Inside Tom Cruise's 'Scientology CNN' TV network and film company - set to launch from a new $50 million Hollywood studio that will rival Paramount

Daily Mail, UK/July 13, 2015

By By Chris White

The Church of Scientology is starting a TV news network being dubbed 'Scientology's CNN' in a brand new $50 million Hollywood studio.

And it's being built by being built by 50-cent an hour workers, claim former Scientologists familiar with the project.

While all the buzz last week was that Scientology's biggest star was leaving the church, Daily Mail Online can reveal that nothing could be further from the truth. 

Scientology and Tom Cruise plan to take on the major movie studios and the TV networks and cable stations with the creation of Scientology Media Productions on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood.

The new studio will also be used to make 'propaganda' movies to recruit more followers while Cruise himself is set to film his Hollywood blockbusters at the glittering base, which has facilities that are set to rival Paramount studios.

Scientology bosses may even use the new studios to attract budding Hollywood actresses to audition to be Tom's new girlfriend. 

The Church of Scientology has vehemently denied claims made that Tom Cruise auditioned a host of Hollywood beauties including Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan and Kate Bosworth to be his wife before settling on Katie Holmes.

The impressive complex, revealed in these Daily Mail Online photographs for the first time, is built by the Church's Sea Org recruits, who are paid only a few dollars a day, according to two former members, who identified the tell-tale blue uniforms.

According to the Church, the colossal studio complex in Los Angeles will reach 'virtually every person on Earth' and is now only months away from completion.

Former Scientology member and assistant to leader David Miscavige, Sinar Parman, said: 'CNN covers anything and everything, it's their version of CNN, but who wants to watch that stuff?'

Previously, Scientology TV and movie studio work was done at its main HQ Gold Base in Hemet, 60 miles outside Los Angeles in the desert. 

The new 'Scientology Media Productions' center is only a short 12-mile hop from Cruise's West Hollywood mansion and will be bigger than any major Tinseltown studio including Universal and Paramount.

The church acquired the new media center from KCET, a local Los Angeles public TV station that had been there since 1970. There are pictures on the Scientology Facebook page showing images of the various studios, suites and newsrooms.

The church proclaims on its website: 'The global media center that will revolutionize the Church's communications footprint throughout the print, broadcast, and internet media worlds as a state-of-the-art hub helping beam Scientology's message all over the globe.

'The world population of 7 billion is growing by more than 250,000 daily. With 3,000 opportunities to reach each person on any given day, the technological power to reach out exists at unprecedented orders of magnitude. 

'Scientology Media Productions is the emphatic answer to that most vital question of how we will in fact catapult into the next dimension. When this new property opens, we will be capable of reaching virtually every person on Earth.'

Scientology expert Tony Ortega, who runs the anti-church website Underground Bunker, adds: 'They've talked about doing a Scientology TV channel, showing their dumb videos over and over again. But it could also go the way of their Freedom Magazine, where it's trying to be more mainstream and commenting on everyday issues. 

'They will try to do TV shows which are legitimate, speaking about every day things with a Scientology slant. Scientology news would be hilarious, but who would watch it?'

Parman adds: 'What would they fill the time with? I guess DM [church leader David Miscavige] could make an appearance on the show.

'I'd be bored after ten minutes. They could do tours of their fancy facilities, like a National Geographic thing. But it's not 24/7, maybe two hours. It's ridiculous.'

But it gives Cruise, who is worth $450 million, and Scientology, which has $8 billion in reserves, the opportunity to heavily influence the movie world again, which they were doing back in the day where they pressured top Hollywood execs to get what they wanted on films such as War of the Worlds, Days of Thunder and Battlefield Earth.

Cruise has used church facilities for his hit movies in the past and it's also where his former auditing partner Marc Headley watched dozens of three-to-four-minute 'girlfriend' audition videotapes when he was executive producer of Golden Era Productions, the Church's in-house studio at Gold Base.

