First things first, let's just get this out of the way. Tom Cruise has a tooth directly in the center of his face. Once you notice, you won't be able to un-see it. Apparently, his teeth were so terrible as a kid that he wasn't comfortable even smiling in his early film roles until he got his teeth fixed (the dentists did what they could).
There are probably some more fairly endearing, and maybe even heart-warming, Tom Cruise secrets or anecdotes out there, but frankly, the kid we all knew and loved from Top Gun, Risky Business and Days of Thunder is long gone. Upon Tom's introduction to Scientology in the early 90s via his first wife Mimi Rogers, Tom went for the then-burgeoning pseudo-religion/cult hook line and sinker and has now achieved wealth and status beyond what even he probably thought possible at the start of his insanely successful acting career.
More and more ex-members of Scientology are coming out now to report on the misdeeds of the Church and its management, but Cruise has seemingly maintained most of his public-facing persona. Let's face it, Tom's a charming dude, so it's no wonder we still flock to his flicks. That said, Google exists, and even a cursory search about Tom these days will kick over some rocks under some pretty ugly worms crawling around.
20 Tom Was Dyslexic... But He's Better Now
Dyslexia must be a drag to have even if you're a multi, multi-millionaire like Tom Cruise. Before he had all the money, it must have been pure torture for him to deal with this potentially crippling learning disability every day.
Which makes it a little weird that Tom claimed in 2003 that he'd been cured of his Dyslexia for decades, and the magic spells that apparently did it came straight out of L. Ron Hubbard's The Basic Study Manual, a book about Scientology. We're going to be talking a lot about that weird pseudo-religion here, so strap in.
Tom managed to bum out some dyslexia support groups with his statements about finding a cure in, ironically enough, a book, but if it's true that it helped ol' Tom, hey, more power to him.
19 He's Not Welcome In Paris
Since Tom's the public face of Scientology, he's often the one who is called upon to meet up with public officials from other countries, schmooze on behalf of the church, grease a few palms, you get the picture.
One place he's no longer welcome to do this, however, is in France. France has had a contentious relationship with Scientology, who haven't always had the warmest reception in every country they've tried to push into.
No, what rankled France when it came to Scientology was the malicious nature of the religion, which France doesn't officially recognize as a valid church. L. Ron Hubbard and various members of the church were charged with fraud and causing several ex-Scientologists to commit suicide, and Cruise's attempts to visit Nicolas Sarkozy to curry favor for the church ended up getting Cruise banned from Paris.
18 Tom Cruises On What Are Basically Slave Ships
But why, you ask, would so many countries have problems with the way Scientology treats its members? Might have something to do with the fact that they're a cult who hold their followers in almost slave-like conditions aboard luxury liners, working 48-hour shifts often for some obscure or trumped-up crime against the church.
The Sea Org in Scientology isn't exactly what it sounds like. When L. Ron and his followers were finding it hard to find countries that approved of their "Religion," they took to the sea, as they'd be harder to track. What that means for the actual Scientologists is murky, as the Sea Org is more of a concept than an actual legal organization, naval or otherwise.
When Tom Cruise partied aboard the Freewinds, the premier Scientology luxury liner, he was leaping around on stage in front of clips of his past movies as underage and exhausted workers cleaned the bottom decks and tended the engine. Real life Tom Cruise ain't no action hero, that's for sure.
17 Leah Remini Had Some Real Dirt To Dish On Tom
On a January 2017 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Joe's guest was former King of Queens star Leah Remini, also a former Scientologist who had a LOT to say about the inner workings of the church and their oddly devoted behavior towards one Tom Cruise.
According to Remini, Cruise has almost God-like power within the religion, and an army of dedicated man-servants who cater to his every whim. What Tom has given up in his life as a celebrity and face of an alternative church, he's certainly gained back in having the privilege of having all of his whims catered to.
Nothing's too good for Tom, and he lives in a giant $30.5 million Florida mansion full of fellow Scientologists who essentially act as his private army, defense force, hairdressers, and probably concubines. Oh, and when Tom has a crush, he orders in.
16 Tom Cruise Has An Odd Way Of Getting To Know Women
A normal person, probably even a lot of celebrities, meet women through being introduced by friends, seeing them across a smoky and crowded bar, or even ordering coffee at their workplace. According to Leah Remini, the world is Tom Cruise's casting couch, and he has regularly auditioned potential new wives.
