Tom Cruise’s oddest Scientology moments – ‘wife auditions’ to divorce conspiracy
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Tom Cruise might be best known for his roles in action films like Mission Impossible and Top Gun, but he’s also been an outspoken advocate for the mysterious Church of Scientology since he joined in 1990.
Encouraged by his then-wife Mimi Rogers, Tom joined up to science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard’s elusive religion, and even campaigned in 2005 for it to be officially recognised as a religion in Europe.
Since then, Scientology has even played a role in Tom’s divorce from third wife Katie Holmes, with their daughter Suri leaving the church in order for her mother to properly "protect" her.
From his blistering rant against psychiatry to auditions to find him a new wife, Tom has been hitting the headlines for his bizarre beliefs for years.
And to celebrate Tom turning 59 on July 3, we delve into his strangest Scientology confessions of them all.
In 2005, Tom Cruise stated that "psychiatry is a pseudo-science" – drawing fury from many psychologists and psychiatrists the world over.
During an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today show, Tom insisted there is "no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the body", insisting that anti-depressive drugs don’t work.
He boldly told Matt: "You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do."
However, despite his star-studded list of film roles, Tom hasn’t formally studied medicine beyond a high school education.
Scientology has long since had its disputes with the field of psychiatry, with founder L Ron Hubbard claiming that Dianetics – the term that evolved into Scientology – was the main cure for the majority of human illnesses.
The American Psychiatric Association later released a statement that branded Tom "irresponsible" for using his "movie publicity to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need."
Wife audition claims
In 2004, Scientology reportedly embarked on a new project – to find Tom Cruise a new girlfriend.
According to various sources, actresses who were already involved in the Church were brought in to "audition" for what they were told was a new "training film", and then asked a series of increasingly strange questions.
These included: "What do you think of Tom Cruise?"
According to Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth, Iranian-born actress Nazanin Boniadi was selected after the original audition process, and went on to date Tom from November 2004 until January 2005 – only being told she was selected for a "very important mission".
She was then allegedly audited – that is, taken through times of her current and past lives to get rid of negative influences – every day.
She also splurged her deepest confessions to high-ranking officials within the church, including every last detail of her sex life.
Allegedly, the star was also told to get rid of the braces on her teeth, the red highlights in her hair, and her then-boyfriend.
The relationship began to break down after the first month, with Tom allegedly reporting Nazanin’s various "faults" to Scientology staff.
After telling a friend about her relationship with Tom, Nazanin's punishment was reportedly to "scrub toilets with a toothbrush, clean bathroom tiles with acid, and dig ditches in the middle of the night", according to Vanity Fair.
Of course, the church has denied most of the accusations levelled at it, commenting: "The Church does not punish people, especially in [that] manner."
In 2008, a promotional video was leaked to the Internet of Tom discussing the best bits about Scientology – and he made some pretty bold claims.
"Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident, it’s not like anyone else. As you drive past, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you’re the only one that can really help," came his impassioned speech, as he appeared to be channeling a few of his action-film characters.
Littered with bizarre pauses, run-on sentences and many odd claims, the video has managed to remain online since it was posted – complete with the Mission Impossible theme tune in the background.
"We are the authorities on getting people off drugs. We are the authorities on the mind. We are the authorities on improving conditions. We can rehabilitate criminals […] we can bring peace," the star went on.
The YouTube comments were, unsurprisingly, hilarious, with one commenter writing: "I could imagine this is what going on a date with Tom Cruise is like…"
"Me pretending to be interviewed in the shower," another giggled, as a third posted: "When you drive past an accident, you know you’re the only one who can really help’. Why are we calling 911 instead of Tom’s cell phone?"
Another YouTube user penned: "The guitar riff on loop coupled with this man saying absolutely nothing for 10 minutes makes this one of the funniest videos I have ever watched. I couldn’t breathe."
The '33 conspiracy'
Scientology even played a role in Tom’s divorce from wife Katie Holmes.
During a deposition filed as part of his defamation suit against Bauer Media in 2013, Tom was asked if he believed it was false that Katie took steps to divorce him "in part to protect Suri from Scientology".
"There is no need to protect my daughter from my religion," Tom asserted, but admitted that it was “one of the assertions” levelled at him by his ex-wife as "one of the reasons" she left him.
There has even been a conspiracy theory that Scientology is the reason why Tom divorced all three of his wives when they were 33.
Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes were all the same age when they divorced the Hollywood hunk.
And it might not be quite as far fetched as it first seems, as the number 33 does have links to Scientology – the first ever church was established in Phoenix, Arizona, which lies on the 33rd parallel.
That refers to the circle of altitude which is 33 degrees south or north of the equator – and it’s been linked to everything from UFO sightings to JFK’s assassination location.
Ex-Scientologist Leah Remini made headlines with some of the things she purported about Tom.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Leah said: "[Tom] is very aware of the abuses that go on in Scientology. He’s been part of it."
Leah alleged that Cruise had a hand in personally punishing a "high-ranking member" of the church on leader David Miscavige’s orders.
The church, of course, refuted the claims, with a spokesperson saying: "The Church rejects all of Leah Remini’s allegations as false.
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"The interview is a PR stunt to promote her fake reality TV show. As long as the entertainment media will print Leah Remini’s lies, her anti-religious bigotry will have a voice. Her brand of hate has dire consequences."
However, that wasn't the last accusation Tom received – he was also accused of "turning into" chat show host Ellen DeGeneres, after reports of her "toxicity" hit the press.
During an explosive rant on the set of the latest Mission Impossible film at two staff members for not respecting social distancing guidelines, The Sun reported that the megastar could be heard calling them "motherf***ers" and screaming that they were "f***ing gone".
"Tom Cruise is toxic like Ellen," one Twitter user wrote of the incident, with another chiming in: "He’s the Ellen DeGeneres of film."
- Tom Cruise
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