HBO’s ‘Going Clear’ doc shakes up Scientology, who fires back on Twitter


Going Clear

Note by Celebitchy: We’ve had a lot of requests to cover the HBO documentary “Going Clear,” a kind of comprehensive overview of the Scientology cult and their bizarre origins, mistreatment of members, celebrity ties and many crimes. The truth is that almost none of the revelations in the documentary were new to us. We’ve heard and often reported on these stories over the years. It’s reassuring to see that a major cable outlet is taking on the cult and that they’re presenting the information in a way that will get more mainstream coverage. HBO adds legitimacy to stories that have been buried and which Scientology has worked to hide. Bedhead has seen the documentary, I have not, and so she will be covering this story. We hope that this will help revoke Scientology’s tax free status in America, which was achieved through legal threats and harassment, as Going Clear reveals.

From Bedhead: Overall, Going Clear did a fine job of presenting the history and abusive practices of Scientology to the masses. The documentary is based upon Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief. We’ve already talked about the general CO$ reaction to the movie. We’ve also covered all of the book’s material on prior occasions. I think the HBO delivery of this film worked well. Viewers spread the word on social media. A lot of people weren’t aware of the CO$’s history. One problem is that Wright’s book is already dated by a few years. The documentary could have provided updates about Leah Remini and gone more into the Katie Holmes tale of terror. Remini did describe the movie as “brave.” Here are several topics covered by HBO’s Going Clear.

* Hubbard’s early adulthood: L. Ron told tall tales of his military accomplishments during World War II. He didn’t really earn a Purple Heart or the other medals he claimed. The military didn’t even have a record of his alleged injuries.

* Hubbard’s money-making designs & celebrities: He learned his salesman trade as part of a cult called Ordo Templi Orientis, which was based upon the teachings of Aleister Crowley. Hubbard was part of a scheme to create the anti-Christ by impregnating a “goddess.” When Hubbard created Scientology, he specifically planned to use celebrities as recruiters. Countless celebs fell for the elevated status the cult had to offer.

* The Xenu story: The doc covered the top-secret manilla folder containing the Operating Thetan Level III materials. This is the tale of volcanoes and disembodied thetans put into motion by the galactic overlord Xenu. South Park deserves credit for revealing this to the masses years ago.

* Scientology’s discipline: Early on, Hubbard (while enjoying the company of young messenger ladies) made a practice of throwing CO$ members off his ship. The documentary discussed the Rehabilitation Project Force, which is located in prison camps where members go to be re-indoctrinated. They do hard labor in the desert and sleep in crowded trailers filled with ants and vermin. When David Miscavige took the helm, he tortured high-ranking execs with “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

* All of the legal shenanigans: Hubbard preached about attacking foes with lawsuit after lawsuit. The cult filed thousands of suits against the IRS and its employees to regain their tax-exempt status back in the early 1970s. Then (during Operation Snow White) the CO$ infiltrated the Department of Justice and IRS to destroy incriminating documents.

* Scientology’s homophobia: Paul Haggis departed CO$ after a 30-year run because his two gay daughters were harrassed by the CO$. Paul’s famous resignation letter was dissected.

* Jason Beghe is still a cool dude: Beghe talked about how the CO$ swindled him out of far too much money. He dropped plenty of f-bombs while discussing how he was treated like Miscavige’s star pupil. When Beghe got into a car wreck, the CO$ told him it was his fault.

* Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman: The cult conspired to bring Tom back after he got really upset at the OT Level III story. They saw Kidman as a suppressive person who tore Tom away from the organization. CO$ pulled Tom back in, wiretapped Nicole’s phone, and orchestrated the divorce.

* Tom Cruise’s slave labor: Former member John Brousseau discussed how Cruise had his homes and cars tricked out by Sea Org members who made $0.40 cents per hour at most. Some of them worked for free.

* Tom Cruise’s rent-a-girlfriends: The doc went into the story of Nazanin Boniadi, who was physically altered (teeth, hair, and clothing) at Tom’s direction. The CO$ informed her that she was Tom’s girlfriend, and they dumped her (for him) when she offended Miscavige.

* John Travolta’s “black PR package”: The cult created a file of Travolta’s auditing sessions. They also taped everything, so they can hold this info over his head if he ever tries to leave.

* Scientology is still rich? According to Going Clear, the cult holds around $1.5 billion in assets. Much of this amount comes from the cult’s tax-exempt status and signficant property holdings. Liquid assets are a problem, as people aren’t falling for the sales pitch anymore.

In response to the documentary, Scientology has kept with their usual “fair game” game plan, which is to attack and insult critics (just like Danny Masterson did). They’re going off on director Alex Gibney but also pretending not to care. I hope the CO$ is toast soon.

John Travolta

Photos courtesy of Getty & WENN

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201 Responses to “HBO’s ‘Going Clear’ doc shakes up Scientology, who fires back on Twitter”

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  1. Bridget says:

    John Travolta made an entire movie about the OT III story. I still can’t believe it.

    I’m not shocked at all by their assets. They’ve been swindling an incredible amount of money from their members for years. Think about Tom Cruise and all his money, Julie Kavner and the Simpsons dollars, and of course at one point they were even tied to the Packer family in Australia (that was the funeral Katie Holmes flew to 8 months pregnant) though James Packer apparently chose not to continue that relationship. There’s an awful lot of money to be made in bleeding folks dry.

    • Christin says:

      They also had some celebrities in the late 1960s – 1970s that I did not realize were affiliated with them. Apparently the Celebrity Centre was built in 1969 to help serve and draw more celebritie$.

      I have mixed feelings about John. He supposedly brought in numerous high profile people since the 1970s. I cannot understand why he or Tom choose to remain affiliated at this point. They are wealthy, high profile and have more choices than any other member, I would think. The cat is now fully out of the bag, so why stay?

      • Bridget says:

        Travolta I can understand why he’s still affiliated – they reportedly have decades worth of auditing sessions to blackmail him with, and if he were to walk away from the group he’d walk away from his family since Kelly Preston is a true believer.

        Tom Cruise I can also understand, but it’s for worse reasons. They’ve convinced him he’s special, that he’s a savior. It’s absurd.

      • Lucinda says:

        I strongly suspect the stuff they have on Travolta is also much worse than “he’s gay”. Given recent stories, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have dirt on him assaulting men. That would be far more damaging to his career than his sexuality in general.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Everything you said Bridget. Travolta can’t leave without facing severe consequences. We know he’s gay, but he still thinks he’s in the closet and he wants to stay there. Cruise has been lauded in the CoS. He is upper tier and looked upon with reverance. We might think that fame and fortune is all actors and actresses want, but considering many are actually lonely in their bubble and want to be recognized as more than a pretty face or a good entertainer, I can understand how a person might soak up the kind of regard that comes with being viewed as a spiritual adviser or high-ranking bishop-type position. It means their underlings think they are intellectual and wise – the opposite of the type of recognition they get being an entertainer. It’s not right, but they do get their fair share of being labeled shallow and uneducated. We also have to keep in mind that Cruise is a narcissist. He thrives on perception and praise. He is a king in the CoS or the very least, a prince – but royalty no less. When a person is addicted to that kind of attention, it’s difficult to give it up.

      • Bridget says:

        It isn’t the gay that’s a problem, it’s the decades of trolling bathhouses, gyms, and massage parlors for anonymous sex, and aggressively repositioning the unwilling to the point of assault. And again, the family issue has to play a big part. He and Kelly Preston may not have a traditional romantic relationship, but they very clearly love each other and are each other’s partner and best friend. He’d be leaving his family behind were he to leave, and that has to weigh heavily in his decision to stay.

        @jenniferjustice: I think those are the very qualities that made him vulnerable to the cult in the first place. I agree with you.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Jennifer justice – Nice to have you back. Where is “fairlyvexed” today?

      • lily says:

        I think she may be checking her sources Belle Epoch.

    • Livvers says:

      Don’t forget to add billionaire pharmaceutical company owner Robert Duggan to that list too, whose net worth apparently rose $1.2 BILLION since February. Tony Ortega had an interesting story on how the church helped Duggan and his wife allegedly ship two of their ‘troubled’ children off to South Africa to live with some loyal Scientologists.

