Tom Cruise's obsession with Scientology has come to define the actor. There's no denying that he has some serious skill, and he has proved this with almost every single one of his films. But off camera, he is most famous for his involvement with the bizarre religion of Scientology. His link with this religion all started with his friendship with the current leader of the Scientology, David Miscavige. This mysterious, strange man seemed intent on creating a bond with Tom Cruise, to the point where he would routinely spend millions of dollars on gifts for the actor or on efforts to impress him.
These expensive gifts and gestures were all designed to cater to Cruise's personality, and in doing so, draw him into the religion of Scientology. Obviously, David Miscavige is very good at giving people what they want because it wasn't long before Cruise was convinced to join this shady organization. Fast forward to today, and Cruise is still being showered with gifts from Miscavige's church of Scientology. He is without a doubt the most important member of the religion, and Miscavige knows it. Many people have remarked that Tom Cruise has the power to completely expose the truth of Scientology if he wanted to. He has the greatest chance of undermining it, but if he continues to receive such amazing gifts, it's clear that he will remain a happy member of the Church...
15 He Got Him Luxurious Villas In "Gold Base"
Tom Cruise's relationship with David Miscavige all began when the actor was invited to check out what is known as "Gold Base." This small town in California is the center of Scientology, and it houses all of the religion's most important people. The word "Gold Base" is a bit of a misnomer, actually since all of the buildings are painted white and blue. There are some seriously luxurious villas for high-ranking Scientologists to relax and ponder life.
After Tom Cruise became more and more interested in the religion, David Miscavige offered one of the religion's most prized gifts — a luxurious villa at Gold Base. Previously, these villas were used for VIP visitors to the one and only L. Ron Hubbard, the creator of Scientology. To be offered one of these villas was a real honor since they were totally renovated to cater to Tom Cruise and his movie star tastes.
14 He Bought Tom The Finest Cuban Cigars
After their first few meetings, Tom Cruise and David Miscavige really started to hit it off. They became the closest of friends, doing pretty much everything together, as witnesses would later state. They seemed to be engaged in constant bouts of friendly macho competition, constantly trying to "one-up" each other with activities like skydiving, motorbiking, and even racing through L.A. in sportscars.
To feed into this macho persona that David Miscavige was trying to create, presumably in an effort to impress Cruise, the religious leader indulged in a new hobby — cigar smoking. The finest Cuban cigars were brought in specifically for Cruise and Miscavige, and the two men bonded while puffing on these luxurious cigars. Interestingly, an ex-member of Scientology remembers Miscavige admitting that he didn't even like smoking cigars.
13 He Showers Him With Frequent Trips To Vegas
After a few years of friendship, it was clear that Miscavige and Cruise were destined to be a big part of each other's lives going forward. They started to do more and more things together, such as even going on trips together all over the world. But keeping in tune with the macho "bigshot" self-image both men seemed to have, one of their favorite places to visit is Las Vegas.
While it may seem odd that two strongly religious men would enjoy visiting the city of sin so frequently, the two seemed to really enjoy themselves. And their vice seemed not to be one of the flesh but rather a much more materialistic weakness. They reportedly were big into gambling, to the point where they would come home with thousands of dollars worth of winnings almost routinely.
12 He Got Tom A Meadow Full Of Flowers To Woo Nicole Kidman
If you've followed the strange and interesting story of Tom Cruise's involvement in Scientology, you'll know that a huge part of that story has to do with Cruise's many wives and girlfriends. Back in the 1990's, when Cruise was just beginning to venture into the world of Scientology, he was in love with Nicole Kidman. David Miscavige knew that if he wanted to win over Tom Cruise, he would have to win over Nicole Kidman as well.
One of Miscavige's efforts in this respect was strange, to say the least. After hearing that Tom Cruise had a dream about running through a meadow full of flowers with Nicole Kidman, Miscavige vowed to recreate that meadow full of flowers right there in Gold Base, where both Kidman and Cruise would be living at the time. Obviously, Kidman broke up with Cruise, and the meadow full of flowers is now completely empty.
