Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:22 am

Part 1 of 2

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography
by Andrew Morton
Excerpt from Chapter 6 of "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography"

As anxious as a teenager on his first date, David Miscavige, the young leader of Scientology, impatiently paced around the immaculately arranged cabana as he waited for his guest on a Saturday night in the late summer of 1989. While no expense or effort had been spared to impress his visitor, by the agreed arrival time of eight o’clock there was still no sign of Tom Cruise. Watches were nervously checked, and as minutes turned into hours, cult minions made frantic phone calls. David Miscavige was not a man who liked to be kept waiting.
But wait he did, becoming more and more furious as his carefully laid plans came to naught. By the time Tom, who had recently finished filming "Born on the Fourth of July", arrived at the Gold Base Scientology fortress, it was long past eleven o’clock, and the actor, tired by the journey from Beverly Hills, went straight to bed.

He had missed a greeting as elaborate as it was incongruous. In the heart of the desert scrub, he was to have been taken to a swimming pool next to a $565,000 life-size replica of a three-masted schooner. In the tropically themed cabana, complete with parrots and other exotic birds, Miscavige and other senior Scientologists would have formed a welcoming committee. Doubtless, as he was being shown the nautical artifacts, he was to have been told about the history of the landlocked ship, the Star of California, which had been built on the express instructions of cult founder L. Ron Hubbard. Even though he served with an utter lack of distinction in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Hubbard liked to think of himself as a military hero, dressing his most fanatical followers, known as the Sea Org, in the regalia and uniforms of a seafaring militia. This fraternal paramilitary organization was zealously dedicated to advancing their faith, signing “billion-year” contracts — pledging themselves to work for Scientology for the next billion years during future reincarnations — as a sign of their utter devotion. In their eyes they were fallen gods, immortal beings or “thetans,” who had lived for millions of years and would be reincarnated for billions of years to come. From their desert lair, a place so secret that new Sea Org recruits were brought there blindfolded so that they could not divulge the location to outsiders, they pursued their mission of world domination and the extermination of their enemies. As Hubbard once wrote, “All men shall be my slaves. All women shall succumb to my charms. All mankind shall grovel at my feet and not know why.” In preparation for the day when they could put the words of the man known as “Source” into practice, they read The Art of War by the Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu and On War by the Prussian general Karl von Clausewitz. No one and nothing from the inferior “wog world” — the term for nonbelievers — could be allowed to get in their way. Certainly not in this existence. Indeed, the outside world was an unwelcome distraction.

Believers were banned from watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, using computers, making telephone calls, or receiving other communications from outsiders, including their families. Security staff even opened their Christmas presents to make sure they did not contain anything that would deflect them from the cause. (Nowadays newspapers are sold and TV played in the staff dining room.)
Most public Scientologists had never even heard of Gold Base, let alone visited the onetime holiday resort just outside Hemet, California.

The organization deliberately disguised its true purpose, listing the five-hundred-acre compound in the local telephone directory as the “Scottish Highlands Quietude Club.” It was a sign of Tom Cruise’s importance that he was invited to this inner sanctum.

Significantly, the invitation was extended only to Tom, even though his wife had been a Scientologist for most of her life. The reason had less to do with the fact that they now seemed to be leading separate lives than with Mimi’s own position inside the cult. When her father, Phil, left the faith during the cull of mission holders in the early 1980s, he was deemed an enemy, or, in Scientology-speak, a “suppressive person.” Worse, he joined those, dubbed “squirrels” by Hubbard, who offered Scientology-style services at cut prices.

Anyone associated with Mimi’s father was supposed to “disconnect” — sever all relations — with him if they wanted to stay inside Scientology. In short, Mimi was expected to choose between her father and the cult, a dilemma that has confronted thousands of Scientologists over the years, leading to hundreds of family breakups. “Tom was a big star, she was a nothing and tainted by association with her father,” says a former Scientologist who helped plan that first visit. “David Miscavige wasn’t bothered about Mimi. In any case, in his eyes, her father had done all these terrible things to Scientology.”

To emphasize how little value the Scientology leadership placed on Mimi, her husband was accompanied by his assistant, Andrea Morse, daughter of actor Robert Morse. Tom paid for her to take numerous Scientology courses, Andrea in turn recruiting her mother, Carole, and sister Hilary to the faith. It was the beginning of a carefully considered strategy that would ultimately see the actor surrounded by Scientologists both at home and in his office, Odin Productions, which in time came to be operated on strict Scientology principles, where crispness, clarity, and military efficiency are the watchwords. Both sides were keen that Tom’s first visit to the base be discreet and secret. In the darkness, as Tom was driven by the armed uniformed guards past the chain-link fence topped with razor wire, he could have been forgiven for thinking he was entering a military base rather than a friendly club where Scottish chaps danced around in kilts.

That impression would have been reinforced by the infrared cameras and arc lights and, if he had known about them, the concealed microphones and sensors that could spot a rabbit hopping thirty feet from the six-foot-high fence. It was a place that exuded paranoia.

Cameras noted the license plates of passing cars; there were secret plans to rig the perimeter with homemade explosives in case of attack; and high above the property was a man-made eyrie where eagle-eyed guards with high-powered rifles fitted with telescopic sights scanned the sunbaked California scrub for possible intruders.

In fact, his host for the weekend, David Miscavige, had been known to race out into the barren landscape, armed with an Uzi submachine gun, to hunt down possible enemies. He certainly had many weapons to choose from, amassing a personal collection of more than sixty guns. Besides an Israeli assault rifle, a 12-gauge double-barrel shotgun given to him by Hubbard, he had a Dirty Harry Magnum .44 and a Walther PPK of the type used by James Bond. Nor was he afraid to use them.

Early one morning he noticed that a no parking sign had been put up opposite his office. Ordering his butler to bring his shotgun, he spent a few minutes blasting the errant sign to bits. “He felt powerful with guns,” recalls an aide. “It was his way of intimidating people.” In the desk of his well-appointed office, the leader of the church had a .38 handgun. No one knew if it was loaded or if he was only joking when he said they needed to be well armed for when the “radioactive mutants come over the hill.”

That night, it wasn’t the mutants who were in his sights, but Scientology’s inspector general, Greg Wilhere — effectively Miscavige’s right-hand man — who had been assigned to ferry the Hollywood actor from Los Angeles to the secret retreat. Smooth, urbane, and unflappable, Wilhere was Tom’s “handler,” the senior figure assigned to deflect any outside hostility toward Scientology and ensure that Tom remained enthusiastic about his new faith. He was the perfect choice to groom Cruise: friendly, sincere, and intelligent, even grudgingly admired by those who had become disaffected with Scientology. Wilhere needed every ounce of his legendary charm to calm his furious leader. Though he was only five feet, five inches tall, Miscavige was known to have a giant temper, lashing out at subordinates whom he deemed to have crossed him. Wilhere managed to soothe him by explaining that Tom had been delayed for several hours because of movie business. Miscavige’s frustration was perhaps understandable.

At the time his organization was on the ropes, facing a massive IRS investigation into its tax affairs. Not only was the cult spending $1.5 million a month on legal fees, but thousands of ordinary Scientologists were being audited by the tax man. “Things were very grim in 1990, and I don’t think a lot of Scientologists knew that,” Miscavige later admitted. “We kept it to ourselves. It was terrible.”

As far as the beleaguered Scientology leadership was concerned, Cruise was the cavalry riding to their rescue. It had taken years of careful planning to tease Tom through the gates of Gold. During his first years inside the cult, he was termed a “preclear,” someone not deemed to be free of his problems and difficulties. (In fact, it was not until 1989 that Tom and his cousin William Mapother were listed in a Scientology magazine as completing “basic training.”) While the process of auditing bore some similarities to the Catholic rite of Confession, it was neither free nor anonymous. Tom sat facing his auditor while holding an E meter, the crude lie detector that supposedly detected the truth or otherwise of responses. Under polite but relentless questioning, he was encouraged to reveal his most intimate secrets, every admission jotted down in a supposedly confidential folder stamped with his given name: Thomas Mapother. Following a pattern set by Hubbard himself, auditors would ask Tom, among other things, if he had ever raped someone, practiced homosexuality or cannibalism, been unfaithful, watched pornography, or killed or crippled animals for pleasure.

Although auditing was reportedly designed to clear problems, Hubbard’s estranged son, Ronald De Wolf, who audited many early converts, took a more cynical view, seeing the process as a way of controlling and potentially blackmailing Scientologists, especially celebrities. In an interview with Playboy magazine, he observed: “Auditing would address a guy’s entire sex life. It was an incredible preoccupation .... You have complete control of someone if you have every detail of his sex life and fantasy life on record. In Scientology the focus is on sex. Sex, sex, sex. The first thing we wanted to know about someone we were auditing was his sexual deviations. All you’ve got to do is find a person’s kinks, whatever they might be. Their dreams and their fantasies. Then you can fit a ring through their noses and take them anywhere. You promise to fulfill their fantasies or you threaten to expose them ... very simple.” After the interview appeared, the then president of Scientology declined to respond to De Wolf’s observations, noting that his credibility was “just out the bottom.” Nonetheless, although the pre-clear file was supposedly confidential, several auditors could have access to the folders and, it is claimed, senior staff members were known to discuss their contents. Former celebrity Scientologist Karen Pressley, who lived at Gold for years, was present one evening when John Travolta’s auditor John Silcott openly discussed the actor’s sexuality. “It made my head spin,” she recalls, “and made me realize that the idea of confidentiality was a chimera.” As another Scientology executive admitted bluntly, “These files come in handy if they want to blackmail you.”

Ostensibly, Tom had been invited to Gold Base to make sure that his initial auditing, which took place at Sherman Oaks, had been performed correctly. While the questions can be sexually lurid, the auditing process itself is highly technical, Hubbard creating an entire language to describe the procedure. As well as monitoring his auditing progress, Gold Base asked him to give their propaganda film studio, known as Golden Era Productions, the professional once-over.

Tom’s first weekend stay was organized with the precision of a military operation, the planning akin to a visit by royalty. In the weeks before his arrival, the base was a hive of activity as the five hundred or so Sea Org disciples painted, pruned, primped, and cleaned the gardens and buildings so that it was in pristine condition for his arrival.

Not that they were ever aware who the visitor was to be. While his assistant was assigned to staff quarters, Tom was housed in a plush guest bungalow with a Scientology chef and butler, Sinar Parman, who had once worked for L. Ron Hubbard, at his disposal around the clock.

To underline the importance of the visit, Sea Org members were ordered to stay indoors or, if that was impossible, to keep away from certain parts of the compound where Tom might be present. If they happened into his line of sight, they were instructed to avert their gaze and under no circumstances speak to him. Those who did come into contact were ordered to address him as “sir” rather than “Mr. Cruise.”


Disobedience would be punished. “The whole base was on eggshells,” recalls one Sea Org member. The scene was set to impress and awe possibly the most important recruit in Scientology history.
During Tom’s tour of the compound, it was evident that this was not a place for children. Like nuns and monks, Sea Org fanatics were not allowed to have children; if a woman got pregnant, she faced the heartbreaking choice between her beliefs and her unborn child. For the true believer, abortion was an article of faith. If the woman decided to have the child, she had to leave Sea Org and serve the sect in a lesser capacity. Former Sea Org follower Karen Pressley remembers that she was often approached by fellow Scientologists asking to borrow money to pay for an abortion so that they could stay in Sea Org. “I had a real problem because I don’t believe in abortion,” she recalls. Scientology officials reject as “simply false” the assertion that Sea Org women are encouraged, as a matter of policy, to have abortions.

As Tom viewed the film production areas, the editing bays, the music studio, and the film studio, known as the Castle, uniformed Sea Org operatives with walkie-talkies relayed his regal progress. In the film studio, handpicked Sea Org operatives rigorously rehearsed the “spontaneous” scenes they were scheduled to shoot. As far as Sea Org film workers were concerned, the tour had an unhappy outcome. Tom commented that when he made a Hollywood movie, he worked flat out until it was finished. At Gold, film technicians were given time off during filming for Scientology study. As a result of his offhand comment, schedules were changed and Sea Org film operatives were forced to work around the clock until films were completed. For the next two years, according to at least one former Sea Org member, the film unit never had a day off.

The difference, of course, was that Tom Cruise was paid millions of dollars while Sea Org workers earned a mere thirty-five dollars a week. In fact, one Sea Org associate paid an even higher price. When she complained about the new edict, she was sent to Scientology “prison,” known as the Rehabilitation Project Force. There, in a former ranch in Happy Valley, eleven miles away in the Soboba Indian reservation, inmates were guarded twenty-four hours a day and forced, among other demeaning punishments, to run around a pole under the blazing sun. While Scientology describes the RPF as a voluntary rehabilitation program offering a second chance for Sea Org members who have strayed from the sect’s codes, those who refuse to accept their punishment are “declared,” effectively thrown into the outer darkness. For a true believer it means either accepting their punishment — however unjust or arbitrary — or leaving behind friends and family, not to mention relinquishing the dream of eternal life.

People who have been through RPF say it is akin to brainwashing with hard labor. Critics accuse the sect of human rights abuses, comparing the Scientology punishment camps to Stalinist gulags. “One hardly has to point out that the RPF and RPF’s RPF [a more extreme punishment regime] are brainwashing programs,” notes Professor Stephen Kent of the University of Alberta. “Forced confessions, physical fatigue, and intense indoctrination combined with humiliation and fear are the hallmarks of these camps.”

