HOLLYWOOD megastar Tom Cruise has been sensationally named in a multi-million dollar lawsuit in the United States alleging receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illicit perks from the controversial Scientology religious cult.
The 32-year-old Oscar winner is alleged to have turned a blind eye to the use of slave labour to build him a gym, an apartment and other gifts from the Scientologists.
Hollywood insiders say he is fuming at being named in the legal action because it totally exposes his close links to the bizarre organisation.
He is particularly angry about references to his "special relationship" with the charismatic leader of the Scientologists, David Miscavige, a mysterious godlike figure who is said to rule the Scientologists the way David Koresh ruled Waco and the Branch Davidians.
The Scientologists' desert base where Tom spends much of his time is, according to the sworn declaration, armed to the teeth with assault rifles, automatic weapons, shotguns and even explosives - all on standby to be used in case authorities one day attempt a similar operation to Waco.
And by all accounts, Tom Cruise could well be inside that compound at the time.
In a sworn declaration - filed in a law suit brought by the church in the United States against a former member and his psychiatrist - the Scientologists' former head of security, Andre Tabayoyon, 47, says that the cash used to supply Tom with all his luxuries was spent illicitly because it came from the Scientologists' charitable funds. He claims that:
All former security chief Tabayoyon's claims are in a 60-page declaration which was filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles, on March 9.
Tabayoyon - who was a Scientologist until less than a year ago - has been retained by lawyers representing former Scientologist Steven Fishman and his psychiatrist, Uwe Geertz, who are being sued by the Scientologists in an action claiming Fishman and Geertz defamed them in an article published in Time magazine in 1991.
Tabayoyon claims his life has been threatened when he was followed near his home in Arizona soon after his decision to defy the Scientologists' notorious code of silence and speak openly about Miscavige and the cult's number one member Tom Cruise. Lawyers representing the defendants also claim they have been the subject of intimidation.
Tough ex-marine and Vietnam veteran Tabayoyon admits that the Scientologists' scare tactics have him worried. He was a member of the shadowy organisation for 21 years.
He witnessed dozens of abuses of charitable funds at the Gold base, near Hemet, California. And he claims that the base is surrounded by armed guards day and night to prevent people getting in and out of the compound.
Tabayoyon says he also witnessed a number of Scientologists go crazy and commit suicide following exposure to the cult's controversial brainwashing techniques.
The tough ex-Marine claims he was personally ordered to use Scientologists' techniques to force a man to attempt suicide. He also insists that Tom's "special friend" Miscavige - who walks around the base in a captain's uniform - personally beat up a man who tried to escape from the base.
"Miscavige and Tom have developed a special relationship. One is a world dominant celebrity. The other is a young domineering cult leader who seeks to 'clear' the world and to rule it according to Scientology beliefs and practices," adds Tabayoyon.
He claims that the mysterious Miscavige - a high school dropout - was responsible for many multi-million dollar illegal international currency transfers of Scientologist charitable funds.
"He rules Scientology like David Koresh ruled Waco and the Branch Davidians," says Tabayoyon.
He alleges that the Scientologists are so fearful of the same sort of raids that sparked the massacre at Waco that they installed razor barriers, electronic monitors, concealed microphones and ground sensors on the perimeter of the base. There are also hidden video cameras watching every movement inside and outside the base. Tabayoyon claims that Church funds were used to buy HK 91 assault rifles capable of firing 300-500 rounds of ammunition a minute, .45 calibre pistols, .380 automatic weapons and 12-gauge shotguns. He also alleges that church funds paid for the purchase of large quantities of gunpowder for the "construction of various types of explosive device to be used in the defence of the base".
Tabayoyon claims that Tom's fellow star John Travolta went into a deep depression after being put through a psychotic break by a weird Scientology "interrogation system" designed to help members understand the cult more clearly.
Tabayoyon - as head of security at the base - has even admitted "kidnapping" two members who tried to run away from the harsh regime inside the base.
The sworn declaration describes in vivid detail the two very different lifestyles inside the Gold base camp.
On one side were the celebrities such as Tom, John Travolta and Priscilla Presley, while just a few hundred metres away, a brutal regime of terror was being inflicted on dozens of ordinary Scientology members who were held in punishment camp because they had upset the cult's hierarchy.
Tabayoyon alleges that Tom's pal David Miscavige and other senior Scientologists, as well as the celebrity and other stars, used a specially constructed cinema on the base to view first-run movies which were passed to Miscavige through those celebrity members' close links with Hollywood.
Miscavige "befriended Tom", according to the sworn declaration, in the late 1980s and the two men spent a lot of time together on the base. "Often they would hang out alone in space designated for L. Ron Hubbard on the Clipper Ship," explained Tabayoyon.