11 Tom Was Given L. Ron Hubbard's Mansion In England
L. Ron Hubbard is, without a doubt, the most influential member of Scientology. Scientologist worship this man to the same degree as Christians worship Jesus, or Jews venerate Moses. He is the most important figure in their faith. He started out as a science-fiction writer and eventually created his very own religion, with himself at the center, of course.
And for Scientologists today, the most valued things are those which have been touched or previously owned by L. Ron Hubbard. The highest-ranking Scientologists are often honored with gifts that once belonged to their prophet. But Tom Cruise was given an incredible honor when he was given L. Ron Hubbard's mansion in England, the very same house he stayed in when he was writing his many books and Scientology papers. Tom Cruise stays here whenever he is filming movies in the U.K.
10 He Allegedly Provided Cruise With A Girlfriend
Cruise's quest for love hasn't always been a smooth one, and he's been linked with many women, all ending in tragically failed relationships. Right now, the actor is single, although how long will that last? There are all sorts of conspiracy theories about his past relationships, but perhaps the most interesting are those that suggest that his marriages, and some of his girlfriends, are actually completely arranged.
One rumor about David Miscavige plays into these allegations. As the story goes, David Miscavige heard Tom Cruise complaining that he wanted a girlfriend and vowed to do something about it. So he found another Scientologist, a young woman named Nazanin Boniadi. According to the rumors, Miscavige personally chose her to become Cruise's girlfriend, and even tried to alter her appearance so it would appeal more to Cruise's tastes.
9 David Bought Tom Custom Motorcycles
David Miscavige and Tom Cruise share many passions, and they have much in common. But one thing that really brings these two men together is their love for motorbikes. He actually provided Tom Cruise and Kidman with their own motorbikes to get around Gold Base while they were living there, but that wasn't quite enough to impress Cruise, at least in Miscavige's mind.
Miscavige ordered some lower-ranking Scientologists to custom build incredibly beautiful motorbikes for Cruise. Miscavige then presented the motorbikes to the actor as a personal gift. Ex-Scientologists allege that they worked long hours, personally customizing the bikes and painting them in a deep crimson for Cruise, all while being paid a measly fifty dollars a week.
8 Tom Received A Custom Ford Excursion
Another prized gift that was presented to Tom Cruise from David Miscavige was a stunning custom Ford Excursion. Every actor needs a sick ride, but sometimes it's better to have more of a luxury vehicle than a sports car or something flashy, which is exactly what this car is all about. It's basically a limousine but in the guise of an All-American SUV that is totally Tom Cruise's style.
This is yet another example of low-ranking Scientologists allegedly being forced to create gifts for Tom Cruise through what basically amounts to slave labor. Once again, rumors have started to come out from ex-Scientologists who claim that they customized this car by hand while being paid almost nothing. The interior is completely redone, and the detailing is made from ultra-expensive Eucalyptus burl.
7 Tom Was Given His Own Aircraft Hangar
If you know anything about Tom Cruise, you know that he has a love of flying. It's a hobby he picked up when he first started to get famous, presumably after training for the role of Top Gun, in which he played a U.S. Navy fighter pilot. It's not a cheap hobby, and that's exactly why flying airplanes is a pastime reserved almost exclusively for the rich and famous. Over the years, Cruise has amassed an impressive collection of airplanes.
But where exactly does he put all those airplanes? Well, that's where David Miscavige came in. He commissioned his Scientology underlings (allegedly) to construct an impressive aircraft hangars for Cruise to put all of his toys in. The hangar is decked out with huge banners, commemorating some of Cruise's most famous past films. Once again, Scientology members who have left the church claim that they were forced to work on these tough projects for almost no pay.
6 He Gave Tom A Special Bus
Anyone in the film business knows that you can tell how famous someone is from the size of their trailer. Some actors and actresses are famous for having massive buses and trailers that are bigger than most people's houses. Some stars even specify in their movie contract that they must have a trailer of a certain size. And Cruise, being the huge star that he is, is no exception when it comes to his obsession with luxurious trailers.