    • trishy says:

      I think you’re thinking about Nancy Cartwright, who voices Bart. She is majorly into Co$ but I’ve never heard about Julie Kavner being affiliated. Don’t diss my Marge! :-)

    • FLORC says:

      And this is just what is listed. You know there’s got to be a lot hidden from all.
      Though, the rumors are the spending is out of control. It’s been going out faster than it comes in.

      This is Wonderful! That people can so openly talk about CO$ now and not be silenced by fear and threats.
      More of this needs to come out.

      And what would the celebs do? Refuse to work for HBO? It’s not like any of them are a pilar of Hollywood. Movies will go on without them. Even Mission Impossible could survive and thrive with a new front man.
      Yay Going Clear!

      OT: Simon Pegg in a Top Gear interview was asked about Tom Cruise. I don’t think he liked working with him very much.

    • TrustMOnThis says:

      You’re thinking of Nancy Cartwright, who has indeed blown a ton of money on the cult. NOT Julie Kavner.

  2. Nick says:

    I am really happy that the Tom Cruise benefiting from slave labor is going public because when I read about it years ago I swore I would never watch another TC movie. He is such a piece of sh*t and showed who he was during the Lauer interview. I only wish that he gets his comeuppance.

    • Dubois says:

      I am happy it is public too, although I wonder how shielded TC was from it. I mean, would he really know that they were making $0.40/ hr? I would think that evil Miscavige would keep him in a state of plausible deniability. He certainly benefited (wrongly so), but I have to wonder how much he really knew.

      • Lady D says:

        He’s a control freak. I’m sure he was very aware of their wages, and probably found them appropriate. He was after all, being raised as their saviour.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        And if TC didn’t know the details of the labor involved, he sure could have and should have. There is no excuse for being ignorant. He may have been willfully ignorant, but if so, it was a choice. If Taylor Swift currently at teh age of 25 can manage her powerhouse career and I mean every aspect of it – that women is involved – Tom Cruise certainly should know important details of every aspect of his career. My guess is he didn’t ask so ignorance could be his excuse.

    • zinjojo says:

      I so agree! I read this years ago too, and have never been able to watch him in anything again. Anyone who can knowingly use slave labor for personal gain and not blink an eye is a despicable human.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Watch the documentary if you wish to gain insight into Cruise’s situation. Listen to the survivors/escapees and they will tell you how the CoS puts blinders in place on everyone, probably Cruise included. Paul Haggis was with them thirty years before he read a single critical piece about them, he was indoctrinated into the BS, they do it to all their victims, I’m not excusing anyone but yes, it is possible Cruise was unaware of the full range of evil being committed. He has no excuse today however as the truth is out there, so to speak.

  3. aims says:

    I think these filmmakers are so brave! Scientology is known to not take critical investigation well. The facts are the facts, it’s a scary cult. The human rights violations to the insanity of the inner workings is troubling. Equally troubling is the tax exemption. I cannot wrap my head around how someone could go into this feeling good about it.

    Take out the celebrity facade and take an honest look at what it does to peoples lives and it’s scary. Truly terrifying

    • JohnWayneLives says:

      Absolutely! Scientology is a dangerous cult, and people should not be fooled into thinking it’s something else just because famous rich people plaster their face all over it.

  4. sally says:

    Does anyone know what Nicole said in her tapped phone calls or did while with Tom that caused the divorce?

    • Celebitchy says:

      It wasn’t anything Nicole said or did. Scientology allegedly orchestrated Tom’s divorce from Nicole. Her father (who recently died) was a psychiatrist and so she was considered a suppressive person by extension. Cruise was “out” of Scientology for 10 years (multiple former Scientologists have confirmed this) and he was brought back in by Miscavige, who also convinced Tom that Nicole had to go. Follow the links in that section for more background, this has been reported multiple times from different, named sources.

    • Liv says:

      I think we all could be blamed talking or doing the wrong things in the eyes of Scientology. I will never understand why he left his wife and gave his kids away to his sister/took them away from their mother. So sad.

      • mytbean says:

        I didn’t know any of the “* Hubbard’s money-making designs & celebrities: He learned his salesman trade as part of a cult called Ordo Templi Orientis, which was based upon the teachings of Aleister Crowley. Hubbard was part of a scheme to create the anti-Christ by impregnating a “goddess.” When Hubbard created Scientology, he specifically planned to use celebrities as recruiters. Countless celebs fell for the elevated status the cult had to offer.”

        BUT – what if… and this is some conspiracy level stuff but hey, while the weird is weird why not get weirder? What if Hubbard is still at it and the kid born to Kidman and Cruise was hoped to be the Anti-christ? BUT because no horns/tail were aparent, they blamed Kidman’s lack of faith in the cult and maybe even her Dad’s career status and out she went. It’s all so Rosemary’s baby. Tom is still in and they’re looking for a new Goddess to make demon babies with. … I love conspiracy theories. :)

    • rumor says:

      Allegedly, Nicole cheated and got pregnant by someone else around 2000 (Ewan McGregor on the set of Moulin Rouge) which Tom knew couldn’t be his because he shoots blanks. There was press right after the breakup that revealed she had a miscarriage. He made that weird comment that she “knew why” he filed for divorce. It kind of seemed like something specific happened, not an ongoing fight with Scientology, although David Miscavige probably tapped her phone to get him away from her and back into the cult. I also think she was blackmailed in some way to get her to agree to the divorce, not ever talk about their marriage and leave her kids behind. Also, Nicole said she kept remnants of that pregnancy to show it was really Tom’s in case DNA became an issue later on so who knows what really happened.

      • lucy2 says:

        I heard those rumors as well. And I’m pretty convinced they came from from CO$. Miscavige clearly has a thing for Tom, wanted him back in the fold, and got rid of the impediment (Nicole). But they couldn’t say that, so why not orchestrate some rumor that Nicole cheated to justify it all?

      • Jayna says:

        Nicole had had a previous miscarriage with Tom and why they adopted, and she has talked about that. Maybe two miscarriages. I’m not sure. The baby she miscarried around the time of separation was proven to be Tom’s during their divorce proceedings. She had DNA evidence to prove it was Tom’s baby.

        Nicole’s unexpected pregnancy just made Tom look like an asshole. He wanted that divorce and Tom hated how he looked in the public eye. He didn’t mind that being out there that Nicole had cheated and it wasn’t his baby. It made him look like the victim, not the bad guy.

      • JohnWayneLives says:

        I think it’s been pretty public and clear that the fertility issues in their marriage we’re Nicole’s body’s struggle, and there have been loud rumors for years that his youngest adopted son, Connor, is actually Tom’s flesh and blood son from a sexual relationship with a COS member. That, along with her age and how she looked when she was pregnant, is why so many people believed she was faking it and actually had a surrogate and then didn’t even try and pretend with the second one but just openly had the surrogate.
        Whatever the ins and outs, I think its sad how the demise of her marriage to a man she clearly loved was so disgustingly orchestrated while she was still trying to draw him close and salvage what they had, and I think she is lucky to have escaped such a dangerous cult

      • Angie says:

        I agree @lucy2. I suspect ALL those rumors were orchestrated by the Church of Scientology and it disgusts me. I hope more and more people doubt the veracity of them as they become more educated about this dangerous cult.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I think their are wire taps that have been heard of their conversations before their divorce. I think Lainey had them at one point. It was shockingly normal, though. She was upset at the little amount of time together, didn’t feel loved. He said something along the lines of he was bending over backwards to make her happy and felt unappreciated, etc.

      • The Other Pinky says:

        Yes, I heard those tapes. Surprised everyone hasn’t actually. Nicole comes off quite nice and just worried about her marriage. Tom I side eye, it takes a complete nut job to tap his own wife’s calls.

      • littlestar says:

        Oh I remember those tapes too! I wonder if they are still around or if they have been scrubbed from the internet? I remember how sad she sounded and how empty HE sounded, like he was completely checked out.

        So crazy and so sad that the Co$ purposely destroyed their marriage. I think it worked out for the best for Kidman though, she became a star in her own right after the divorce and she got away from the craziness of the Co$, even though she lost her children in the process :( .

