Diana author names Tom Cruise as 'World Number Two in Scientology'
By JAMES TAPPER
Star's fury over claims by Diana author Andrew Morton:
• Daughter by Katie Holmes "conceived like Rosemary's Baby"
• Nicole Kidman "feared blackmail" over sex tapes made with Scientologists
• Scientologists "planted meadow of flowers for Tom and Nicole to run through"
• Cruise's next mission is to recruit David Beckham
Tom Cruise has become the de-facto second in command of the Church of Scientology, according to a new biography - which makes an extraordinary attack on the star by comparing his 20-month-old daughter Suri to the Devil's child in the film Rosemary's Baby.
Andrew Morton's unauthorised biography claims Scientology has taken over the 45-year-old actor's life, with its officials selecting many of the staff at his Hollywood mansion.
The biographer of Princess Diana alleges Cruise is consulted by Scientology leader David Miscavige on "every aspect of planning and policy" and is tailoring his career to fit the aims of Scientology.
Miscavige is said in the book to have gone to extraordinary lengths to charm Cruise, even ordering his staff to plant a field full of wild flowers at a Scientology base in California after Cruise had told him of his fantasy to run through a wildflower meadow with his then newlywed wife Nicole Kidman.
The relationship between the two men is so close that, according to Morton's book, Miscavige even joined him on honeymoon in the Maldives after his wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006.
Cruise denies each of the claims vehemently, and Scientology lawyers are believed to be drawing up a lawsuit seeking £50million in compensation from Morton's publishers, St Martin's Press.
Cruise's lawyer and close confidante Bert Fields gave a rare interview to The Mail on Sunday to pour scorn on Morton's book, titled Tom Cruise: An Unauthorised Biography.
He criticised a passage in which Morton claims some "fanatical" Scientologists believed Suri Cruise was actually the result of a sperm donation by Scientology's dead founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
Morton writes that Ms Holmes may feel she was in "the horror movie Rosemary's Baby, in which an unsuspecting young woman is impregnated with the Devil's child".
Mr Fields said: "It's not being published in England. The American publishers criticised the libel laws in Britain because they require an author to tell the truth. Well, thank God for the British libel laws."
Cruise will not be reading the book when it is published in the United States on January 15, Mr Fields said. "He has no intention of reading it. He's very, very busy with a lot of things right now.
"He has been told about it and naturally he knows there are a bunch of lies about him. You can imagine what it must be like to have someone compare your baby girl to Rosemary's Baby. Morton should be ashamed of himself.
"It's a boring, poorly researched book by a man who never talked to anyone involved in Tom Cruise's life or anyone close to him.
"There's no real independent research. He hasn't spoken to his mother, his sister, me, Paula Wagner [Cruise's film producing partner], his agent, his wives, David Beckham, Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez or any of the famous directors he's worked with. Instead you've got this long, boring reference to people he knew 30 years ago."
Morton's book paints a picture of a talented actor who tasted enormous success at a young age and then gradually became consumed by Scientology.
He recounts how the actor was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV in 1962 and moved around North America with his parents, living in Ottawa, Canada, until the age of 12, when his mother Mary Lee left his abusive father.
Cruise excelled as a wrestler at school but took up acting seriously in his final years in high school when he was cast in a lead role for his school's musical Guys And Dolls.
By the age of 21, he had starred in his breakthrough movie, Risky Business, and was in the Hollywood Brat Pack, hanging out with Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Sean Penn.
Three years later he had become a major star in Top Gun, and went on to star in Rain Man, Born On The Fourth Of July, Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire and Eyes Wide Shut.
His involvement in Scientology began in 1986 when he was recruited by his first wife Mimi Rogers, a Scientologist who gave him some literature on the subject.
L. Ron Hubbard, a science-fiction writer, created Scientology in 1954. Its followers have fought hard to have the system of beliefs recognised as a religion, and its central teaching is that life's problems can be solved through a system of oneonone counselling called "auditing", measured by an "E-meter".
Courses can cost thousands, and critics make much of the doctrine of "Thetans" - alien spirits inhabiting human bodies who have to be flushed out.
Scientologists have also attracted criticism for the practice of "disconnect", where followers are encouraged to cut off friends and family members who do not follow Scientology.
Morton claims Scientologists pursued Cruise as part of a campaign to recruit celebrities.
