Perhaps you recognize Nazanin Boniadi, the striking Iranian-born actress in the header photo above, from her stint on “How I Met Your Mother,” where she played Barney’s love interest. She’s also a Scientologist, or was one at one time. She was lucky enough to pass the rigorous Scientology audit, and afterwards, according to a piece in Vanity Fair, she was “presented” to Tom Cruise as a potential real-life love interest for Mr. Shortbread Action-Movie Wacko.
That didn’t go so well. In fact, during a dinner at Nobu, Ms. Boniadi ruined her chances at becoming the next Mrs. Tom Cruise by inadvertently offending Mr. Cruise. From Vulture:
Boniadi then inadvertently offended her thin-skinned date when she congratulated him on the Scientology Freedom Medal of Valor he’s been awarded by saying “very well done.” This apparently made Cruise feel like she was talking down to him. Not long after, while hosting Scientology head David Miscavige and his wife, Boniadi insulted the fast-talking church leader by asking him to repeat himself — apparently a big no-no. As Marc Headley, a high-profile ex-Scientologist, remarked to Orth: “You can’t do anything to displease Scientology, because Tom Cruise will freak out.”
True to form, Boniadi was soon asked to leave the house (and bedroom) she shared with Cruise and later moved to a Scientology center in Florida, where she told a friend about the short-lived affair. Her “friend” naturally turned right around and ratted her out to church officials, who gave her a rather medieval punishment: scrub toilets with a toothbrush, scour bathroom tiles with acid, and dig ditches after dark.
For some crazy reason, Boniadi was actually in love with Cruise, too, which made her demotion to “suppressive person” all the more painful.
According to Orth, Boniadi was in love with Cruise, but the intensity of his affection, especially his predilection for public displays, overwhelmed her. “I get more love from an extra than I get from you,” the actor reportedly complained. Every day Boniadi spent two to three hours purging herself of “negative thoughts about Tom.” She felt completely shut off; her only source of money was a credit card issued in the name of Cruise’s production company.
Holy effing schnikeys, people. I’ve deluded myself for years that Cruise, despite everything to the contrary, was probably an OK guy, notwithstanding the crazy. But not if this is true, and Paul Haggis, who recently resigned from the church, confirms the story in an email Showbiz411:
“I’ve known Nazanin for about three years. I met her through a mutual friend when I was doing my own personal research into the allegations against Scientology, before I wrote my letter of resignation. Naz was embarrassed by her unwitting involvement in this incident and never wanted it to come out, so I kept silent. However I was deeply disturbed by how the highest ranking members of a church could so easily justify using one of their members; how they so callously punished her and then so effectively silenced her when it was done. It wasn’t just the threats; they actually made her feel ashamed, when all she had been was human and trusting.
This is just plain nuttery, folks. How does a intelligent, right-thinking person delude themselves into buying into the Church? What’s at play here, and why would anyone willingly subject themselves to a higher power conjured in sci-fi? It’s wackery.