The poor and famous Hollywood Scientologists

by peterjukes

AFTER HIS WEDDING TO NICOLE KIDMAN, TOM CRUISE was the guest of honor at a dinner party given by the powerful Creative Artists Agency at the trendy DC3 Restaurant, overlooking the Santa Monica Airport. Cruise sat at a table with CAA kingpin Michael Ovitz, often called the most powerful man in Hollywood. Right next to them sat David Miscavige, often called the most powerful man in the Church of Scientology, the self-help religion that promises “auditing” will “clear” its followers of the fears and traumas blocking them from total success–at a typical cost of $300 to $400 an hour. Nearby were two full tables of Scientologists. According to one of the guests, the Scientologists around Cruise were “like they always are–very direct, very attentive, very protective–hovering over Tom. And shaking a lot of hands.”Across town, a former Scientologist named Nan Herst Bowers was agonizing over a letter shed recently received from her 23-year-old son, Todd. “Dear Mom,” he wrote, “I am sending you this letter to let you know that I have to disconnect from you … I cant see you, the babies, or Jim until this is all over and handled.”A Hollywood publicist, Bowers had been a Scientologist for twenty years, had been married to a Scientologist, and had raised three sons in the organization. Although she had been drifting away for years, she was still officially a member when an article appeared in the Star about Cruises involvement with Scientology. Almost immediately, the tabloid began getting strange calls. The callers “started harassing me to find out who my source was,” says Janet Charlton, the reporter who broke the story. “People in the Tarrytown, New York office, the reporter who worked with me, the front office all got fake calls, trying to find out my source, to get a phone number.” When that didnt work, Charlton says, she got a startling call from the phone company. “They told me there were people calling from different places, from New York and the West Coast, trying to get copies of my phone bill, pretending to be me. Then someone called me pretending to be a lawyer from my own magazine.”Shortly afterward, Bowers says, she also got a strange call–from a man claiming to work for the Star. “He said his name was Alan Goldman and he was with the GP Group, which had recently bought the Star and the National Enquirer. He said he had talked to Janet Charlton, and she said I was her source for the Tom Cruise story, and if it wasnt true, she would be fired.”Bowers insists she wasnt a source for the Cruise story. But Charlton is a close friend. So, Bowers says, under pressure from “Goldman,” she finally made the statement that tore apart her family. “I lied for Janet,” says Bowers. “He said, Did you get paid for it? and I named a figure I thought was right.”It turned out that “Alan Goldman” was lying. In fact, as Scientology officials readily admit, the caller was a private detective working for Scientology attorneys. Three days later, Bowers says, a Scientology official named Philip Jepsen paid her a visit. “He comes with two people in uniforms–very intimidating–and he asks me about Tom Cruise,” Bowers recalls. “It became obvious he knew everything I had told Goldman. He grilled me for two hours. At the end, he handed me a Declare.”

via The poor and famous Hollywood Scientologists.

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