I’ll semi-shamefully admit that back in the day when Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman broke up, I felt nearly as blindsided as Nicole. Even with all the rumors about Cruise’s sexuality, they really did seem to have been in love. Maybe they were (maybe he’s bi); whatever the case, it looks like all the rumors about Scientology having a hand in their break-up are probably true.
After getting the go ahead from HBO’s 160 lawyers,” Alex Gibney’s Going Clear was apparently the ticket at Sundance — the premiere’s theater was overstuffed, and reviews of its “jaw-dropping” revelations are headlining the morning entertainment news.
Crowd control at Going Clear, Gibney's Scientology documentary, is out if control. Where's Overlord Xenu when you need him?— Ty Burr (@tyburr) January 25, 2015
Dozens of people still wandering around, looking for seats at the Marc for GOING CLEAR. None to be had; they let too many in. #Sundance.— Josh Lincoln Dickey (@NotoriousJLD) January 25, 2015
The Daily Beast reports that former Scientology second-in-command, Marty Rathbun claims he “facilitated” the Cruise-Kidman break-up because Nicole had always been “suspicious” about the organization.
“…David Miscavige was suspicious of Cruise’s second wife, whose father was a renowned psychologist in his native Australia. Scientology is vehemently opposed to psychiatry and psychology, and Rathbun claims that because of Kidman’s father, she was labeled a ‘Potential Trouble Source’ (PTS), defined by the Church of Scientology as ‘a person who is in some way connected to and being adversely affected by a suppressive person.’
The film, which is based on Lawrence Wright’s popular book, insinuates that Tom and Nicole were trying to stay together, and that during filming of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Cruise was “distancing himself from Scientology,” which angered the religion’s notorious leader, David Miscavige.
“…during the filming of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Cruise wasn’t returning Miscavige’s phone calls, though Miscavige was one of Cruise’s best pals and served as best man in his wedding to Kidman. Cruise’s silence allegedly infuriated Miscavige, who then assigned Rathbun to the A-list couple.
‘I was to facilitate the breakup with Nicole Kidman,’ Rathbun says in the film.
Rathbun alleges…that the Church of Scientology then waged an aggressive campaign [including turning the couple’s children against Kidman] to get Cruise to dump Kidman, including having a private investigator wiretap her phone—at Cruise’s apparent suggestion, according to Rathbun—and sending the tapes to Miscavige. The Church of Scientology also began ‘auditing’ Cruise around the clock, according to the film, aggressively psychoanalyzing him and gathering personal information. The information was then allegedly sent to Miscavige, whom Rathbun claims blasted Cruise for his “perverted” sexual fetishes.”
Of course, these — and the claims that Scientology has tons of dirt on John Travolta — are just the headline grabbing tip of the Scientology iceberg. The film also addresses allegations the group has imprisoned, and handled its non-famous members with harrassment and physical brutality.
I can hardly imagine what it’s like to get yourself into such a pickle with such an organization — both Cruise and Travolta were recruited when they were young and impressionable. But to be indoctrinated to the point where you reveal your most intimate thoughts and sexual proclivities to people who’ll think nothing of using them against you; that must be horrifying.
Going Clear will air on HBO sometime this year.