The guarded nature of Scientology lends itself to wild rumors about what goes on in the church. Accounts from former Sea Org members and harrowing escape stories from Scientology abound, and they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the outlandish stories of L. Ron Hubbard's religion.
Brendan Tighe, a lifelong member of the church, unceremoniously cut ties with the organization in 2011. In 2018, he gave a few interviews where he provided insight into the long-rumored Tom Cruise John Travolta feud.
Despite being little more than unsubstantiated rumors, Tighe’s claims come from an almost decade-long run as a member of Tom Cruise’s Florida security team. Tighe’s stories about Tom Cruise and John Travolta cover how the stars handle themselves within the church and how Travolta feels about Cruise receiving so much attention from the church’s leader, David Miscavige.
Even though Cruise is the biggest celebrity Scientologist to outsiders, Brendan Tighe says Cruise was on the same level as other stars like Travolta and Kirstie Alley when he was at church functions. That changed when Cruise was awarded the Freedom Medal of Valor in 2008 by Chairman of the Board of Scientology David Miscavige.
Tighe told the Daily Mail the award made Travolta so "jealous" that he dictated an angry letter to Miscavige. Tighe continued, "When Cruise got that medal, Travolta was so pissed off."
Brendan Tighe insinuates Travolta feels like Cruise pulled the rug out from under him, replacing him as the golden boy of Scientology. Tighe says at one point, Miscavige considered Travolta to be the "most dedicated Scientologist" who had "introduced more members than anyone." When Cruise received the Freedom Medal of Valor, it was like Travolta was "getting his title stripped."
Despite Cruise's Freedom Medal of Valor and the alleged never-ending supply of free stuff coming his way from David Miscavige, Brendan Tighe says Travolta sees himself on the same playing field as the Mission Impossible star.
Tighe told the Daily Mail, "I can assure you Travolta doesn't recognize Cruise as a superior in any way." It's unclear whether this is because Travolta was both famous and a part of Scientology before Cruise, or if he's received assurances from higher-ups in the church.
Something Brendan Tighe makes clear multiple times in his interviews on the subject of the split between Travolta and Cruise is that the Pulp Fiction star is a bit jealous of all the cool stuff Cruise receives by virtue of being Cruise.
Tighe told the Daily Mail, "Travolta doesn't get anything free, no one is giving him absurd gifts like an airplane hangar, custom-made bikes, or over the top favors." Freebies are well and good, but it seems as if Travolta would feel better if he simply received the same level of respect that Cruise receives, at least by Tighe's logic.