Tom, of course, did not realize that his offhand remarks would have such Draconian repercussions. After showing him around the studio, Miscavige took him on a tour of the estate, Tom riding pillion on his motorbike. Later, they went skeet shooting on a range set up behind Bonnie View, the mansion built by Scientologists for the anticipated return to Earth of the deceased L. Ron Hubbard after his galactic wanderings. Although he had appeared in several military movies, Tom was nervous around guns, and Miscavige, an enthusiastic member of the National Rifle Association, showed him the correct way to handle his weapon. Tom was so impressed that, as a thank-you present, he sent his new friend an automatic clay pigeon launcher to replace the manual pull contraption they used that weekend. Although Tom probably never realized it, his gift meant more work for hapless inmates of the sect’s prison. More than two dozen of them worked day and night for three days installing the new launcher and then landscaping the shooting range for Tom’s next visit.

As far as Tom was concerned, the visit was an enormous success — and it showed, Tom impressing those Scientologists he met with his energy and enthusiasm. “He was like a walking lightbulb,” recalls Jesse Prince, former Scientology deputy inspector general. “He was so bright and enthusiastic, a playful kind of guy. It was like the kid with no friends who had suddenly found a load of people who were now his friends. During this time he was doing lower courses, so it was a honeymoon period. Great fun.”

Slideshow: Tom Cruise’s risky business Not only did the visit reinforce Tom’s new faith, it introduced him to the man who would have a profound influence on his future life. When David Miscavige finally shook hands with Tom Cruise, he had him at “Hello,” the chemistry between the two immediate and apparent.

From the start they were like brothers, constantly trying to outdo each other. As controlling, competitive, and macho as he was, Cruise had met his match — and more — in the Scientology leader. Their burgeoning friendship came as no surprise to those who had watched the rapid rise and rise of Miscavige. “It was easy to see why they got along so well,” says a former Scientology executive who was present during that first weekend. “They are both driven, demanding, focused perfectionists — let’s call it the Short Man Syndrome.” Significantly, it was Miscavige, two years older if two inches shorter, who was the dominating force in their friendship, his ferocious will, aggressive ambition, and willingness to live on the edge proving more than a match for Cruise’s own alpha male behavior. As Shelly Britt, who worked for the sect leader for fifteen years, recalls, “David would dominate Tom Cruise without him even knowing about it.”

Much as Tom talked about his own hardscrabble beginnings, they paled when compared with that of the Scientology leader. Born in a Philadelphia suburb to a Polish father, Ron Miscavige, who earned his living playing trumpet, and an Italian mother, Loretta, he had a twin sister and another brother and sister. Short, slightly built, severely asthmatic, and extremely allergic, he was relentlessly bullied at school for his Polish heritage and his lack of height. Young David was so determined to play sports that on one occasion his father filled his pockets with two-pound metal plates so that he could meet the sixty-pound weight minimum and play as a defensive back for the Pennypacker Patriots football team.

If school was a daily ordeal, his home life wasn’t much better; family and friends recalled that his father was an intimidating and ill-tempered man. When Ron discovered Scientology, it stopped his unpleasant behavior to the point where his confused wife felt that he didn’t love her anymore because he had become a changed person. Ron’s religious conversion was complete when David recovered from a severe asthma attack while undergoing Scientology counseling. “From that moment I knew this is it,” David said later. “I have the answer.”

By age twelve, David Miscavige was auditing other Scientologists, becoming the 4,867th Scientologist to reach a state of “clear.” He dropped out of high school on the day of his sixteenth birthday, citing the “appalling” drug use of his contemporaries as well as the realization that he wanted to dedicate his life to Scientology. David joined the Sea Org elite in Clearwater, Florida, where he worked as a “commodore’s messenger,” essentially a gofer for Hubbard. He is remembered from that time as charismatic but ferociously competitive and ambitious — “the jerk who wanted to impress.”

Soon the keen and confident teenager was deployed to the secret base at Gold, where he worked alongside Hubbard and others making promotional movies. In 1979, while Tom Cruise was still in school, Miscavige was made “action chief” inside the Commodore’s Messenger Organization, sending out teams, or “missions,” to improve management at Scientology centers. It was a high-pressure, high-stress job at a time when the top echelon of Scientology, including Hubbard’s wife, was in jail and Hubbard himself was on the run.

As Tom was making his way in movies, Miscavige was asserting his authority inside the rapidly disintegrating sect. In 1981, after two heated confrontations, he forced Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue, to resign. Although he maintains that they are now friends, she has a different view. “He was a tyrant,” she told her son-in-law, Guy White. That same year, when he was twenty-one, he married his first and only girlfriend, Shelley Barnett, who had been a commodore’s messenger since she was twelve. A year later he oversaw the rout of mission holders, including Mimi’s father, Phil Spickler, which led to a bitter schism, akin to the original theological divide between Protestants and Catholics.

When his mother-in-law, Flo Barnett, joined a breakaway Scientology group, it caused a vicious family rift that never healed. She committed suicide in 1985, shooting herself three times with a rifle. David Miscavige has always stoutly denied any involvement whatsoever in her death.

During the institutional carnage, Hubbard put the rising young man in charge of his considerable fortune, Miscavige now managing his literary, personal, and business affairs. Most important, he became one of a handful of Scientologists who maintained lines of communication with the fugitive leader, who was hiding at a ranch in California. Fellow Scientologists knew not to ask questions when a black van with darkened windows arrived at the Gold Base in the dead of night and Miscavige, armed with an Uzi submachine gun, loaded paperwork and boxes of cash for the leader. Then he and Scientology executive Pat Broecker, who lived with Hubbard, drove off into the inky blackness, taking circuitous routes in case they were being followed by the FBI or other government agencies. On one occasion they snapped under the strain, heading to Las Vegas and spending a couple of nights gambling. They later explained that they had gone into hiding for fear of being followed.

The stress was palpable, Miscavige having a morbid fear of ending up in jail and being sexually abused, possibly raped, by fellow inmates. Miscavige’s dread of jail was matched only by his bewildered attempts to placate the manic demands of Hubbard. Living under this kind of tension brought on terrible asthma attacks. Onetime colleague Jesse Prince, who audited Miscavige, recalls cradling the distraught young man in his arms. “Sometimes he would get so upset that his eyes were bulging and he couldn’t breathe,” Prince said. “He wouldn’t take medication or inhalers, so I would have to calm him down and then he would sleep for days after an attack.”

Aides claimed that Miscavige kept an oxygen cylinder under his bed in his quarters at Gold to help him cope in case of emergency. Far from curing him, it seemed that Scientology, or rather L. Ron Hubbard, was exacerbating Miscavige’s medical condition. That and smoking three packs of Camel cigarettes a day.

The continual pandering to the insane whims of Hubbard — for example, any whiff of perfume, particularly rose, drove him into a towering rage — profoundly affected Miscavige. There were times when Jesse Prince, who introduced him to the music of Jimi Hendrix, took him to a bar to help drown his sorrows. “Dealing closely with LRH was a traumatic experience,” he recalls. “It changed Miscavige from a likable human being, a sports fan, into the monster he has become. We used to clown and trick each other. He loved to make people laugh, but now it is unimaginable that that was his personality.” The feelings are now mutual, with Scientology dismissing Prince as a “criminal” after he left the organization.

Once he grabbed power after Hubbard’s death in 1986, the twenty-six-year-old Miscavige was in charge of a billion-dollar operation where his word was law and his rule absolute, the young man king of all he surveyed. He lived like one, too, enjoying an “utterly” luxurious lifestyle. While his disciples were paid $35 a week, Miscavige was impeccably dressed in $250 handmade Egyptian cotton shirts with his own emblem, custom-made leather shoes, and the finest Italian wool suits. Neiman Marcus and Hermès in Beverly Hills were regular haunts for him and his wife, Shelley.

On one occasion she bought him a ten-thousand-dollar suit from the South Korean tailor Mr. Lim on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills — the equivalent to six years’ pay for Sea Org disciples. In contrast to his followers’ shared, spartan quarters, the sect leader had a number of lavishly decorated apartments around the country that were carefully and expensively refurbished in the style of a gentlemen’s club. He enjoyed the services of butlers and maids whose tasks included walking his dogs, Chelsea and Cheslea.

Just as he lived like a king, Miscavige ruled like an absolute monarch. His watchwords were loyalty and control, the new leader followed everywhere by an entourage who slavishly tape-recorded his every utterance, translating his words into a stream of orders, directives, and commands. To ensure that his decrees were carried out to the letter, he created his own Praetorian guard, recruited exclusively from the Religious Technology Center within the Sea Org, whom he dubbed his “SEALs,” after the highly trained navy SEALs who have a formidable reputation for performing the impossible. They were given better uniforms, housing, and food — but at a price.

Those “SEALs” were expected to focus night and day on Miscavige’s cause — to the exclusion of all else in their lives. He loved Hollywood movies where the leader, usually an American President, enjoyed the absolute loyalty of his staff, especially when he was surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards. Miscavige was routinely accompanied by six bodyguards, even when he was on vacation on board private yachts. If he went swimming, three would dive in with him. Miscavige controlled every aspect of policy: From film sound to building design, nothing escaped his focus on perfection. The diminutive leader was most particular about the surroundings for his speeches, ensuring that the backdrop was blue to match his eyes and the dais was in proportion to his stature. Former Scientologist Karen Pressley worked closely with Miscavige on numerous design projects and watched as he even chose fabrics for new Sea Org uniforms. She recalls: “Men who are obsessed with fabrics tend to be feminine in nature. I can tell you right now there is nothing gay about this guy. He was controlling, dominating, and obsessive. You felt like you were living under a dictatorship.”

While he liked to model his behavior on his political hero, Simón Bolívar, the South American independence leader, Miscavige ruled by fear, gaining a reputation for verbally demeaning subordinates and even hitting them, publicly slapping — never punching — those whom he felt had offended him. Some he spat on, a sign of contempt and disdain initially encouraged by Hubbard. In sworn declarations in several lawsuits, he has been accused of striking subordinates. (When asked about such claims, a representative of Scientology denied them.) Guy White, Hubbard’s son-in-law, came in for this treatment one evening, when Miscavige and others accused him of committing “crimes.” Miscavige ripped the lanyards from his uniform, spat on him, and slapped his face. After what Scientology charmingly calls a “gang bang” audit, where he faced hostile, quick-fire questioning from his accusers, he was consigned to the sect’s prison gulag, the Rehabilitation Project Force. Any hint of criticism of the leader, known as Black PR, was deemed a crime. Miscavige scrutinized even the facial expressions of Sea Org followers, who would be punished for looking hostile or bored. In his book 1984, about mind control in a future society, George Orwell had a term for that offense — “facecrime.” That, however, was a work of fiction.
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:23 am

Part 2 of 2

Understandably, many lived in fear of the man they dubbed Napoleon — even his own family. Karen Pressley, who lived in the same quarters as Miscavige’s parents, recalls, “One day his father looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’m afraid of my own son.’ It freaked me out. He was scared of him because he was so powerful and controlling.” Others are more measured, appreciating Miscavige’s energy, focus, and charisma while acknowledging his inappropriate aggression. His assistant Shelly Britt saw him as a Jekyll and Hyde character, the nicest or the meanest boss in the world. “If you are on his good side you are on top of the world, on his bad side you couldn’t get much lower.” Another close aide, Marty Rathbun, averred that in all the years he had known Miscavige he had never been aware that he had hit anyone. “That’s not his temperament,” he told the St. Petersburg Times.

For Tom Cruise, the first meeting with Miscavige in August 1989 was the beginning of an enduring friendship, the Scientology leader becoming a boon companion and adviser, continually challenging, controlling, and competing with the Hollywood star. If Tom had made a lifelong friend thanks to his faith, his next film was about to change his life. For the previous three years Tom had nursed this movie baby, wanting to make a film about stock-car racing.

High on adrenaline and the thrill of speed after doing laps at 190 miles an hour around the famous Daytona International Speedway, he yelled, “I’m going to make a movie about this.” Once Paul Newman had introduced him to the sport during the filming of The Color of Money, Tom had taken it up with his customary enthusiasm. He raced Nissans for Newman’s team, his expertise such that, as far as racing driver Bob Bondurant was concerned, he had the ability to turn pro. Based on his experience, the actor wrote a crude outline of a story and hired veteran screenwriter Douglas Day Stewart to polish the plot of what became Days of Thunder. It centered on a cocky driver, Cole Trickle, played by Tom, who tries to outgun a rival, the two men ending up badly injured in the hospital. Inevitably, Trickle falls for the glamorous brain surgeon who helps heal him, and ultimately learns humility, conquering his demons sufficiently to go on and win the big race.

Known in early discussions as Top Car, the hope was to do for NASCAR racing what Top Gun had done for the navy flying school in San Diego. Once the project was officially in development, Cruise brought in Top Gun scriptwriter Warren Skaaren, who, after writing several drafts, quit in exasperation at Cruise’s demands. Undeterred, Tom wooed writer Robert Towne by taking him to the racetrack at Watkins Glen, New York. As they soaked up the atmosphere, Towne told the actor: “I get it, Cruise. This is fantastic.” With director Tony Scott and producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer on board, the scene was set to make another summer blockbuster. It wasn’t quite so simple. While Paramount gave the green light for filming to start in November 1989, they didn’t have a completed script, an agreed title, a leading lady, or even a character that a leading lady could play. In October, when Cruise was invited to a private screening of the Australian thriller Dead Calm, which had been making waves for the performances of Billy Zane and Nicole Kidman, he went with a particular sense of urgency. Watching the film with scriptwriter Robert Towne, Tom was as entranced by Nicole’s on-screen authority as by her long, elegant legs and translucent skin. He left the screening suitably impressed, instructing minions to bring her to Los Angeles for a screen test.

