Tom Cruise Lured Back Into Scientology By Man The Church Now Says Was "Demoted" And A "Lunatic"
An indication of how much this series is hitting Scientology to the bone: rare and vehement denunciations by Miscavige himself, and by his spokesman, the clearly in-over-his-head Tommy Davis, son of actress Anne Archer.
The St. Pete Times series packs a punch because it's based on interviews with two of the formerly most high-ranking figures in the church: Marty Rathbun, once considered the best "auditor" in the Hubbard technology game, and Mike Rinder, once the church's top spokesman (and Davis's predecessor).
Predictably, Scientology is hitting back by trying to smear the two of them. If they were once the most trusted, most powerful members of the church, now suddenly they are lunatic losers who can't be trusted.
Jason Beghe, the actor we have written about since his stunning defection from Scientology a year ago, phoned us this morning to help put in context what the church is claiming about Rathbun in particular.
The Times reporters, for example, were told by church officials that Rathbun had been "demoted" in 2003 for "masquerading as an ethics officer," whatever that means. Davis, meanwhile, calls Rathbun a "lunatic."
Beghe asks: if Rathbun was "demoted" and a lunatic, why did Miscavige give Rathbun one of the most important tasks in Scientology's recent history - luring Tom Cruise back into the church?
"Tom had essentially disconnected from the church for the previous ten years. Most people don't know that," Beghe says. "So if Marty was a lunatic, why would Miscavige give him the job to bring Tom back in, the most important job in the church at that time?"
Beghe says this occurred about four years ago, which would be well after Rathbun's supposed "demotion."
Beghe says that he and Cruise were working with Rathbun at the same time at the Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles. "While I was in session with Marty, Tom was in the waiting room. And vice versa."
"While Marty was auditing Tom, I was the other pre-clear being audited by Marty, who was considered the best auditor on the planet. Do you think Miscavige would send a lunatic to get his top prospect back in the fold?"
"Tommy Davis at that point was an up-and-comer. He was also Tom Cruise's handler," Beghe says. "I spent hours and hours with Tommy Davis and Marty Rathbun together. And I can tell you something, I swear to God. That kid's voice went up an octave when he was around Marty. He fawned on him like Marty was a demigod. He idolized him. Marty was the epitome of what a Sea Org member was supposed to be. And now they're making out that he was demoted? It's bullshit."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.