We've all read or heard about Vanity Fair's dirty dish on Tom Cruise's relationship with Scientology and how it has affected his love life, but now we're hearing the Church's side of the story.
In an eight-page letter to Graydon Carter, the magazine's editor, the controversial religion's legal rep accuses Maureen Orth's piece of being "shoddy journalism, religious bigotry and potential legal liability."
Before the high-profile story was even in print, Scientology fired off the scathing letter to criticize Carter for ignoring "firsthand knowledge" from VF staff as he prepared to "publish a poorly researched and sourced story."
The letter refutes any and all allegations against the Church, especially any against its "ecclesiastical leader," David Miscavige. While the exposé claims that he secretly recorded Cruise's confessions during auditing sessions and served as a "third wheel" in his romantic relationships, the rep disputes the notion by citing Miscaviges extensive traveling. The letter reads:
"Ms. Orth’s implications are demonstrably false. If she had considered for a minute the respective travel and work demands placed on both Mr. Miscavige and Mr. Cruise, she would have dismissed outright this “third wheel notion" … Mr. Miscavige is the leader of a dynamic global religion expanding across five continents. His duties are herculean and accomplishments monumental. He is not a 'third wheel' to anything or anyone.
We always thought the mention of Miscavige being a "third wheel" in Cruise's life was more of a metaphor suggesting his overwhelming influence, not an implication that they're besties who travel the world together.
Either way, the leader of the religion was not happy to be described that way and his rep is emphatically denying the stories of monitoring auditing sessions, as the letter continues:
"These alleged events never occurred – and, no credible person has ever said that they did. There are no authentic contemporaneous documents evidencing such events (because such events never occurred). To be absolutely clear, Mr. Miscavige never videoed auditing sessions, never saw videos of auditing sessions (since there are no videos), never read session reports aloud (since there are no such reports), let alone ever used such information to 'manipulate' anyone."
After comparing the article's treatment of Scientology to something of a white supremacist's attack on a Sikh religious leader, the letter addresses ignorance and bigotry against the Church which may have helped shape Orth's writing, adding:
"Scientology is a new religion and its beliefs not as well known as those of more ancient history. That does not excuse you or Ms. Orth for being ignorant. Rather, it demands you be even more sensitive to finding out what the true beliefs are of Scientology-which can only be told by the religion itself. Just because you don't think you are bigoted doesn't mean you aren't. Bigotry and ignorance go hand in hand and you are definitely and wilfully ignorant of the actual beliefs of Scientology and the activities of its Churches."
Since the rep believe Orth's piece is "based on fictions manufactured by unsavory individuals who wish to do" the organization harm, the conclusion assumes Vanity Fair "will not publish anything defamatory" and "we will not need to meet at a deposition or in a court."
Welp! This guy assumed wrong.
Wonder if Scientology's legal team will make good on that subtle threat and take the magazine to court…
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: bigotry, david miscavige, expose, graydon carter, ignorance, journalism, magazine, maureen orth, scientology, staff, story, tom cruise, vanity fair