That she was in Japan promoting Dead Calm was no obstacle. Nicole was flown to Hollywood to meet Cruise, the producers, and the director, arriving at the Paramount studios jet-lagged and professionally curious, but not expecting much. “I thought, ‘Oh yeah, right,’ ” she said later. “I’d been to America before. You go in, you audition, you don’t get the job.” As insurance, she decided to use the trip as an excuse to visit friends and see her sister, Antonia, in England. When she walked into the conference room to meet Tom and his colleagues, however, the chemistry between them was unmistakable. “The moment I laid eyes on him, I thought he was just the sexiest man I had ever seen in my life,” she later told Rolling Stone. “He took my breath away. I don’t know what it was. Chemical reaction? Hard to define. Hard to resist.”

At the time, the girl who was nicknamed “Stalky” by her school friends thought she was unlikely to win a part where, at five feet, eleven inches, she was four inches taller than the leading man. She read a couple of pages of script, though not from the movie in question, and left, ready to enjoy herself in California. So she was surprised when producer Jerry Bruckheimer called the next day to tell her they wanted her to play Tom’s love interest. There was a caveat: Her character, like much of the film, had yet to be fully conceived. In the end, the twenty-two-year-old rather improbably played a brilliant brain surgeon, Dr. Claire Lewicki.

What was not in doubt was the attraction the leading man felt toward his new leading lady. “My first reaction to meeting Nic was pure lust,” he later recalled. “It was totally physical.” At first sight, it was a curious coupling, the tall, ginger-haired, willowy Australian so different from his voluptuous dark-haired wife. While physically different, however, both women had reputations as being aloof, ambitious, and coolly unattainable — perfect foils for a man who liked the challenge of an endless romantic chase.

Tom was soon smitten, the couple sharing a sense of humor as well as the thrill of living on the edge. As with David Miscavige, the Hollywood star seemed to have met his match in the slim shape of a young woman who cited strong, determined actresses like Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, and Katharine Hepburn as her inspiration. Nicole also sensed his unhappiness, his need for a closer connection than his current relationship. A few weeks later, in late November, scriptwriter Robert Towne had dinner with the couple at Toscana in Brentwood. He immediately recognized their rapport and realized that Tom’s two-year marriage to Mimi was surely over.

Certainly Tom was true to form, disposing of his first marriage with the matter-of-fact alacrity with which he had ended previous love affairs. In the late fall he moved out of their home in Brentwood and went to stay with his friend — and best man — Emilio Estevez for a few days. Then he and Mimi went to the Scientology base in Hemet for what the sect calls “chaplain counseling.” Ostensibly, this was to discuss and attempt to resolve their differences by discussing them with a Scientology counselor. Once everything is out in the open, Scientologists argue, there is no reason to split up. In some circumstances this procedure is successful, but in this instance there was a hidden agenda. The Scientology leadership felt such hostility toward Mimi’s father that Mimi was stained by association. “They no longer wanted her on the team,” says a former Scientologist who was involved in the charade. “The impetus was to help Tom Cruise, and within twenty-four hours they had agreed to split up.”

The Hollywood actor was even given the services of a senior Scientology trustee, Lyman Spurlock, director of client affairs, to help sort out the intricate financial fallout. “He was lost, he didn’t know what his rights were or understand what Mimi should get,” recalls former senior Scientologist Jesse Prince. “They made it as painless as possible for him.” Mimi’s final settlement was a reported $10 million — with a clause enforcing confidentiality on both sides. Word was that Mimi made it clear that if the Scientology leadership used its black propaganda to try to discredit her, she would open her own Pandora’s box of secrets about the cult.

While Tom was dealing with his domestic matters in a typically businesslike manner, Nicole was saying her farewells to her family in Sydney, Australia. She did not, however, say a final good-bye to her longtime boyfriend, fellow actor Marcus Graham, the former star of Australia’s top soap E-Street. Although he was one of the first she told about her new part, she gave no hint of a flirtation with her new leading man. In fact, when she landed in Los Angeles, she called him with the news that legendary New York agent Sam Cohen, whose clients included Woody Allen and Meryl Streep, had flown out west to sign her to a contract. Although he was in something of a career slump, Graham had no reason to believe that their romance — they were living together before she left for America — was over. They planned a holiday in the Pacific, and while she was filming Days of Thunder, he racked up over thirteen hundred dollars in phone bills chatting to his erstwhile lover.

It was a forlorn waste. Within days of starting her new life in America, Nicole was spending every moment, both professionally and romantically, with Tom. She was smitten. “I was consumed by it, willingly,” she said later. At the end of November the couple was not only filming together in Charlotte, North Carolina, but quietly flying to the Scientology Gold Base, arriving by helicopter in the compound. They had their own VIP bungalow in a remote part of the five-hundred-acre compound, with Sea Org disciples under strict orders to stay away from the area, as well as the services of Sinar Parman as butler and chef. Parman, who had worked for L. Ron Hubbard, and when the couple did emerge, they spent time with David Miscavige, his wife, Shelley, and Tom’s handler, Greg Wilhere.

Slideshow: Nicole Kidman's rocky road Whatever they did, Wilhere was either with them or watching over them, making sure everything was perfect. “It was clear that they were very much in love, very tactile and all over each other,” recalls one former Scientologist who was privy to what was then a closely guarded secret. “Within a matter of days of Tom splitting with Mimi, he and Nicole were coming to Gold. Senior Scientologists helped facilitate this.” In fact, Greg Wilhere played such a pivotal role in smoothing the path of romance that Tom named a character in Days of Thunder after him. When the name of a “Dr. Wilhere” is mentioned, it was an in-joke between the lovebirds and their Scientology friends.

On December 9, 1989, with filming for Days of Thunder in full swing, Tom’s lawyers quietly filed a suit for his legal separation from Mimi, the actor citing “irreconcilable differences.” Yet Tom continued to play the happily married husband in a series of interviews to promote Born on the Fourth of July, released just before Christmas. As high-performance cars burned rubber and fuel around North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway, Cruise spoke affectionately about his wife to selected journalists. “The most important thing for me is I want Mimi to be happy,” writer Richard Corliss quoted him as saying during a flattering Time magazine cover profile entitled “Tom Terrific”: “I’m just happier now than I’ve ever been in my life,” Tom said, Corliss noting how he and Mimi had visited the Brazilian rain forest as part of their work on the board of Earth Communications Office, an entertainment-industry organization, subsequently infiltrated by Scientologists, that promotes environmental causes.

During another chat with writer Trip Gabriel for Rolling Stone, which, because of Tom’s friendship with owner Jann Wenner was effectively his house journal, he stonewalled questions about rumors of marital troubles. As for Us magazine, he told them: “I just really enjoy our marriage.” It helped cement the fiction of marital bliss when Mimi visited the Days of Thunder set during his publicity jag. Looking back, Richard Corliss sees Cruise’s dissembling as part of his character and par for the course in Hollywood. “His marriage to Mimi Rogers was a fiction he wanted to maintain — at least until the magazine profiles attending the release of Born on the Fourth of July were published. I wasn’t astonished by his insistence that he was sticking with Mimi when he had decided he wasn’t. That dodge is a movie star tradition as old as Hollywood.”

Tom’s faith not only helped ease his separation from Mimi Rogers, it also helped him keep a straight face as he related his story of domestic harmony. The art of lying forms an integral part of sacred Scientology scriptures, and one of the entry-level courses, on communications, teaches effective techniques for “outflowing false data.” Cruise proved himself a nimble and able student, receiving favorable coverage in December for his on- and off-screen personae and winning a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role in Born on the Fourth of July. “Tom Cruise’s portrayal of Ron Kovic is proof positive that he is one of the most versatile actors working in Hollywood today,” wrote movie critic Edward Gross.

As the flattering profiles of Tom hit the newsstands, his divorce lawyer flew out from Los Angeles to Daytona Beach, Florida, where filming was now taking place, on January 12 so that the actor could sign his divorce papers. A day earlier, Tom had quietly met with Mimi at the Charlotte Hilton University Place Hotel. Some observers believe it was a last-ditch attempt by the actress to save her marriage. More realistically, it was to finalize their official statement and outstanding financial matters. In fact, in keeping with the speed of the split, the divorce papers were filed four days later, the couple releasing a brief statement the next day. “While there have been positive aspects to our marriage, there were some issues which could not be resolved even after working on them for a period of time.”

In an interview in Playboy three years later, Ms. Rogers mischievously elaborated on those mysterious “issues.” Scorned for a younger woman, Mimi got her revenge by kicking her former husband, whom People magazine had named the “sexiest man on earth,” in the cojones. “Tom was seriously thinking of becoming a monk,” she told interviewer Michael Angeli. “At least for that period of time, it looked as though marriage wouldn’t fit into his overall spiritual need. And he thought he had to be celibate to maintain the purity of his instrument. Therefore it became obvious that we had to split.” As for her own instrument: “Oh, my instrument needed tuning,” she said. While her comments would help float a flotilla of sexual gossip about her former husband, she admitted afterward that she was just having fun with the clearly besotted interviewer.

Perhaps more accurately, their fiercely demanding work schedules, Tom’s stated desire to start a family, the influence of his new faith — and, of course, the sexual chemistry between Tom and a younger woman — all contributed to the breakdown of their brief union. Tom later told Talk magazine, “Before Nicole I was dissatisfied, wanting something more. It was just two people who weren’t meant to work and it wasn’t what I wanted for my life. I think you just go on different paths. But it wasn’t Mimi’s fault .. . it’s just the way it is.”

He spent little time reflecting on what went wrong with his first marriage, instead, as was his romantic pattern, racing headlong into a new relationship. Ironically, he was behaving in much the same way as his father, who, weeks after his divorce, had married Joan Lebendiger following a whirlwind courtship. Tom, at least, was more discreet. Just five days after formally announcing his divorce, he faced banks of photographers when he accepted a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in Born on the Fourth of July. He did have a woman by his side as he walked down the red carpet — but it was his mother, Mary Lee. Otherwise, he was spending all his free time with the new woman in his life, his rented white BMW and Harley- Davidson motorcycle spotted outside the rented Daytona Beach bungalow of his Australian costar when the production moved to Florida. The love match between Nicole and Tom was not the only subject of crew chatter on the set of Days of Thunder. Actress Donna Wilson dated producer Don Simpson during the early weeks of filming, then ditched him for director Tony Scott, whom she subsequently married.

Shortly after Tom’s divorce was finalized on February 4, 1990, Nicole told her mother, Janelle, who taken leave from her job as a nursing instructor to visit her daughter and give Tom the once-over, that when work on Days of Thunder was completed, she planned to move into Tom’s newly purchased $4 million home at Pacific Palisades in California. By all accounts her mother was not surprised, her daughter having pursued previous love affairs with hotheaded abandon. Like Tom, Nicole had Irish blood coursing through her veins, the Kidman family immigrating to Australia from Ireland as free settlers in 1839. Born in 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Australian parents, Nicole was raised a Catholic, attending Mass every week. Yet she was willful and strong-minded, dropping out of school at the age of sixteen to pursue an acting career. “I was a nightmare to my parents,” she later told Movieline magazine. Rebellious and impetuous, the unconventional seventeen-year-old flew to Amsterdam with her thirty-seven-year-old boyfriend for a vacation. When that relationship foundered, she lived on and off for three years with another older man, fellow actor Tom Burlinson, leaving him after turning down his offer of marriage.

The next man in her life, actor Marcus Graham, never really had a chance once the world’s sexiest man arrived on the scene. While he pined for her in Sydney, Tom was wooing Nicole, sending her love notes and flowers, usually red roses, almost daily. Marcus realized what was going on only when he watched Nicole walk along the red carpet with Tom — and Nic’s mother, Janelle, and Mary Lee — at the Academy Awards in Hollywood in March 1990. It was their first public appearance as a couple, Tom missing out for the Best Actor award to Daniel Day-Lewis for his performance in My Left Foot. Tom was gracious in defeat. “It was exciting, just getting nominated. That acknowledgment from my peers.”

The evening was glamorous relief from the expensive growing pains associated with his latest movie baby. Bad weather, an unfinished script, technical problems, and a ballooning budget — escalating from $40 to $70 million, including a handsome $7 million fee for Cruise — made Days of Thunder a seat-of-the-pants production. Working with an incomplete script meant that Cruise and other actors were being fed new pages of dialogue every day, the leading man reading lines off the dashboard of his 180-mile-per-hour stock car. Disaster was not long in coming: After Tom was involved in a high-speed crash as he squinted at his script, writer Robert Towne dictated dialogue to him through his headset.

Yet the financial tempests threatening to overwhelm Days of Thunder did little to dampen the party atmosphere on set. According to Don Simpson’s biographer Charles Fleming, there was a steady stream of hookers and drugs to keep everyone happy. Girls who came to parties were regularly rewarded with Donna Karan dresses, which producer Don Simpson kept in his hotel suite. During the day Simpson sent out his two assistants to local beaches, asking girls if they wanted to go to a bash for Tom Cruise. On one occasion a local club, the Palace, was closed for a crew party where rapper Tone Loc performed. The booze and cocaine, according to Fleming, were in plentiful supply. If the day-to-day filming wasn’t hair-raising enough, during his time in Florida, Tom quietly embarked on a new risky business: skydiving. He made dozens of jumps under the supervision of local expert Bob Hallett, who pronounced him “a natural.” Nicole was delighted to accept his invitation to join him, realizing a childhood ambition that had been thwarted by her concerned parents. Here was further confirmation, if any was needed, that Nicole was a partner after Tom’s own heart, a woman with a “ferocious” work ethic on set and a fearless daredevil when off duty. After she leapt from the plane, an instructor by her side, her boyfriend swooped in and planted a kiss on her mouth, and then flew away and pulled his ripcord. “Not as good as sex — but almost” was her exhilarated response to the experience. That Easter he performed the same maneuver when he took his mother, Mary Lee, for her first jump.