The author quotes former senior member Karen Pressley as saying: "A senior Scientology executive would be on the phone telling us that Emilio Estevez was staying in Malibu and that we had 48 hours to speak to him and get him in for an auditing session. There was so much heat and pressure on this it was outrageous."
Cruise's recruitment was a coup for his wife Mimi but when their marriage began to fail in 1990 the hierarchy sided with him, according to Morton.
He quotes a former Scientologist saying: "The impetus was to help Tom Cruise and within 24 hours they had agreed to split up."
Morton says David Miscavige sought to rebuild Scientology's reputation, battered by a fraud scandal in 1982.
He invited Cruise to his "desert lair" in 1989, a 500-acre resort in Hemet, 90 miles from Los Angeles, nicknamed "Gold Base".
Miscavige lives there with Scientology's most devoted followers called Sea Organisation or Sea Org.
Morton claims the base was surrounded by security cameras, with "secret plans to rig the perimeter with homemade explosives in case of attack", as well as a "man-made eyrie where eagle-eyed guards with high-powered rifles fitted with telescopic sights scanned sunbaked California scrub for possible intruders".
According to Morton, the followers were not treated well. Miscavige, he says, was followed everywhere by an entourage "who slavishly tape-recorded his every utterance".
Scientologists say Gold Base is simply home to their film studios and production facilities where the organisation's literature, videos and E-meters are made, and object strongly to Morton's characterisation of Miscavige, saying it is based on testimony disproved in court.
When Cruise met Miscavige, the two men hit it off, Morton says. He quotes former Scientologist Jesse Prince as saying: "They were like glue, two little people who really enjoyed each other. They laughed the same and acted the same. They were like glove puppets, he was a big star and he was head of a religion."
After Cruise fell in love with Nicole Kidman on the set of motor-race movie Days Of Thunder in 1990, Miscavige invited them to Gold Base, Morton says.
Miscavige indulged Cruise's whims, ordering Sea Org workers to build a tennis court and gym to impress Cruise (facilities Scientologists say already existed).
According to Morton: "When Tom confided to the Scientology leader about the couple's fantasy of running through a meadow of wild flowers together, his friend apparently decided to make his dream come true.
"A team of 20 Sea Org disciples was set to work digging, hoeing, and planting wheat grass and wildflower seed near the Cruises' bungalow.
"Naturally the work was regularly inspected by David and Shelley Miscavige [his wife], who would ride over to the site on his motorbike. They were apparently unhappy with the finished appearance and had the area ploughed over and reseeded."
Although Scientologists deny the wildflower planting ever happened, Morton claims to have legal affidavits from several witnesses.
Morton says the indulgences came with a price, that Scientology took over the Cruises' new home in Los Angeles where Tom employed "a plethora of nannies, chefs, gardeners, housekeepers, and security staff.
"It was said that many were Scientologists who were carefully vetted by Scientology officials, the procedure often taking months in order to find a suitable candidate with the right background and attitude to work for Scientology's poster boy.
"Candidates would be interviewed on videotape by a Scientology executive before being approved. A Scientology executive later dismissed the claim as 'preposterous'."
Scientology executives contributed to the failure of Cruise's marriage to Kidman, Morton implies.
The author says that Cruise was asked in 1999 to do a "Potential Trouble Source/Suppressive Person course...designed to anchor an individual's faith while pinpointing those in his life who create problems".
Morton claims Scientologists were worried that Kidman might be a problem because her father was a psychologist - "which automatically made her a Potential Trouble Source" - and she had given an interview emphasising her roots as a Catholic.
"The fear was that a lukewarm Nicole could fatally compromise Tom's commitment to his faith," Morton writes.
"Somehow Tom had to be inoculated against the virus of doubt.
"The surefire cure for scepticism was the Potential Trouble Source/ Suppressive Person course, which reinforced wavering Scientologists' loyalty while making them more suspicious of those around them who were not members of the faith."
When Cruise decided to leave Nicole in 2000, she was worried that she might not be able to see the two children the couple had adopted.
Morton quotes a former highranking Scientologist claiming he received a call from Kidman's lawyer Bill Beslow: "At this point Nicole hated Scientology but was concerned for the kids.
"She did not want to ruin her relationship with them. I told the lawyer if she wants to stay with the children she will have to be quiet and not speak out about Scientology."