      • JenniferJustice says:

        I heard that tape. It was so human, on both their parts, it was very real, raw and sad. They sounded like any couple who are apart way too much to keep their marriage together. All she wanted was to be with him. All he could say was how much he loved her and was trying but couldn’t be home right now. They both seemed tired and completely defeated….sad.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I don’t know if he did the wire tapping, The Other Pinky. Cos manipulates its own members, not just non-believers. I think CO$ did the wire tapping in order to manipulate Cruise and drive him away from Kidman. But, that is just speculation of course.

    • Bess says:

      I have always believed that their marriage was more of a business relationship. They always looked very posed and fake to me and the need to always tell the world how “in love” they were with each other was over the top.

      • The Other Pinky says:

        Listen to the tapes, it’s pretty clear this was a real relationship atleast from her end.

      • Thinker says:

        I have always thought Tom Cruise was gay and the marriage was a cover, until Going Clear. According to Tom’s auditors and other Former Scientologists who admitted to spying on the couple Tom fell hard for Nicole and they were truly, and quite passionately, in love. It was on the set of Eyes Wide Shut, when Tom cut off all contact with Miscaviage, that Miscaviage started the campaign to end their marriage.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      The timing was ideal financially, terminating the marriage before the ten year mark protected a significant amount of Tom’s assets from being handed to Nicole. Whether or not that played a factor in Miscavige’s evil is hard to say, the timing is suspect to me.

  5. Katie says:

    I read Jenna Miscavige’s story last year. I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would subject themselves or their family to CO$. Frankly, none of what they go through makes any sense at all and Hubbard’s teachings are, at best, the rantings of an unhinged mad man.

    • VeggieFLGirl says:

      This.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Actually, much as I hate to admit it, Hubbard was a genius. He told his friends/colleagues early on, that the real money was in religion and that he was going to create his own religion to be as powerful as possible….and he did.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        People in Scientology treat his word as the word of a prophet yet they conveniently ignore everything he ever said that discredits their “faith.” He was no prophet, nor a genius, but the words of anyone can become tools of manipulation to others given the right set of circumstances.

    • TrustMOnThis says:

      Until very recently that was all kept hidden until the victims were on the hook for a lot of money and had been heavily indoctrinated over time. The Internet changed everything.

  6. aenflex says:

    It’s truly magnificent, a small chink in the armor. Now for the rest of religion.

    • Anony says:

      No kidding! No religion should be tax exempt!!!!!!!

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        They need to change how they tax them, IMO, it should be that they can receive tax exemptions if they do actual charitable and social work. So if they feed the homeless or care for the old and infirm or run community daycare or whatever important social function, they get a tax break. This nonsense of “I’m a church” so “I’m tax exempt” must end. Too many of these institutions are borderline criminal organizations and are acting contrary to the intent of tax exempt status.

    • Jay says:

      And while we’re at it, remove the NFL’s tax exemption status too.

      • V. says:

        Wait!! The NFL is tax exempt?? What is the logic there? I’m angry now…

      • Bridget says:

        The NFL as a governing body is tax exempt as are a few other sports leagues, but the teams (which actually generate the revenue) aren’t. So the money that they’re generating is most definitely being taxed.

      • Solanaceae (Nighty) says:

        In my country the Catholic Church doesn’t pay taxes because they have an enourmous amount of charity works, from free baby daycares to senior homes, to housing for unemployed people, and they work hand in hand with the governement’s social welfare. So I guess, it’s ok they are exempt from taxes.. In my town they have so many places to help people… They actually do an amazing work…And they hire lots of people with good paychecks, nurses, teachers, etc…

    • chaine says:

      I feel the same. The abusive nature of this religion is really no different than what we have seen exposed about many others: the Catholic church sheltering pedophiles, the Islamic sects fomenting violent terrorism, Christian Scientists encouraging parents to let their children die rather than seek medical help, televangelists like Benny Hinn bilking gullible congregants of millions upon millions of dollars with fake healings, etc. etc. I pay my taxes, and my business pays taxes–why shouldn’t all of these criminals and con artists?

  7. pleaseicu says:

    Going Clear was really interesting. So glad the truth about Tom’s free slave labor came out. He’s been able to skate on that issue for too long.

    The whole thing with the IRS and how they basically bullied the federal government into giving them a free pass for everything and forgive a BILLION dollar tax debt is nuts. I knew there was something shady about how they got their tax exempt status but I didn’t know what all was involved.

    How insane does your group have to be when the freakin’ IRS is willing to bow down? They get their pound of flesh one way or another from everyone else but they’ve been hands off with Scientology every since they capitulated. Shady, shady.

    • V. says:

      The whole US citizenry, that isn’t apart of CO$ shoudl file a lawsuit against the Federal government (IRS) until they remove the CO$’s exempt status. CO$ can’t take us all on, can they? Bullies! And Tom Cruise seemed insane in those videos, it was truly scary. Interesting how Jason Beghe said you reach a certain point in the religion where you either lose yourmind or you begin to rationalize all that is irrational, in order to continue justifying all the time and money wasted on being n Scientology. Clearly Tom has become unhinged. I wish he would have let Nicole and his truly adoring public save him. He is all alone now…he doesn’t even have Suri anymore. Sad.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        If he has any mental health issues they are unaddressed because the Co$ deems all psychiatrists and psychologist to be suppressive people, right? I know Cruise has made many statements against mental health care professionals and even before all this came out I felt it showed a level of disconnection from reality that is frightening in anyone.

  8. jen2 says:

    And we now know why Katie had to be so shady in her escape and probably why Tom gave in so quickly–she knew where all the bodies were buried (meaning all the secrets and slave labor stuff). Suri seems to be such a happy child these days. I don’t know if Tom is allowed to see her anymore because of this cult and that is the sad part, that he would be more committed to the cult than his own child, though I think he used her like a prop on occasion. The leader of this group is really, really weird, (honeymooning with Tom and Katie–What the what?), but it is interesting that there has not been any legal action taken yet. Maybe they are waiting. Travolta, kind of sad really. Those that left are lucky and strong and probably looking over their shoulders.

    • Bridget says:

      Katie also reportedly got very good advice from her family and was very cautious about what she revealed in her auditing sessions. They collect every ounce of information possible about their membership and use it as leverage to force them to stay (I’m looking at you, Travolta).

      • lucy2 says:

        I think this must be true – otherwise they would have come out with something negative about her, but there really hasn’t been anything. I think she was very cautious, but also has good proof of things they don’t want out, and that was her leverage.

      • Bridget says:

        They are known to do that – Paul Haggis even talked about it when he broke with the church, that he was expecting them to retaliate by eventually leaking something embarrassing about him (though I think they were actually shamed into not doing it by having it publicly discussed in that case).

        And I truly think that is how Katie got such a quick divorce. She had the leverage in that scenario, and while she wasn’t the one in the relationship with the $$$ they didn’t have anything to threaten her with. Plus we also go back to the crazy amount of legal boxes filled with her pre-nup. Her dad really looked out for her.

      • Bess says:

        I think I read somewhere that auditing is something like psychotherapy. I am surprised that a skilled auditor wasn’t able to get Katie to open up. Katie always seem very robotic when she was with Cruise.

      • Bridget says:

        @Bess: I’ve actually heard the opposite. That the auditor repeatedly asks the same questions while the crappy e-meter “lights up” when you tell the “truth”.

        Katie Holmes may not personally be my cup of tea, but I think we need to give her some credit for swimming with sharks and then somehow getting out of the pool. There’s a lot to be said for not only getting good advice, but actually taking it.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        Some of you seem to assume Katie had something to “keep secret” from the auditors and was cagey, I assume the opposite, she was young and honest and innocent and blameless. They can’t blackmail you over your love for my pretty pony or whatever. She was sweet and swept up with Tom, later the light dawned and she wisely hit the road. Co$ didn’t want to pour fuel on the “Tom is bananas” meme and they quietly let her go.