He was there, too, when his friend David Miscavige, accompanied by an instructor, went skydiving during a visit to the film set. The Scientology leader was so excited by his adventure that, when he returned to Gold Base, he proudly showed a video of himself jumping with Cruise. Not everyone inside Scientology was impressed with their leader’s seeming obsession with the Hollywood actor. His father, Ron, was “very upset” when he went skydiving, fearing that he could have an accident. “As head of Scientology he felt that he had a responsibility to his parishioners,” recalls Karen Pressley. “But David loves to live on the edge, he enjoys thrills and danger.”

Whatever his father’s misgivings, the off-screen escapades continued, the two friends racing cars against each other, running red lights, and, according to a former Scientologist, on one occasion narrowly missing a high-speed collision. “They were two guys trying to impress and compete with one another,” says an ex-Scientologist who watched them together. But their friendship went beyond macho postures, with Tom endlessly calling his friend for advice and counsel. During the filming of Days of Thunder, for example, he was reading the script for the movie Edward Scissorhands, a typically gothic Tim Burton film about a sensitive but misunderstood loner. Unsure about whether to accept the role, he asked Miscavige and others for their opinion. The Scientology leader felt he should reject the part as “too effeminate.” Tom did say no, arguing that he wanted a happy ending for the movie rather than the bleak one that Burton intended. Instead, Johnny Depp took the role, going on to carve a niche playing quirky outsiders.
While Miscavige might not have had any training judging scripts, he did have expertise in the technical side of moviemaking, closely monitoring the faith’s propaganda films for picture and sound quality. Not only did he have an expensive, state-of-the-art sound system in his apartment to check the sound quality of Golden Era products, Scientology engineers had also developed an in-house system called Clearsound. As a budding film star, Tom had been concerned about his weight. Now that he was an established Hollywood heartthrob, he fretted that his voice was just a tad too high pitched. He discussed his concerns with his Scientology mentor before filming started on Days of Thunder. Miscavige suggested that he listen to the difference a Clearsound system might make.

Although the system was not used for Days of Thunder, writer Rod Lurie later claimed that Miscavige lobbied producer Don Simpson about it during his visit to the movie set. Simpson, a onetime Scientologist who accused the organization of being “a con” after spending more than $25,000 on counseling, apparently told Miscavige to “f*** off” when he broached the subject and had him removed from the set. The cult leader subsequently denied any such altercation, although he did confirm that he had earlier discussed sound systems with Tom. The issue of using the Scientology sound system would resurface on future Tom Cruise projects.

With or without Clearsound, Days of Thunder — and its leading man — was given a tempestuous reception from the critics when it was released at the end of June 1989. “He is Cute and he’s Great at Something,” wrote David Denby in New York magazine. “But he’s also Cocky and he Shows Off. He is Reckless, Callow, Stupid. He is Out for Himself and he Goes Too Far. He must Mature. . . . There is a Crisis. He is Alone, Confused. Crestfallen. He seeks a Father Figure.” What was dubbed a “minor film with major pretensions” by Boxoffice struggled to break even. At the final reckoning, Tom’s first venture in orchestrating a big-budget film squeaked into the black, making just $89 million in ticket sales against costs of more than $70 million. After years of back-to-back filming, Tom needed a break, he and Nicole spending a couple of weeks scuba diving in the Bahamas when the movie wrapped. That summer the couple organized their new home in Pacific Palisades while undertaking intensive Scientology courses at their own VIP bungalow on the Gold compound. It was not all study, the couple enjoying the freedom to be themselves away from prying eyes and long lenses. For her birthday in June, for example, a flatbed truck arrived at the base carrying a brand-new Mercedes as a gift from Tom. “They were like teenagers running round the base having fun,” recalls one ex-member.

While Tom was now taking advanced Academy-level Scientology courses, Nicole was gently being introduced to Hubbard’s writings and basic Scientology tenets. Ironically, she shared one common denominator with Tom’s former wife — a troublesome father. Just as Mimi Rogers was seen as a Potential Trouble Source because of the cult’s animosity toward Phil Spickler, so technically Nicole had to be treated with grave suspicion. Not only was she a practicing Catholic, but her father, Dr. Antony Kidman, was a clinical psychologist. By definition, he was deemed an enemy of Scientology, a member of a profession responsible for all the ills on Earth, including the Holocaust in Germany and Stalin’s purges in Russia.

The destruction of Dr. Kidman’s profession was Scientology’s stated aim. For Nicole to be truly adopted and accepted by the sect, she should “disconnect” from her father — that is, never communicate with him again. It posed a genuine problem for the Scientology hierarchy. As Jesse Prince recalls, “It definitely counted against Nicole, having a psychologist as a father. She was always considered a Potential Trouble Source inside Scientology. But the leadership figured they could handle it. It was a balancing act. They had Tom in their pocket, so they thought they would worry about Nicole later.”

Not for the first time, it seemed that celebrity Scientologists lived by different rules than regular members, following Scientology Lite rather than the hard-core faith. And Tom Cruise was a law unto himself. As far as the Scientology leadership was concerned, nothing was too much trouble to keep him happy. So when the secrecy surrounding Tom’s membership in Scientology was exposed that summer in an article written by Janet Charlton in the Star tabloid in July 1990, the cult leadership went into overdrive, both to soothe the irritation of their most prized member and to find the source of the story. They used the notorious private investigator Eugene Ingrams, a former Los Angeles cop who was fired for misconduct after allegedly running a brothel, to find the culprit.

During his four-month investigation, journalist Charlton was harassed and people impersonated her, trying to get copies of her phone bill. Eventually, after a series of subterfuges, Nan Herst Bowers — longtime Scientologist, sometime Hollywood publicist, and friend of Janet Charlton — was fingered as the perpetrator. When she faced a Scientology court, she pled not guilty to eight media-related charges, including “engaging in malicious rumor mongering” and “giving anti-Scientology data to the press.” She was found guilty and formally listed as a “Suppressive Person Declare,” the equivalent to being excommunicated.

The ruling meant that she was not allowed to have any further contact with anyone inside Scientology, including her husband, her three sons, Brad, Todd, and Ryan, and her grandchild. Her family subsequently sent her letters of “Disconnect,” which confirmed their refusal to have any contact with her. Within a week, Nan had gone from being a happily married mother and grandmother to being entirely cut off from her friends and family. Sixteen years have passed since the trial, and she has never seen her husband, sons, or her eight grandchildren since. “I was made a scapegoat for the story after Tom Cruise complained. As far as I am concerned, Scientology broke up my family,” she says. “They kept my sons and their children from me. We were a nice close-knit Jewish family before this. I have not been able to lead a full life as a mother and grandmother because of this incident.” In August 1990, a month after the investigation was launched to find who had outed Tom, hundreds of Sea Org disciples faced the wrath of their leader after the actor’s VIP bungalow at Gold Base was badly damaged in a mudslide caused by heavy rains. It was an act of God, but as Scientologists don’t believe in God, David Miscavige blamed the Sea Org for not having proper flood procedures in place. He placed hundreds of Sea Org disciples in a severe ethics condition of “Confusion” as punishment, with gangs of Scientologists working around the clock to repair the damage. “Quite a few people left as a result because they thought he was crazy,” recalls Shelly Britt.

At the time, Tom was probably unaware of the severe punishment meted out to fellow Scientologists, just as Nicole would not have been enlightened about Scientology’s unbending hostility toward men like her father. As Sea Org disciples worked day and night to restore Tom and Nicole’s luxury quarters to its previous pristine condition, the couple flew by private jet to Sydney to meet her father and other family members. Vainly, Nicole tried to dampen the inevitable speculation about wedding bells. “All that talk about us being engaged is just nonsense,” she told one Australian magazine. “I’d like to get married one day but I think it would be very foolish to do so at this stage of my life.”

A month later they announced their betrothal, Tom buying her a diamond engagement ring costing a reported $260,000. His proposal was in keeping with the way he had wooed the Australian actress, Tom leaving a note on the pillow in her bedroom that said: “My darling Nicole, I chased you and chased you until you finally caught me. Now will you marry me?”

Almost immediately Tom’s assistant Andrea Morse and sister Lee Anne DeVette were dispatched to locate a suitable wedding location, eventually finding and renting a $2 million, six-bedroom timber house with spectacular views over the Rockies in the town of Telluride, a former Colorado mining town turned winter playground for the stars. On Christmas Eve 1990, with the house filled with flowers, including a willow arbor laced with white lilies and red roses, Nicole, wearing a 1930s antique brocaded gown she bought in Amsterdam, joined Tom for a simple Scientology wedding service. His auditor, Ray Mithoff, officiated; Nicole’s sister, Antonia, was maid of honor; Dustin Hoffman was best man; and guests included David and Shelley Miscavige, Gelda Mithoff, Greg Wilhere, and Nicole’s friend, actress Deborra-Lee Furness. The event was choreographed and orchestrated by Miscavige, who arranged for two Scientology chefs and other Sea Org disciples to cater and care for the newlyweds and their guests. While the wedding planning had been cloak and dagger, Tom and Nicole were keen to let the world into their little secret, the actress calling a radio station in Sydney two days after her wedding to say that she was now married and “blissfully happy.”

A few weeks later, the imperious über-agent Mike Ovitz, head of Creative Artists Agency, and Tom’s agent, Paula Wagner, hosted a celebration dinner in honor of Tom and Nicole. Alongside the movers and shakers of Hollywood at the DC3 restaurant in Santa Monica were the upper echelons of Scientology. Here was Mike Ovitz, then the most powerful man in Hollywood, rubbing shoulders with the most powerful man in Scientology, David Miscavige. Sandwiched between this collision of entertainment and religion sat Tom Cruise. It was a symbol of sorts.
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:24 am

Tom Cruise and Scientology: While Big Names Like Tom Cruise and John Travolta Prescribe to Scientology, It's Just One of the Modalities of Transformation Available ... And Certainly Note the Most Rapid!
by James Arthur Ray
July 6, 2005

Anytime a well-known name gets involved with a spiritual approach, whether it is Madonna and Kabbalah (Qabalah), John Travolta and Tom Cruise with Scientology, or any other "name," it creates buzz. But buzz alone doesn't guarantee that something is the most effective approach.

Scientology contends that there are unresolved issues in your unconscious mind termed "engrams." These engrams are created typically during times of high stress or even inherited from a past life. Unresolved emotional issues must be resolved according to Ron Hubbard's (the founder of Scientology) philosophy by releasing all charge from them. Sound familiar?

This is obviously not a new, and certainly not a unique, concept. All esoteric traditions as well as indigenous shamanism contend that these negative issues outside of your conscious awareness must be released for you to step into your full capability and power. In fact, many esoteric and mystery schools suggest that a minimum of 51% of these issues must be resolved for you to actualize your full potential.

The difficulty with Scientology (with which I've had experience) is that, in my opinion, it's too similar to traditional psychotherapy. Now don't get me wrong... traditional psychotherapy works (unless you're speaking of a medicated approach), but again, in my experience it is not the most efficient. In other words, it takes large amounts of time, personal agony and money.

The agonizing process I'm speaking of is the practice of reliving the issues over and over again until they are drained of their emotional charge. Again this works, but from personal experience, it's not fun, comfortable or exciting to say the least. And it takes an inordinate amount of time and money! I remember leaving my Scientology auditing sessions being totally exhausted! (As well as much lighter in my wallet with many more multiples of sessions to go.)

My studies and experiences have taken me through about every change modality that exists, and I can say with confidence that they all work. That being said, there are some that are more elegant and rapid than others.
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:26 am

Tom's Scientology Secrets Exposed!
by Greg Sinclair
Woman's Day
Mon 25 Apr 1994, p12-15

Exclusive

A former cult security guard blows apart the star's squeaky clean image with claims of shocking abuse


HOLLYWOOD megastar Tom Cruise has been sensationally named in a multi-million dollar lawsuit in the United States alleging receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illicit perks from the controversial Scientology religious cult.

The 32-year-old Oscar winner is alleged to have turned a blind eye to the use of slave labour to build him a gym, an apartment and other gifts from the Scientologists.

Hollywood insiders say he is fuming at being named in the legal action because it totally exposes his close links to the bizarre organisation.

He is particularly angry about references to his "special relationship" with the charismatic leader of the Scientologists, David Miscavige, a mysterious godlike figure who is said to rule the Scientologists the way David Koresh ruled Waco and the Branch Davidians.

The Scientologists' desert base where Tom spends much of his time is, according to the sworn declaration, armed to the teeth with assault rifles, automatic weapons, shotguns and even explosives - all on standby to be used in case authorities one day attempt a similar operation to Waco.

And by all accounts, Tom Cruise could well be inside that compound at the time.

