Why You Shouldn’t Praise Tom Cruise for Berating His Crew Over COVID
The Hollywood superstar—and leading Scientologist—was merely punching down and putting on a show.
Tom Cruise’s rant to underlings on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 about supposed COVID-19 violations received widespread praise on social media, with numerous #resistance figures commending the Hollywood megastar for taking virus precautions seriously.
But The Sun, which published the audio Tuesday of Cruise after he “flew into a rage” upon allegedly spotting a pair of crew members chatting close to each other by a monitor, only released a snippet devoid of context. We have yet to hear from a single crew member about what really sparked the furious dressing-down.
“We are the gold standard,” he screams on the audio. “They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us. Because they believe in us and what we’re doing. I’m on the phone with every fucking studio at night, insurance companies, producers and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherfuckers. I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!”
Cruise, 58, appears to be painting himself as a film-industry savior, cursing and raving for nearly three minutes at his subordinates, and threatening their jobs.
“Am I clear? Do you understand what I want? Do you understand the responsibility that I have? Because I will deal with your reason, and if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired,” Cruise shrieks. “That’s it. That is it. I trust you guys to be here.”
First, it’s never acceptable behavior to curse out and threaten your subordinates. In a work environment, there are better ways to get your point across than going on a power trip and publicly embarrassing a couple of people far below you in the pecking order.
Second, it’s odd to position Cruise as some COVID crusader when in late August, as the pandemic raged across the U.K., he made a very public display of seeing Tenet in a London movie theater—filming himself for a video he posted to his social media accounts—as a way of encouraging his millions of followers to return to the cinema, against the advice of infectious disease experts.
And third is the Scientology of it all.
Cruise is a top-ranking Scientologist. His organization has allegedly implemented forced abortions and widespread abuses, both corporal and psychological. He is reportedly estranged from his young daughter, Suri, for leaving the so-called cult with her mother, Katie Holmes, and was once implicated in a wiretapping conspiracy involving his then-wife, Nicole Kidman. When I heard the audio of Cruise, I was immediately reminded of a conversation I had with Scientology whistleblower Leah Remini, who told me that Cruise was used by the church’s leader David Miscavige to keep lower-ranking Scientologists in their place.
“Where Tom is concerned, that is very different,” Remini told me. “He is very aware of the abuses that go on in Scientology. He’s been part of it.”
Remini maintained that as perhaps the world’s No. 2 Scientologist, Cruise has intimate knowledge of the Church of Scientology’s internal operations—including its alleged penchant for physical punishment. Remini even alleges that Cruise personally gave a beat-down to a high-ranking member of the church on Miscavige’s orders.
“He’s best friends with David Miscavige, so he’s privy to the punishments that David Miscavige doles out, and I’ve been told by a senior executive of Scientology, who was there, that David Miscavige constantly threatened the staff at Gold Base [Scientology’s international headquarters] with bringing Tom Cruise to Gold Base to kick their fucking asses,” said Remini.
Parts of Cruise’s rant—“I will deal with your reason, and if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired”—are eerily reminiscent of Scientology-speak, which is guided by what’s known as the three pillars of logic. Mike Rinder, a former high-ranking Scientology exec turned whistleblower, noted how Cruise sounds an awful lot like Miscavige in the audio.
“This abusive side of T.C. is not often seen. He learned from his buddy David Miscavige. Sounds just like him—same language, same inflection, same, ‘I have the world on my shoulders and you are f**cking me over’ routine,” he wrote. “He probably leaked this thinking it makes him sound tough.”
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard was also obsessed with the idea of, as he put it, “making good works well known.”
“It is a fatal error to think good works speak for themselves. They do not. They must be publicized. They must be broadly promoted and made known,” reads The Scientology Handbook, adding, “Anyone that thinks the media will help them is crazy, because the media is working for the people who have the money and power and who intend to destroy the reputation of the person who is being attacked by the black propaganda campaign.”
On March 24, top Scientology reporter Tony Ortega published a March 13 letter from Miscavige branding COVID “the current hysteria” and “planetary bullbait.” The following week, The Tampa Bay Times alleged that the Church of Scientology’s militant wing, Sea Org, was not taking COVID seriously and was transporting its adherents around its home base of Clearwater, Florida, in packed buses. (The church denied this.) Sensing a PR disaster, the Church of Scientology went all in on taking COVID seriously—allegedly employing an “ozone water system” and “Decon7,” a high-priced cleaning agent, to combat the virus, as well as sending teams of Scientologists in hazmat suits out to clean people’s offices.
“Their big thing is ‘good works,’ or trying to make a show that Scientology helps society,” Ortega told me. “The thing they came up with is they decided they have these chemicals that are the best at disinfecting the environment, and they’ve created these yellow-jacketed sanitation teams who go door-to-door offering to sanitize offices. They’re trying to turn it into some sort of public relations campaign.”
Their other “big thing” is threats. When I reached out to the Church of Scientology about their COVID practices, they accused The Daily Beast of having a “perverted agenda,” saying, “If you actually look at what we have done, you will wish The Daily Beast had the protocols our Church leader put in our Churches. We are working to help others get through this—and that even includes you.”