More juicy revelations courtesy of Marty Rathbun, the defector who's going all-out with deep insiders' knowledge of Scientology. This time, it's Tom Cruise: he offered to give deviant members a beatdown, and that "drills" were performed whenever he was oncoming.
Rush & Molloy, when you deliver, you deliver. Naturally, Scientology spokescreature Tommy Davis and Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields have already disputed the claim, but parts of what Rathbun told the New York Daily News gossips are just too wildly outlandish and extreme to go so far as to believe they're completely without merit, and Rathbun's claims have been backed before in the St. Petersburg Times by several other defectors.
Basically, it boils down to this: whenever Tom Cruise was around, Scientology leader David Miscavige would have "the Tom Cruise arrival preparation drill" which consisted of orchestrating every single move they would make around Scientology's superstar. But that's not the catch. Here's where it gets interesting:
Miscavige had imprisoned Marc Yager, Guillaume Leserve and Ray Mithoff, three Scientology members who were being interrogated. Miscavige was berating Scientology managers for not being hard enough on the three in order to extract confessions from them. And by "hard enough," he means "you haven't sufficiently beat the shit out of them." This is insane:
"Miscavige berated [the managers] for being far too light in their demands for confessions" from the three, Rathbun alleges in his letter, "because they refused to beat [them] ... to pulps. Miscavige said that Tom … had vowed to come to the Hole and personally ‘beat the living [bleep]' out of Yager, Leserve and Mithoff if the managers failed to do so themselves. "In response, the mob rushed at the three targeted gentlemen," Rathbun claimed. "Fists flew and feet kicked into the three. They continued to pound until … each had two black eyes."
Right? This goes hand in hand (or rather: fist in hand) with what the St. Petersburg Times has been reporting, especially considering the multiple reports of Miscavige taking part in violence against other members himself that have surfaced. Spokesthing Tommy Davis' response:
Yager, Leserve and Mithoff have all provided sworn affidavits stating they were not assaulted, and that numerous witnesses have also testified that Miscavige never invoked Cruise's name.
Right, the out-and-out denials without any concessions. Naturally. Rathbun's already confessed to taking part in beatdowns like these when he was a member. Miscavige might not have invoked Cruise's name in this instance—we'll never know—but it's hard to imagine him not invoking His Holy Maverick as a threat against other members. But it feels like the Daily News really buried the lede, here: Cruise lawyer Burt Fields threatening to sue Marty Rathbun if he reveals what was in Tom Cruise's audit file.
Responds Fields: "I would be surprised if David Miscavige was beating people up." And while he says "Tom is not a very litigious person," he said he will sue Rathbun if he reveals what was discussed during "audit" sessions where the actor shared confidences with Rathbun. He may not need to worry about that. Rathbun tells us, "I would never reveal what Tom told me, not if a gun were put to my head. Unlike the church, which does, I actually hold those secrets sacrosanct."
That's certainly interesting, considering the Church already opened up their audit files to the St. Petersburg Times in order to publicly shame defecting members. Interesting how they have yet to open up recent defector Paul Haggis' audit file. Paul Haggis, when he recently defected from Scientology, cited the opening of the audit files as one of the main reasons why he had to leave the church. Also: Tom Cruise had audit sessions? And Marty Rathbun—who defected—was in them?
So, okay: Tommy Davis is having meltdowns on network television and then knocking on ABC's door to make them take the story down. Reports of defectors being stalked by Scientology's private investigators are surfacing. Reports of Miscavige freaking out and beating members came out earlier this year. Paul Haggis defected, John Travolta openly defied them, high level members are defecting, everyone's running their mouths. And now Tom Cruise's American bankability—and the power he once held in the entertainment industry—is dwindling by the day. Remember that time he jumped on Oprah's couch four years ago? Keep it in mind, because it's beginning to look the very first pin being pulled from Scientology's foundation now that all the other pieces are falling down around it.
Maybe Scientology has some good intentions for its members; many religions and spiritual orientations do, whether you call it a cult or otherwise. But one thing keeps getting clearer and clearer: the draconian culture of celebrity worship and the despotic bureaucracy and culture of fear keeps making Scientology look worse, and worse, and worse.