      • Bridget says:

        @Bob Loblaw: auditors ask about EVERYTHING. Your complete sexual history (including masturbating), medical history, whether you’ve done something that would disappoint your mother. I think just about everyone has information they’d rather not have blared out to the world at large. It doesn’t mean that Katie had some big, scandalous secret to not want every personal detail broadcast.

    • KellyBee says:

      I disagree, I don’t think Katie knew anything her contract was almost up so why fight it. She saves them time they would have put into getting rid of her like they did with Nicole.

      • Livvers says:

        I know the ‘contract’ talk re: Katie and Tom’s relationship is really, really common, but I have always thought it obfuscates what it might be like to fall in love with someone who belongs to a cult that already excels in emotional and mental manipulation. Cults don’t need contracts; they’re cults. Tom didn’t need Katie to sign a contract; he already had a cultish MO to use.

      • KellyBee says:

        I get what your saying but once they got rid of Nicole it a proven fact that they were already scouting for her replacement. As for the contract it mostly came in the way of the prenup Kaite signed.

        Cults do have contract just not the kind your thinking as your useful to the they keep you around the moment your not they get rid of you.

      • Isabelle says:

        Actually think Katie fell for him. A young girl that got swept off of her feet because he romanced her hard.

      • Livvers says:

        Oh, for sure, Scientology itself has actual contracts, like the billion year Sea Org contract and, once you leave that, the “freeloaders debt,” not to mention the Introspection Rundown release that means you can’t sue Scientology for any harm that comes to you (Lisa McPherson, poor thing), plus like every cult, their version of the social contract like you said — “we will abuse you til you are no longer useful’. The thing I find interesting about these contracts is that the ones where people essentially sign away their human rights are not legally enforceable, but the idea of the contract is so powerful that people will voluntarily submit to abuse.

        I think Katie might have known something was off (most churches don’t move dozens of people into your life and home and run interference and PR for you as a normal thing), but you are right, there are many ‘everyday’ Scientologists who actually are isolated from almost all the church’s offenses (except for the push for money, which everyone gets hit up for), because they purposefully never look, and Katie *could* conceivably have been one of those. Plus cognitive dissonance!

      • Debbie says:

        Sorry if there was a contract then Katie wouldn’t have used burner phones, Tom woildnt have been shocked by the divorce and suri would be in Scientology school and away from her mom.

        She played it smart and won.

      • KellyBee says:

        @ Livvers

        ( , there are many ‘everyday’ Scientologists who actually are isolated from almost all the church’s offenses (except for the push for money, which everyone gets hit up for), because they purposefully never look, and Katie *could* conceivably have been one of those. Plus cognitive dissonance )

        I agree Katie was no Kelly Preston she didn’t have the control over Tom that Kelly seems to have over John. I’m not sure if Tom ever loved Katie but just went along with Cult plans for him.

        @ Debbie

        But wad Tom really shocked? There were big warning that something was up and of the public notice, then so did Tom and the Cult member. For example Katie and Tom were spending more time apart than ever in 2012, Katie and Suri were practically living in NY at that point. Not to mention every year from the time Suri was born to 2011 Tom, Katie and the cult member always had a big party at the “church” and their LA home. This was the only time there were pictures of Tom LA house and the “church” yet in 2012 there was no party and Tom didn’t bother to show up for Suri birthday.

  9. j says:

    i already knew a lot of what was covered in here, but there was still stuff that shocked me.

    tom cruise is just gross, idgaf how nice he is to fans

  10. Tiffany says:

    This has to be arriving on Netflix soon. I am very interested in seeing it.

    • Isabelle says:

      HBO tends to not stream on Netflix but may stream on Amazon?

      • doofus says:

        pretty soon, HBO is going to offer a “stand-alone” subscription so you won’t even have to have a pay-tv provider and you can watch it online. I’d wager that they’ll also release it on a disc of some sort as it’s generating a LOT of chatter.

    • TeaAndSympathy says:

      Netflix has just launched here in Australia, but I’ve no intention of getting it hooked up. I can’t wait until this doco is telecast or otherwise available here.

      This is a great post. Many, many years ago, my sister and I were buttonholed at a bus stop by five late-teen-early-20s group, giving us a spiel about joining a group that would “open up the entire world” to us, bringing success and riches blah blah blah. They gave us an address to their headquarters, but I just chucked it in the bottom of my bag. Being highly skeptical beings, even as teens, we obviously did nothing about it. It wasn’t until about 3 years later that a report came on TV about a cult doing their best to recruit teens, and outlining their MO. Having been blessed with a steel-trap memory (what happened to that?!) I remembered the address they’d given us, and wondered if the building shown on TV matched the address I’d remembered, so we went to the city to check it out. Sure enough, it was “The Church of Scientology”.

      I do remember the Packer-Cruise association. I thought at the time that any friendship with Cruise was all on his terms, and hinged on being part of the cult, and what better prize than James Packer?

      The comments here are very enlightening. Thanks, everyone!

      • Snowpea says:

        Tea the same thing happened to me as a teen here in Sydney.

        As a teenager, thanks to my highly vocal left wing parents, I was very savvy and switched on and questioned everything. One fine Saturday, I was ambling along Park St with my best friend when I was approached by a spotty, bespectacled, clipboard wielding young man in his early twenties. He asked if we would be interested in filling out a short survey?

        We quickly sized up the scene – card tables, fold up chairs, piles of surveys and a plastic cup full of Bic pens – looked at the weird people trying to lure us in and up at the building we found ourselves in front of and something twigged in my memory of my dad talking about this mob, so bidding them adieu, we sidled off down the street.

        What a motley crew those Scienos are! Even as a 14 year old I knew they were a bunch of weird, gauche misfits.

        I hope ‘Going Clear’ will be available in Australia.

  11. Mich says:

    HBO has said that it had over 150 lawyers review the film given the high likelihood of CO$ suing.

    • Isabelle says:

      Bet they don’t on this one. They are already under the microscope, if they sue a biggie like HBO, it gives permission to the media for a full out scrutiny.

    • Dhavynia says:

      That interview where he’s wearing the black turtleneck shows how crazy and self absorbed he really is

      • Zombie Shortcake says:

        I love the parodies of that interview.

      • Dubois says:

        OMG! The maniacal laughing. And he’s David Miscavige 2.0. Same crazy intensity, same manner of speaking, height deficiency. It’s eerie.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I hope they try and sue, HBO isn’t the only one ready for the lawsuit, so is the documentarian. This thing was very carefully vetted and the Co$ reputation is toast. Break out the waders Miscavige, all your crap is coming home to roost.

  12. QQ says:

    though a lot of the Info wasn’t news to us in the know so to speak but i’m glad this was made, I wish they had gone some into the deaths in Scientology the lack of education for children and teen brought up in that nonsense and the whole extortion of poorer less famous members as well as tied in those high rank dudes that where in the hole and then kept proclaiming they were not when trotted out in public with that one Shelley Miscavige not being out and about herself, but I’m not gonna complain cause this was so good!

    also I came out feeling even more pity for the Bind Travolta has put himself in than i had already and 50% more disgust than I already had for Cruise and his maniacal laughter

    • Bridget says:

      I wonder if that stuff didn’t pass the lawyer test.

      • mia girl says:

        That’s what I was thinking too.

      • mayamae says:

        All they had to do was quote Leah Remini and state that Leah filed a missing persons report. Those are all facts. I was very disappointed there were no “Where’s Shelly?” mentions.

      • Bridget says:

        But quote Leah about what, and in what context? The LA Sheriff ‘investigated’ Shelly’s disappearance, and apparently she was produced. What actually happened with her is speculation. Obviously, it’s good speculation, but it’s not like they can just randomly drop in Leah’s quote without any other information, and considering the circumstances I wouldn’t be surprised if the legal team nixed the topic.

  13. tifzlan says:

    I have a serious question: why is Scientology so adamant about not letting their members escape or defect or leave the religion to the point where they use blackmail and intimidation to ensure that people, especially people like Travolta and Cruise, stay? What do they get out of having forced members? I don’t understand it because it gives them so much bad PR and obviously, Scientology elites are always working hard to scrub their image. Can someone explain this to me?