In a sworn declaration - filed in a law suit brought by the church in the United States against a former member and his psychiatrist - the Scientologists' former head of security, Andre Tabayoyon, 47, says that the cash used to supply Tom with all his luxuries was spent illicitly because it came from the Scientologists' charitable funds. He claims that:

• Tom ignored the dozens of inmates on the other side of the base who were living in appalling conditions, earning a maximum of $30 a week as slave labour.
• Tom was involved in supplying new movie releases for viewing in the group's $150,000-plus cinema.
• Tom was given a personal chef whenever he visited the Scientologists' armed camp at Gilman Hot Springs, near Hemet, California.
• He spent many hours with David Miscavige in a bizarre building shaped like a clipper ship that was built in the middle of the desert.
• Tom had a $150,000 gym specially built for him at the desert base and banned anyone outside of his small circle of friends from speaking to him.
• Tom was given a luxurious apartment on the base, plus two motorcycles, a brown 1992 Mercedes convertible worth almost $100,000 and a large motor home - all stored in a garage once exclusively used by the Scientologists' renowned and feared leader L. Ron Hubbard before his death in 1986.
• Tom was given a specially appointed Scientologist chef to do all the cooking at his 1990 marriage to gorgeous Nicole Kidman.
• Scientologists held many people against their will in the same complex. These people were used for slave labour - to renovate Tom's apartment when it was damaged in a mudslide.
• Tom has virtually exclusive use of a sauna, spa bath and Olympic-sized swimming pool on the "ship". A $200,000 tennis court was also built for the exclusive use of Tom and a handful of other celebrity members.
• Tens of thousands of dollars were wasted after Miscavige objected to the colour of an addition to Tom's luxurious apartment and it had to be torn down and rebuilt.
• Tom had a special concrete walkway built across the desert soil to his apartment because he did not want to get his feet dirty.
• Tens of thousands of dollars were wasted when Scientology boss Miscavige had an entire meadow planted with flowers so that Tom and Nicole could "romp there". However, when he saw it completed, he decided it was awful and had it ploughed up.
• Tom even agreed to put into writing his innermost sexual feelings, and made one confession that would stun his millions of fans, leaving himself open to blackmail.
• Tom took part in weird, screaming interrogation sessions of other Scientology members.

All former security chief Tabayoyon's claims are in a 60-page declaration which was filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles, on March 9.

Tabayoyon - who was a Scientologist until less than a year ago - has been retained by lawyers representing former Scientologist Steven Fishman and his psychiatrist, Uwe Geertz, who are being sued by the Scientologists in an action claiming Fishman and Geertz defamed them in an article published in Time magazine in 1991.

Tabayoyon claims his life has been threatened when he was followed near his home in Arizona soon after his decision to defy the Scientologists' notorious code of silence and speak openly about Miscavige and the cult's number one member Tom Cruise. Lawyers representing the defendants also claim they have been the subject of intimidation.

Tough ex-marine and Vietnam veteran Tabayoyon admits that the Scientologists' scare tactics have him worried. He was a member of the shadowy organisation for 21 years.

He witnessed dozens of abuses of charitable funds at the Gold base, near Hemet, California. And he claims that the base is surrounded by armed guards day and night to prevent people getting in and out of the compound.

Tabayoyon says he also witnessed a number of Scientologists go crazy and commit suicide following exposure to the cult's controversial brainwashing techniques.

The tough ex-Marine claims he was personally ordered to use Scientologists' techniques to force a man to attempt suicide. He also insists that Tom's "special friend" Miscavige - who walks around the base in a captain's uniform - personally beat up a man who tried to escape from the base.

"Miscavige and Tom have developed a special relationship. One is a world dominant celebrity. The other is a young domineering cult leader who seeks to 'clear' the world and to rule it according to Scientology beliefs and practices," adds Tabayoyon.

He claims that the mysterious Miscavige - a high school dropout - was responsible for many multi-million dollar illegal international currency transfers of Scientologist charitable funds.

"He rules Scientology like David Koresh ruled Waco and the Branch Davidians," says Tabayoyon.

He alleges that the Scientologists are so fearful of the same sort of raids that sparked the massacre at Waco that they installed razor barriers, electronic monitors, concealed microphones and ground sensors on the perimeter of the base. There are also hidden video cameras watching every movement inside and outside the base. Tabayoyon claims that Church funds were used to buy HK 91 assault rifles capable of firing 300-500 rounds of ammunition a minute, .45 calibre pistols, .380 automatic weapons and 12-gauge shotguns. He also alleges that church funds paid for the purchase of large quantities of gunpowder for the "construction of various types of explosive device to be used in the defence of the base".

Tabayoyon claims that Tom's fellow star John Travolta went into a deep depression after being put through a psychotic break by a weird Scientology "interrogation system" designed to help members understand the cult more clearly.

Tabayoyon - as head of security at the base - has even admitted "kidnapping" two members who tried to run away from the harsh regime inside the base.

The sworn declaration describes in vivid detail the two very different lifestyles inside the Gold base camp.

On one side were the celebrities such as Tom, John Travolta and Priscilla Presley, while just a few hundred metres away, a brutal regime of terror was being inflicted on dozens of ordinary Scientology members who were held in punishment camp because they had upset the cult's hierarchy.

Tabayoyon alleges that Tom's pal David Miscavige and other senior Scientologists, as well as the celebrity and other stars, used a specially constructed cinema on the base to view first-run movies which were passed to Miscavige through those celebrity members' close links with Hollywood.

Miscavige "befriended Tom", according to the sworn declaration, in the late 1980s and the two men spent a lot of time together on the base. "Often they would hang out alone in space designated for L. Ron Hubbard on the Clipper Ship," explained Tabayoyon.

Miscavige even had a $150,000 gym specially built for Tom at the desert base and banned anyone outside his small circle of friends from speaking to him or using the facilities. "One time one of the gardeners spoke to him and this caused a major flap because no-one was allowed to talk to Tom Cruise," claims Tabayoyon.

He says that Tom is known by his initials whenever he visits the base camp. The ex-security chief also says he personally helped construct a luxurious apartment on the same base for the "personal and exclusive use of Tom Cruise".

"This was done on the orders of David Miscavige," says Tabayoyon. "Other apartment cottages were built for John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Edgar Winters, Priscilla Presley and other Scientology celebrities."

The ordinary members kept virtually prisoners on the other side of the camp were referred to as the Rehabilitation Project Force, which Tabayoyon describes as "the Scientology gulag or concentration camp".

He claims in his sworn declaration that RPF members were used to help build Tom's apartment and repair it after a mudslide.

"Tom Cruise was benefiting from the use of what is essentially prison slave labour being worked almost around the clock," added Tabayoyon.

He also alleges that Tom was given a specially appointed Scientologist chef to do all his cooking at his 1990 marriage to Nicole Kidman.

"A staffer called Sinar Parman was taken along to do the personal cooking for Tom Cruise and Miscavige at the expense of Scientology, not for the profit of religious organisations," stated Tabayoyon.

He says in his sworn declaration that Tom also has virtually exclusive use of a sauna, spa bath and huge swimming pool on the "ship".

"I saw Tom Cruise use an exercise room which was off limits to at least 98 per cent of the staff. Tom Cruise had unrestricted access to the ship which has a sauna, spa bath and an Olympic sized swimming pool."

Other Scientologists on the camp even referred to the gym specially built by Miscavige for his friend Tom as the Miscavige/Cruise gym.

Built in 1989, it cost about $150,000 and much of the construction work was once again performed by the slave labour prisoners kept on the other side of the camp.

"It is one of the most incredible gyms imaginable and is for the exclusive use of Tom Cruise, David Miscavige and other specially and specifically approved by him. It also has an incredible shower area."

According to Tabayoyon's testimony, millions of dollars in Church funds were used illicitly so that Tom's stays at the base "were enjoyable". "Tom Cruise received special meal services, special room services, and a girl by the name of Jennie Matsamura was assigned to take care of him and his renovated cottage," said Tabayoyon.

He recalled how, on a number of occasions, construction work done for Tom had to be torn down because the colouring did not meet with his or Miscavige's approval.

"Once we had to pour a concrete walkway so that Tom Cruise would not have to walk on the desert soil. Before the concrete dried, it rained. The concrete was spoiled. Miscavige went into a fury over that."

On another occasion, recalled Tabayoyon, "tens of thousands of dollars" were spent on making a meadow look picturesque by planting thousands of flowers so that Tom and his new wife Nicole could romp there.

"However Miscavige inspected it and didn't like it. So the whole meadow was ploughed up, destroyed, reploughed and sown with plain grass," added Tabayoyon.

He claims that Tom Cruise took part in a bizarre "life orientation course" called "OT III" - based on the controversial beliefs of Hubbard, who claimed that aliens invaded Earth thousands of years ago and were responsible for the current state of man.

A specially appointed "auditor" interviewed Tom to see if he could pass the OT III test. It is a weird routine, as Tabayoyon explained.

The ultimate goal of auditing is to return the person to the state they were in 75 million years before the aliens invaded. Tabayoyon claims that for Tom to have passed the OT III test he would have had to act out "psychosis ... and general madness".

Tabayoyon also alleges that the Scientologist leaders have a special file on the megastar which is kept under tight security at the base.

"It contains supposedly confidential information derived during auditing sessions. However, the contents of such folders have been culled and used against people," says Tabayoyon, who believes the secret files are used to "exert control and influence over people such as Tom Cruise or John Travolta should they ever attempt to leave the Scientology organisation".

One former Scientology member said that the sort of information Tom revealed during his "audit" would blow apart his squeaky clean image.

The insider, who claims to have seen the star's file, said: "There are things in there that would shock his fans and they clearly imply he has some severe personality problems."

Tabayoyon's sworn declaration alleges that all the millions of dollars spent by Miscavige and his cronies on the luxuries provided for Tom and other celebrity members was used illegally because the cash all came from fundraising on behalf of the so-called church - and that is against US law.

Story: Greg Sinclair
[photos] From above left: Scientology celebrity headquarters in Hollywood; Tom Cruise; the "ship" in the desert.
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:27 am

Scientology Leader Can't Handle the Heat on Xenu, Storms Out on Martin Bashir
by Foster Kamer
October 25, 2009

ABC's Nightline ran a special on Scientology this weekend. It was typically strange and disconcerting, but nothing necessarily new. Except: What could provoke their spokesman to storm off the set of an interview? We get to learn. Paging Lord Xenu.

Martin Bashir was grilling Scientology spokesthing Tommy Davis regarding Xenu, the intergalactic god who did or did not come to Earth 75 million years ago to bury his people in volcanos. Bashir asks Davis a very simple question: Do you guys believe in this crazy shit? Is Xenu and his people-pod volcano plot part of your religion? Etc. Watch what Davis does, starting at about 2:45 for context, but 3:40 if you just want to see him freak out and stomp off.

Why would Davis stomp off? Bashir wasn't asking him to explain Xenu, or justify Xenu, or even to provide context around Xenu. All he was asking was: Do you guys believe in an intergalactic God named Xenu? Is this part of your religion?

How is that an unfair line of inquiry? That's like feigning indignation at a line of inquiry asking whether or not Jews have horns. How can you? Of course we don't, you moron! But if we do, well, it's not a silly question, is it? Is it?!?
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:31 am

Tommy Davis: Scientology's New Angry, Unstable Pitchman
by John Cook
Gawker
October 27, 2009

Image

Tommy Davis, the latest chief spokesman and outraged-interview-cutter-offer for the Church of Scientology, is a callow Hollywood brat, Tom Cruise hanger-on, and "drug revert" who thinks "L. Ron Hubbard is the coolest guy ever."

Scientology has a long history of spastic, sweaty spokespersons with creepy laughs who eventually crack under the pressure and leave the organization. There was Robert Vaughn Young, who publicly renounced the church in 1989 after decades in its leadership. He was followed by Mike Rinder, an unhinged Australian bulldog who decided to stop lying for church leader David Miscavige last year and spoke out publicly about the cult's bizarre and arbitrary cruelty in June.

The latest inheritor of Young and Rinder's mantle as the unsettling public face of scientology is Tommy Davis, the head of the cult's Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles. Davis lived up to the role last week by walking out on ABC News's Martin Bashir during a Nightline interview after Bashir asked him about Xenu, the intergalactic warlord that Hubbard believed is responsible for saddling us all with a bunch of crazy body thetans.

So who is this guy, and how long before he cracks up and turns against the church like all the rest?

He's a Hollywood scion.

Davis, 37, is the son of actress Anne Archer and Jeffrey Davis, a real estate investor. According to Rolling Stone's Janet Reitman, Davis "freely admits to being a Hollywood rich kid. He dresses in Italian suits, drives a BMW and is addicted to his Blackberry. 'I have enough money to never work a day in my life,' he says."

He's Tom Cruise's BFF.

According to the Daily Beast's Kim Masters, Davis spent nearly a decade as Cruise's "personal, full-time, assigned Scientology handler." Claire Headley, a former Scientologist who left the cult five years ago, tells Masters: "'He filtered everything, reported on what [Cruise] was doing to [Church of Scientology leader] David Miscavige.' Officially, Davis was assigned to the church's president's office in the Celebrity Centre, she continues, but he was essentially with Cruise full-time from the late 1990s until 2005." Davis worked intimately with Miscavige on the deeply strange Tom Cruise tribute video that was leaked to Gawker last year.

He goes for stunts.

When the BBC's John Sweeney decided to make a documentary about Scientology two years ago for Panorama, Davis and his then-colleague Rinder decided to make a "counter-documentary," and succeeded in goading Sweeney into an angry outburst that they caught on camera and distributed widely in order to discredit him. Davis harangued Sweeney mercilessly in the middle of Scientology's graphic "Psychiatry: Industry of Death" exhibit, and Sweeney later said of his enraged response: "I felt they were trying to control my mind." In the course of the same documentary, Davis walked out of an interview after Sweeney called Scientology a "sinister cult." After walking out on Bashir last week, Davis reportedly showed up unannounced at ABC News headquarters less than an hour before Nightline's airtime and demanded that the piece be spiked. He was rebuffed.

He probably doesn't know what he's talking about.

While Davis has said in the past that he is "familiar with" the "confidential scriptures" of Scientology that tell the story of Xenu --

PART FIVE: Scientology Official Addresses Works of L. Ron Hubbard
by Nathan Baca
News Channel 3
March 12, 2009 01:56 PM MST

Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis: "I'm not interested in somebody else's version of my religion or somebody else's idea of what my religion is."

Our second half of our one-on-one interview with one of Scientology's leaders continues in Hollywood.

We confront spokesman Tommy Davis with the confidential works of L. Ron Hubbard and ask why there are threats of death by pneumonia for those who read it.

Nathan Baca: Somebody from the Village Voice apparently said the Church of Scientology is about "ridding the body of space alien parasites." And your reaction then and now is what exactly to that claim?

Tommy Davis: You know, here's the thing. There are outrageous claims out there on the internet about what Scientologists believe. These are claims that are forwarded by anti-Scientologists. The best and easiest and most transparent way in which people learn about it is through L. Ron Hubbard's books and lectures.

NB (pulling out 650 page book of "Technical Notes of Operating Thetans"): Looking at Mr. Hubbard's own works, what seems to be in a sense curious is at least, according to L. Ron Hubbard's own words, and I quote, "the head of the galactic confederation. Seventy-six planets around larger stars visible from here..."

TD: I can stop you. I know what you're talking about. I'm familiar with the material. I think what you're getting at is the confidential scriptures of the Church.

NB: But this is about the fundamentals of-- is this not about the fundamentals of your belief, though? This goes into the sense of the soul.

TD: Right. For you to talk to me, you as somebody who is not a Scientologist to talk to me about what my beliefs are or to ask me to explain any core religious belief, that's an offensive concept. Nobody should ever be asked to do that.

NB: And is that the reasoning for the cease and desist letter for just about everybody who has published these works, the esoteric works. From Sunshine Press to Google, I believe, has also been given a cease and desist letter from Moxon & Kobrin (law firm). That's the reasoning behind it, correct?

TD: Absolutely, I'm not interested in somebody else's version of my religion or somebody else's idea of what my religion is, or something that somebody stole from the Church that is legitimately Church materials and is trying to show it to me for the only intent of knowingly violating my religious beliefs and knowingly violating how it is I see fit to practice my religion.

NB: But arguably isn't the reason why they are potentially-- wouldn't want to read it is because the book itself says that if you read it out of order, in effect "free wheeling," according to one of the pages, physical harm will come of you. I believe it mentions pneumonia. There is an actual fear, a physical fear, arguably. There is a physical cause and effect, saying that if you read this, before you're ready for it, physical harm will come of you. I've read, though, arguably not understood much of OT's 3 through 6. According to this, as I read it, I should have had some kill switch and I should have died of pneumonia. Why am I not dead yet?

TD: I...I... (laughs then pauses) Here we're going to the basic fundamental point that I'm trying to make. OK. What you're doing right now and what it is you're saying to me is an intent to ridicule religious beliefs. That's really what we're talking about. And you're just forwarding an agenda of hate.


he's also told CNN's John Roberts that talk of "space parasites" is "unrecognizable to me." Discussions of Xenu are strictly verboten among Scientologists who haven't yet reached, and paid for, the OT-III—or Operating Thetan, level three—step on the cult's "bridge to total freedom," during which Xenu's exploits are revealed. Members are told that if they hear about Xenu before their minds are properly prepared, it will make them retarded, insane, or even kill them. Masters speculates that Davis' dumbfounded reaction to Bashir's question may have been genuine:

Headley suspects Tommy Davis has never participated in upper-level training in which the story of Xenu would have actually been revealed. She thinks that may be why he walked out of the Nightline interview when asked about it. "In Scientology, no one can talk about it, whether you've done it or not," she says. "If you talk about it when you're not up to that level, you can be banned from ever doing it."


Davis wouldn't tell her whether he'd reached OT-III, but according to a partial database of Scientology course completions gleaned from announcements in church publications, he hasn't.

He's a "drug revert" and all around troublemaker.

Masters says Davis has a reputation for mischief. He was a "happy-go-lucky" teen who was caught smoking pot, which makes him in church parlance a "drug revert" and should have barred him from serving in the cult's leadership. Davis denies being a revert. But he has, according to Masters, gotten into more recent trouble with his superiors. After the BBC flap, Masters says, he briefly "blew" from the Sea Org and went AWOL, an infraction that earned him a stint cleaning toilets in the church's Clearwater, Fla., international headquarters—though Masters doesn't use the term, it certainly sounds like Davis was shunted off to the "Rehabilitation Project Force," the church's punitive gulag for staff members who fall out of line. Davis' former friend, ex-Scientologist Jason Beghe, told the Village Voice last year that he could see from the look on Davis' face during a CNN interview that he'd been RFP'd.

He probably won't last long.

Davis hasn't been doing a great job. The Nightline interview was another in a string of embarrassments for the church, and Paul Haggis' high-profile defection over the weekend—announced in an open letter to Davis—is likely not sitting well with Miscavige. Davis' job is to "handle" anyone who would do harm to the church's reputation, and his tenure thus far has been marked by a string of pile-ups—angry confrontations; Haggis' defection; John Travolta's acknowledgment that, contrary to church dogma, autism is real; the St. Petersburg Times' devastating series detailing the revelations of high-profile defectors about Miscavige's violent and insane regime. He also has personal relationships with people who've left the church—he worked with Rinder, and was close friends with Beghe—and has left the reservation before. How much abuse and lying can he take before he follows them out the door?
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:34 am

The BBC man, the Scientologist - and the YouTube rant: Panorama reporter's outburst at Hollywood star's son is captured on video
by David Smith
The Observer
Sunday 13 May 2007



A Journalist at Panorama, the BBC's flagship current affairs series, has been reprimanded for losing his temper and screaming with rage during the making of an investigation into the Church of Scientology.

John Sweeney has apologised for the outburst against a scientologist which was filmed and then put on the video-sharing website YouTube, prompting criticism of the corporation. The BBC held an internal inquiry but said Sweeney had not breached any guidelines.

The incident is one of the first examples of 'video ambushing', where organisations being investigated turn the camera on the film makers. The Church of Scientology, whose members include the Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta, shadowed the Panorama team in America with its own camera crew. It has made a 'counter documentary', attacking Sweeney's methods, and distributed 100,000 DVDs to MPs, civil servants, religious groups, media organisations and business leaders.

Panorama has responded by posting a YouTube clip of its own in which leading scientologist Tom Davis, a friend of Cruise and son of the film actress Anne Archer, also a scientologist, is seen losing his temper at Sweeney's use of the words 'sinister cult' and storming away mid-interview with the reporter in hot pursuit. In a separate clash Archer, an Oscar nominee for her role as Michael Douglas's wife in Fatal Attraction, is understood to have snapped when Sweeney asked if she could have been brainwashed. The Church has withdrawn consent for the BBC to use the footage and Panorama is being hastily re-edited for broadcast tomorrow, but will still include the Sweeney outburst.

Journalists in all media are facing greater scrutiny than ever from bloggers and independent film makers armed for a video ambush. Michael Moore, an award winner for documentaries including Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, is himself the subject of a website, Moorewatch, a book, Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man, and a forthcoming film, Manufacturing Dissent, which examines his methods. Dan Rather, the veteran US news anchorman, was forced to retire after blogs showed that a CBS report questioning President Bush's National Guard service had been based on forged documents, and Reuters sacked a photographer exposed by bloggers as having doctored a picture.

Sweeney lost his temper while visiting the Church of Scientology's exhibition, 'Psychiatry: Industry of Death', which uses graphic images to attack psychiatry. Sweeney said that, having dogged him for six days, Davis accused him of giving an easy ride to one of his interviewees, a critic of Scientology, even though he had not heard the full interview. It was then that Sweeney, his face contorted with anger and his finger jabbing, began yelling at the top of his voice: 'You were not there at the beginning of the interview! You were not there! You did not hear or record all the interview!'

The response of YouTube users has been damning. One said yesterday: 'I for one feel confident and glad that I am paying good money for this psycho to remain on television! Is this really what English TV has degraded itself to?' Another wrote: 'Surely this is a joke right? How can a mentally unbalanced man like this be a BBC reporter? This kinda makes you wonder if he is not dreaming up what he reports or if TV actually reports truth! Man I'm done with the BBC.'

Sweeney, a former Observer journalist, admits he went too far. 'I am hugely embarrassed,' he said. 'I look like an exploding tomato and shout like a jet engine and every time I see it it makes me cringe. The moment it happened I said sorry. I let the side down and the BBC down and I am ashamed. But I felt I was being brainwashed and if people see the full clip I think they will have more sympathy with me'

The journalist has been disciplined after an internal investigation. 'I've been arse-kicked but I haven't been fired,' he added. 'I feel mortified. There is no one on this planet more irritated then me. Fool, Sweeney, fool. It was like an animal reaction to a series of images and pressures. I felt they were trying to control my mind. I can't wait to get back to Zimbabwe: hiding in the backs of cars from Robert Mugabe's goons is a damn sight easier.'

It is not the first time the Church of Scientology has been accused of riling opponents by 'bull baiting', a technique in which members are taught to remain calm even under extreme provocation. Mike Rinder, a spokesman for the Church, said: 'I guess you could say we John Sweeneyed John Sweeney. The licence fee payers in Britain are entitled to see what goes on behind the scenes. It's about time documentary makers are held accountable.'

Sweeney has won awards for investigating miscarriages of justice against mothers of cot death victims and has reported on human rights abuses in Chechnya, Kosovo and Algeria. He has said that 'one recipe for investigative journalism is to find the largest crocodile in the pond and give it a poke in the eye with a sharp stick and see what happens next'. This time, the crocodile bit back.

A spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology said: 'The BBC Broadcast Codes are a sensible set of guidelines that, if followed, would result in a fair and accurate report with every piece. We documented 154 violations of these guidelines by Sweeney and his team and have presented those, with evidence, to BBC executives.'

But Sandy Smith, editor of Panorama, responded: 'The head of current affairs, George Entwistle, has viewed all footage complained of and, with the exception of the point when Sweeney shouts, he found nothing that stood outside BBC guidelines.'

A BBC spokeswoman added: 'When viewers watch the programme on Monday they will see the full story and the background to this particular incident. While John Sweeney's behaviour at one point in the filming is clearly inappropriate, he has apologised. The BBC is, however, happy that taken as a whole the filming was carried out properly and fairly.'
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:40 am

What Happened in Vegas
by Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin
Tampa Bay Times
November 2, 2009

Scientology: What happened in Vegas, Part 2 of 3 in a special report on the Church of Scientology

Image
One of the guys. David Lubow, top right, infiltrated a group of former Sea Org members living in Las Vegas. Partying at summer’s end are, from left, Terri and Fernando Gamboa, non-Scientologist Jack Trostle and Janis Grady.

They squeezed into a two bedroom apartment, all they could afford. Two couples and a single guy had left the Church of Scientology and joined up in Las Vegas, starting a mortgage business near the Palace Station Casino.
They were faces in the crowd.

Except that the two wives were important in Scientology history, sisters Terri and Janis Gillham. They were two of the original four "messengers'' for L. Ron Hubbard.

The founder ran his church from his ship, the Apollo, handwriting bulletins in red ink and policy orders in green. For eight years starting when Terri was 13 and Janis 11, they saw Hubbard most every day. As his messengers, they fetched people for private audiences and carried his handwritten notes to the Scientology world.

Their parents had opened one of Australia's first Scientology missions, in their home in Melbourne. By 1969, the girls were aboard ship with Hubbard, and their parents were needed to help grow Scientology in the United States.

Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, became legal guardian to Terri and Janis. Hubbard was a father figure. He looked after their studies and their well-being.

Twenty years later they had become disaffected. Still believers, the sisters and their husbands left the church. They disagreed with the direction Hubbard's successor, David Miscavige, was taking it, and they found him too controlling.

On their own now in Vegas, they processed mortgage applications and lounged around the pool at their apartment complex, the Polo Club.

They didn't know it, but they were being watched.

Terri and her husband, Fernando Gamboa, left the Sea Org first, in January 1990.

Eight months later, Janis and her husband, Paul Grady, took off from the church's 500-acre compound east of Los Angeles after a sudden, hard rain and a Miscavige tongue-lashing.

Mud washed down an arroyo and into villas the staff had spiffed up for a coming visit by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Miscavige blamed the staff for goofing up the grading of a hillside and said they would work around the clock to clean up the mess.

Not the Gradys. They bolted for a little town north of Los Angeles.

Mark Fisher left that night, too, and made it to his sister's couch in Hollywood. A church security guard was there when he woke; his sister had turned him in.

Fisher had been Miscavige's aide de camp for nearly seven years. He and his staff woke up Miscavige and his wife, and they walked their beagles, Chesley and Chelsea. They cleaned the leader's guns after target practice and, when he was in a good mood, piled in a car and went with him to the movies.

For leaving without permission, Fisher had to pull weeds and was questioned for hours daily for a month. On Sept. 15, 1990, Fisher said goodbye to his wife in a church security office. He wrote her a check for $8,000, half their savings, and gave her their furniture and art work. He took their Honda and drove off.

By year's end, opportunity knocked in Las Vegas.

A Scientology parishioner opening a mortgage office there told Janis, Terri and their husbands he would teach them the business. If they did well, they could take over. Janis contacted Fisher; he was in, too.

Janis was five months pregnant when they moved into the Polo Club. She and Paul got one bedroom. Terri and Fernando got the other. Fisher got the sofa.