If Tom likes a woman, he's not going to be the first person to make a move. Instead, the uh, lucky lady can expect to hear from one of Tom's underlings, who pay to fly her in, sit her in a room in Tom's lavish mansion, and ask her to wait until Tom is ready to see her, as he did with several women after his 2004 split with Penelope Cruz.
Tom then enters like a Golden God, one can presume ... And usually, according to Remini's accounts, says nothing, just appraising the woman from a distance before deciding whether or not she meets his standards. We're still waiting to hear if he inspects her teeth on the first date.
15 Tom Is Absolutely Terrifying To Work For
In Leah Remini's book, she details how impressed she was upon first meeting Tom, but upon seeing how he treated those around him, how quickly her opinion of him quickly soured.
While Remini was relaxing at his house one day (or trying to), Tom decided it was time to make some cookies but couldn't locate the cookie dough. When his assistants became flustered and unhelpful, as they were terrified of pissing off Tom, he shouted at them that they needed to "Get into the present time."
Tom then condescendingly explained that on the hierarchy of Scientology, it was L. Ron at the top, Tom and Dave Miscavage, the current leader on the second tier, and the assistants and other peons at the bottom. Leah had to chime in that she'd found the dough to get past that extremely awkward moment.
14 Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes' Wedding Had Secret Police
When a celebrity as big as Tom Cruise gets married, it's bound to be an event with a ton of security, photographers, and other headache-inducing factors to consider.
Tom's marriage to Katie Holmes was a big deal, therefore it was essential that stars like Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony show up and be seen. It was the other guests that made the wedding a whole lot less pleasant though, as the Church of Scientology considered the wedding "Official Church business," and as such dispatched several high-ranking members to monitor the other Scientologists in attendance.
As a member of the church, what you say publicly is heavily monitored to ensure that the public doesn't ever get a whiff of what they're actually up to, and this is exponentially true for any celebrity that isn't Tom. Leah Remini said after the wedding that she was subjected to an "Audit" after Holmes and other members of the church delivered "Knowledge reports" about Remini's supposed bad behavior, such as hanging out with J.Lo too much. 1984, anybody?
13 Tom Has Turned The Foster Kids Against Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise's marriage was fraught with difficulty simply from the fact that Nicole never fully bought into Scientology. This was going to be a bone of contention from the start, seeing as how Tom is now essentially the Jesus to L. Ron's God as far as the church is concerned.
Nicole and Tom's adopted kids Isabella and Connor, chose to stay with Tom after the couple filed for divorce, but unsurprisingly they had to totally buy into Scientology to stay in his good graces. Neither adopted kid is allowed to talk to Nicole anymore, as now that she's separated from Tom she's been designated an "SP," or Suppressive Person, in other words, someone who goes against the church. Forbidding kids from talking to a parent over religion? Not sketchy at all ...
12 Tom Is A Wee Bit Paranoid
The Pope, rather understandably, has to travel in his own customized vehicle with bulletproof glass. Religious violence is a real thing, in the real world. While Tom Cruise no doubt needs some degree of security when traveling, he seems to think he's a target for some kind of Jason Bourne-esque assassin, lurking around any corner.
Does Tom Cruise need a bulletproof car? Probably not, although he seems to regularly bump into people who he thinks oppose his right to practice his faith openly. Yes Tom, clearly the hordes of adoring fans, the army of personal slaves, and the general public's disinterest in your religion in the first place mean you're a prime target for some kind of celebrity hit squad. If anything, Tom's the one traveling with his own private army. Plus, if Tom's been "Hiding his faith," I shudder to think what he's doing when we're not looking.
11 Tom Almost Sent His Daughter To The Scientology Gulag
As we've already seen, Scientology's unofficial designation for new recruits and underlings on the totem pole is the "Sea Org," which mostly involves swabbing the poop deck of the massive Freewinds ship and working until you almost literally drop dead of exhaustion.
Well apparently, Tom thought the Sea Org was good enough for his daughter Suri, and Katie Holmes did NOT agree. She probably had something more along the lines of the Girl Scouts for rich kids in mind, whatever that's called. Tossing her daughter in a watery gulag was not on Katie's game plan, and Tom's insistence on the issue was a major factor in their divorce.
