How Scientology Attracts Celebrities

Davis: To my knowledge, no. ...And as far as evidence of the e-meter and its efficacy, the evidence of that is in those Scientologists who have used it to great benefit. And as far as the Church of Scientology is concerned, it's the only evidence that matters, is the people and the results.

From the start, L. Ron Hubbard set out to attract celebrities, believing high profile public figures would be its most effective evangelists.

Nightline: Can you recall any celebrities who came into the Centre when you were there?

Scobee: I met John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie, Edgar Winter, Isaac Hayes, uh, Tom Cruise.

After Hubbard died in 1986, David Miscavige became the Church's leader -- and soon embraced Tom Cruise with great fervor.

Tom Cruise: Church's Most Celebrated New Member

Nightline: But I guess it ... it's helpful, isn't it, if ... uh, you're an organization with an individual as well known, as ...famous, as successful as Tom Cruise.

Davis: Sure.

Nightline: He's a...

Davis: Of course.

Nightline: He's a good advocate?

Davis: Oh, look ... I think anybody who would complain about having successful, well known, happy ... uh, people ...

Nightline: John Travolta, Kristie Ally.

Davis: ...of...of... their group, I'd think you'd be crazy to (laughs) complain about that.

Bruce Hines says he helped prepare for the arrival of the Church's most celebrated new member, who had decided to fully commit to Scientology by staying at the International Base in California for a few months of services.

"I was part of the preparations where David Miscavige brought Tom Cruise to the International Headquarters," Hines said.

And Hines says nothing was to be spared. "...And he had the very best auditors and the very best people looking after him," said Hines. "...Just the ... the best treatment that anyone could possibly get, so that he got a favorable impression of Scientology."

Church's Treatment of Celebrities

Marty Rathbun left the Church in 2004 after 27 years. He was a top lieutenant to David Miscavige.

Nightline: Did you audit Tom Cruise?

Rathbun: Yeah, extensively...

Nightline: They were given what, a celebrity environment?

Rathbun: A cel--

Nightline: Pampering?

Rathbun: You got it. You got it.

Nightline: And who was doing that?

Rathbun: Miscavige, man. I mean, that was his thing. It's all about image. ...He's flying across the country in Tom Cruise's jet. ...It's all about living the high life and being a powerful guy who is looked up to by the rich and famous.

Tommy Davis said the Church does not indulge or pamper celebrities.

In recent years, Tom Cruise has been more confident about publicly asserting Scientology principles -- particularly its rejection of psychiatric medicine.

"Here's the problem," Cruise told host Matt Lauer in a "Today" show appearance. "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do.

"Matt. Matt, Matt, you don't even-- you're glib. You don't even know what Ritalin is."

Rathbun says the Tom Cruise he now sees on TV is not the Tom Cruise he once knew.

Rathbun: I watch him on Matt Lauer. And I go, "That ain't Tom Cruise. That's David Miscavige. That's not the Tom Cruise I knew two years ago."

Nightline: You're referring to the moment when he attacked Brooke Shields for suffering post-natal depression and--

Rathbun: Attacked Matt Lauer, I mean, he's talking--

Nightline: For not understanding--

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