After two months, their little startup, City Mortgage, needed another mortgage agent.

David Lubow answered their Help Wanted ad. He said the market was tough in the San Fernando Valley, where his wife worked and they lived with their two children. He would make the four-hour drive home on weekends. Terri hired him.

"Dave was a really friendly guy,'' Fisher said. "A really nice guy. Somebody you would want to have a beer with.''

The Gamboas and the Gradys declined to be interviewed for this report. But Fisher and other former Scientology staffers who were hired at City Mortgage described what they saw and heard.

Lubow got an apartment at the Polo Club and hung around with the five from the office.

He had never played racquetball, but he played often with Fernando. He saw the five at the pool and grilled out with them. He was as thrilled as they when Janis, with the help of a midwife, delivered her son in the living room.

Conversation would get around to Scientology. Terri and Janis told Lubow about their early days with Hubbard, how they watched him build the church from the ground up. They all said he should read Dianetics.

Lubow asked the obvious: So why did you leave?

Because of Miscavige, they said. If he were gone, they might go back.

Good talker, that Dave Lubow. His apartment was across the tiny parking lot. From his front door, he could see theirs.

RUNNING THE OPERATION

A short walk down Hollywood Boulevard from where tourists take pictures of sidewalk shrines to movie stars is the Hollywood Guaranty Building, 12 floors of Scientology offices. The top floor is "OSA-Intel,'' the Office of Special Affairs' intelligence unit.

That's where David Lubow sent his reports. Church staff routed them to Mike Rinder, the director of OSA, and Marty Rathbun, Inspector General of the Religious Technology Center, the church's top ecclesiastical authority. Staff knew him as Miscavige's right hand man. Rathbun said he routinely forwarded Lubow's reports to the leader.

Rathbun worked with Rinder's OSA team, which handled legal matters, investigations and media relations. Rinder was the church's chief public spokesman for 20 years, nationally and internationally, defending the church in countless interviews.

Rathbun left Scientology in 2004, Rinder in 2007. This past June, both spoke out about the physical abuse they said they saw Miscavige administer, assertions the church vehemently denied. Now they say Miscavige ordered spying on those he considered potentially threatening to himself and the church.

"Miscavige was intensely obsessed with that Las Vegas crowd,'' Rathbun said.

Church attorneys and spokesman Tommy Davis said the church does not hire private investigators, its attorneys do. Miscavige has nothing to do with the investigators. "Any claim or inference that Mr. Miscavige was involved in any way with attorney use of private investigators is false,'' Davis wrote.

Before they left Scientology, the Gillham sisters transitioned from teenaged messengers to powerful roles. Terri was executive director of Author Services Inc., the corporation Hubbard set up distinct from Scientology to control rights to his books, lectures and other intellectual property. At ASI, she worked closely with Miscavige, who was its chairman of the board.

Janis led a team in 1988 that readied the church's new cruise ship, the Freewinds, for its maiden voyage. From 1987 through 1990, she oversaw the church's international management team.

They and Fisher told Lubow about how things soured. They joked about going back to the compound in the desert, maybe drive a van up to the front gate and yell out to staff: All aboard!

Rathbun and Rinder said Miscavige viewed the Las Vegas clique as potential agitators or even motivated to start an anti-Scientology crusade. Rathbun said Miscavige "ordered'' him to arrange for someone to infiltrate the five in Vegas and find out what they were up to.

Rathbun said he instructed OSA-Intel chief Linda Hamel to consult a private investigator who had worked for the church for years and find someone with a high social I.Q for the job. Lubow.

"He got deep in and became a close friend and was reporting back,'' Rathbun said. "Quite frankly, the more reporting he did, the more obsessed Miscavige became. Those people all pinned their gripes about their experiences in Scientology to their personal experiences with Miscavige.

"They were consistently communicating about how they were just waiting for this guy to burn out and maybe they even would go back some day.''

Instructions for Lubow: Keep the reports coming.

TOO MANY QUESTIONS

Terri Gamboa fired Fisher before City Mortgage was a year old. Badly needing a commission check, Fisher had chewed out a support staffer for not processing a loan application quickly enough.

"I blew my stack. Got really angry,'' Fisher said.

Lesson learned. "You deal with people a certain way in the Sea Org,'' he said, "but when you come out in the real world, you can't treat people like that.''

He moved to Houston, for a promotions job with an adult entertainment club owner he knew. Fisher was settling in when Lubow called. He was in town on a real estate deal, they should do lunch. Lubow picked Fisher up in a rented Cadillac.

"We're driving around, I'm showing him around Houston — I'd only been there about a week or so — and he started asking me questions,'' Fisher said.

What did he really think about Scientology?

What did he think about David Miscavige?

Did he really want to get rid of him?

Would the five really go back if Miscavige was gone?

Enough questions that Fisher noticed. "Why would he be working on some deal in a little town out in Texas, when we were based in Las Vegas? I mean, nothing added up.''

After lunch, Fisher called Vegas. "Janis, I think Dave Lubow is a plant.''

Janis said City Mortgage didn't send him there, it didn't have any business in Houston.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKED

In Vegas, Fernando Gamboa took an intriguing phone call. A business contact at a bank in Los Angeles said two investors were headed their way, and Fernando and Terri should meet them.

They had dinner at Caesars Palace. The men said they were dealmakers from Hong Kong whose clients expected royal treatment. They wanted Terri and Fernando to go to Australia and find a scenic horse ranch. The dealmakers would buy the ranch and pay the Gamboas to run it and host their clients.

Terri could go home to Australia and do what she loved: Be with horses. With their living expenses covered, she and Fernando could bank most of their salaries.

They left for Melbourne. Who showed up in a matter of weeks? Lubow, on vacation with his wife. They all went to the beach.

"They (the Gamboas) thought it was bizarre he came all the way down there,'' Fisher said. "That's when we really started to suspect him.''

Back at City Mortgage, everybody wondered: Where does Lubow get his money? They didn't pay him salary, just commission. And he'd closed only one mortgage there.

THE AUSTRALIA MANEUVER

Rathbun and Rinder now say the church was the silent partner paying for the Gamboa's diversion to Australia.

"It definitely was a church maneuver,'' Rathbun said. "I was involved in that.''

Lubow had filed intelligence reports for seven months when the dealmakers took the Gamboas to dinner. Many of his reports, sometimes just a long paragraph, sometimes two or three pages, highlighted Terri as especially critical of Miscavige, Rathbun said.

"I know there were reports coming out that she was considering lending assistance to people who were going after DM (David Miscavige) on the outside,'' he said, referring to former church officials suing Scientology.

Rathbun said Miscavige also was concerned. Terri could undermine Scientology's settlement talks with the IRS, in 1992-93, over whether to restore the church's tax-exempt status.

Rathbun said Miscavige told him to get her far away. Rinder said the church strategy was: "Get them out of the U.S.''

"We had some guy who was super well-heeled. He was out of Hong Kong,'' Rathbun said. "I set the thing up with Linda (Hamel, church intelligence chief). He was some British guy. He invited them down … wined and dined (them) … we literally were going to buy a horse ranch.''

The Gamboas found a ranch in the high country north of Melbourne that the investors could rent. They stayed two years.

Rathbun and Rinder said they don't know how much the operation cost, only that the church underwrote it.

HOW THE CHURCH DOES IT

Seeking comment from the church, the St. Petersburg Times posed written questions about Lubow's involvement with the five former church staff in Las Vegas. Responding in writing, the church addressed its practices but made no mention of Lubow.

Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis said neither Miscavige nor church officials hired private investigators, church attorneys did. Davis said the church directs its attorneys and their agents to conform to all laws, regulations and the highest ethical standards.

Davis gave the Times declarations from longtime church attorneys Elliot Abelson and Kendrick Moxon that stated it's routine for lawyers to retain PIs to acquire useful information and to disprove false allegations by potential adversaries. They said they instructed the investigators to comply with state and local laws and the rules of their profession. The attorneys said they never communicated with Miscavige about PIs or investigations.

"He is simply not involved,'' Abelson said.

Rinder, who oversaw intelligence efforts as OSA's director for 25 years, said it's done that way to shield the church.

"It's a protection,'' he said. "You can always come back and say, 'This guy is retained by a lawyer.' ''

OSA's own intelligence staff vetted the investigators, Rinder said, then Abelson or Moxon hired them. The private attorneys worked as independent contractors and had offices on the 10th floor of the church building on Hollywood Boulevard.

Rinder said the attorneys worked out fee agreements with the PIs and sent them to OSA for assignment, and the church transferred funds to Abelson and Moxon to pay the PIs.

"We'd use the same people over and over,'' Rinder said, about 10 of them. "It was as big as it needed to be.

"If you need 10 PIs working on it, then you get 10 PIs working on it. If there was one needed, you'd have just one.''

Church intelligence mostly targeted those it feared might hurt Scientology, on the streets, in court or in the media, Rinder and Rathbun said.

In the early 1980s, Miscavige, joined by Rathbun, Rinder and others, reformed the church's previous intelligence division, the Guardian's Office. Its director, Mary Sue Hubbard, and 10 other Scientologists were convicted in October 1979 on federal charges of conspiring to steal government documents or obstruct justice.

But Rathbun said Miscavige still believed it was important to anticipate the moves of potential enemies.

Prediction — "that became our watchword,'' Rathbun said.

"That actually was our initial justification and our initial standard. In other words, it was okay to infiltrate somebody, provided it was done solely for prediction.''

If someone caused trouble, a plaintiff in a lawsuit or a reporter stirring controversy, that triggered ODC, Overt Data Collection, Rathbun said. The church's intelligence staff followed a form and culled information from public sources.

"Any character that pops up in the mix, ODC is almost automatic,'' Rathbun said. But if the church saw serious threat, it commissioned covert work. "Now that it's an attack, CDC.''

Covert Data Collection involved informants and private investigators.

"You're looking for two things,'' Rinder said. "One, connections. Two, dirt, crimes, whatever it is that may be able to be used to expose the source of attack as having their own dirty laundry so … they are not a credible source.''

The church has a term for it. To "dead agent'' someone is to destroy an adversary's credibility.

Lubow did not respond to an interview request.

Responding to questions about Rathbun and Rinder's accounts, the church provided the declaration of Rinder's top deputy for 20 years, Kurt Weiland. It states that Rathbun and Rinder are "omitting context'' about OSA and mischaracterizing the work of "experienced legal professionals.''

"The allegations are made to appear extraordinary to most readers who are not aware that it is a common factor in litigation — pending and anticipated.''

Of Rathbun and Rinder, Weiland's declaration concluded: "They are now employing the very tactic they decried in the past, complete with false claims and innuendo, and have created a web of lies and deceit about the church. Paradoxically, they are the very individuals who directed and controlled the very activities they are now saying 'the church' did wrong.

"If their claims about the 'the church' were true, which they are not, as I have made clear in this declaration, they would have to point the finger directly at each other and no one else.''

THE NEW GUY, FERRIS

By 1994, the original cast was back at City Mortgage. The Gradys, who had kept the business going, rehired Fisher. The Gamboas were back from Australia.

Lubow had cleaned out his desk and moved back to California. But he visited Vegas and palled around with his friends. The five ex-Scientology staffers didn't confront him about spying; they assumed the church would just send in somebody else.

"Then we'd have to figure it out all over again,'' Fisher said.

Four years old now, City Mortgage had new faces. On the team were former Sea Org members Kenny Lipton and Gene Decheff.

Lipton worked there until 1998, when he died of cancer. Decheff, who lives in Spokane now, said his colleagues warned him to be leery of Lubow. "It was suspected he might be there to watch us, or get information about us, for somebody.''

The office needed more support staff. Terri hired Pam Khan, who lived in Vegas with her husband.

Pam quickly made friends and told her bosses she knew someone who would make a good loan officer. Her husband, Ferris.

Pam was right. Ferris Khan wrote loans and was fun outside work.

On Sept. 7, 1996, Vegas was abuzz. Mike Tyson was fighting Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand. The Gamboas hosted a dinner party to watch the closed circuit telecast. Khan took over the kitchen and presented a multi-course salmon feast.

"It was fantastic,'' Fisher said.

In 1998, Pam Khan announced she was pregnant. Her friends at City Mortgage gave her a baby shower and, when she moved home to Phoenix, a going-away party.

Khan stayed on a few more months and left to join her. He and Fisher called each other nearly every day.

Fisher said Khan told him he was starting a cell phone company and said he would pay Fisher $7,500 to write the employee manual.

Khan asked about Scientology. By 1999, anti-Scientology sites were getting traffic on the Internet. What did Fisher know about those? And what did he know about the protest group in Clearwater inspired by the death of Lisa McPherson, the Scientologist who died in 1995 after 17 days in care of church staffers?

Fisher knew plenty about the protesters. Two of the ringleaders, Jesse Prince and Stacy Brooks, were friends, former Scientologists Fisher worked with in the '70s and '80s.

Let's go to Florida, Fisher told Khan, "It might be fun to poke my finger in DM's eye.''

THE FISHER DIVERSION

Miscavige was in Clearwater then, with Rathbun and Rinder, working to contain the fallout surrounding McPherson's death.

The judge in the McPherson family's wrongful death lawsuit was considering a motion that Miscavige be added as a defendant. The family's lawyer argued that he was involved in day-to-day operations of the church. Scientology lawyers said he was the ecclesiastical leader and not involved in day-to-day operations.

On Dec. 14, 1999, the judge granted the family's motion. Miscavige was a defendant.

Soon after came an intelligence report out of Las Vegas. Mark Fisher was planning to come to Clearwater.

