Following the premiere of the damning Scientology documentary Going Clear last night, you may have more questions about the bizarre cult and its recent history. Compiled below are the most insane reports about Scientology from the past ten years.
He allegedly "prides himself on having memorized 'the sexual irregularities of practically every staff member' at one facility." He once reportedly dressed his dog up in a uniform and made staff members salute him. His favorite activity is apparently reading celebrity dossiers (this is possibly the only normal thing about him).
According the Scientology theorist/journalist Tony Ortega, Shelly Miscavige was transferred to a secret compound close to Lake Arrowhead in 2005 or 2006, where a small group of Scientologists remain cut off from the world.
She hasn't been seen since.
But then again, members reportedly believe they can heal tsunami victims by groping them. And there were those allegations that the church covered up the rape of an 11-year-old girl. The group is also suspected of human trafficking, and some members are forced to work in sweatshops. They're allegedly tortured and abused and even sometimes forced to have abortions. Church guards once killed a guy who tried to storm the building. One time, some members conspired to kill a cop. It's obscenely expensive to remain a member. And their catalogues suck.
Plus, it's impossible to leave peacefully: just when these former members think they're out... they get stalked by a rabid group of men wearing cameras on their heads calling themselves the "SquirrelSquad."
According to leaked memos, journalists critical of the religion can expect to be stalked—and often harassed—by members of the church.
Other memos document the movements of Mark Ebner, then a freelance reporter, including proposals on his potential vulnerabilities. And in 2009, Roger Friedman claimed the church got him fired from FOX after he had several unpleasant run-ins with Kelly Preston.
Tom Cruise is, as the above video might suggest, all in. And it's been pretty good for him. (And lucrative, as far as cult associations go—his motorcycles were apparently painted with Scientology slave labor and his birthday parties were reportedly staffed by Scientologist slaves. Plus, he may one day be able to move things with his mind.)
His wives were also reportedly auditioned for him by Miscavige, which seems convenient. But what Scientology giveth, it also taketh away: his divorces from both Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes—who reportedly left him when she learned he had been "secretly indoctrinating" their young daughter, Suri—both involved the church.
Jason and I were talking to Tom, and we told him that we went to the CoS center in LA. He said brightly, 'Oh yeah? Well, me and Nicole are Scientologists too! Right, Nic?' But she turned and gave Tom the most evil look. She stared at him for about 10 seconds, and Tom looked at her like he was throwing daggers with his eyes. I interpreted her look to mean, 'I am not a Scientologist, and I will not be a Scientologist.' She was clearly mad at Tom for saying she was. And the next thing you know, they're getting a divorce!
Initially she was told only that she had been selected for a very important mission. In a month-long preparation in October 2004, she was audited every day, a process in which she told a high-ranking Scientology official her innermost secrets and every detail of her sex life. Boniadi allegedly was told to lose her braces, her red highlights, and her boyfriend. According to a knowledgeable source, she was shown confidential auditing files of her boyfriend to expedite a breakup.
But Cruise allegedly broke up with her after she "insulted" Miscavige by asking the vaunted leader to repeat something he had said.
In 2010, a Reddit user named Ben Mills posted a series of photos of Peaches Geldof along with a detailed story about spending the night together doing heroin before waking up the next morning at the Los Angeles Scientology center.
Recalls the tipster, "I awoke at about 1pm in a sauna, throwing up all over the place. I started freaking out. I look around and see her on an exercise machine outside the room, looking in about the same shape as me. I get out of the room and people come past me cleaning the puke like it was nothing to them. I'm standing in the room groggy, in a speedo, and confused as hell. I look around and read some stuff realizing I'm in the Celebrity Scientology Center in LA. This girl ended up being a hardcore Scientologist and a D-List celebrity, and we were doing a process called Purif."
Oscar-award winning director Paul Haggis publicly departed Scientology in 2009, citing the church's views on gay rights and Miscavige's tendency to use "confidential" audit information as party anecdotes and leverage against former members.
The actor—who murdered his landlady before killing himself in 2012—was a Scientologist, though you'd never hear it from the church. According to reports, he was a vocal proponent of the church's dubious detox program called Narcanon and was even featured on the program's website. Despite his "cured" status, cops say he was under the influence of drugs at the time of his death.
Former Scientologist and actress Leah Remini publicly left the church in 2013, about Miscavige's missing wife, Shelly:
While in the church, Remini had reportedly inquired about Shelly, particularly why she wasn't present at the wedding of Tom Cruise, where her husband served as the best man. The church spokesman at the time, Tommy Davis, allegedly told her: "You don't fucking rank to ask about Shelly."
Remini praised director Alex Gibney and Going Clear. She tweeted:
Thank you to the brave who did something about it. And to those who didn't have a voice, you do now. #GoingClear— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) March 30, 2015
It's long been rumored that John Travolta has stayed with the church so long out of fear that he'd be outed if he left. (He allegedly had a relationship with a fellow Scientologist Jeff Kathrein, a married man he's been photographed kissing.)
Even so, he's also made the religion a family affair: Travolta's wife, the actress Kelly Preston, says she had a completely normal silent Scientology birth because, "L. Ron Hubbard found that the single source of aberration, of psychosomatic illnesses, stress, fears, worry, things like that, have to do with the reactive mind, and in that part of the mind is different words and commands that can come back to affect you later in your life."