Once again, it’s Scientology o’clock. We’ve just been served some allegations that purport to shed light on the shady practices of the “church.” Former high-ranking officer Mike Rinder’s book A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology is newly in stores and is being mined for its most egregious described transgressions. Rinder, who does the Scientology: Fair Game podcast with fellow outspoken church defector Leah Remini, apparently pulls no punches in his account of the church’s intimidation/terrorization of its members. Page Six broke out the bombshells in a series of items summed up below:
- Rinder was assigned to help John Travolta navigate gay rumors and claims he saw the actor kiss a male masseur. “Much has been made of John’s sexuality and whatever the realities of his sexual orientation may be, I firmly believe he would be more open about it, were not for the stigma he feels due to his strong belief in Scientology,” writes Rinder.
- To woo Tom Cruise’s buddy David Beckham, whom the church wanted to recruit, it built a “professional-grade” soccer field at its San Jacinto, California, headquarters. Writes Rinder: “It was built for one purpose only: so Tom Cruise could woo his friend David to come to Gold [Base]. It never happened.”
- The church assigned an auditor to help get Tom Cruise out of his first marriage (with Mimi Rogers) and into his second (with Nicole Kidman). Rinder says lieutenant Greg Wilhere was “assigned to get Mimi to agree to a divorce so Tom could marry Nicole.”
- The filming of Eyes Wide Shut pulled Cruise away from the church, so Scientology leader David Miscavige sent an exec to the UK, where Shut filmed, to audit Cruise. This, Rinder says, drew Cruise back in and created a rift between him and Kidman, whom the church viewed as a threat. Oh, and they spied on her, including by tapping her phone.
Naturally, the church denies these allegations. A Scientology spokesperson told Page Six: “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.”
I can’t stop watching Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher barely keep their respective breath while discussing their 2011 fuck-buddies movie No Strings Attached as they run on treadmills.
- Hannah Gadsby has signed a new deal with Netflix. Last year, during the raging controversy around Dave Chappelle’s transphobic work for the streamer, Gadsby wrote in a note to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, “Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.” Guess they’ve since been unfucked! [Deadline]
- Nicki Minaj is complaining about being disenfranchised again. [Billboard]
- Hailey Bieber is set to address the perception that she “stole” Justin Bieber from Selena Gomez on a podcast. [Instagram]
- Kyle McLachlan didn’t know what EDM was before reading about it in the Confess, Fletch script. So, “I started listening to EDM and I don’t even remember the name of the bands, but I was all over the place.” Bands? He still doesn’t know what it is. [Screenrant]
- Describing financial and personal difficulties, Santigold has pulled out of her upcoming tour. [Stereogum]