    • GingerCrunch says:

      That’s a cult for ya!
      ;-)

    • Anony says:

      Money.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      As I understand it it’s literally part of the “religion” and according to their “faith” they are supposed to act this way, not only supposed to, I guess, but are forced to or be labeled suppressive and excluded with the other “squirrels.” It’s some seriously demented nonsense but obviously people let themselves be indoctrinated into it and kept the BS flowing. It’s easy to say “it’s a cult” but all religions operate with the same basic premise, join our club or suffer the consequences of exclusion, Scientology is not the only group that treats former members like pariahs or worse.

    • Lola says:

      There are tons of documentaries or interviews on youtube that could give you a better idea. I just saw both the HBO Documentary and another one on youtube called Inside the Scientology Celebrity Centre: An Ex Parishioner Explains All.

  14. Christin says:

    I watched the first hour and plan to view the rest. Just the part about the founder was incredibly shady. He was determined to make money and have a tax exempt status.

    Just watching some of his interviews baffled me as to how he could attract so many people. Masses of people showed up in the 1950s to be hooked up to one of his little machines to gauge their thought mass, or some ridiculous supposed output.

    • FingerBinger says:

      People wanting to belong or be a part of something is as old as time. It isn’t surprising people were drawn to Hubbard.

      • Christin says:

        I understand that universal desire for acceptance, but he seemed to have zero charisma. They have interview excerpts of him later in life, and he doesn’t sound like someone who could be convincing.

        I was admittedly distracted by the horrible hair dye job he was sporting (orange and gray tinged eyebrows and hair). I kept thinking, THIS is the man whose teachings these celebrities fawn over?

      • M.A.F. says:

        The hair. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Mad Hatter hair he was sporting.

    • GingerCrunch says:

      Plus, it was the ’50′s. People were prolly intrigued by science fiction and it was new and so different from traditional religions.

    • Annie says:

      For me, it was the teeth! Oh god, those teeth…

  15. Dhavynia says:

    I’ve been reading everywhere that they will come out and harass anyone reporting anything negative on them it is scary. I knew they were bullies but I didn’t know it was this big. There is a petition to encourage the IRS to review their tax exempt status, I hope it gets revoked
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/revoke-scientologys-tax-exempt-status

  16. Macey says:

    I just watched this last night. Like others said I can’t say I learned anything new since I do frequent Tony Ortega’s blog “Underground Bunker” but it was still captivating. It just never ceases to amaze me how ppl get sucked into cults like this. I just can’t wrap my head around it. I dont know how anyone can read or hear the drivel they shill and believe it. Everything about this cult is truly written like a sci-fi novel.

    I can’t imagine the IRS sitting on this since the they’ve just been exposed for giving in to these ppl. Can you imagine if we all just started frivolous lawsuits to avoid an audit? I think this made the IRS look bad, not that they ever look good but these ppl manage to beat the IRS, something few if any ever do.

  17. Izzy says:

    People, HBO hired 130 LAWYERS to pick this thing over before putting it on the air!!

    My biggest takeaways from it all: The IRS took down Al Capone, but couldn’t handle $cientology. HBO? NO PROBLEM.

    HBO > IRS. HBO > > > $ciloontology.

    Yo, Xenu. Come and get me.

    • Olenna says:

      LMAO! True!

    • FingerBinger says:

      What they did to the IRS was very clever. They bullied and extorted them into submission. They seem to be very good at that.

    • Isabelle says:

      Well maybe this will open up investigation of them by the IRS. HBO docs have done a lot after they air, freeing the West Memphis 3, Robert Durst, etc…

    • holly hobby says:

      Well this was a book before it got made into a documentary. Yes I read the book. I borrowed it from the library and wrapped a book cover over it when I read it during my work commute (haha you can never be too sure). The fact that Sci couldn’t stop the book from coming out and they didn’t sue the write speaks volumes about the validity of the stories.

  18. Beth says:

    Granted, the information is not new, but the documentary does give a nice comprehensive overview of Scientology and puts a lot of things into perspective for those unfamiliar with it. There is definitely enough material that this could have been a 5-part documentary, with topics like Scientology in Hollywood, the life of Hubbard, the stories of ex-survivors, etc, worth examining on their own. And of course, there are still plenty of topics the documentarians probably couldn’t touch, like Scientology-related deaths. I hope we eventually get more answers and I hope the families of Lisa McPherson and Uwe Understruck, among many others, get some form of justice.

    • Debbie says:

      The documentary also put a human face on it not just the wackos at the top but the real members who fell for it, why and how ans what it did to them. That woman who was in sea org wasn’t some horrible person like miscavoge she was a woman who got mixed up in a mess and had to escape. But what was done to her was horrifying.

  19. blue marie says:

    I still don’t understand how they’re allowed to operate or how people can still fall for their crap..

    • littlestar says:

      One of the things that I think attracts the “regular folks” to $cientology is that it is “different” from other religions. I had family friends who around 20+ years ago became heavily involved in the Co$. They were smart people! It confounded me and my parents why such smart and hardworking people were so easily swayed by a cult, but they were. Looking back now, I think it’s because they saw it as making them look more intelligent and enlightened than other people because they didn’t believe in “god”, but rather a religion that claimed would give them a higher mental clarity than regular religion.

      • Ella says:

        Yep, that is kind of what Paul Haggis says in the documentary – he was attracted to it initially (in the early 70s) because of what it promised and he wasn’t the type to normally be very religious so he just overlooked the “religion” aspect of it. He told himself that they were probably just calling it a religion to gain legitimacy but that it wasn’t like a typical religion — it was for smart, enlightened, “science” oriented people!

        I can sort of see how people fell for it in the 70s-80s but can’t imagine why anyone in modern times would fall for it, now that so much more is known about the true nature of the organization.

    • Maria A. says:

      I have a friend who works in the Hollywood area and has worked around people in the industry. She described how the CoS actively tried to woo struggling actors and actresses into their organization via their gatherings, where they could meet other industry people and – and this is the key bait – ADVANCE THEIR CAREERS.
      Pretty venal.
      Anyway, she would try to dissuade these wretched young hopefuls from going over there.

      • Lola says:

        @ Maria A.: I wrote above about a documentary I saw on youtube, and it’s about that. The documentary is called Inside the Scientology Celebrity Centre: An Ex- Parishioner Reveals All.

        @blue marie: From what I gathered (from viewing different interviews) there are people who are smart and are curios about the “concept” of bettering themselves. Initially that is what they promise you, how can you become better, be more confident, get rid of what is making it impossible for you to move forward. So, in theory it is appealing.

  20. Dee Kay says:

    One thing I learned from “Going Clear” is that Nicole Kidman had managed to wrestle away Tom Cruise from Scientology, or at least severely reduce his involvement, for a good portion of their marriage, something like 7 or 8 years. Basically as soon as Scientology decided they really really really wanted and needed Cruise to come back, they went in and orchestrated the divorce, which happened at the 10-year mark IIRC. And then probably her kids with Cruise “disconnected” from Kidman b/c she was named a Suppressive Person. So sad. She must have felt like her whole life fell apart.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think one of the guys, an ex-higher up, flat out said they were instructed to turn the kids against Nicole. I feel for her, everything she went through. I’m glad she’s found happiness now, but I can’t imagine the pain of losing her older kids. I hope, with CO$ having so many problems, the kids get out from under it someday and are able to have a relationship with her.

    • holly hobby says:

      That would be Tommy Davis. Anne Archer’s son. He and his wife (she was the hanger on following Katie around during the courtship and marriage) left the cult. They are now selling real estate in Texas.

      I wonder if Tommy was disconnected from Anne?

  21. KellyBee says:

    I Agree the information was not new but it opened the eye of many people not only about $cientology but Tom Cruise also.

  22. K says:

    There is a petition on whitehouse.gov requesting a revocation of CO$’s tax-exempt status:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/revoke-scientologys-tax-exempt-status

  23. Green Is Good says:

    Looks like Xenu is going to be PAYING TAXES very soon.

