly accused of physical violence within the church.
TOM CRUISE AND DAVID MISCAVIGE
Tom Cruise is best friends with the controversial leader of Scientology David Miscavige.
When Cruise wed Katie Holmes in 2006, Miscavige served as his best man.
Interestingly Cruise and Miscavige are around the same height - between 160 and 170 centimetres (5"6 and 5"7). Miscavige's temperament has been described as Napoleonic.
Miscavige has been accused of violence against misbehaving adherents and staff.
No charges have ever been laid against Miscavige.
In a weeklong CNN TV event that gave voice to a number of former Scientologists in 2010, defectors told of the "climate of violence" created by Miscavige.
"David Miscavige was the one leading this whole physical violence kick. And it was him who was beating people up," Jeff Hawkins, a former Scientologist, told Anderson Cooper.
He described being attacked by Miscavige several times during while they were in work meetings, including being dramatically attacked during a marketing meeting.
"He jumped up on the conference room table, like with his feet right on the conference room table, launched himself across the table at me. I was standing. Battered my face and then shoved me down on the floor."
The Church of Scientology was forceful in it's response to Cooper's investigation, devoting an entire issue of their Freedom magazine to attacking the reporting and CNN's coverage of the alleged issues.
They accuse Cooper of ignoring materials provided to him by the church and refusing to speak with top church officials.
In a separate article on Hawkins himself, the Church accuse him of a "(dirty) laundry list of moral transgressions" that ended his marriage and of "(lying) point-blank to Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard."
Miscavige is married to Shelly Diane Miscavige, who has not been seen since 2007.
Despite their close relationship, Shelly failed to attend the 2006 wedding of Cruise and Katie Holmes, and this got the attention of Leah Remini, who asked Miscavige where his wife was.
"Leah asked about David's wife and came under an unbelievable torrent of attack on her," according to Reuters. "An attack and inquisition."
It was soon after this that Remini defected from the church.
"I now see where the cracks are in our Church, and it's David Miscavige. It's Tom Cruise," she said. "They are bringing Scientology down."
Leah Remini filed a missing-person report for Ms. Miscavige in 2013. The LAPD claims to have made contact with Ms Miscavige but would not say if they sighted her or simply spoke with her on the phone. The Church stubbornly will not comment on her location.
Ms. Miscavige's mother, Flo Barnett (David's mother-in-law) died in 1985 when she suffered three rifle wounds to the head. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Tom Cruise has lambasted other celebrities for their lifestyles, which don't fall in accordance with his own religious beliefs. Scientology is deeply critical of contemporary psychiatry and opposes the use of psychiatric medication.
In 2005, while on a promotional tour for War of the Worlds, Cruise lambasted fellow actor Brooke Shields for using antidepressants to treat her postnatal depression. He explained to the crowd that, "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."
Shields says Cruise later apologised for criticising her.
Interestingly, Cruise's second ex-wife Nicole Kidman comes from a family with differing beliefs. Her father was a prominent practising psychologist in Australia.
In the documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Beliefs, it is alleged that Cruise was pressured into leaving Kidman as her background identified her as a "Potential Trouble Source".
Kidman herself never converted to Scientology.
The former second highest ranking member of the church, Marty Rathbun, alleges that destroying the marriage was a role he was assigned by Miscavige.
Kidman speaks rarely about the marriage, but wrote in an essay last year that Cruise didn't "empower" her but offered her "protection" from sexual assault.
"I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed."
- Continue the conversation on Twitter with Phoebe Loomes @dollyybird