Scientology used slave labor to do countless free work for Tom Cruise

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Several former Scientologists have come forward, both in an epic report in the New Yorker that Kaiser mentioned yesterday and individually, to confirm that low-level employees of the church of Scientology did free work for cult member Tom Cruise. These workers were essentially slaves considering that they were paid just $50 a week (often less) and were regularly coerced, threatened, pursued and even physically detained when they tried to leave the cult. It’s common practice in Scientology to track down members trying to leave and to put them in forced work camps where their every move is controlled and monitored. It sounds unbelievable, but several former Scientologists spoke on the record to the New Yorker about their experiences with the cult and others are suing the organization for the abuses they suffered, usually for years. (The article is very long and may seem daunting to read. To get to the part about the forced labor camps, go to this page and start reading at the big “A” a few paragraphs down.)

The New Yorker story, by Pulitzer prize winning journalist Lawrence Wright, claims that the FBI is investigating Scientology for human trafficking. They even gave details of their investigation including the names of the agents on the case and the people they’d interviewed. Scientology of course denies this, just as they deny everything.

Here are the relevant parts about how Cruise received free slave labor. You may have already heard about this, but there are some new details we’ll add in a moment:

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In 2005, [cult leader] Miscavige showed Cruise a Harley-Davidson motorcycle he owned. At Miscavige’s request, [former cult member] Brousseau had had the vehicle’s parts plated with brushed nickel and painted candy-apple red. Brousseau recalls, “Cruise asked me, ‘God, could you paint my bike like that?’ I looked at Miscavige, and Miscavige agreed.” Cruise brought in two motorcycles to be painted, a Triumph and a Honda Rune; the Honda had been given to him by Spielberg after the filming of “War of the Worlds.” “The Honda already had a custom paint job by the set designer,” Brousseau recalls. Each motorcycle had to be taken apart completely, and all the parts nickel-plated, before it was painted. (The church denies Brousseau’s account.)

Brousseau also says that he helped customize a Ford Excursion S.U.V. that Cruise owned, installing features such as handmade eucalyptus panelling. The customization job was presented to Tom Cruise as a gift from David Miscavige, he said. “I was getting paid fifty dollars a week,” he recalls. “And I’m supposed to be working for the betterment of mankind.” Several years ago, Brousseau says, he worked on the renovation of an airport hangar that Cruise maintains in Burbank. Sea Org members installed faux scaffolding, giant banners bearing the emblems of aircraft manufacturers, and a luxurious office that was fabricated at church facilities, then reassembled inside the hangar. Brousseau showed me dozens of photographs documenting his work for Cruise.

Both Cruise’s attorney and the church deny Brousseau’s account. Cruise’s attorney says that “the Church of Scientology has never expended any funds to the personal benefit of Mr. Cruise or provided him with free services.”

[From The New Yorker]

In a new story in Radar, former high ranking church member Mark Rathbun, who personally “audited” Tom Cruise, states that he has internal emails showing that a whopping 9,000 man hours of slave labor were provided to Cruise to customize yet another vehicle, a bus.

This begs the question – how much of Cruise’s help is made up of Scientologists, and what are they getting paid for their servitude? How much of the Cruise empire does he owe to the poor grunts of Scientology? Cruise has donated millions to the organization but the people who do all the work are essentially slaves. This quote from former Scientologist Amy Scobee pretty much sums it up: “You don’t have any money. You don’t have job experience. You don’t have anything. And he [cult head David Miscavige] could put you on the streets and ruin you.” Compared to that, doing unpaid labor for a multimillionaire seems like a decent alternative.

After I wrote all that, Radar put up another story about how that custom bus that church slaves built for Tom Cruise, which was completed in July, 2005, was used “as a base for lover Katie Holmes to begin her ‘Purification Rundown Program‘.” Holmes is neck deep in this cult and she stands to lose much more than her generous clothing allowance if she tries to leave.

*Note that in this article on Radar they state that the pay for Sea Org slave laborers can be “as low as $50 a week.” According to the article in the New Yorker, $50 is the base pay and can be cut for very minor infractions.

Tom Cruise is shown filming Mission Impossible IV in Prague this October. Credit: WENN.com

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Cruise with fans:
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58 Responses to “Scientology used slave labor to do countless free work for Tom Cruise”

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  1. merry says:

    Un-freaking-bealievable.
    Fbi, Anonimous, Mossad, somebody…please destroy this cult!

  2. brin says:

    This is beyond creepy and disgusting.
    Katie Holmes looks like all the life has been sucked out of her, too.

  3. LisaMarie says:

    Glad all this stuff is finally getting more media coverage and I hope its enough to get the ball really going in terms of bringing scientology down.

  4. Rita says:

    @CB

    In this day of political correctness, you should know, especially as one of world’s foremost news and information journalists that the term is not “cult”, it’s “cartel” and all the big ones have similiar labor policies.

