Scientology’s two leading celebrity ambassadors, Tom Cruise and John Travolta, hate each other, according to a former security guard who has now quit the controversial church.
37-year-old Brendan Tighe, who was born into Scientology and worked in Cruise’s security detail, reveals a relationship riddled with jealousy over Cruise’s high ranking.
The Mission: Impossible star was awarded the Church’s highest honour in 2008, the Freedom Medal of Valor, by Scientology leader David Miscavige in a flashy ceremony, a move which apparently infuriated Travolta, who prior to Cruise signing up saw himself as Miscavige’s ‘favourite son’.
“It’s no secret that Cruise and Travolta despised each other. Travolta wasn’t invited to Cruise’s wedding with Katie Holmes, it told me everything,” Tighe told DailyMail.com.
“I can assure you Travolta doesn’t recognise Cruise as a superior in any way. When Cruise got that medal Travolta was so p***ed off.
“The closest person Miscavige had ever said that about before was Travolta, he was told by Miscavige that he was he most dedicated Scientologist and had introduced more members than anyone, so it was like getting his title stripped, he was jealous.
“Travolta dictated a scathing letter to his chauffeur, who had to write to Miscavige asking ‘what the hell is this medal was all about?’”
“Cruise is the only celeb with a direct line to Miscavige. Travolta and Kirstie [Alley] don’t have that.
“Travolta doesn’t get anything free, no one is giving him absurd gifts like an airplane hangar, custom-made bikes, or over the top favours.”
However, Tighe tells of divisions within the church, too, and of Cruise ’emulating Miscavige in every way’.
“I’d say it’s a 50/50 split whether Cruise is even respected in Scientology. When Cruise got the medal, the Office of Special Affairs [Scientology’s secret spy unit] was on high alert for any comments that were negative – it built up a lot of resentment within the ranks of Scientology, they didn’t think he deserved it,” he added.
Tighe also tells of the luxury afforded to Cruise thanks to his ranking in the church, including sprawling suites at the Osceola Inn and The Sandcastle, Scientology-owned resorts in Clearwater, Florida.
As a member of the security detail, Tighe says he was made to have his teeth whitened regularly (‘You had to have a good smile for Tom Cruise’), while Cruise would demand absolute perfection everywhere he went.
“It was beneath Cruise to have his own hotel card, so we had to make sure that he could go through all these doors and they would open and close perfectly,” he added.
“There’s hundreds of doors, with magnetic locks and punch codes. If it took him 30 seconds to go down a hallway, no one else was allowed to use it, same with any public areas and even the urinals. If anything was out of place, like someone had p***ed on the floor, Cruise would tell the security. Sometimes it would get back to Miscavige, then someone would really be in trouble.
“He had his own private jet so he could go in and out without anyone seeing, Miscavige also got granted use of it. We’d know weeks, if not months, in advance if he was coming, he never just popped in for a day or two.”
He also added that he was given ‘the beating of my life’ at the hands of Scientology’s security chief, after becoming too friendly with Travolta while working on his security.
The Church of Scientology has said that Tighe’s are ‘unsubstantiated claims by an apostate who has a personal axe to grind’.