David Miscavige obviously knows Tom Cruise very well, because he gave him a gift that every film star would love— his very own custom "Silver Screen" bus. The bus was heavily customized and came with all sorts of luxuries. And once again, there were stories about Scientologists being forced to work long hours making it perfect for Tom Cruise. But it's worth pointing out that the lawyer representing the church of Scientology insisted that these many customized gifts given to Tom Cruise were all done by outside contractors.
5 Tom Got His Own Tennis Courts
Many amendments and changes have taken place in Gold Base following Tom Cruise's arrival, and we're not just talking about meadows of flowers and renovations. Back when Cruise was married to Nicole Kidman, the two shared a passion for tennis. Playing and watching tennis together was their way of bonding, and it was a hobby that they both loved. David Miscavige knew this, and he had tennis courts installed in Gold Base to impress Cruise.
Obviously, Tom Cruise is no longer with Nicole Kidman, but the two tennis courts are still there. Since then, they have been changed into basketball courts, but their original purpose and construction was for the sole purpose of winning over Tom Cruise. It is mind-blowing when you consider how much money and effort Miscavige dedicated to convincing Cruise to join the religion.
4 He Got Tom A Personal Cook
David Miscavige also recognized that a high-level celebrity like Tom Cruise must have very expensive tastes when it comes to food. When he visited Gold Base for the first few times, onlookers were amazed to see all kinds of expensive snacks and delicacies being brought in, just to impress Cruise. Ex-Scientologists have since noted that the average church member ate very plain, cheap food. It's obvious that Miscavige was giving Cruise special treatment when it came to food.
But that wasn't enough to impress Cruise, at least in the mind of Miscavige. He hired an award-winning chef to make food for Tom Cruise while he was staying at Gold Base. This chef, Sinar Parman, was also a member of the Church of Scientology, and as a result, he provided his services for what would be considered an unfair payment by most.
3 He Bought Him A Luxury Penthouse In Florida
Another stunning luxury that was given to Tom Cruise as a result of his association with the Church of Scientology was a stunning luxury penthouse in Florida. This penthouse was actually owned by the Church Of Scientology, specifically by two millionaire members of the church. But somehow this penthouse fell into the hands of Tom Cruise, who uses it whenever he's in town.
The penthouse comes with all kinds of amazing luxurious details and is worth millions of dollars. It comes with a beautiful rooftop pool, many floors, and stunning detail and workmanship. This is yet another gift that Miscavige gave to Tom Cruise, although this one came much later when Tom Cruise was already an established member of the church.
2 David Got Tom An Entire Room Dedicated To A Flight Simulator
While we're on the subject of Tom Cruise's luxurious penthouse in Florida, it's worth mentioning what's probably the most stunning detail of this piece of real estate. The penthouse also comes equipped with an entire room dedicated entirely to Tom Cruise's flight simulator, so the actor can practice flying when he's relaxing after a hard day on set.
These little details really show how well Miscavige knows Cruise. The two must have a very close friendship for Miscavige to anticipate every one of Cruise's desires like this. Each one of his gifts to the actor seems to perfectly compliment Cruise's personality. Either Miscavige really is good friends with Tom Cruise, or he just really knows how to cater to his desires.
1 He Gave Tom A "Medal Of Valor"
Ironically, the gift that Tom Cruise seems to have appreciated more than any other doesn't have a big price tag associated with it. A few years ago, David Miscavige presented Tom Cruise with a "Medal Of Valor." In the official Scientology newsletters, the medal is touted as the greatest honor a Scientologist can receive, and the greatest medal one Scientologist can give to another. The medal is given to actors and other celebrities in Scientology although, Tom Cruise is by far the most famous person to have ever received it.
You can tell by the look on Tom Cruise's face that he is genuinely honored and pleased to have received this medal. It's an interesting look into the mindset of Tom Cruise, but it's also a predictable outcome. After all, Tom Cruise is an actor, and he got to where he is today by craving recognition and praise. Being given a medal or an award is the ultimate sign of praise.
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, businessinsider.com