  5. My Darling Pinkett says:

    Well, we aleady knew they were a cult. Oops. Should I have said religion? They may come after me now and try to take me out!

    It’s not surprising if they were/are abusing their members, especially the ones who aren’t famous. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Shall the Cruise finally be taken down? Is Katie Holmes soon to be safe from the Scientologists’ clutches?

  6. Roma says:

    This article was intense and strung together a lot that has been covered by the St Petersburg Times. I hope more and more gets uncovered as first step is getting their tax exempt status revoked. I loved when Paul Haggis’ letter came out and I hope he (and other high ranking celebrity’s) will defect and keep talking.

    Here’s the first of the SPT articles as well:
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/article1012148.ece

    PS I know I’ll sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe Chris Klein is Suri’s father and that is one of the many things that is being held against Katie by Scientology.

  7. SolitaryAngel says:

    @LisaMarie: Ditto…these people are scary-crazy.

  8. Marjalane says:

    I really didn’t need anything else to make me hate Tom Cruise more than I already did; The little midget has an enormous sense of entitlement and undeserved hubris. All this scientology crap makes me wonder why there are still apologists who insist that his ‘religion” has no bearing on loving him as an actor. Please. Dude’s a criminal in my book. Katie Holmes parents must be horrified by all this.

  9. Dorothy#1 says:

    Whatever, in my opinion all religions are cults.
    Some are just worse than other! This just happens to be a bad one.
    Shouldn’t we feel sorry for the people who are brainwashed?

  10. Marie says:

    Not sure what is more disgusting the whole scientology thing or Cruise with his shirt off! YUCK, no breakfast for me.

  11. MarenGermany says:

    well, shit like this is not uncommon for a sect. there are always people below and above you and when you are at the end of the line, you get to do the shit work for all of the people above you.

    there will never be a serious investigation on this, because nobody can deny just how HUGE scientology is. they got their people EVERYWHERE. they run big parts of hollywood, they are richer than one could ever imagine.

    only solution is to personally stay away from any sort of religious cult.

  12. Colleen says:

    Yeah the prison camps are true and pretty insane. I read about them a few years ago on operation clambake. They would do things like shovel manure all day, sleep 4 hrs a night and eat beans and rice everyday. One woman died in one in florida & was covered in roach bites.

    Members Can be put in one for basically no reason; it’s not just for those thinking of leaving. It’s too bad law enforcement hasn’t looked into this sooner & I hope they are taking it seriously.

  13. BamaGuy says:

    Beyond disgusting. There should be investigations. There should be a revolt occurring if these accounts are typical, hundreds of Scientologists should leave this insane cult and it should be held accountable. It is so rich and powerful – and that is dangerous to those who try to leave.

  14. Waldemar says:

    Fantastic article of The New Yorker. Nine pages in. I’m afraid with waiting for Lindsay and reading this I will not do much work today.

  15. Tiffany says:

    I’ve already told you that I can personally confirm the slave labor and everything else mentioned as part of my family is and has been part of this cult, live there and make this much per week.
    Disgusting.

  16. gabs says:

    I read the whole thing yesterday. This part wasn’t even that shocking. Seriously everyone read it. Its long but a good read. What shocked me was the way that woman died from dehydration out of some freaky purification ritual. The slave labor camps freaked me out as well as the David Miscavaige abuse stories. It is so good that Paul Haggis spoke out. I knew they were brainwashed creeps but I never knew how effed up it really was. Like someone above said, it’s a cartel. The “disconnection” stories are so sad too.

  17. cranky chica says:

    And if you’ve been wondering why Nicole Kidman has been so low key about her two older children, check out the CoS “fair game” policy. In short, anyone that goes against the church is “fair game” to be destroyed by any means necessary.

    Read the last page of the New Yorker article. The chilling line, “these people have long memories.”

  18. OriginalGracie says:

    He looks hideous in that top picture.

    What totally batshit crazy f*cker Tom is.

  19. Mollyb says:

    I read the article the other night. Whoa, it was quite the expose. What I found really interesting is the glimpse into the lives of Scientology children (like TC & NK’s older kids). One of Paul Haggis’ daughters talked about how she was raised by Scientologists, schooled by them and as she reached adulthood, had never actually spent any time with anyone who was not a Scientologist. And the story of Paul Haggis’ wife who was forced to cut her own parents out of her life for years for some trivial infraction against the Church. It was insane. It certainly shed some light on the issue of why Nicole Kidman is not welcome in her kids’ lives. I can really see how, especially as they get older, they would have been taught to push her away.

  20. gloaming says:

    If what the NYT article says is correct, “The church muscled the IRS into granting Scientology tax-exempt status. Offering fresh perspective on one of the church’s crowning moments, Rathbun details an extraordinary campaign of public pressure backed by thousands of lawsuits”. WTF?

