Yesterday we heard that Tom Cruise’s former auditor, an ex Scientologist and former second in command of the entire organization, Marty Rathbun, had predicted an early settlement in Cruise’s divorce. Rathbun had posted an entry to his blog on Sunday detailing the way Scientology head and close friend of Cruise’s, David Miscavige (shown above), regularly handled PR crises for the cult. This was their biggest to date, and Rathbun knew that a settlement was forthcoming and that Cruise would pay whatever it took to make it go away. He was right of course, and the way he called it all was kind of amazing.
Rathbun even predicted that Scientology would then play the victim and “make the media and their sources wrong for having allegedly jumped the gun to insinuate Scientology into the matter.” Lo and behold, Tom Cruise’s lawyer just issued a statement this morning that. “The Church of Scientology played absolutely NO ROLE in the divorce settlement talks at all. Period. The mere suggestion that the Church was involved in any element of the talks and ultimate settlement is categorically false. Anyone suggesting otherwise is just wrong.”
This means that Rathbun called Tom Cruise’s divorce playbook ahead of time, down to each point. (You can read more on the Village Voice’s blog.) Kudos to him, really. It just goes to show how deep Cruise is involved with this cult and how he follows their guidance in all matters.
Rathbun just did a radio interview for political talk show host Michael Smerconish. He explained how the cult operates under David Miscavige, about Cruise’s position in Scientology, and about how Miscavige brought Cruise back into the fold after he was “out” of the cult during his marriage to Nicole Kidman. Rathbun also discussed the way that Scientologists harassed and stalked him daily for about a year after he left. I was so impressed with how calm and well spoken he was. You can listen to the interview here and I’ve transcribed some of it below. This guy sounded very intelligent and his story was fascinating.
On how Tom got enticed to come back into Scientology
It was just prior to that  when I left the organization. I was Tom’s auditor, or Scientology counselor, for the last 6 or 8 years that I was there. I worked recovering him back to Scientology, he had about an 8-9 year period where he was… out of communication with Miscavige.
On how Miscavige was obsessed with Tom Cruise
One of the things that was really bothersome to me around 2004 when that award was bestowed [a Scientology "Freedom medal of valor award," video below] was just how much Miscavige was making it an obsession to become Tom’s best friend and to go into his circles and get into that celebrity high life of going over to Tom’s house on movie night to watch movies, going to his premieres, going to parties…. He had this obsession with the guy.
On if Miscavige wooed Tom to assist with recruitment
That was the organizational motivation, with him it was something beyond that. He’s very into power and image and he was very into Tom Cruise in particular. He loved to mingle with the celebrities, but Tom was his boy. Tom was his obsession.
On what auditing means in lay terms
I like to use this paradigm, the U2 song “Stuck in a Moment.” Auditing is simply a one-on-one counseling technique where the auditor directs the person’s attention towards incidents in his past… so that he frees his attention to the present and he wakes up spiritually.
There’s supposed to be absolute trust in order for the process to work.
On if he’ll ever reveal what Tom Cruise told him in auditing sessions
[No] There’s been many enticements for me to do otherwise. I posted on my blog an offer from the National Enquirer to give me $20,000 plus promotion for my book if I just disclose a few secrets, but I just won’t do it.
On how Scientologists stalked him for a year
Last year they spent nearly the entire year tracking every single literal footstep that my wife and I made. They had teams in our hometown, on our doorstep, any time we went somewhere there was teams of private investigators picking us up. We sort of broke the back of that through media exposure, but that went on for an entire year, 2011.
On why he left Scientology: violence and beatings
There’s been tremendous efforts by the Church of Scientology to suppress this information, but at the international base where Miscavige hangs out near Riverside, California, the highest levels of Scientology degenerated into this sort of culture of violence. Miscavige began beating people, punching people, physically punishing them to the point where he was requiring it of others. It was a widely spread practice at the international base.
One evening Miscavige made a show of beating up a close friend of mine and that was sort of the last snapping straw for me.
On if he’s disillusioned with Scientology’s management or their beliefs or both
I question everything, but I still find a lot of good in Scientology. I wrote a book called… What is Wrong with Scientology, and I break it down and try to differential for people between the religion, philosophy on one hand and the organization, Miscavige on the other hand. And I think that different ion had to be made…
One of the things the outside public has trouble grasping is one of the reasons people put up with it is they do get something out of it… I still think the philosophy has a lot to offer, but the abuses of the organization are way over the top.
On Xenu, thetans and the galactic confederacy story
Well you know, a lot of people are making an analogy of what’s going on in Scientology over the last three years with the reformation, because it’s essentially in a way we’re reforming the church of Scientology, but we’re following the path of the reformation… It’s to say, the Bible is not a monopoly. You don’t have to follow all this kooky, spooky liturgy to study the Bible and practice it the way you want to.
On if Scientology is a cult
The church of Scientology most absolutely is a cult and it was what provoked me to leave it. But when I left I never really doubted the benefits I got out of the auditing process and the study of the actual philosophy… I draw that line.
On independent Scientologists
There’s a burgeoning movement of independent Scientologists who find all these organizational policies and practices abusive… I just literally practice out of my house.
On Tom Cruise’s position in Scientology
Tom is what we call a public Scientologist, he’s not a staff member. The organization I was in… you sign a billion year contract to signify your commitment. That’s the priesthood. Tom is a parishioner.
On Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce settlement
On Sunday I did a blog post where I predicted this would happen. They did it almost precisely… The amount of media attention that was focused on the Church of Scientology was just way too intense. It was clear to me they were going to have to punt and punt quick.
On if Cruise was pressured by Scientology to settle the divorce
I don’t think he was… I think it was a mutual thing. I think it was Miscavige and Tom making a decision [together]. I think he’s self-motivated and he’s in a complete alignment and thinks parallel with Miscavige now.
The violence and psychological abuse that Rathbun talks about were covered in a series of articles in the Tampa Bay Tribune which ran in 2009, we covered it at the time and you can read it here. At that time, Rathbun also claimed that Scientology coordinated Tom’s divorce from Nicole Kidman, declaring her an impediment to his commitment to Cos and encouraging Tom and Nicole’s split. Rathbun’s version of this story is consistent with at least two other ex-Scientologists who have spoken to the press, actor Jason Beghe and now ex Scientologist Nancy Many, who recently spoke to Radar Online. Nancy told Radar that “They had this wonderful anniversary then as far as I am concerned, he gets work done one on one and is told ‘You’ve got to get back into the fold, Nicole is stopping you,’ all this was manipulation.”
So according to at least three known Scientologists who have spoken on the record, Cruise was told to dump Nicole Kidman because Miscavige wanted him as his boy and Kidman wasn’t committed to the cult. I love that Katie was able to blindside him and get out on her own.
You can purchase Rathbun’s book, What is Wrong With Scientology, on Amazon.com. The image on the cover is of Scientologists coming over to Marty’s house to “bust” him, they call themselves “squirrel busters,” for practicing their religion outside of the cult. You can watch a video of that below. Marty loses his cool and takes
their camera, but can you blame him? (Update: he apparently just threw down the guy’s sunglasses. No biggie.)
The “Squirrel Busters,” aka Scientologists, visit Marty’s house to harass him.
Here’s Tom Cruise accepting the “Freedom Medal of Valor” Award in 2004, along with some segments of his Scientology promotional video:
Here are some new photos of Cruise on the set of Oblivion in June Lake, California yesterday. Got to keep up that action hero image. The Sun notes that he’s not wearing his wedding ring, but he’s on set it’s hard to tell if he’s taken it off for good. He is divorced now though.
Photo credit: L Prima/FAMEFLYNET