On the October 30, 2015 episode of ABC's 20/20, actress Leah Remini divulged details on the series of events that led to her leaving the Church of Scientology in 2013. A main disclosure: Remini alleges that there are serious consequences if Church members criticize the cult’s most famous son: Tom Cruise. Yes, in the Scientology world, one should never badmouth the diminutive (5'7") star of Cocktail, Days of Thunder, and Rock of Ages.
Cruise joined Scientology in 1986, during the time between filming Risky Business and Top Gun; It's not hard to see how being hooked up to an E-Meter transformed his career. Scientology has always loved celebrities.
What is scientology and what are the main Scientology beliefs? In 1955, science fiction writer and founder of the religion L. Ron Hubbard had a written a Scientology program governing celebrity recruitment. He called it “Project Celebrity.” Hubbard offered rewards to Scientologists who targeted movie stars and celebrities. It was stated that: "If you bring one of them home you will get a small plaque as your reward." Hubbard believed that famous people would give his organization legitimacy. In a newsletter, Hubbard listed 63 famous celebrities for members to target. Walt Disney was on the list. So were Picasso, Liberace, and Groucho Marx. (None of them became Scientologists.)
Jump ahead to the modern day: Mr. Tom Cruise is now the most outspoken celebrity supporter of the Church of Scientology. The actor lives and breathes everything Planet Xenu. Naturally, there are some nutty (but maybe true) Tom Cruise and Scientology rumors floating around. This list ranks the craziest of the bunch, strap yourself in to a nearby E-Meter and get ready to upvote the Tom Cruise Scientology rumors and tales you think are most bizarre.And remember, these are all “just rumors."
The Church Allegedly Auditioned Women for the Role of Mrs. Tom Cruise
In the fall of 2004, actress Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland) was reportedly being groomed by the Church to be the next Mrs. Tom Cruise. Boniadi was summoned to meet a high-ranking Scientologist at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. She was only told that she was selected for a very top-secret mission that would entail meeting dignitaries around the world and make the world a better place.
As a Scientologist, Boniadi jumped on board. She began a month-long process of being audited every day – which included telling innermost secrets about her sex life.
It didn’t help matters that Boniadi already had a boyfriend. To squash her feelings towards him, Boniadi was allegedly shown confidential information from her Scientologist boyfriend’s auditing tapes, in hopes it would end their relationship. In the end, it's said the Church of Scientology didn’t find her a suitable girlfriend for Cruise - and she fell out of favor with the organization.Image: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Tom Cruise IS Scientology
In her 20/20 interview, Remini revealed that Tom Cruise was one of the main factors leading to her leaving Scientology. She said Cruise is so important to the church that the two are inseparable. Thus, in Scientology logic: an attack on Tom Cruise is an attack on Scientology. “Being critical of Tom Cruise is being critical of Scientology itself,” Remini said. “You are evil.”Image: 360b / Shutterstock.com
Tom Cruise Freaked Out Scarlett Johansson
According to Andrew Morton, author of Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, many Hollywood women were brought in to a Scientology center, as potential prospects for Cruise's next girlfriend, before the Church chose Katie Holmes.Among these women was Scarlett Johansson. Marc Headley, former Scientologist and Sea Org member (author of Blown for Good) said, "They went for Jennifer Garner, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba, in that order. Jennifer and Jessica didn’t bite, but Scarlett… came in for an audition. When she arrived at the address and found out it was the Scientology center in Hollywood, she freaked out and didn’t do a tape.”
Image: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Scientology Broke Up Tom Cruise’s Marriage to Nicole Kidman
Remember when Tom Cruise was married to Nicole Kidman? It’s alleged that the Church of Scientology broke up their marriage and turned their adoptive children against Kidman. The church allegedly told the children that Kidman was a "Suppressive Person" (a Scientology term for those who aren't believers). It didn’t help matters that Kidman’s father was a renowned psychologist in Australia.
The Church of Scientology allegedly waged an aggressive campaign to get Cruise to dump Kidman, which included wiretapping her phone.Image: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com