Scientologists: Did Tom Cruise offer to give a beatdown to disobedient members?

New York Daily News/November 8, 2009

Did Tom Cruise offer to personally "beat the living [bleep]" out of disobedient Scientologists?

Cruise's lawyer and church spokesmen vigorously dispute the claim, but a former high-ranking Scientologist official says he "documented" that church leader David Miscavige once asserted that Cruise would lend his "Top Gun" muscle to do just that.

Marty Rathbun, once one of Miscavige's most trusted lieutenants, tells us he has a witness who can corroborate his account of a bloody beating at the church's 500-acre compound in Hemet, Calif. Furthermore, he's brought it to the attention of Cruise's attorney, Bert Fields.

On the day before the actor's visit a couple of years ago, the compound's managers took part in "the Tom Cruise arrival preparation drill," which required "orchestrating every action they perform … in the presence of Cruise," Rathbun recently wrote Fields.

But Miscavige wasn't happy when he addressed 80 to 100 managers at a prisonlike facility, known as "The Hole," where three insubordinate officials - Marc Yager, Guillaume Leserve and Ray Mithoff - were "incarcerated," according to Rathbun.

"Miscavige berated [the managers] for being far too light in their demands for confessions" from the three, Rathbun alleges in his letter, "because they refused to beat [them] ... to pulps. Miscavige said that Tom … had vowed to come to the Hole and personally ‘beat the living [bleep]' out of Yager, Leserve and Mithoff if the managers failed to do so themselves.

"In response, the mob rushed at the three targeted gentlemen," Rathbun claimed. "Fists flew and feet kicked into the three. They continued to pound until … each had two black eyes."

Church spokesman Tommy Davis tells us that Yager, Leserve and Mithoff have all provided sworn affidavits stating they were not assaulted, and that numerous witnesses have also testified that Miscavige never invoked Cruise's name.

Davis calls Rathbun "an admitted liar" and says he was fired because, on numerous occasions, he assaulted fellow church members. Rathbun argues that, at the time, he was following orders, adding: "I've confessed my sins." Rathbun says he relayed the alleged beating incident to Fields, in the hope that Cruise would recognize the church's "human rights abuses."

Responds Fields: "I would be surprised if David Miscavige was beating people up." And while he says "Tom is not a very litigious person," he said he will sue Rathbun if he reveals what was discussed during "audit" sessions where the actor shared confidences with Rathbun.

He may not need to worry about that. Rathbun tells us, "I would never reveal what Tom told me, not if a gun were put to my head. Unlike the church, which does, I actually hold those secrets sacrosanct."

Rathbun doubts Cruise or Miscavige would want to address his charges in open court, "but if they do, I say, ‘Bring it on.'

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