And hey, kudos to Katie. It can't be easy to leave a cult that regularly shames and defames all defectors, even Dave Miscavige's father. The idea of signing their kid up to a billion-year allegiance contract (yes, that's a thing) on a floating death trap where malnutrition is a norm is certainly where most parents would draw the line. Most sane parents, anyway.
10 Tom Had Some Pretty Weird Rules For Katie Holmes
If you're going to audition to be Cruise's new forever co-star, you first have to answer a barrage of questions from the Church about your drug, criminal, and s*xual history, among other things. The more chaste the potential wife is, the better.
Katie Holmes not only passed these weird tests, but even agreed to the odd rules Tom sets out for his wives when it comes to conduct out of the home, or carrying out her wifely duties. It got weird. Tom, who is an actor, not a doctor, even bought an ultrasound machine for his house so he could monitor Katie's pregnancy.
Even weirder was his insistence that Katie stay silent during childbirth, as Scientologists believe that scary noises and bad words can mess up a newborn's brain, but locking young children in a starvation boat is totally acceptable. Katie even got an extra $3.8 million dollars in the divorce proceedings for agreeing not to mention the marriage or publicly announce new boyfriends for a period of 5 years.
9 Divorcing Tom Cruise Is The Real Mission: Impossible
Scientology isn't just something its adherents can walk away from when they become disillusioned with the degree of control it exerts over their life. Ronald Miscavige left the church in 2012, although escaped would be a more apt word after he realized his son was a tyrant who was running the church like his own personal gang.
Ronald had to save the pittance he earned as part of the Sea Org for years and weave a web of lies to finally break out of Scientology's grip. Similarly, Katie Holmes wanted to bail after she refused to let Tom turn Suri (or herself) into another Xenu-worshipping zombie, but this was easier said than done.
Katie had to spin her own web of deception that would have made Ethan Hunt proud. To ditch her constant surveillance and church handlers, Holmes had to enlist the help of her friends in obtaining several untraceable phone lines, renting an apartment in New York away from Tom, and having her father fire all of the Scientology-vetted assistants she'd been "gifted" by Tom. Scary stuff.
8 Tom Could Make It All Stop If He Wanted To
Let's be very clear on one thing. Scientology's public image is Tom Cruise's face. Tom Cruise in action movies, Tom Cruise in comedies, Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah's couch: it's all 100% Tom. If Tom woke up tomorrow and decided that Scientology was all a bunch of nonsense, it would wilt and die almost overnight.
But that's very unlikely to happen. Part of the reason Scientology ropes in so many celebrities is their skill at blackmailing people to get their co-operation and complicity. Through long, tedious "Auditing" sessions, Scientologists go deep on the important events that they believe shaped their lives, and their deeply held opinions, all of which is discreetly recorded.
Tom is also unlikely to give up the personal servants, the lavish lifestyle, and the constant showering of gifts and wife auditions that his status in the church grants him. If he woke up tomorrow and publicly trashed Scientology, it would all vanish. Although really, all that means is Tom could go from God-like celebrity to merely a super rich one.
7 Tom Keeps A Tight Rein On His Media Coverage
When it comes to how he's portrayed in the media, Tom likes to treat media coverage of himself like a politician would. That is, to only let out a tightly controlled version of himself for public consumption. A bit megalomaniacal? Yeah, but that's how Tom rolls.
Journalists from publications as benign as Good Housekeeping have commented on how tightly Cruise keeps a lid on any journalism that could damage his public persona. He typically has an assistant openly record his interview sessions, which is out of the ordinary, to say the least.
Also of note during the Good Housekeeping interview was Tom and Katie greeting each other with a dreamy look, only saying the words "I love you" before she exited the room, and Tom losing his mind dancing to a Kanye West remix of the Mission Impossible theme song. Uh, you do you, Tom.
6 He Distributes Scientology Materials On The Sets Of His Movies
Anyone who sees Tom Cruise talk for more than 30 seconds shouldn't be surprised that he's dead set on evangelizing the virtues of Scientology. On the set of Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, Tom asked Tommy Davis, his Scientology handler, to set up a tent for the benefit of the laymen on the cast and crew.
Spielberg was sharply criticized for letting a weirdo alien cult advertise for their religion/book club on his set, but Spielberg just responded that all the Scientologists he'd met were such nice people. The church's Paul Haggis responded with "Yeah, we keep all the evil ones in the closet." You mean... We've only met the good ones?