    And the way their “scripture” by LRH describes homosexuality as perverted etc…….. people are harassed when they leave, slandered, disconnected from their families…….

    Is it any wonder why famous members hide their sexuality?

  21. cranky chica says:

    The really interesting question is what will this religion be like in another 50 years? Can you imagine a fourth generation believer? Like Will Smith’s great-grandson? What’s that going to look like?

    And how many people are really involved in this church? Could it die out with the current leadership or will it live on?

  22. ghostwriter says:

    An AOL News Report linked via The Huff Po story yesterday said the FBI investigation was closed. I hope that’s not true, but if it is, maybe The New Yorker article will bring pressure to reopen the matter.

    Regardless, I’d hate to be in Tom Cruise’s lifts about now. That couch-jumping pos must be demented with rage over this publicity.

  23. TG says:

    @merry – You forgot to mention Blackwater. And doesn’t the FBI love to go in with guns a blazing on other cults? Why not this one?

    The thing I don’t understand about Tom is why can’t he find a wife already in the cult? Why does he have to search for Catholic actresses to convert? Is it the challenge that is fun to see how he can use mind control? There must be plenty of hot ladies in the cult already to choose from.

  24. Gal says:

    Poor Katie. And good for Nicole that she got away from this freak, even though she lost her kids. I wish that Katie’s parents and a team of good lawyers would step in before it’s too late. I wonder if she’s allowed to read the New Yorker. She’s probably not allowed to do anything.

  25. azurea says:

    Scientology must be taken down, and TC should be one of the first in line to go to jail.

  26. Marjalane says:

    #21 Gloaming

    Since when has the IRS been intimidated or cowed by anyone?? I actually thought they were federally exempt from lawsuits. That information really freaks me out.

  27. CB Rawks says:

    Ugh. I was not ready for that naked torso. I feel violently squicked out.
    Also, stupidest hair ever.

  28. gloaming says:

    The author of the NYT article has been interviewed on the Today Show

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=022sAK_s3cg

    He speaks of the detention or re-education camps around 9.00

  29. dorothy says:

    Wow…really scary. This has got to be embarrassing for celebrities that are involved in this cult. I’ll say it again…just because your famous doesn’t make you smart.

  30. dorothy says:

    The really frightening thing about it all is the children of these celebrities are so involved and schooled in this cult.

  31. RHONYC says:

    this story is riveting & TERRIFYING!!!

    read the ENTIRE story:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright?currentPage=all

    fughking creepy shyte. :-(

  32. Jayna says:

    So a “church” gives you a customized bus, which is worth hundreds of thousandsm and we are to believe this is not a corrupt tax-free organization. If Tom was a true disciple of whatever they’re promoting, it wouldn’t be about his ego and being so high up that they are giving him ostentatious gifts because he’s a huge celebrity, made off of cheap labor. Shame on Tom.

  33. susie says:

    I want to know where Shelly Miscavige “disappeared” to!

  34. lucy2 says:

    I still haven’t read the whole thing, but am not surprised by this. Like many others, I’ve long thought it was a nice little tax shelter for celebs – they donate huge sums, and the “church” pays them back one way or another.
    The whole thing is scary. I feel sad for kids who were born into it, and people who want to leave but can’t.
    I hope more investigations continue and that something finally comes of it.

  35. mln76 says:

    Disgusting. I haven’t been able to read the whole thing but I think I am losing what little tiny bit of like I had for Tom. He is slowly moving into Mel Gibson territory unwatchable due to his sickening a-hole behavior.

  36. sapphire says:

    @27-the IRS is not immune when the dispute concerns the accuracy of a return-it’s an action in the Tax Tribunal. What the Scientology creeps did is have several thousand members file disputes and funded attorneys to clog the dockets. Most of the disputes were over tiny amounts.

    Please, please, anyone who escapes from this cult, speak up and keep speaking up. Loudly. Publicly. Scientology invests a ton of time and money into their celeb members, who are protected from what goes on in Sea Org.

  37. serena says:

    Well, it’s sure is scary.
    But I think those people that Brousseau is just trying to let the world pity him, and make some good money of it.

    I don’t think Cruise is a bad man, the opposite, but I think he was brainwashed, like everyone else.

    Just to stop the hating pro-Cruise.

    Almost no one put the blame or talk about Miscavige, the founder, but you’re all ready to point and judge Tom. wtf.

  38. eja102 says:

    well worth reading.
    the last pages I found of particular interest.
    The information should give pause to those who believed in Hubbard from his first words.

  39. MoMo says:

    Lol- listen to how careful and concerned this Today reporter is in getting the wording right about the FBI investigation
    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/41456859#41456859

  40. Justaposter says:

    Hopefully these types of stories will keep surfacing, and the truth will come out.

