Friday, April 19, 2024

Vanity Fair: Scientology Leader Mocked Tom Cruise’s “Confessional” Sessions–also Kirstie Alley, Lisa Marie Presley


The full Vanity Fair story about Tom Cruise and his strange personal life is out now, not just the part about Nazanin Boniadi. Most of Maureen Orth’s article is about Boniadi, whom director Paul Haggis confirmed to this column was telling the truth about her nearly arranged marriage to Tom Cruise in 2004.

The rest of the article, called “What Katie Didn’t Know,” is mostly a woven together piece about various items that were known before and leaves a lot of questions hanging–like how Penelope Cruz wound up in Cruise’s life after his divorce from Nicole Kidman, why Kidman was estranged from her kids, and how Cruise actually ended up with Katie Holmes.

But that doesn’t matter right now. (I’ll get to that later this week.) The fact is the totality of the Vanity Fair piece is very bad for Cruise, who comes off even crazier than ever. Scientology denies every point of the Vanity Fair story, which is clearly pointed out in the story. But every one of their denials is contradicted by a story from the real world, aka as a “fact.”

Orth does a particularly good job of outlining the odd–and not homosexual–relationship Cruise has with David Miscavige, who is head of the organization. If another VF writer, like Gail Sheehy, had put this story together she might have surmised that fatherless, brotherless Cruise simply enlisted Miscavige for that role. Orth draws a picture in which Miscavige has destroyed all of Cruise’s marriages. If so, wow. The one thing Tom Cruise always wanted was the family and the white picket fence. And now he’s alone again, unnaturally, thanks to Scientology.

There’s a chilling part of the Cruise-Miscavige story that Orth writes about. Cruise was heavily “audited” by Scientology in the early 2000s– in other words, he told his innermost secrets to a kind of Scientology social worker. It was all secretly taped, Orth says, and transcribed.

Here’s how Orth describes it:

Miscavige eagerly awaited the Cruise reports and those of other high-profile Scientology members at his Gold Base head quarters, in Hemet. According to several sources, he often read  them out loud to entertain whomever he was with. “I know he did it with [the reports of) Lisa Marie Presley, back in ’95, when she married to Michael Jackson, and I know he did it a number of times with Kirstie Alley. I saw and heard him,” Claire Headley tells me. “He loved to dish about celebrities,” says Tom De Vocht, Miscavige’s former close aide, who went on to run Scientology’s  large operation in Clearwater, Florida, where Scientologists from all over the world go to study.

According to De Vocht, Miscavige-~~ often joined by his wife, Shelly-would whip out a bottle of Macallan scotch at two or three in the morning in the Officers Lounge,  play backgammon, and read the Cruise reports with a running  commentary. “He’s probably got a lot of embarrassing material,”De Vocht says, adding that Miscavige’s comments were usually ~~ about Cruise’s sex life. “He would roll his eyes and say) ‘Jeez, can you believe it?'” All the while, Miscavige claimed to be Cruise’s best friend. (Scientology representatives dispute this account and insist that Miscavige has always “rigorously upheld the sanctity and confidentiality of ministerial communications.”)

Vanity Fair is on sale on some New York newsstands today, and is officially published, I think, next Monday. It’s good work. But there’s a lot more to come…



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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