  24. Mltpsych says:

    Stayed up late watching last night. Pretty good, wish they had talked about Shelley Miscavige. Most people who have followed the defection of the high ranking members already know most of it but it was interesting still. Had no idea Hubbard took his infant daughter to Cuba and left her with a mentally disabled woman and child. He was also a bigamist and definitely mentally ill. Watch if you can!

  25. lizzie says:

    i thought it was well done and smart of HBO to air it. I follow scientology news and celeb gossip pretty closely (obviously) so for me, there was no real new information. however – my husband’s mind was totally blown. he only knows scientology as a “fake celebrity religion” and has never thought of it once in his life. he couldn’t believe what he was hearing and has been reading about it ever since. i’m sure this could be very very eye opening for a lot of people.

    • doofus says:

      I’m in the same boat. I’ve been railing against $cientology for years to any of my friends who would listen. all were shocked when I told them things and now, people are starting to realize and having, as you put it, their minds blown.

      bf had always thought I was being silly and oversensitive when I’d make him switch the channel from a Crusie movie, but NOW he understands, after I made him read the New Yorker article by Paul Haggis. the more people that learn about this cult and their activities, the better.

  26. Green Is Good says:

    Tommy Girl and John : now’s the time . GET OUTTA THE CLOSET. (Thank you South Park)

    David Miss Cavidge and other CO$ honchos should be arrested for blackmail and extortion.

    • lucy2 says:

      Tom won’t – I think he’s treated like a god there, and it’s seriously messed with his head. He’s let them destroy marriages and I think has pretty much walked away from Suri, he’s too far gone.
      If Travolta wants out – I agree now is the time. I think he’d actually have support, and I think he could preempt them and say look, they’re going to say horrible things about me, but here’s the truth, and then say whatever he needs to say.

      • doofus says:

        agree on both Cruise and Travolta. if Travolta bolted RIGHT NOW, I think they’d let him walk because if they tried to slur him, it would all to obvious what they were doing and would only support HBO’s story.

        Cruise, however, is a different story. I agree that he’s in very deep and it would take some intensive “de-programming” to bring him around.

      • Diana B says:

        I think that Travolta deffecting can be tricky. It depends on what the COS has on him. If they have recordings of him being audited or pics of his indiscretions, anything beyond hearsay, that could make him not want to defy them and stay even though he is absolutely miserable there.

      • TrustMOnThis says:

        He would lose his family unless he could convince Kelly to blow too. It’s tricky.

    • Lola says:

      From watching, I have a different perspective on Travolta, feel sorry for the guy. I agree, he should try and leave, he did not look good during the past two Oscar’s, he (even if CO$ doesn’t believe in it) looked medicated. But, who knows what they could or not have on him. Plus, apparently his wife is really dedicated to the religion.
      It would be interesting to find out if Cruise and Travolta (or any other actor) actually have their Wills leaving everything to CO$.

  27. Green Is Good says:

    Additional: anybody else got the advertisement for Freedommag/Marty Rathburn on the advertisement scroll above? Cue twilight zone theme.

  28. SamMurph says:

    How is this not an organized crime situation? If Rico could take out the Mafia it should certainly be able to take out this set of clownshoes.

  29. Green Is Good says:

    If Travolta got the hell out of this cult and the closet, I believe he’d be a gay icon. The grand Marshall of the gay pride parade.

    • Isabelle says:

      Some of the COS people that audited him, have since left the church, swear up & down he’s not gay? They don’t say the same for Travolta. Part of me thinks COS began the gay rumors to keep him under their thumb.

    • littlestar says:

      I personally don’t believe Tom Cruise is gay. I think he is probably emotionally intense in his relationships (aka why so many woman seem to fall for him), but completely asexual for everything else. Just so asexual.

  30. Eileen says:

    The most effective outcome of Going Clear is that young people are watching it and they are stunned and disgusted.
    If they can’t get young people to join, they are dunzo.

  31. Barbara Rady says:

    I read somewhere that they preyed on the students after the Virginia Tech shootings. They called themselves grief counselors. Special place in hell if you ask me..

  32. M.A.F. says:

    I was only able to watch the first hour but my goodness was it interesting.

  33. Dubois says:

    My understanding – they saw Nicole as a PTS (Potential Trouble Source) and her dad as a SP – because he was a psychologist. It was only after she split w/TC that they started to classify her as a SP to separate her from her kids.

  34. Wooley says:

    Does Tom still see Suri?

    • Velvet Elvis says:

      I seriously doubt it. I have a feeling that when he realized that he isn’t going to be able to indoctrinate Suri in the CO$ like his other kids, he just walked away from her. Cruise hasn’t been photographed with Suri since something like December 2013. Tom is all about his image so if he was seeing her you know he’d want photo ops to prove to everyone that he didn’t abandon her like the tabloids reported (and he sued them over).

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree. The few times since the split he was seen with her, he made sure it was documented by the paparazzi. Nothing for a long time now. And I think that lawsuit revealed that he had in fact not seen her in a long time. It’s incredibly sad, but he is willing to walk away from his child for a cult, that’s not a parent she needs in her life.

  35. seesittellsit says:

    The only really shocking aspect of this story is how easy it is to get rich in America off a scam. You almost wonder bitterly why you didn’t think of it, first. I also wonder whether Travolta and Cruise would have been so vulnerable to these cynical psychos if our medieval sexual mores hadn’t left them so terrified of being who they are.

    And as far as rebuttals by the Scientology community go – if they told me it was raining out, I wouldn’t take out the umbrella till I’d opened the front door and checked for myself.

  36. DenG says:

    I watched Going Clear yesterday and Hubbard was at the very least a liar and sadist. Miscavige and Cruise creep me out. Their conventions, rallies, whatever they are–remind me of that little German guy with the strange mustache and overbearing ego.

  37. Triple Cardinal says:

    Sorry, but I’m not the least bit sympathetic to Nicole Kidman. After her divorce, she settled for $80 million. And luxury properties. And her art collection. And a yacht. And luxury autos. And her jewelry collection. And…and…and…

    With all this money available, it was her responsibility to put together a team of aggressive lawyers, march into Family Court and demand her children. Demand equal custody. Did she?

    The only action I recall her taking was to whine and moan about how she was “surprised” by the divorce action. How she was “devastated.” What nonsense.

    She abandoned her children. She had ample opportunity to fight for them. And she didn’t.

    No wonder they want nothing to do with her.

    • Jayna says:

      They had a 50/50 split. It was like three months on, three months off as far as the person having full custody. They could make movies during their off time. That’s the way it was for several years. As time went on, Tom’s house with his mother and sister and her kids living there also, all were Scientologists, worked on the kids, that by the time they were tweens, heading into their teens they pretty much wanted to live with their dad and had pulled a way. She was moving to Nashville and they wanted no part of it.

      We will never know what went on during that period, but I’m sure at some point she felt powerless, that she would lose them completely if she fought it, and then I’m sure an estrangement came. Both kids have recently said they love their mother very much, but I’m sure they rarely, if ever, see her, and she says nothing because what little connection she has to them she will lose if she blasts the COS. If fact, she said as much in an interview last year, that she’s proud of them but she has children who are Scientologists, so must respect that.

      Nicole talked a lot about her kids the first few years after the divorce, how they encouraged her to date, photos of them together, how her children are what saved her during the period after the divorce, etc.

    • lucy2 says:

      They were married for 10 years, during which a lot of money was made by both, and despite him trying to fudge the timeline so it wouldn’t be a 50/50 split, that’s what she got. And I bet she would have gladly given back every penny had she known her kids would be turned against her.
      Did you watch Going Clear? I feel like if you did, the tactics used against Nicole would not be the least bit surprising.

    • Bridget says:

      She’s not asking for our sympathy. And she probably had some very hard choices to make: what do you do if your husband gets wrapped up in a very scary cult, and they successfully split you two up? At the time of their divorce he was the biggest movie star in the world, wealthy and powerful, and CO $ has always been a pretty scary entity that has no problem fighting dirty.

      Nicole HAD equal custody, but the Church essentially turned her children against her when they were with Tom.The information that we have about the Church was definitely not available in 2001, no judge (especially not in LA) would have listened to her had she filed to amend the custody agreement.