"Miscavige was freaked,'' Rathbun said. "He was certain that Fisher, having worked directly for Miscavige for a number of years, was coming down to testify about Miscavige's control of the church.''

Rathbun said Miscavige summoned him and Rinder. "He said to Mike and me, 'You make sure Mark Fisher does not come to Florida.'"

Rathbun said he called Linda Hamel, the intelligence chief in California. Rathbun asked: "Hey, what happened to your guy Lubow? Can't he come up with a distraction for Mark Fisher?''

Lubow had been pulled out of Vegas for other work for the church. "But we got another guy who substituted for Lubow,'' Rathbun said Hamel told him.

"We worked out this whole plan, Linda and I,'' Rathbun said.

PUERTO VALLARTA

Forget Clearwater, Khan told Fisher.

"He goes, 'Look it, we got to meet this investor I know in Puerto Vallarta. It'll be a lot more fun.'''

The financier lived in Italy but was traveling to Puerto Vallarta the same week they were headed to Florida. Khan said they needed to meet and get his backing for the cell phone company Khan was starting.

Instead of protesting in Clearwater, Khan and Fisher spent five days at a luxury resort, parasailing, snorkeling and partying. They dined with the investor the third night, and Khan gave him the manual Fisher wrote. Then it was back to the clubs.

"We were on vacation,'' Fisher said.

Khan paid for everything, Fisher said, at least $7,000.

Back in Clearwater, Hamel sent Rathbun a video of Fisher partying at a bar in Puerto Vallarta. He played it for Miscavige.

"He got a great kick out of it,'' Rathbun said.

Rathbun and Rinder said they never knew the name Ferris Khan, but they knew an operative replaced Lubow and took Fisher to Mexico.

The church paid all expenses for diverting Fisher, Rathbun said. "Every penny of it.''

ONLY ONE PERSON KNEW

Only once did Fisher confront his friend Ferris about the possibility he lived a double life. About four years ago, in one of their many phone calls, he said:

"Hey, you know Janis thinks you are spying for Scientology,'' Fisher said, half joking.

What a laugh, Khan said. Why would I do that?

Fisher dropped it. He and Khan were pals.

"Any time I had a business decision or a financial decision or if I was going to buy or sell a stock, I would call him. He seemed to have a lot of expertise in those areas. … We were intimate in terms of my finances and anything else I was doing …

"He was the type of person that I would call up and say, Hey, how's it going? And we'd shoot the s--- for 20, 30 minutes. We'd talk politics … whatever.''

Khan did not return phone messages seeking comment.

This past July, 12 years since they met, Fisher realized he had been betrayed.

Late that month, Khan called from Dubai, where he was on business. Did Fisher know anything about a story the Times was preparing?

No, Fisher said. How did Khan know to ask? Fisher hadn't told anybody he had been interviewed. But he knew the Times had sent the church questions about the people in the story.

He had another piece of evidence, the church magazine Freedom, published days before the Times story. One paragraph jumped off the page at Fisher. It described one of the Times' sources as a bankrupt taxi driver.

Fisher drove a cab for about six weeks and had filed for bankruptcy. He had told just one person: Ferris Khan.

JANIS GRADY'S STATEMENT

Fisher still hasn't told Khan that he figured him out. "I considered him my best friend. I even told him a couple of times, 'Man, you are like a brother to me.' ''

Khan stopped calling every day, but did check in on Aug. 29, to wish Fisher happy birthday, his 51st.

In declining to be interviewed for this report, Janis Grady said she and her sister fear speaking out would damage relationships with family members who are Scientologists. She gave this written statement:

"We were aware that Scientology officials had sent private investigators to keep an eye on us. We had nothing to hide and just wanted to get on with building our new lives.

"If the Church of Scientology officials chose to spend their money that way, that is their poor judgment. To my knowledge the PIs caused no adverse effect on our lives so they were of no concern to us. My priority was/is raising my children."

Joe Childs is Managing editor/Tampa Bay. He has supervised the Times' coverage of Scientology since 1993. He can be reached at childs@sptimes.com.

Thomas C. Tobin is a Times staff writer who has covered the Church of Scientology off and on since 1996. He can be reached at tobin@sptimes.com.
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:47 am

Wog
by Wikipedia

As a racial epithet in British English

Wog is in the UK usually regarded as an offensive slang word referring to dark skinned, non-white people from Africa or Asia. The origin of the term is uncertain. Many dictionaries say "wog" possibly derives from the Golliwogg, a blackface minstrel doll character from a children's book published in 1895. An alternative is that "wog" originates from Pollywog, a maritime term for someone who has not crossed the equator.

It was first spotted by a lexicographer, F.C. Bowen, who recorded it in 1929 in his Sea slang: a dictionary of the old-timers’ expressions and epithets, where he defines wogs as “lower class Babu shipping clerks on the Indian coast”. [1]

The use of the word is discouraged in Britain, and most dictionaries refer to the word with the caution that it is derogatory and offensive slang.

The saying "The wogs begin at Calais" was originated by George Wigg, Labour MP for Dudley, in 1949. In a parliamentary debate concerning the Burmese, Wigg shouted at the Tory benches, "The Honourable Gentleman and his friends think they are all 'wogs'. Indeed, the Right Honourable Member for Woodford [i.e. Winston Churchill] thinks that the 'wogs' begin at Calais."[2] Wigg's coinage, sometimes paraphrased as "Wogs start at the Channel" or "Wogs start at Dover", is used to characterise a stodgy Europhobic viewpoint, and more generally the view that Britain (more so England) is inherently separate from (and superior to) the Continent. In this case, "wog" is used to compare any foreign, non-English person to those more traditionally labeled "wogs".

As a synonym for "illness" in Australian English

Wog was originally used in Australia as a slang term for illnesses such as colds, the flu or malaria. This usage has been in existence since at least the early 1940s. It is recorded in the 1941 Popular Dictionary of Australian Slang by S. J. Baker as meaning a germ or parasite.[3]

A once common expression in Australia when you had an illness (such as cold or flu) was "I am in bed with a wog." It was said jokingly and was a double entendre referring to the use of the word "wog" to describe illness and also persons of Mediterranean origin (as described below).

Another use of the term, which dates from 1909, was to describe insects and grubs, particularly if they were hunting insects or regarded as being unpleasant in some way.[3]

As an ethnic reference in Australian English

Wog is also an ethnic slur in Australian English to denote immigrants of predominately Middle Eastern and eastern or southern European origin.

The "ethnic" character of the term "wog" came into popular use in the 1950s when Australia accepted large numbers of immigrants from Mediterranean/Eastern European countries, in contrast to the then overwhelmingly dominant ethnic white Australian stock of the population. Although originally used pejoratively, the term is increasingly used more affectionately, especially by the individuals the term is used to describe.

The term "wogball" refers to soccer (association football), coming from its popularity among such people. Australians of non-Mediterranean ancestry traditionally favour the games of Rugby football and Australian Rules, although this is a generalisation.

The term was often used in popular Australian comedy Kingswood Country between 1979-84 and was used in a sense that was sometimes pejorative, sometimes affectionate and sometimes neutral.

The word was prominently used in the popular early 1990s stage show Wogs Out of Work, created by Greek-Australian Nick Giannopoulos and Spanish-Australian Simon Palomares. The production was followed on television with Acropolis Now, starring Giannopoulos, Palomares, George Kapiniaris and Mary Coustas, and in film with The Wog Boy.

Nevertheless, the term remains quite offensive to many people in Australia, particularly people of Southeastern European and Eastern European origin who grew up in Australia through the 1950s to 1980s as it was still very much an ethnic slur or insult.

The derogatory nature of the term when used as an ethnic slur largely succeeded in overtaking and driving out use of the term Wog to describe illness or undesirable insects.

Maritime usage

Wog is a shortened version of the word pollywog, frequently modified with the word slimy, used for sailors during the Line-crossing ceremony on the first time they cross the equator. Pollywog or polliwog is an increasingly obsolete synonym for tadpole which has been traced back to Middle English.

This use of pollywog goes back to at least the 19th century and thus may be the oldest source of wog, although Eric Partridge missed it in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1937).

Maritime wog is a possible alternative ancestor of the racial wog, particularly since Partridge does record a usage for presumably annoying Bengali bureaucrats:

"A lower-class babu shipping-clerk: nautical: late C.19-20" - Concise Dictionary of Slang, Eric Partridge, 1989

As a term in Scientology

Amongst Scientologists, wog is used as a disparaging word for non-scientologists.[4] Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard defined wog as a "common, everyday garden-variety humanoid ... He 'is' a body. [He] doesn't know he's there, etc. He isn't there as a spirit at all. He is not operating as a thetan. The term comes from 'Worthy Oriental Gentleman', from the days of the British in Egypt. [sic]"[5]

L. Ron Hubbard employed the term frequently in his lectures and writings.[6]

Since wog is not in general use in American English, it is most likely that Hubbard picked it up during his period of service as a US naval officer during World War II (1941-1945). An alternative source would be England, where he resided 1953-1966.

In Scientology, wog lacks racist overtones, even in the UK where that meaning is prevalent. From a 2004 Church of Scientology magazine: "I arrived at Saint Hill shy, introverted and somewhat out of valence. I had been working at a wog job, and I knew my priorities had to change ..."[7]

As a piping component term

WOG appears on certain types/models of block or check valves, indicating they are suitable for "water-oil-gas" service, where gas normally means natural gas or propane. The letters "WOG" are always in capital letters and are usually raised, having been cast with the valve body. This abbreviation sometimes appears as "W.O.G."

Folk etymology

The term wog is often given a folk etymology as an acronym for various phrases:

• Western/Westernized/Wild Oriental Gentleman
• Worthy Oriental Gentleman
• Whole Of Government. Used to describe Australian Government-wide outsourcing contracts

No evidence has been found for any of these putative explanations. The Western/Westernized/Wild Oriental Gentleman acronym only appeared in the 1950s and 60s, although the term wog had been in use for considerably longer.

See also

Blackface
List of ethnic slurs
Nigger
The Wog Boy
Wop
Guido (slang)
Anti-Italianism

References

1. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/ch ... _with_wog/
2. Hansard, House of Commons 5th series, vol. 467 col 2845.
3. Ramson, W. S. (Ed). The Australian National Dictionary: A Dictionary of Australianisms on Historical Principles. Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-19-554736-5. p. 741.
4. Ex-scientologists speak — "Warrior"
5. Saint Hill Briefing Course-82 6611C29
6. "You'll find out most people, wog people have mock-ups which are two-dimensional" — "Creative Admiration Processing" lecture, 10 January 1953
"We're making a new [society]. So let's skip the approval button from a lot of wogs and settle down to work to make new people and better people." — HCOPL 26 May 1961
"We work in a jungle of noncompliance and false reports called the wog world." — HCOPL 5 Jan 1968
7. The Auditor UK #318 June 2004 p5
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Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:50 am

Xenophobia
by Wikipedia

Xenophobia is a dislike and/or fear of that which is unknown or different from oneself. It comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning "stranger," "foreigner" and φόβος (phobos), meaning "fear." The term is typically used to describe a fear or dislike of foreigners or of people significantly different from oneself, usually in the context of visibly differentiated minorities.

General

Image
A political poster of the far right National Democratic Party of Germany. The text reads, "We clean up."

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the word xenophobia consists of two parts: xeno (a combining form meaning "guest, stranger, person that looks different, foreigner") and phobia, ("fear, horror or aversion, especially if morbid").[1]

It is more broadly defined in the Dictionary of Psychology "a fear of strangers". [2] As defined by the OED, it can mean a fear of or aversion to, not only persons from other countries, but other cultures, subcultures and subsets of belief systems; in short, anyone who meets any list of criteria about their origin, religion, personal beliefs, habits, language, orientations, or any other criteria. While some will state that the "target" group is a set of persons not accepted by the society, in reality only the phobic person need hold the belief that the target group is not (or should not be) accepted by society. While the phobic person is aware of the aversion (even hatred) of the target group, they may not identify it or accept it as a fear.

As with all phobias, a xenophobic person has to genuinely think or believe at some level that the target is in fact a foreigner. This arguably separates xenophobia from racism and ordinary prejudice in that someone of a different race does not necessarily have to be of a different nationality. In various contexts, the terms "xenophobia" and "racism" seem to be used interchangeably, though they can have wholly different meanings (xenophobia can be based on various aspects, racism being based solely on race and ancestry).

Xenophobia has two main objects:

The first is a population group present within a society that is not considered part of that society. Often they are recent immigrants, but xenophobia may be directed against a group which has been present for centuries, or became part of this society through conquest and territorial expansion. This form of xenophobia can elicit or facilitate hostile and violent reactions, such as mass expulsion of immigrants, pogroms or in the worst case, genocide.

The second form of xenophobia is primarily cultural, and the objects of the phobia are cultural elements which are considered alien. All cultures are subject to external influences, but cultural xenophobia is often narrowly directed, for instance, at foreign loan words in a national language. It rarely leads to aggression against individual persons, but can result in political campaigns for cultural or linguistic purification. Isolationism, a general aversion of foreign affairs, is not accurately described as xenophobia.

See also

Racism by country
Discrimination
Ethnic cleansing
Genocide
Intercultural competence
List of phobias
List of xenophobic terms
Nationalism
Nativism
Racism
Xenophily
Xenophobe
Race and crime
Tribalism
Xenocentrism

References

1. Oxford English Dictionary' (OED). Oxford Press, 1971, eighteenth printing 1979.
2. Dictionary of Psychology, Chapman, Dell Publishing, 1975 fifth printing 1979.
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