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Cruise Control: Scientology insider reveals the bizarre truth about superstar's cult-like "religion"

News of the World, 9 March 2008

by Lewis Panther

[Photo caption: CHOSEN ONE: Cruise with wife Katie]

They vetted 100 beauties to find Tom a 'suitable' bride

They want Beckham in and laid pitch for him

Cruz love ended over his beliefs

Nicole made him quit weirdo church

Screen superstar Tom Cruise's fanatical devotion to the Church of Scietnology is exposed today in disturbing detail by one of his former brethen.

Marc Headley reveals how the cult-like faith has totally engulfed the movie heart-throb's life.

He says its disciples SECRETLY VETTED Hollywood beauties at "casting sessions" to find him a suitable wife before he married actress Katie Holmes.

They drew up a wish list of possible actress brides topped by Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson.

Then they asked candidates questions about their beliefs during "auditions" for a film they said would star Cruise. It was never made.

The whistleblower - who was involved in church counselling with Cruise - also tells how the actor is raising his family as strict Scientologists.

In the religion children are regularly hooked up to a lie detector made from soup cans and electrodes to test their commitment to the church.

Headley, 34, quit the faith after becoming disillusioned with its bizarre practices. He says of the 45-year-old Top Gun star, now second-in-command of the church: "Tom is on a mission... to turn EVERYONE into a Scientologist."


He claims the wacky sect-led by Cruise's best friend David Miscavige- even wanted the actor to convert his friends the BECKHAMS as it trawled Hollywood for famous new recruits.

But Headley's most shattering revelation is how Scientologists set about finding Cruise a bride after he lost out in love with second wife Nicole Kidman and then girlfriend Penelope Cruz.

"He was into Scientology in the early Nineties," says Headley who was a member of the church for 15 years. "But Nicole weaned him off it during the 10 years they were married.

"He was back in the church when he met Penelope but although she went through a lot of Scientology instruction she wouldn't give up Buddhism. So it had to end.

"After that he started complaining to his best buddy David about his luck with girls. So Miscavige assigned a high-ranking official with the order: Find a wife for Tom Cruise."

At the time Headley was a producer at promotional Scientology films company Golden Era and was involved in recording audition tapes.

"The official put out a casting call to female actresses, including Scientologists, saying "There's an upcoming Tom Cruise movie you might get a part in. Come for an audition." But in the end no movie was made. They had to be single, they had to be pretty and in their 20s. First they rounded up Scientologist actresses like Erica Christensen, Erica Howard and Sofia Milos. But they were all rejected.

"Then they had to look outside the herd, so to speak. They went for Jennifer Garner, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba in that order.

"They came up with the same plan. Jennifer and Jessica didn't bite but Scarlett took the bait and came in for an audition. When she arrived at the audition address and found out it was the Scientology Center in Hollywood she freaked out and didn't do a tape."

Scores more actresses were sounded out-then Batman Begins star Katie Holmes- 17 years Cruise's junior- was spotted in an interview saying she'd like to marry him.

"So they worked the audition routine on Katie, got her to LA and introduced her to Tom," says Headley. "The moment he meets her, he's enthralled with her and, he told Miscavige later, "I knew immediately she was the one". Katie came to the audition in a car that was a mess - food wrappers and soda cans all over the floor. So Tom had the car cleaned up. He took her for a ride on his motorcycle that day and then they flew off for dinner somewhere in his private yet.

"He gave her a book about Scientology and pretty soon they were holed up for two weeks at his place."

[photo caption: WHISTLEBLOWER: Marc Headley]

Headley came into close contact with Cruise after meeting him in 1990 just after the star made Days of Thunder.

"The thing that took me back was he grabs your shoulder and shakes your hand at the same time. He's so intense," says Headley.

"I was given the top-secret job of looking after Tom. He was pretty much just getting started on all the steps you have to take to become fully fledged. He was at the very bottom of what is called the Bridge to Total Freedom.