5 Tom Cruise And Dave Miscaviage Are Bros To A Creepy Extent
David Miscavige should creep you out. The guy who essentially took over Scientology as a whole in 1986, he's largely responsible for turning Scientology into the billion-dollar juggernaut that it is today, a church that relies on intimidation and even literal starvation to keep their members in line.
The fact that Tom and Dave are tight bros won't shock you if you've been reading so far, and the fact that Dave is basically interested in Tom as a well-groomed pet shouldn't shock you either. According to various reports of ex-members of the church, Dave adapted his behavior to Tom's preferences in order to gain favor with the star, smoking cigars with him even though he hated the taste, and indulging in flashy Las Vegas vacations.
The two also regularly participate in exercise contests to out-macho each other, ride motorbikes together, and are the only people allowed to use the kennels at Scientology HQ. Never mind that Dave's wife is missing and the worse is assumed, or that Dave's been recording his auditing sessions with Tom this whole time ...
4 If You're One Of His Pals, Tom Will Probably Try To Convert You
What's the fun of being the figurehead of a cult-y church if you can't bring your pals along for the ride? Tom Cruise definitely seems as though he'd rather have a few pals around than not, shabby treatment of Leah Remini notwithstanding.
In the case of Tom and David Beckham, the two were virtually inseparable for a time. The two likely met through Penelope Cruz, who Tom was dating at the time, and soon Tom was jetting off to watch Beckham's Real Madrid games. The bromance grew so deep that David named one of his kids Cruz, after an alternate spelling of Tom's last name.
So how did it get weird? Apparently, Tom has a gift for making things weird, which is sort of inevitable when you're a cult leader. Tom had a bunch of his Sea Org underlings meticulously laser-level a soccer pitch at the Scientology Gold Base in LA, and invite David to come kick the ol' ball around with him. Beckham declined, probably because a tiny voice in his head told him that he was being groomed for membership into, you know, a cult.
3 Tom And Dave Are Waiting For L. Ron Hubbard's Return
It's kind of ironic that as seriously as Scientology takes itself, it's still basically a hodgepodge of ideas and concepts taken from Christianity, psychology (although, according to them, psychology is evil), and pop culture/science fiction writing.
Makes sense then, because L. Ron Hubbard was a pretty terrible sci-fi writer. Besides being that, as well as the guy to start Scientology, he's also apparently going to return from the dead a la Jesus Christ someday, and Dave Miscavige and Tom Cruise want to be literally right there when it happens.
That's why Tom and Dave have villas directly next to each other in LA at the Scientology Gold Base, a mere stone's throw away from the house that L. Ron will live in, whenever he decides to show up. It's been 30+ years since he died and he was supposed to be back in 21 or so, so the guy's obviously just chilling on a cloud somewhere. Laziest cult leader ever.
2 No Really, Tom Cruise Is Treated Like A God
... Or at the very least, like some Willy Wonka child who flies off the handle and screams at anyone around him at the slightest provocation. But really, so many presents have been given to Tom Cruise by Dave Miscavige and Scientology that he's probably barely touched the millions he's made from his movies.
Cruise has received, among many other things, a eucalyptus tree that was made into pens, an in-house flight simulator that fills a room, custom detailing on his expensive motorbikes, and perhaps most notably, a field full of wildflowers that was arranged for Tom and then-wife Nicole by Dave Miscavige himself, after he heard Tom talking about how he wished he could walk through one with her. Anyone willing to do that for you is certainly expecting something beyond just being bros forever out of the deal.
1 Tom Cruise Vs Psychology And Medicine
Scientologists REALLY hate the field of psychology. So much so that as their figurehead, Tom, grows visibly upset when asked about his opinions on the matter, such as during an infamous interview with Matt Lauer where he called psychologists "antisocial enemies of the people."
What reason could Scientology possibly have for hating psychology so much? The simple fact of the matter is that Scientology considers itself the foremost explanation of the intricacies of the human mind, and they hate competition. The process of "Auditing" that the church developed to give false insight into the meaning of thoughts with the aid of fake "E-Meters" is unique to them, and frankly, any reputable psychologist would turn their nose up at any of the church's practices.
That hasn't stopped Tom from loudly declaiming psychology at any chance he gets, and that includes prescription drugs for mental illness, a subject over which Tom and Brooke Shields butted heads, as Tom publicly criticized Brooke for taking anti-depressants. All I can say to that is people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, Tom.