Scientologists hold a ‘blackmail file’ on John Travolta to stop him leaving the faith, which includes ‘damaging material’ from his sessions with auditors at the church, it has been claimed.
A documentary investigating the religion and its secret California-based headquarters features a number of allegations about how members are threatened and tortured by being put into prison camps and cut off from their family if they decide to leave Scientology.
Others belonging to the most senior order of the faith have been forced to play musical chairs to the sound of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in a fight to secure a chair to stay in the church, it was claimed.
The allegations featured in ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief’, a documentary shown on HBO in America on Sunday evening.
They have been disputed by the Church of Scientology who have branded those who featured in the show as as ‘admitted’ liars and perjurers and ‘professional anti-Scientologists.’
Directed by Alex Gibney, Going Clear aimed to expose the secrets behind the mysterious faith followed by John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
It included interviews with former senior members and officials who made explosive claims about punishments and how followers have been manipulated.
These included descriptions of a ‘prison camp’, revealed by former member Sylvia ‘Spanky’ Taylor.
This camp is allegedly the place where people go to be ‘reindoctrinated’ and forces members to do around 30 hours of hard labour, broken up by three hour rest breaks. Spanky was once the point of contact between the Church and Travolta and said she was sent to this ‘prison camp’, known as the Rehabilitation Project Force.
Among the claims were that organisers hold a ‘black PR package’ on Travolta, with all the damaging disclosures he made during auditing sessions. During these sessions a trained auditor asked pointed questions such as ‘What are you willing for me to talk to others about?’
Travolta is said to have requested that his sessions were not filmed, but secret cameras were allegedly installed anyway.
As well as the claims about Travolta, former senior members of the faith told documentary makers about the various forms of punishment meted out by leaders.
Another form of punishment involved members of the highest ranking order, Sea Org, within the Scientology church.
Members are said to be punished by being thrown in ‘The Hole’. As well as beatings, they are subjected to orders – which allegedly included telling someone to mop up the floor with his tongue to get them to confess their crimes against the Church.
Others are apparently ordered to play musical chairs to the sound of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody – fighting eachother for chairs which allow them to remain in the church, with losers being expelled.
Being expelled from the Church of Scientology also comes with a high price as all friends and family that are still with the religion are forced to cut any ties with leaving members.
Scientology is believed to be one of the reasons behind the breakdown of Tom Cruise’s marriage to Katie Holmes because he was understood to have wanted to send their daughter Suri to Sea Org.
The strictest order of Scientology is run with a rigid rules, members being paid just $50 a week and being forced to leave if they have children. Members must pledge their allegiance to the faith for a billion years.
It has also been claimed that the church helped Cruise find a new girlfriend when he opened a new site in Spain.
It is said to have found scientologist Nazanin Boniadi and had her braces removed, spent £20,000 on clothes and had her hair dyed to Cruise’s liking, the Huffington Post reported.
According to former senior executive Mark ‘Marty’ Rathbun, the church’s goal was to be recognised by the Inland Revenue Service in order to be made a fully tax-exempt religion.
Members are said to have filed dozens of lawsuits against IRS and employed private investigators to dig for information in a bid to get the church recognized.
Paul Haggis, a former director and member of the church, said that once members reached a certain level they would be founder L. Ron Hubbard’s handwritten account of the creation myth.
This states that Zenu, a galactic dictator froze people and dropped their bodies into volcanoes, 70 million years ago.
These spirits are said to have jumped into the bodies of newborns and are now said to be the source of all of our anxieties and fears. Hubbard is said to have created ‘Ethics’ – a series of punishments for auditors who made mistakes.