    And hopefully the masses will quit looking at higher ups like Tom with stars in their eyes, and see things for what they really are with this cult.

    Sooner or later the all mighty dollar will speak and people hopefully will stop supporting projects that come out.

  41. Moreaces says:

    He looks like he could be ill in the first picture,

  42. Relli says:

    @roma I totally believe that Suri is Chris Klein’s child, i think that why he has gone off the rails in the last few years too.

  43. AENFLEX says:

    Yeah this was years and years ago. Where have yall been? Rathbun started talking like 3+ years ago.

  44. Moreaces says:

    No wonder Katie looks like a zombie most of the time, I feel for her, she got caught up, not she is sunk in. wake up Katie

  45. Cheyenne says:

    Congress should appoint a special committee to investigate this cult and their tax-exempt status should be yanked ASAP. And their leaders should be assigned to hard labor in a federal penitentiary.

    No wonder Katie’s eyes look dead. She’s probably a walking corpse.

  46. lin234 says:

    @ Susie- I was going to ask the same thing too! Where did David’s wife “disappear” to?! Where are the authorities? And since David Miscavige is Tom’s best friend, why isn’t Tom more curious where his best friend’s wife is? She’s either dead or near dead at one of those torture camps.

    I found it interesting how there are people who are so entrenched in the cult that they can’t leave because they will have no job skills,education… etc. for the real world. Plus Scientology will give them a huge six-figure bill for all their “lessons”. There are parents out there who have their children sign away their life at a young age to go work for free on a secret camp or ship. It’s insane! And when you’re in the the camp, people can get married but can’t have children. They are highly “pressured” or forced into abortions.

    Cruise should be slandered along with Scientology, because essentially by loaning his name to their cult, he is promoting it and supporting everything they stand for.

    I’m glad Haggis came out with this article. It shows how someone who seems sane and smart can stay in a cult so long. He said while he was entrenched in it, he basically ignored all the negative press. He thought there was something wrong with him when he reached another level and the material seemed ridiculous to him. The most chilling is when he predicts he will be attached to a scandal that seems to have nothing to do with the church in a few years because they have a long memory.

  47. Bopa says:

    We can’t end the cult but they can have their taxt exempt status taken away until they change their ways.

  48. bluhare says:

    Sure does explain why Katie Holmes looks so miserable lately. If stories about her contract are true, she’s realizing if she doesn’t re up she loses her daughter. Might make me a tad upset too.

    And Tom’s bodyguard above looks like Brad Pitt’s heavier brother.

  49. Bopa says:

    @bluehare

    I can’t feel sorry for her though. It’s kind of like she sold her soul to the devil. I know she had to know what happened to Nicole when she tried to get away from Tom. Also the way that Tom goes after women would be the first glaring sign that something is seriously wrong with Tom. Her agent had to have warned her about Toms casting couch for relationships. She wanted the glam and glitz but now she’s locked into a hot mess she can’t easily get out of.

  50. poopie says:

    suri has GOT to be the daughter of CHRIS KLEIN ! she looks JUST LIKE HIM ! AND that shirtless picture of tinytom… BARF…….he needs to retire.. sickening….

  51. Anony Mus says:

    Wow @ #22 a cranky chica: Very sobering thoughts. They give me the chills.

  52. lay says:

    Tom Cruise is a control freak.It is on his face.Katie is just scared.

  53. Bopa says:

    @37 Tom has reached or passed the same level as Paul haggis so why could Paul see that the church is bs and Tom can’t. Tom has chosen to be the face of Scientology which means many have joined because of him. The only people who know who Dave is are people who have taken the time to read up on Cos not giving Dave a pass but Tom is just as guilty at this point.

  54. JenJen says:

    He looks like a Bobble-head of himself.

  55. thegorilla says:

    god he always has crazy eyes, its creepy, and that is horrible, and scary

  56. Lway says:

    Disgusting – this guy is a total phsyco. No wonder Nicole left him – she probably knew about everything

  57. JC says:

    Its amazing to me how the American public has been ’outraged’ at Tom’s couch jumping but turn a blind eye to his incessant profanity and promotion of sexual immorality in his movies. He is an abhorrent influence on millions of children and teens. Also his embrace of an occultic based “faith’ which was ’thought up’ by a deeply disturbed L. Ron Hubbard who was influenced heavily by Satanists Anton Levay and Aleister Crowley. Its obvious that “Lyin-tology” provides no remedy for man’s sin nature which prevents him from approaching an awesome holy and righteous God. (“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23″) Cruise needs to be redeemed by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, providing him eternal life. (John 3:16) but sadly he insists on following the deception that has sealed his eternal destiny. “What shall it profit a man who gains the whole world but loses his own soul? Mark 8:36″