      • SmellyCat says:

        When Tom divorced Nicole is when I started loathing him. I saw Oprah’s interview with Nicole and she seemed so hurt by it all. Forgotten in all that mess is that Nicole suffered a miscarriage in the middle of the divorce. So it seems he was divorcing her while she was pregnant. None of us know what happened there, but Tom came out of it looking bad, I’ve never watched another one of his movies since then.

    • Triple Cardinal says:

      With respect, I disagree. Nicole faced two problems:
      1. Her kids being indoctrinated into a cult and
      2. Her kids being indoctrinated against her.

      If my ex were taking these actions, I’d march him into Family Court so fast, he’d never know what hit him. I daresay people have run to Family Court on less-serious concerns. I wouldn’t quit until I got my court order.

      The bottom line: did this wealthy, famous woman FIGHT FOR HER KIDS?

      The answer is no.

    • The Curator says:

      Triple C –

      Do offense, but your ex isn’t an a-list movie star that belongs to a cult with almost limitless cash and a great deal of power. Scientologists bullied and coerced the United States Federal Government into getting what they wanted. Do you really think Nicole had a chance??? Why do you think Katie Holmes had to do all that cloak and dagger business just to get herself and her daughter away from him? The fact that Katie was the one to file FIRST and throw him off guard was her saving grace (again, she had time to strategize and prepare and make sure her shit was locked down tight).

      Nicole was blindsided with Tom filing for divorce, her husband of almost 10 years! Not to mention she just had a miscarriage. I think by the time she emotionally recovered from everything, Tom (and Scientology) already had his claws in his children. At that point, both kids were old enough to make the decision of who they wanted to live with, and that was their father. If Nicole tried to fight it, her kids would hate her for trying to take them away from their Dad, and her kids may have cut ties with her permanently (again, they were old enough, they could have told the judge they wanted nothing to do with their mother had she tried to fight for full custody). The kids were too far gone at that point, and I think Nicole did not want to make waves because she was hoping to salvage some type of relationship with them as they got older, since she knew that one wrong move and she would have none.

  38. Isabelle says:

    Have a feeling Cruise & Travolta are trapped because COS has dirt on them. …and its from the auditing, open confessions. Tony Ortega & Marty Rathburn, the biggest COS exposes, swear Cruise isn’t gay. They have hinted COS threw their sexuality under the bus. Wouldn’t surprise me if COS began the gay rumors on Cruise or he had an experience they exploited. Even after Tom got out for a few years, COS was relentlessness in getting him back. Seems more ‘devoted’ now than before he left it the first time. Don’t think they are completely true heart followers but are very much trapped in it. Devotion through fear & intimidation.

    • Bridget says:

      Travolta: no
      Cruise: YES. He’s their 2nd in command now, after Miscavige

      • Isabelle says:

        Yeah Cruise is definitely more devoted than Travolta but Tom did leave it at one point. Left it when he was happy with Nicole. Seems he immerses himself deeper when his life is on the downslope. Also wonder why they didn’t make Travolta their big star like Cruise? Possible, the Travolta gay rumors are true & it is a form of punishment from COS.

      • Bridget says:

        When Cruise returned to the fold after the breakup of his 2nd marriage, he already knew about OT3 (which was part of what freaked him out the first time) and he went all-in anyway. He is in it up to his eyeballs.

  39. Moi says:

    What everyone here wrote.

    I remember reading ages ago after Tom filed for divorce, that Tom and Nicole were at the same awards show, and he went up to try and talk to Nicole, and she yelled at him to stop calling her. Tom most likely still loved her when they divorced, but what happened was his own fault so….

    • mayamae says:

      I think he was over Nicole because CO$ turned him against her. Also, wasn’t he already cheating on her with Penelope Cruz? Cameron Crowe made a completely insensitive remark about how beautiful it was to watch them fall in love on set.

      • Moi says:

        No idea. Just remember reading that. Who knows….

        This all makes me so sad. I grew up watching John Travolta and TC. I am an empath as my Native American family tells me, and my heart hurts for all involved.

  40. Triple Cardinal says:

    Here is the transcript to that phone call between Nicole and Tom.

    https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/alt.gossip.celebrities/rN1MjgROzX8

    It’s a long post.

    • Velvet Elvis says:

      Nicole comes off as sounding like a total bitch in that transcript. Whining because he didn’t “do” enough for her first day of shooting or whatever. I’m sure it was just a symptom of the relationship already gone to hell but seriously…a meltdown over a freaking rose?

      • Isabelle says:

        yeah she does. She sounds like the stereotypical female in that conversation, even down to the “I’m getting a fat arse”

    • Moi says:

      I stopped reading after two sentences. That is so fkn inappropriate that their discussion is public knowledge. Up for public consumption. Hearsay is one thing. To have a transcribed argument on the internet between a committed couple. That is so not right.

      • briefstickershock says:

        I admit I clicked the link and glanced at a few lines.

        I don’t think that Nicole was being a “stereotypical female”. I saw a woman who felt someone was pulling away. The “rose” thing was a reference to the fact that Tom went on Oprah and mentioned something to the effect of giving her flowers regularly, or whatever. Her saying ‘You know what you’re doing, don’t make generalisations” was really telling. I think she could see the signs that he was being poisoned against her.

  41. Jayna says:

    John may be stuck there because of blackmail, but I believe the reason Tom is in it still is because of his huge ego out of control. He had become like David Miscaviage’s second-in-command practically. You could see he had become a zealot because of his power within the organization. It triggered something really ugly in Tom, and that’s when he went crazy, believing the hype and trying to force it down everybody’s throat. He had so much power back then, before his downfall, that he made Steven Spielberg agree to have a Church of Scientology table on one of his movies. He was out of control, until several interviews triggered the backlash (Billy Bush interview for example), and he had to go into rehabilitating his image and tamping down the crazy.

    This lengthy expose in The New Yorker on COS is very interesting from 2011 when Paul Haggis left COS.

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/02/14/the-apostate-lawrence-wright

    • Christin says:

      Thanks for posting the link. Having heard some snippets here and there, this helps provide the background before I re-watch the first hour of the documentary tonight. I tuned in, not fully knowing the exact background of the individuals who are speaking out.

      I also now understand that John was already involved a year or so before he dated Diana Hyland. Somehow I have always wondered if her illness and death messed him up even further.

      During the small part of the documentary I saw last night, I did cringe at TC wearing a huge medallion (like a gold medal on steroids) and firmly saluting LRH’s giant portrait during some type of gala led by his buddy / mentor DM.

  42. Sara says:

    Any celebrity that talked about deep dark secrets with Scientology peeps and let them record it is a straight up idiot. I am so glad you posted this as I had no midea about the Aleister Crowley thing and it all makes perfect sense now.

  43. Ellen says:

    There has to be ‘dirt’ on Tom Cruise, as well as John Travolta. Katie Holmes received a divorce and primary custody of Suri 11 days after she filed for divorce from Tom Cruise. Signed, sealed, delivered divorce in just over a week and a half.

    • laurabb says:

      Yes, I really want to know the details of that escape and their divorce. I felt so sorry for Nicole and I cheered Katie. Maybe one day it will all come out!

  44. anne_000 says:

    I don’t think Travolta is being blackmailed or that any info they have on him hasn’t already come out. What else are they going to say besides that he might be gay, that he allegedly attacks any unfortunate masseuse that gets called up to his hotel room, that allegedly he uses CO$ members as servants at his home(s), that allegedly, he let CO$ dictate his (late) son’s medical treatments, which were allegedly severely lacking or non-existent and that such doctrine could have possibly led to his early death, that his movie career might be affected, though it’s been in decline already?

    I think he and his wife are enjoying the perks of being major celebrity endorsements for CO$. If they’re using CO$ members as servants, then they’d be saving a small fortune in salaries.

    I just don’t see him as a victim. I don’t think the CO$ has on him anything much more than what’s already come out and it’s certainly not going to do much more harm to his almost non-existent movie career.

  45. Lurker says:

    Is Lisa Marie Presley still with Co$? I thought I read somewhere she got out too.

