Tom Cruise’s connection to Scientology is far from a secret. In fact, it’s probably the first thing moviegoers today associate him with, perhaps even above Katie Holmes or the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Yet it’s still possible to be surprised by just how wacky the details get. The new book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright painstakingly dredges up some fun (okay, bizarre) facts about Tom and the pseudo-religion that add a few wacky new logs to the fire of insanity that is Scientology.
What follows, as published in The Hollywood Reporter, is even more fascinating than anything in the critically-acclaimed 2012 flick The Master (which was inspired by L. Ron Hubbard and his celeb-beloved teachings).
1. Nicole Kidman was branded a “Suppressive Person”
David Miscavige, the head of the Church of Scientology since Hubbard’s death in 1986, blamed Nicole Kidman when Tom started drifting away from the church. He saw her as a “gold digger who was faking Scientology,” so she got branded a Suppressive Person or “SP,” which is Scientology’s term for “antisocial” people. According to Hubbard, this is 2.5% of the population and also included Adolf Hitler. Nicole Kidman = Adolf Hitler? Yikes.
2. Tom based his A Few Good Men character on Scientology leader
Can you handle this truth? The naval officer Tom played in the legal/military drama was apparently fashioned on Miscavige’s “commanding personality.” (But don’t all of Tom’s roles have a commanding personality?)
3. Tom and Nicole: Flower Children
Tom and Nicole apparently had a fantasy of running through a field of wildflowers. Miscavige had a whole field of them planted in the desert for the occasion. When it “failed to meet his expectations,” they were plowed over.
4. Tom loves his bee pollen
Tom allegedly measured a Scientology newcomer’s metabolism with an “E-meter” (an electronic device used during the “auditing” process). When it failed, he grabbed some bee pollen and said that would “do the trick.”
5. "Thank you, Ash Tray!"
One Scientology exercise Tom taught apparently involves asking an ash tray to “stand up,” then lifting the ash tray up and thanking the ash tray. This is done over and over until the subject is yelling at the ash tray.
6. Tom Cruise for President?
Though his lawyer denies it, the book alleges that Tom once said, “If f--ing Arnold can be governor, I could be president.” Hear that, Schwarzennegger? It's Tom versus Arnold for 2016!
7. Tom is a “Big Being”
Because we can’t paraphrase this without feeling like we’re writing utter nonsense, here’s the quote verbatim: “Miscavige convinced Cruise that he and Tom were two of only a handful of truly 'big beings' on the planet. He instructed Cruise that LRH was relying upon them to unite with the few others of their ilk on earth to make it onto 'Target Two' — some unspecified galactic locale where they would meet up with Hubbard in the afterlife.”
Do you think all these allegations from the book are true, or too crazy to be believed?