If you date or marry Tom Cruise, you are effectively entering into a polygamist relationship with the actor and with David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology, according to a new report in Vanity Fair's October issue.
It may not be a polygamist relationship in the literal sense, but Cruise's romantic contenders must also be approved by Miscavige, who is the actor's best friend. This odd love triangle is responsible for the breakdown of the 50-year-old actor's three marriages and other relationships, according to knowledgeable sources and former high-ranking Scientology officials.
"It's not like you only have to please your husband -- you have to toe the line for all of Scientology," says Marc Headley, a former church member and executive producer of Golden Era Productions, the church's in-house studio.
Marty Rathbun, the former Inspector General of the church's Religious Technology Center who left the organization in 2004 and is now its most vocal detractor, told Vanity Fair's Maureen Orth that disagreements over Scientology were at the heart of Cruise's two previous divorces, from Mimi Rogers, a fellow Scientologist, and from Nicole Kidman.
"There were allegations and counter-allegations about fidelity, but the central problem was Nicole did not want to deal with Scientology," he explained. "I participated in the Mimi divorce and in the [Nicole] divorce. Both woman got cold on Miscavige. He was integral to the break ups of the marriages."
Miscavige became the leader of the church in 1987, a year after its founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, died, and reportedly zoned in on Cruise, who joined the church in 1986.
"There was no bigger recruit than Tom Cruise," Karen Pressley, a commanding officer of the church's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood from 1987 to 1989, told CNN's Kareen Wynter in July. "My job was to ensure that celebrities were recruited, that celebrities were well serviced within our organization, and also to open up new celebrity centers around the world."
For Miscavige, Cruise became the church's biggest asset, and Headley told Vanity Fair that Miscavige told him and other officials in a meeting that "if he could he'd make Tom Cruise inspector general -- second-in-command -- that if he weren't Tom Cruise the actor he would be the number two."
After Cruise's many public outbursts in 2005 espousing Scientology's beliefs about psychiatry, it was rumored that he had taken on an official leadership role within the church. However, the actor's lawyer Bert Fields, recently told The Huffington Post that "Tom Cruise has no official role, title or position in the Church of Scientology. He is simply a parishioner."
Still, he's a parishioner who is best buddies with the church's leader, and one that donates millions of dollars to fund church projects. According to Rathbun, Miscavige wanted to make sure that Cruise was locked into the church and unable to drift away as he'd done during his marriage to Kidman. He told Orth that staff were constantly reporting every single thing that went on during their marriage, and were always encouraging the actor and Kidman to "reach back, get audited."
Auditing, as Orth describes it, is a "very expensive version of Roman Catholic confession," where one is made to answer hundreds of questions while holding an E-meter that supposedly measures the body's reaction to questions. There are different levels one must work through in order to be "cleared" to get to the Bridge to Total Freedom -- by which time one has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Kidman's last auditor, Bruce Hines, who has since left the church, told Vanity Fair that the actress got all the way up to O.T. II, just a step below the prestigious Wall of Fire. There, one may finally read Hubbard's secret writings, which not only remind everyone that Hubbard was foremost a science fiction writer, but reveal the chuch's most sacred beliefs -- that 75 million years ago, Xenu, dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" sent billions of frozen souls on spaceships from his overpopulated planet to the bases of volcanoes on Earth. When the volcanoes erupted, the scattered souls or "thetans" found their way into human bodies, and their emotional issues haunt their human hosts -- thus the need for auditing to purge them.
Kidman wasn't buying it, and many sources confirm that Kidman was always viewed as a potential threat to the church since she was a Catholic, and her father is a psychologist.
Miscavige's alleged control over Cruise's personal life extended after the Kidman era and was reportedly the reason Cruise broke things off with his girlfriend of three years, actress Penelope Cruz. Knowledgeable sources told the magazine that Miscavige wasn't a fan of Cruz, whom he viewed as a "dilettante," when he learned she wasn't willing to give up her Buddhist beliefs. After that, Cruise apparently threw in the towel and decided he needed to share his bed with a fellow devout Scientologist -- and that's allegedly when the great girlfriend auditions of 2004 began.
Nazanin Boniadi would be the woman ultimately chosen to be Cruise's girlfriend from November 2004 until January 2005, before she reportedly ran afoul of Miscavige and shortly thereafter was given the boot. A few months later, Cruise would declare his love for actress Katie Holmes, by manically jumping on couches on national television. The two married in 2006, and when they divorced in July 2012, Cruise's lawyer rushed to counter reports the split and the settlement had anything to do with the church:
"Let me be very clear about this. The Church of Scientology played absolutely NO ROLE in the divorce settlement talks at all. Period. The mere suggestion that the Church was involved in any element of the talks and ultimate settlement is categorically false. Anyone suggesting otherwise is just wrong," Fields told RadarOnline.