Women in the church have come forward in recent years claiming that they auditioned for the role of Cruise's girlfriend and made to run through the filming process. 

Iranian model Nazanin Boniadi got through the test but was cast aside after a couple of months because she supposedly insulted Miscavige.

Ortega, who has recently written a book on Scientology, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, says that the church would want more of a handle on Cruise's movie productions and choosing his girlfriends. He exclusively reveals that Scientology was involved in last year's blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow and supposedly had its own handlers on set for Cruise.

'Scientology has been heavily involved in his films. When he was making Edge of Tomorrow in England last year, I heard that there were handlers around him. His old handler Greg Wilhere was such a presence around Cruise on Days of Thunder they named a character in the movie after him.

'With War of the Worlds, Cruise convinced Spielberg to set up tents for his people, he would always insist they used a sound system Clearsound at Gold Base, he always wanted to bring Scientologists on set. They're not as involved as they want to be now.'

Another ex-member, Gary Morehead, former head of security at Gold Base, says that whole sets were built at Scientology's HQ Gold Base for numerous films including Far And Away, starring Cruise's ex-wife Nicole Kidman. 

He says: 'There was a whole audio camp built at Gold, it's even in the credits for the film. Dave [Miscavige] is the one who had it all set up for him, no expense was to be spared.'

But while Cruise and company will  now have some of the best cutting edge movie technology at their fingertips, the people who built it are only earning 50 cents an hour. 

When Daily Mail Online visited the building, members of the hardcore branch of Scientology, the Sea Org, were walking around the site along with independent building contractors. Some were also dressed in blue, which, would signify that they're probably new recruits, according to Morehead.

They would be earning less than $50 a week and be part of the Estates Project Force (EPF) - where these new recruits receive indoctrination and have to prove themselves worthy of being in the Sea Org - or the could be part of the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), those who have supposedly violated the Church's rules and could spend years being punished.

Morehead says: 'They would be doing this either as punishment or be someone who is going through introductions, getting their basics, getting flag orders, they'd be earning next to nothing.'

Parman, who was David Miscaviage's personal chef, added: 'It's not uncommon for Sea Org members to be building places like that, they did it all the time, it's the only thing they're trusted to do. If you're being punished or demoted, then you will often be doing the sanding, painting, building, that sort of thing. Wearing blue jump suits is part of the uniform.'

Security was also very tight with bars on most windows and cameras on every corner. There were even shutters on some windows and megaphones attached to walls, which Morehead said would be used in case anti-Scientology protesters ever appeared. 

'The megaphones can be used for announcements, but also for protests where they can produce white noise, so the people inside can't hear the protests. It's like a noise from your TV, it's used to distract the protests psychologically,' he adds.
Posters were also up around the campus proclaiming 'Welcome to the Age of Answers' and also highlighting its record on 'human rights.' 

'It's amazing how they contradict themselves all the time,' Moorhead said. 'Their human rights? Ha.'

Former spokesman and Church No 3 Mike Rinder says that the studios will be bigger than Paramount, but completely wasted on the church. He claims it's all just a fundraising ploy to make money.

'This is Scientology's version of a cross between Paramount and Disneyland. The idea of this thing is not just feature movies, but TV ads, informational videos, TV programs. This is their platform to make their break in Hollywood,' says Rinder.

'They have sound stages at Golden Era Productions [at Gold Base HQ], it has the largest free standing sound stage in California where you can shoot movies, sets can be put in there - it's like an indoor shooting facility. There are three big indoor recording studios, eight digital production suites. That's probably more than there is at Paramount. They can't come close to using it all.

'They've had world class studios at the base in Hemet for years. They don't need this new base, so the question becomes why? It's just a fundraising ploy, to buy real estate, to persuade people to give them money, and if they can come up with the concoction that this is the next great thing to tell the world about Scientology, then all the better.

'There's ten of millions of stuff now being spent, but it will be just another empty building. It doesn't matter what goes on there, it makes it look like they're expanding, so [followers will think] they must be doing well.'

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