Scientology's Seduction of Tom Cruise, Role in Nicole Kidman Split Detailed
At the same time, 29-year-old Tommy Davis began acting as Rathbun's assistant. He brought sandwiches and helped out with Conor and Isabella, Cruise's two children with Kidman, making sure they were receiving Church services. Despite his youth, Davis was already a unique figure in the Church: He was a second-generation Scientologist, a member of the Sea Org, an elite group of about 3,000 that functions in effect as the Church's clergy, and a scion of the Hollywood elite.
His mother was Anne Archer, a popular actress who had been nominated for an Academy Award for Fatal Attraction. She had always been proud to associate herself with Scientology in public, speaking at innumerable events on behalf of the Church, and her son Tommy embodied the aspiration of the Church to establish itself in the Hollywood community. He had known Cruise since he was 18 years old, so it was natural that he soon became the Church's liaison with the star. Rathbun assigned Davis to sit with Cruise in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Hollywood while the star was doing his Tone Scale drills -- guessing the emotional state of random people coming out of the store.(4)
Rathbun was opposed to the endless courtship of Cruise. In his opinion, there was no need for it once Cruise was securely back in the Church's fold. He told Miscavige, "I think I'm done with this guy." Miscavige responded, "He'll be done when he calls me." Rathbun believes the leader was galled by the fact that Cruise had never contacted him when he came back for counseling.(5)
During the actor's early years in the Church, Cruise and Miscavige, who are two years apart in age (Cruise was born in 1962, Miscavige in 1960), had been exceptionally close, drawn together by a similar meteoric rise to success. They were both short but powerfully built, "East Coast personalities," said Sinar Parman, Miscavige's then-private chef. They shared a love of motorcycles, cars and adventurous sports. Cruise had been a movie star since he was 21, with two popular movies in the same year, The Outsiders and Risky Business. By age 25, he was the biggest star in Hollywood, on his way to becoming a true movie legend. At the same age, Miscavige rose to his position atop Scientology. Each of these men assumed extraordinary responsibilities when their peers were barely beginning their careers, so it was natural that they would see themselves mirrored in each other.(6)
Miscavige got involved in Scientology through his parents, who joined a Church near their Cherry Hill, N.J., home in the early 1970s and moved to its then-headquarters in Saint Hill, England, in 1972, where at the age of 12 David became one of the youngest auditors in the history of the Church -- the "Wonder Kid," he was called.(7)
On his 16th birthday in 1976, he dropped out of 10th grade and formally joined the Sea Org, whose members dress in military-style uniforms -- a remnant of its original purpose as Hubbard's private navy. Less than a year later, he was transferred to the Commodore's Messengers in California, an even more elite inner circle that enforced religious doctrine and served as Hubbard's personal assistants. Here he continued to capture the attention of the Church hierarchy with his energy and commitment, renovating one of Hubbard's houses and ridding it of fiberglass (which the founder said he was allergic to). Miscavige filled a spot in the founder's plans that once might have been occupied by his troubled son Quentin Hubbard, who died in 1976 at age 22, although Miscavige displayed a passion and focus that Quentin never really possessed. Miscavige was tough, tireless and doctrinaire.(8)
He was just 19 when Hubbard promoted him to Action Chief, the person in charge of making sure that the founder's directives were strictly and remorselessly carried out, and then at 23 to head of Special Project Ops, running missions around the world to fix sensitive problems that local Scientologists themselves could not handle.(9)
[After Hubbard died of complications from a stroke in January 1986, Miscavige consolidated power by becoming Chairman of the Board (COB) of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), which controlled the Church's intellectual property, and forcing out Hubbard's designated successors. By April 1988, he was essentially running Scientology, nominally reporting to a figurehead board, but in reality controlling the levers of power.]
When it came to Cruise, Miscavige was bedazzled by the glamour surrounding the star, who introduced him to a social set outside of Scientology, a world Miscavige knew little about, having spent most of his life cloistered in the Sea Org. He was thrilled when he visited Cruise on the set of Days of Thunder, and the actor took him skydiving for the first time. Cruise, for his part, fell under the spell of Miscavige's commanding personality. He modeled his determined naval-officer hero in 1992's A Few Good Men on Miscavige, a fact that the Church leader liked to brag about.(10)
In the early '90s, Miscavige surrounded Cruise and Kidman with a completely deferential environment as spotless and odorless as a fairy tale at Gold Base, Scientology's desert outpost near Hemet, Calif. Miscavige heard about the couple's fantasy of running through a field of wildflowers together, so he had Sea Org members plant a section of the desert with them; when that failed to meet his expectations, the meadow was plowed and sodded with grass. When a flood triggered a mudslide that despoiled a romantic bungalow specially constructed for the couple, Miscavige held the entire base responsible and ordered everyone to work 16-hour days until everything was restored.
Miscavige showed his instinctive understanding of how to cater to the sense of entitlement that comes with stardom. It was not just a matter of disposing of awkward personal problems, such as clinging spouses; there were also the endless demands for nourishment of an ego that is always aware of the fragility of success; the longing for privacy that is constantly at war with the demand for recognition; the need to be fortified against ordinariness and feelings of mortality; and the sense that the quality of the material world that surrounds you reflects upon your own value, and therefore everything must be made perfect. These were qualitie
s Miscavige demanded for himself as well.(11)
Fourth footnote: Interview with Jason Beghe. Interview with Tommy Davis.
Fifth footnote: Interview with Mark "Marty" Rathbun. Interview with Tom De Vocht.
Sixth footnote: Sinar Parman, personal communication.
Seventh footnote: Interview with Karen de la Carriere.
Eighth footnote: Deposition of David Miscavige Larry Wollersheim vs. David Miscavige and Church of Scientology California, Oct. 30, 1999; Deposition of David Miscavige, Bent Corydon vs. Church of Scientology, July 19, 1990.
Ninth footnote: Deposition of David Miscavige, Bent Corydon vs. Church of Scientology, July 19, 1990.
Tenth footnote: Interview with Mark "Marty" Rathbun.
11th footnote: Affidavit of Andre Tabayoyon, Aug. 19, 1999. Interviews with Marc Headley. Interview with Amy Scobee. Karen Pressley interview on One Day One Destiny, a French documentary produced by Magneto Presse, 2009.
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