Scientology Doc ‘Going Clear’ Claims the Church Split Up Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
Alex Gibney’s highly anticipated documentary Going Clear, which premiered at Sundance, makes some shocking claims about Scientology A-lister Tom Cruise.
Alex Gibney’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is arguably the most hotly anticipated film premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
HBO Documentary Films, which is releasing the eye-opening documentary on the Church of Scientology later this year, hired a team of 160 lawyers to look over the movie, and the church, despite not having seen it, took out a recent ad in The New York Times accusing Gibney’s film of being “a Rolling Stone/UVA redux.”
I just attended the first screening of Going Clear, which is based on the book of the same name by Lawrence Wright, and can report that it is a scathing exposé on Scientology and makes some startling accusations about its most famous member, Tom Cruise.
The film alleges that the Church of Scientology used a number of intimidation tactics to force Cruise to split from Nicole Kidman.
According to the testimony of Marty Rathbun, formerly the second-highest ranking official in the Church of Scientology who left in 2004, Scientology head 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.”
Gibney’s film claims that Kidman, who was raised Catholic, convinced Cruise to distance himself from the Church of Scientology between 1992 and 2001, and that 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 in the film that the Church of Scientology then waged an aggressive campaign 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.
Furthermore, Rathbun says the Church of Scientology “re-educated” Cruise’s adopted children with Kidman, Connor and Isabella, into turning against their mother so that Cruise could retain custody.
Cruise divorced Kidman in 2001 and following the split became more active in the Church of Scientology, receiving the church’s Freedom Medal of Valor in 2004 and becoming Scientology’s de facto Hollywood spokesman.
Going Clear also claims that the Church of Scientology takes great pains to accommodate Cruise, including installing all the audiovisual equipment in his home, purchasing him limousines and airplanes, and once even having its members design a meadow for Cruise and Kidman to run through—an alleged fantasy of Cruise’s.
Cruise and Kidman, the film notes in a card before the film’s final credits, both refused to be interviewed for Gibney’s movie.