Put on your tin-foil helmets, kids. It's more from the way-out, wacky world that is Tom Cruise. And if it's about Tom Cruise, then you know L.Ron Hubbard's xenu-influenced world of Scientology is somehow involved.
This book isn't exactly all about Tom Cruise, but makes a hell of a lead-in. You see, this book, Blown For Good-Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology, is by Mark Headley, trained by Tom Cruise.
From villagevoice.com: "In 1990, not long after he[Headley] was assigned to the sprawling Scientology compound at Gilman Hot Springs, near Hemet, California, Headley was told that he would be excused from his normal duties so that Tom Cruise -- fresh off his most recent success, the movie Days of Thunder -- could practice auditing on him."
"You do a lot of things with a book and a bottle," Headley says. "It's known as the book-and-bottle routine." Cruise, he says, would instruct Headley to speak to a book, telling it to stand up, or to sit down, or otherwise to move somewhere.
"You do the same with the bottle. You talk to it. You do it with an ashtray too," he says. "You tell the ashtray, 'Sit in that chair.' Then you actually go over and put the ashtray on the chair. Then you tell the ashtray, 'Thank you.' Then you do the same thing with the bottle, and the book. And you do this for hours and hours."
There's much more to this than the above paragraphs, so I recommend going over to the village voice and reading the complete four page review.
That Tom Cruise Video
Mark fills us in on the behind the scenes story of that way-out-there Tom Cruise Scientology video that was leaked to the internet in 2008.
As for that Medal of Valor event, Headley provides some fascinating background on the notorious 9-minute video which was created for it featuring Tom Cruise talking about his powers as a Scientologist. The video was leaked to the Internet in January, 2008 and Scientology's attempt to suppress it gave rise to the Anonymous movement, which has been such a thorn in the church's side ever since.
Headley was present as plans were made for the Cruise celebration video. The first version featured various Scientology celebrities talking about how much they loved Cruise. It was a "puff piece" and Miscavige hated it, Headley writes.
"The next batch of interviews done was of non-Scientologists who knew Tom. Everyone from Steven Spielberg to Will Smith was interviewed...Now we had all of these people talking about how Tom Cruise was a really nice guy. Being a nice guy does not get you an IAS Freedom Medal award." Miscavige hated this version too, and there were only a few weeks left before the event.
"David Miscavige ended up dictating the entire Tom Cruise video project. Dave's idea was that no one could talk about Tom Cruise better than Tom Cruise himself."
Headley says that everything -- from the segments used, to how they were arranged, to the choice of the music, and the smallest details of the edit -- were all the result of Miscavige's obsessive tinkering.
"Dave Miscavige later said that his Tom Cruise video was one of the most important videos that had ever been produced. He had no idea how true that was," Headley writes, referring to the flood of negative publicity the church has endured since the video was leaked last year.
Yep, This Is The One...