Scientology uses Cruise’s image to coerce the faithful

Tom Cruise

New revelations from disaffected Scientologists suggest the cult uses Tom Cruise’s image to keep members in line

BY Tim Edwards LAST UPDATED AT 11:29 ON Tue 10 Nov 2009

New revelations about the Church of Scientology suggest Tom Cruise is fast becoming the cult's figurehead, used to inspire the faithful to acts of greatness - and to strike fear into the hearts of those who stray.

A former high-ranking Scientologist claims that the cult's leader, David Miscavige, invoked Cruise's name in order to incite a mob to beat up three disaffected members, telling them that the Hollywood star would beat the living "bleep" out of the three if they failed to do so.

Marty Rathbun, the former inspector general of Scientology's Religious Technology Center, made the allegations in a letter to Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields that has been quoted in the New York Daily News.

He says on the day before Cruise was due to visit a Scientology installation in Hemet, California, 80-100 'managers' were taking part in a "Tom Cruise arrival preparation drill" in a "prison-like" facility called The Hole where the three "insubordinate officials" were "incarcerated".

Rathbun's letter states that Miscavige told the managers they were being far too easy on Marc Yager, Guillaume Leserve and Ray Mithoff, "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." The actual expletive used is not revealed.

Rathbun says that this was enough to stir the managers into action. The group turned into a mob: "Fists flew and feet kicked into the three. They continued to pound until... each had two black eyes."

Apparently Rathbun wrote the letter to Fields in the hope of making Cruise aware of Scientology's "human rights abuses".

Meanwhile, another former Scientologist has revealed how the church uses Cruise's image to inspire its disciples. Marc Headley, who left the cult five years ago, told that 'employees' at the Scientology compound in Gilman Hot Springs, California were forced to watch video-montages of Cruise pieced together from his media appearances and TV news stories about the actor.

Unsurprisingly, Cruise is a very popular figure among the faithful. "They think he is an exhilaration," says Headley, "which is very high up on what they call the 'tone scale'.

"They would record any appearances on TV shows or even mentions of Tom Cruise, or little stories they heard about him. Then they would re edit them and cut them together... But it was never the full interview or story," he says.

Normally, members are banned from watching TV or reading newspapers, but on these occasions all the employees would gather together in a hall to watch the film: "It was totally like 1984. It's propaganda in there," explains Headley. · 

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