Miscavige even had a $150,000 gym specially built for Tom at the desert base and banned anyone outside his small circle of friends from speaking to him or using the facilities. "One time one of the gardeners spoke to him and this caused a major flap because no-one was allowed to talk to Tom Cruise," claims Tabayoyon.
He says that Tom is known by his initials whenever he visits the base camp. The ex-security chief also says he personally helped construct a luxurious apartment on the same base for the "personal and exclusive use of Tom Cruise".
"This was done on the orders of David Miscavige," says Tabayoyon. "Other apartment cottages were built for John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Edgar Winters, Priscilla Presley and other Scientology celebrities."
The ordinary members kept virtually prisoners on the other side of the camp were referred to as the Rehabilitation Project Force, which Tabayoyon describes as "the Scientology gulag or concentration camp".
He claims in his sworn declaration that RPF members were used to help build Tom's apartment and repair it after a mudslide.
"Tom Cruise was benefiting from the use of what is essentially prison slave labour being worked almost around the clock," added Tabayoyon.
He also alleges that Tom was given a specially appointed Scientologist chef to do all his cooking at his 1990 marriage to Nicole Kidman.
"A staffer called Sinar Parman was taken along to do the personal cooking for Tom Cruise and Miscavige at the expense of Scientology, not for the profit of religious organisations," stated Tabayoyon.
He says in his sworn declaration that Tom also has virtually exclusive use of a sauna, spa bath and huge swimming pool on the "ship".
"I saw Tom Cruise use an exercise room which was off limits to at least 98 per cent of the staff. Tom Cruise had unrestricted access to the ship which has a sauna, spa bath and an Olympic sized swimming pool."
Other Scientologists on the camp even referred to the gym specially built by Miscavige for his friend Tom as the Miscavige/Cruise gym.
Built in 1989, it cost about $150,000 and much of the construction work was once again performed by the slave labour prisoners kept on the other side of the camp.
"It is one of the most incredible gyms imaginable and is for the exclusive use of Tom Cruise, David Miscavige and other specially and specifically approved by him. It also has an incredible shower area."
According to Tabayoyon's testimony, millions of dollars in Church funds were used illicitly so that Tom's stays at the base "were enjoyable". "Tom Cruise received special meal services, special room services, and a girl by the name of Jennie Matsamura was assigned to take care of him and his renovated cottage," said Tabayoyon.
He recalled how, on a number of occasions, construction work done for Tom had to be torn down because the colouring did not meet with his or Miscavige's approval.
"Once we had to pour a concrete walkway so that Tom Cruise would not have to walk on the desert soil. Before the concrete dried, it rained. The concrete was spoiled. Miscavige went into a fury over that."
On another occasion, recalled Tabayoyon, "tens of thousands of dollars" were spent on making a meadow look picturesque by planting thousands of flowers so that Tom and his new wife Nicole could romp there.
"However Miscavige inspected it and didn't like it. So the whole meadow was ploughed up, destroyed, reploughed and sown with plain grass," added Tabayoyon.
He claims that Tom Cruise took part in a bizarre "life orientation course" called "OT III" - based on the controversial beliefs of Hubbard, who claimed that aliens invaded Earth thousands of years ago and were responsible for the current state of man.
A specially appointed "auditor" interviewed Tom to see if he could pass the OT III test. It is a weird routine, as Tabayoyon explained.
The ultimate goal of auditing is to return the person to the state they were in 75 million years before the aliens invaded. Tabayoyon claims that for Tom to have passed the OT III test he would have had to act out "psychosis ... and general madness".
Tabayoyon also alleges that the Scientologist leaders have a special file on the megastar which is kept under tight security at the base.
"It contains supposedly confidential information derived during auditing sessions. However, the contents of such folders have been culled and used against people," says Tabayoyon, who believes the secret files are used to "exert control and influence over people such as Tom Cruise or John Travolta should they ever attempt to leave the Scientology organisation".
One former Scientology member said that the sort of information Tom revealed during his "audit" would blow apart his squeaky clean image.
The insider, who claims to have seen the star's file, said: "There are things in there that would shock his fans and they clearly imply he has some severe personality problems."
Tabayoyon's sworn declaration alleges that all the millions of dollars spent by Miscavige and his cronies on the luxuries provided for Tom and other celebrity members was used illegally because the cash all came from fundraising on behalf of the so-called church - and that is against US law.Story: Greg Sinclair
[photos] From above left: Scientology celebrity headquarters in Hollywood; Tom Cruise; the "ship" in the desert.