"He had done very little auditing where you sit down with a person and get counselling. So he practised with me."

Headley explained that auditing is Scientology-speak for lie detecting. The bizarre practice originally involving soup cans was dreamed up by the religion's founder, L Ron Hubbard, whose basic doctrine insisted that the spirits of aliens from outer space are trapped in out bodies and are the cause of our problems.

"During auditing you sit down with a person while holding metal electrodes shaped like soup cans in each hand," says Headley.

"The cans are hooked up to an electro-psychometer and when the other person asks you a question about your faith your answer generates a charge which indicates whether you are lying. It works like a polygraph."


Headley says Cruise's adopted children Connor, 13, and Isabella, 15, have been brought up as Scientologists-as will Suri, his year-old daughter with Katie who was baptised into the church.

"When Suri gets to around five she'll start schooling, which is another term for indoctrination using all of L. Ron Hubbard's teaching methods," says Headley.

"And at six or seven she's going to start getting audited. She'll be hooked up to the E-meter and asked whether she's been bad or if she's been hiding anything from Tom and Katie. It's basically an interrogation." Headley claims if Cruise's children stepped out of line they'd be in for some tough treatment under Scientology rules.

"Kids have been sent to soup kitchens before to serve homeless people and hand out books about the religion. It's called Making Amends. It's a way of punishment.

"The courses children study are written by Scientologists. The most important is the PTS/SP-Potential Trouble Source/Suppressive Person. It's basically how to deal with someone who is against Scientology. They are conditioned to disregard anything negative about it."

Other star Scientologists include John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. But Cruise is the church's biggest catch-and the sect hopes he'll attract other superstars too. "Tom's a good friend of the Beckhams," says Headley.

"The church leader David Miscavige has literally hundreds of pictures of him with Beckham and Victoria and all the kids. They'd love to get them into the religion."

Headley says the church even prepared to welcome David to its Gold Base HQ in Hemet, California, by relaying their soccer pitch.

"There was talk about introducing David to Miscavige. They redid the field with the best turf you could get- just to impress him," he says. But Beckham never came.

When Cruise visits the HQ he's given the "white glove treatment" normally reserved for the "return" of the founder Hubbard. "When Tom was coming, everyone working there would stay up all night long cleaning," says Headley.

"The whole place had to be white-gloved, which means someone touching every surface of every room in white gloves to check there is no dirt left on them. That's the same treatment they have for Hubbard's mansion- all ready for him coming back to life."

Hubbard died in 1986 aged 74, from a stroke, "But Tom and all hard-core Scientologists like him truly believe that he'll return soon."

According to Headley, Cruise gets almost as much VIP treatment as Hubbard would. "If you're a staff member and you run into him, if you don't address him as Mr Crusie or Sir, you're in trouble," he says. "He's so intense about it all."

Headley recalls how one of Cruise's assistants tried to tell him to calm down after he went beserk on the Oprah Winfrey show with Katie.

Cruise jumped up and down on her couch ranting: "There are some people who just don't like to see other people happy. But you know what? If they don't like it, f*** them."

"His assistant Michael Doven said to him, "Dude, you need to chill out on this Scientology thing," says Headley. "David Miscavige told me, 'Do you know how hard-core Tom is? He completely blew his top and told Michael he didn't work for him any more because he was an off-purpose Scientologist'."

Now Headley is off-purpose for good. "Tom used to be a happy-go-lucky guy when I first met him," says Headley. "Now he's manic and one hundred per cent dedicated to a church that even helped him choose his wife."

[Photo caption: WEANED OFF: By ex-wife Nicole]


Sidebar: What Scientologist Founder L. Ron Hubbard Believed

Xenu, an alien ruler of the Galactic Confederacy, brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft resembling DC-8 airliners and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. Their souls then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to this day. Hubbard called these alien souls Body Thetans and believed they cause ill-effects to human beings.

[JPEG scan of this article]

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