In particular, Morton claims she was worried about her "audit" tapes, which contained details of her sex life and which she feared might be leaked if she spoke out.
Morton recounts allegations that "auditing" focuses on the subject's sex life.
He quotes Hubbard's son, Ronald De Wolf, who fell out with his father, giving a Playboy interview: "You have complete control of someone if you have every detail of his sex life and fantasy life on record. In Scientology the focus is on sex. Sex, sex, sex.
"The first thing we wanted to know about someone we were auditing was his sexual deviations. All you've got to do is find a person's kinks, whatever they might be.
"Their dreams and their fantasies. Then you can fit a ring through their noses and take them anywhere. You promise to fulfil their fantasies or you threaten to expose them."
Morton says Karen Pressley was at Gold Base one evening when John Travolta's sexuality was openly discussed.
He writes: "'It made my head spin,' she recalls, 'and made me realise that the idea of confidentiality was a chimera.' As another Scientology executive admitted bluntly, 'These files come in handy if they want to blackmail you'."
Cruise's attempts at new relationships, with actresses Penelope Cruz and Sofia Vergara, did not work out.
Morton claims Cruz's father Eduardo "was concerned that his famous daughter could be drawn into what he considered a cult - and, like so many others, be lost to him and his family for ever.
"Eventually he emailed an organisation devoted to helping cult members and their families. It was only after a long exchange of correspondence that officials realised they were dealing with Penelope Cruz's father."
Cruise's shorter-lived relationship with Vergara included a visit to the Scientologists' Celebrity Centre in California.
Morton claims: "It was on this trip that Sofia realised Tom was never alone. Everywhere he went, he was surrounded by Scientologists. They were at his home, they were in his car, they were at the restaurant. They were never short of smiles, but she found them 'powerful and authoritarian'.
"One friend told me, 'She met his children, there is no doubt he was auditioning her for the part of his wife.' Sofia told friends she had been deliberately targeted not only as a possible bride for Tom, but as a high-profile Scientology recruit who would be an alluring figurehead for a future recruitment drive in Latin America."
Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields described the allegation as "ridiculous".
Morton claims that as Cruise has moved higher up the echelons of the Church of Scientology he has made more and more decisions about his life and career to simply promote his religion.
The author says Germany's population of 80million made it a perfect "new market" for Scientology, although the church is not recognised officially as a religion there.
"David Miscavige and his lieutenants were in Scientology's war room at Hemet, planning the invasion of Germany. From time to time they were joined in their desert bunker by Tom, who these days is the organisation's second-in-command in all but name, involved in every aspect of planning and policy."
Morton says Cruise's current mission is to recruit David and Victoria Beckham. The actor invited Miscavige to a Real Madrid game back in 2004 and held a celebrity party for the couple when they moved to Los Angeles.
Of the bizarre beliefs Morton ascribes to some Scientologists about Cruise's third wife, Katie Holmes, whom the actor married in a whirlwind romance, the author says, incredibly: "Some Sea Org fanatics even wondered if the actress had been impregnated with Hubbard's frozen sperm.
"In her more reflective moments, Katie might have felt as if she were in the middle of a real-life version of the horror movie Rosemary's Baby, in which an unsuspecting young woman is impregnated with the Devil's child."
Mr Fields described the passage as "sick and bizarre".
"It's a pack of lies," he said. "The book suggests Scientologists somehow run his career. I've represented him for over 20 years and I've never discussed his business with David Miscavige. It's poorly researched and badly written, and it's not really even about Tom Cruise - it's an attack on Scientology."
The Church of Scientology is incensed about a series of allegations Morton makes about Miscavige, who took over from the religion's founder L. Ron Hubbard at the age of 26.
Elliot Abelson, general counsel for the Church of Scientology, said of Morton: "We tried to contact him to co-operate, to give him the truth, to give him a tour. I received nothing.
"This was a pre-ordained mission to trash Tom Cruise. He didn't ask to speak to David Miscavige and wrote some horrible things about him which are totally untrue. No one has ever made complaints of that kind."
Mr Abelson denied the actor was "second in command".
"He is a parishioner, a well respected parishioner, but that's what he is. The only person who runs the Church and makes policy decisions is David Miscavige."
Mr Abelson said no decision had been taken about legal action but he added that Scientologists may sue in Britain if the book is distributed here.
"It isn't too late for St Martin's Press to pull this book," he said.
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