The Church of Scientology is so desperate to keep star member Tom Cruise happy that it’s willing to go to almost any length to do so — including spending massive amounts of money and even helping to break up his marriage.
In his new book “A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology,” former church bigwig Mike Rinder — who left Scientology in 2007, at age 52, after having been involved with the church since he was a child — writes that Cruise became infatuated with his co-star Nicole Kidman while filming the 1990 car-racing movie “Days of Thunder.”
But there was a big problem: He was still married to first wife Mimi Rogers, the actress who had introduced him to Scientology.
So, Rinder writes, the church went on a mission to get Rogers out of the picture and make Cruise’s dream of being with Kidman a reality.
According to the book, church leader David Miscavige “had been invited to Daytona, to watch the filming. He and his trusted lieutenant Greg Wilhere, now assigned as Cruise’s personal auditor, hung out with Cruise at the Speedway, went skydiving with him, and most importantly helped facilitate Cruise’s desire to make Nicole his new wife.
“Miscavige no doubt saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate his ability to make Tom’s wishes come true.”
Rinder claims that Wilhere — who, as an auditor, reportedly would have walked Cruise through past events to help him “clear” any negativity — was “assigned to get Mimi to agree to a divorce so Tom could marry Nicole,” noting that this was “highly unusual and would never have happened with a normal Scientologist.”
“Utterly ludicrous,” a spokesperson for the church said of the claim. “Mike Rinder is an inveterate liar who seeks to profit from his dishonesty. He supports himself by orchestrating the harassment of his former Church and its leader through false police reports, incendiary propaganda and fraudulent media stories.”
“Top Gun” star Cruise divorced Rogers in February 1990 and wed Kidman on Christmas Eve of the same year at his Aspen, Colo., home. Miscavige was the best man at the nuptials; the onetime personal chef of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, who had passed away in 1986, was also flown in to cook for the newlyweds.
“It was indicative of how far Miscavige was willing to go to ally Cruise,” Rinder writes.
And it didn’t stop there. Miscavige also assigned Sea Org. to help the Hollywood stars. A religious order within the church, Sea Org. requires members to sign a billion-year pledge of service, according to Scientology’s web site.
“Sea Organization members work long hours and live communally with housing, meals, uniforms, medical and dental care, transport and all expenses associated with their duties provided by the Church,” the web site states.
Rinder writes that, “Sea Org. members were sent to help set up the house [in Aspen]. This became a standard pattern with Cruise. Miscavige would dispatch Sea Org. members to do various tasks to ‘help Tom,'” adding that the “tasks” were numerous.
They “did a great deal of work installing high-end audio/visual equipment for Cruise’s houses in Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills and Telluride, as well as his Santa Monica plane hangar,” he writes. Sea Org. members also customized cars, limos, motorcycles and even an RV for Cruise.
Rinder claims that all of Cruise’s household and office staff were personally selected by Miscavige’s wife, Shelly — and they reported back to her on the star’s every move.
“Tom Cruise most certainly has his own staff,” the Scientology spokesperson told Page Six. “And to say the Church worked on his vehicles is another blatant invention.”
At age 17, instead of attending university, Rinder signed a “billion-year Sea Org.” contract that, he writes, placed him in accommodations with “prison-like” conditions on a ship: Cramped rooms stacked with people, no laundry facilities other than buckets to wash clothes in salt water, and 30-second showers.
“Our battle was to save all of mankind,” he writes, “so what did it really matter if we had no air-conditioning, ate only rice and beans, and slept four hours a night for weeks on end?”