  46. Ruyana says:

    What I got from Going Clear is that L. Ron was batshit crazy, I mean CRAZY. He kidnaps his daughter to Cuba, calls his wife and says he chopped the daughter into pieces? Yeah, that’s real normal. He’s a liar, making up heroic exploits for himself that never happened. He’s a vicious bully, throwing people off a ship.

    There were some light moments. Teeny-tiny vicious little David Miscavige singing “We Stand Tall”. But watching his videoed interactions with Tom Cruise make me suspect he really, really really want to have s-x with Tom.

  47. Jayna says:

    If you’ve never seen this leaked Tom Cruise Scientology video for its members, you have to watch it. It’s hysterical. He keeps saying, “We are the authorities” on everything.

    And halfway through when the crazy comes out about Suppressive Persons and why he can’t take vacations my mouth fell open. LOL The ending, his laugh and what he says you think it’s a bad joke or bad acting in a comedy, but he is so serious. Then comes the plug from the speaker. And they are playing Mission Impossible music the whole way though.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFBZ_uAbxS0

    And

    • Christin says:

      Oh my. I had never seen the entire clip. Hard to believe this is the same guy my teenage friends and I swooned over in 1986. However, even in 1986, I think we’d have chosen an EMT over Tom had any of us had a serious car accident. (LOL)

      The end of the clip also answers the question as to what that huge medal represents. It’s a major award!

  48. Mimi says:

    I read the book this is based on so no big surprises. Although I thought the movie could have been called, Why Travolta Won’t Leave Scientology.

    This was all new to my husband who questioned what they really have on Travolta. It can’t just be he’s gay. Maybe they have something on his wife or someone he loves?

    Nothing came out on Leah Remini when she left. Not that I suspect they have on her what they have on Travolta but other than calling her a liar and pain in the ass, nothing. Or Paul Haggis.

  49. rudy says:

    If anyone would like to stop giving OUR money to this dangerous cult, please sign the petition to revoke their tax status. It is a joke that $cientology is exempt.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/revoke-scientologys-tax-exempt-status

  50. Have not read the book, but have long heard rumors about a connection between CO$ and JPL. Also, lots of pictures of Suri this week–she looks like Tom (even her teeth) she is still a cutie!

  51. Grace says:

    So glad this documentary came out. Now hopefully the masses will get a better glimpse at what a cult this “religion” claims to be. I feel badly for all the non celebs who got hooked and given their time, money and lives to this insane cult.

  52. guest says:

    While reading the transcript of the phone conversation, it looked like Nicole was trying to argue petty evidences (lack of rose on a certain day), instead of articulating what the evidence represented; that he was checked out (or checking out) of the marriage. He used the pettiness to deflect with other small examples to prove that he was attentive and then after trying to hammer her with I LOVE UUUUUU’s, he tries to cutesie her into getting over it.
    It struck me like she was genuine and thus at a disadvantage from the start.

    When he was being all cutesie I’m surprised she didn’t start making retching noises, because it made me want to gag a bit.

    Tom Cruise is my nemesis mostly because I can’t stand his actions regarding Scientology but my husband likes watching his movies and they suck me in every time. He is a good actor. I HATE it.

    I have started developing a slightly unpopular opinion that he is a victim of cult influence just as much as the average joe is. He has a huge neon vulnerability that are his narcissism and (former) charisma, this cult honed in on it so much to freakin’ alter his reality.
    Even with all his money and fame he’s still a normal person who is just a susceptible to influence as any other person that gets into a cult, marries their abuser even if everyone tells them not to, or lives in constant crises no matter how much help is given (just as examples of the multitude of people that make bad decisions with their lives).
    No doubt he is responsible for his actions and in-actions just as much as anybody else who make bad decisions, but I do want to point out that it’s not ridiculous for him to fall for this stuff, he isn’t of super intelligence nor mentally well-adjusted to begin with. He just isn’t any better than any other person sucked into a cult.

    • Lolo-ology says:

      Man, I know what you mean. I used to write him off (and revile him) as just a crazy, couch-jumping, egomonster cult person. But the more I find out about him, the more nuanced that opinion has become. I really think he’s been thoroughly brainwashed into thinking he’s helping to save the world via Scientology, somehow. And it’s just sad. It’s not diabolical or lunacy on his part, it’s just a sad case of brainwashing. I’ve heard so many first-hand storied from people who’ve worked on set with him, and his generosity is always a common denominator. Always shows up with donuts, or throws a huge wrap party that he didn’t even attend because he was finishing his scenes. And yeah, he is so damn good at his job. That’s what first made me take a closer look at what the hell his deal is, being torn between my disgust of his wacky “religion,” and discovering a begrudging respect for his work.

  53. geneva says:

    Read “Fair, Clear and Terrible” a pulitzer prize winning book about one of our first really messed up religious cults in the early 1900s in Maine. So many similarities to CO$ … but hard to believe it is once beloved celebrities who are the wolves in sheeps clothing. scary and it should be investigated and not allowed to consolidate more power. Here is a quick synopsis of the story and the Pulitzer prize winning book about Shiloh.

    The colony of Shiloh in southern Maine was a movement in miniature of 19th century American religious extremism. Led by Frank Sanford, self-proclaimed prophet of the Second Coming of Christ–a man who may well have had a personality disorder–this repressively anti-intellectual, patriarchal community set itself apart from the world until its “scattering” in 1920. Novelist Nelson ( The Last Year of the War ), a descendant of Shiloh residents, tells the grim story in numbing detail enlivened by an “insider’s” zeal. Over its 25-year lifespan, as the mission expanded, the anxiety of the members about their spiritual worthiness was exacerbated by Sanford’s purging tactics. Ravaged by disease and deprivation, the colonists perdured, even after Sanford’s imprisonment for manslaughter.
    Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

  54. anne_000 says:

    Here’s a very interesting youtube video of an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright who wrote the book “Going clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.” He also takes questions from the audience.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noDEBbqxkF0

    It’s very sad that they use child labor. One example he tells is of a child member who had to clear asbestos without protective gear, and later when he cut his finger due to his CO$ job using heavy machinery (which is against Child Labor Law in CA and FL), wasn’t taken to the nearest hospital but further away from the CO$ building and was told to lie to the doctor that it was a skateboarding injury.

  55. Bob Loblaw says:

    I haven’t read any comments here yet but I just want to jump on and say this documentary is well worth watching. I saw it last night on HBO and found it very compelling. I’m going to find the source material, the book Going Clear by Lawrence Wright, and read it. They deserve to lose their tax exempt status and I hope, for once, our government does the right thing and addresses this egregious situation.

  56. Juluho says:

    Why do Miscavge and Cruise look so much alike? Xenu?
    Or it’s is just the mannerisms? Or the height?
    It’s unsettling.

  57. EM says:

    I read that this documentary was going to come out so read the book first [by the time the doco will be released in Australia, it will take ages and it's possible the COS will try to seek injunctions or some type of legal order to prevent broadcast in Australia) and it's quite horrifying to read all this stuff, as well as the way Hubbard deceived so many people, how bad a father he was, but also the stuff about the death of his son is quite controversial [the circumstances of his death, his view of his father, etc].
    If anyone can get the book to read, get it.

  58. A.Key says:

    I always thought the cult Visualize on the Mentalist, with Malcolm McDowell playing their supreme leader, was a brilliant parody of Scientology and gave insight into their operating methods and powerful connections.

  59. Christin says:

    What happens when these high profile adherents become less marketable due to failing health, reduced income, etc.? I truly wonder (especially in Tom’s case) where that will go.

    I read just a little about their founder’s last days, and it sounded very strange.

  60. Hellion says:

    I always thought TC and Nicole’s marriage was fake until I read the transcript of those cell phone conversations. It didn’t sound like a business arrangements at all, but a real relationship that was struggling. I do think their relationship was legitimate. Now, the ones since then who knows.

  61. Kendra says:

    The below is about my brothers friend, all these years later still ruining peoples lives. I have been anti-scientology for as long as I can remember, I hope this is what finally takes down this evil cult.

    https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/time-behar.html

  62. msw says:

    The best thing Travolta could do is leave. There is almost nothing COS could have on him which is more damaging to his reputation than being IN COS.