Leah Remini has been doing promotion for months now for her book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, and her bold candor has revealed a slew of shocking insider knowledge about these worlds that seem totally foreign to most.
The book was finally released this week, and Leah held nothing back when it came to speaking her mind on Scientology, industry pressures, and, most interestingly, Tom Cruise.
After reading the entire thing, here are the tidbits and details that I found too shocking or outrageous to ignore.
1. Tom Cruise likes to play hide and seek and invites other celebrities over to participate
Once Leah began getting closer to Tom, he would invite her over to occasions that she simply would not be allowed to refuse. One such time, she arrived with some fellow Scientologists and some of Tom's non-Scientology friends like Jada Pinkett-Smith, and everyone had to participate in a playground game.
[He] announced he wanted to play hide-and-seek. At first I thought he was joking, but no, he literally wanted to play hide-and-seek with a bunch of grown-ups in what was probably close to a 7,000-square-foot house on almost three full acres of secluded land.
From the book's account, Tom seems like a kid who never gets disciplined.
2. Scientology doesn't actually have a strong hold on Hollywood
Scientology has become near-synonymous with the kooky ways of celebrities, but that's exactly what the Church wanted. In reality, there are actually few working Scientologists who really hold power in the industry.
Many people were under the same impression that there are tons Scientologists in the film and television business and that we all helped each other out. The real truth is that while the church would like you to believe it wields a tremendous amount of influence in Hollywood, that is simply not the case. Throughout my career I knew of one minor casting director who was a Scientologist, but other than that, no real movers and shakers.
In fact, she thinks identifying as a Scientologist could have been detrimental to her career.
3. She gave $5 million to the church
Every Scientologist, no matter their socioeconomic standing, must spend money to take the necessary classes to ascend the "Bridge" to a higher state of human achievement. In an effort to get to "clear" (the salvation free from unwanted emotions or traumas) and beyond, it's common to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. For celebrities, they're encouraged to pay even more.
During my thirty-five plus years in Scientology I spent close to $2 million for services and training, and donated roughly $3 million to church causes.
4. Throwing a child overboard is considered a reasonable punishment
When Leah signed a billion-year contract to pledge her spirit to L. Ron Hubbard, she quickly realized that kids are not allowed to be kids in Scientology. When she was mouthing off one day, one of the higher-ups took her out on a boat and chucked her overboard, when she wasn't even a teenager yet.
Kids are not encouraged to go to school, but instead to study the policies of Scientology.
[I]n Scientology, minors are considered spiritual beings and not children in need of protection and guidance.
5. Every time she met with Tom Cruise, she was supervised by high-ranking Scientologists
These were just get-togethers and dinners at his house, but Tommy Davis and Jessica Feshbach were always there (without much reason to be). Leah theorizes that it's "to make sure nothing upset Tom, and if it did, to immediately report it to the Church, specifically to [Chairman of the Board] David Miscavige."
6. All those rumors about Scientology finding Tom Cruise a wife were true
After Tom Cruise's relationship with Penelope Cruz, the executives at the Church of Scientology immediately set to work to find the celebrity a new girlfriend. They chose a young Scientologist named Nazanin Boniadi, convinced her to leave her boyfriend of five years, and engineered a date with Tom under the guise of a special church assignment.
When Tom tired of Nazanin, he had a Scientology official tell her to pack her bags and head to the church's Celebrity Center, where she was told she had become a robot and the relationship was over. Though they molded her into Tom's perfect woman and isolated her from all the important people in her life, they blamed her for Tom's sudden unhappiness and told her that she had to take immediate intensive classes (at her expense). They then went to her house and her mother's house to burn all evidence of the relationship, and they still deny it happened to this day.
7. Scientology couples counseling sounds like actual Hell
Leah recommended her eventual husband go to couple's counseling with his then-wife, and the way she describes the process makes it sounds like the absolute worst experience on Earth.
The church teaches that a marriage can't survive if one partner has any unknown transgressions against the other person. You need to reveal in excruciatingly specific detail what it is you've done wrong. Scientology doesn't factor in how much this kind of truth can break a husband's or wife's heart.
You have to tell the other person anything in your life you've ever done wrong, all while another person looks on, prodding you toward a device that indicates when you're not being totally truthful.
8. Something as small as cookie dough can set Tom Cruise over the edge
In one of the most unsettling passages of the book, Tom Cruise decides he wants to bake cookies when Leah and friends are at his house. Everyone noticed a prepackaged log of cookie dough waiting for him in the kitchen except for Tom, and he threw a fit as he rifled through cabinets looking for cookie dough.
As he berated his assistant, no one felt comfortable telling him that what he was looking for was literally right in front of him, so he continued his rampage while his assistant stood there helpless. As tensions rise, Leah says he invoked L. Ron Hubbard:
Still not noticing the log of pre-made dough on the counter, Tom raised his hand above his head. "LRH is here," he said, then lowered his hand to his chin and said, "And Dave [Miscavige] and I are here." Then, with his hand down at his waist, he said, "And you are here."
Finally, Leah pointed out the cookie dough as if she had just seen it, and he never apologized to anyone.
9. Rumor has it that Tom Cruise doesn't like Kirstie Alley and John Travolta
Remini claims that they are "noticeably absent" from Tom's specially selected Scientology entourage. When Remini was approved for it, the members included celebrity Scientologists Sky Dayton, Marisol Nichols, Ethan Suplee, and Jenna and Bodhi Elfman.
Though all celebrities get preferential treatment in Scientology, Tom Cruise is considered the most important among them (and if this list so far is any indication, he pretty much gets to do whatever he wants).
10. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's kids hate their mom thanks to Scientology
Leah came across Tom and Nicole Kidman's kids, Bella and Connor Cruise, at Tom's wedding to Katie Holmes, and she ended up taking a shuttle back to the hotel with them. When she asked about their mom, she received a truly disheartening response:
"Hey guys. How's your mom? Do you see her a lot?" I asked.
"Not if I have a choice," Bella said. "Our mom is a fucking SP."
Shocked, Leah tried to defend Nicole against that label, but Bella stood firm while Connor just looked out the window. A Suppressive Person (SP) is considered someone antagonistic to Scientology and its tenets, and all members of the church must disconnect from them to stay on the right side of policy. That means that when Tom and Nicole got divorced, she lost her entire family as the church told the kids they could never speak to their mother again.
11. Leah found Suri wailing on the floor of the bathroom at Tom and Katie's wedding
According to her account, a 7-month-old Suri had been crying for an extended period of time, and no one seemed to be doing anything about it. She tracked down the baby and saw the moment that shocked me the most from the entire book:
When I opened the door, I found three women, including Tom's sister and his assistant, standing over the baby, who was lying on the tile floor. I didn't know if they were changing her diaper or what, but the three women were looking at her like they though she was L. Ron Hubbard incarnate. Rather than talking to her in a soothing voice, they kept saying, "Suri! Suri!" in a tone that sounded like they were telling an adult to get their shit together.
Leah rushed to heat up a bottle to help quell the crying, but when she got back, this trio still hadn't picked up the poor baby! Once Suri was finally happily feeding on her bottle, Tom's sister dismissed Leah as if she was no longer needed.
Trust me when I say that this book is full of way more incredibly revealing moments than the ones on this list, and Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology is well worth the read. If you're looking for a behind-the-curtain look at these two unknowable worlds, you've got to check it out.
(Source: Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology)